Doris Day (née Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff) turned ninety-seven on April 3. Twenty-First Century people know little about her, but from 1938 into the 1980s she was at the top of the heap as a singer and actress, recording over 650 songs between 1947 and 1967, and starring in thirty-nine films. She worked with the best male stars, including Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, James Cagney, Rock Hudson, David Niven, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Broadway stars John Raitt and Howard Keel, and more. She was number one at the box office four times in the 1960s.
When I received a press release announcing a show called Doris & Me that was set for a short run at Sierra Madre Playhouse starring Scott Dreier, touted as “a gifted vocalist” who would “sing her hits with piano and bass accompaniment,” and further, that he “seamlessly weaves behind-the-scenes stories and over seventy-five curated images and clips from the iconic superstar’s film and recording career with her beloved song hits,” I mused, hmmm, just how is that going to work? As a baby-boomer, I was intrigued. I sure saw plenty of her films as a kid. I remembered her as a pristine, blond beauty who could do physical comedy and had the chops to star in the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which she sang “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will be, Will Be),” a simple touching, number that anyone could sing and an over-the-top hit that was heard everywhere on radio and on records. I was hooked and booked a couple of press tickets to see and hear what Mr. Dreier could do; which turned out to be plenty.
Scott Dreier is an appealing personality who quickly and surely bonds with his audience. He is a superb vocalist who bends the songs to his will, displaying a myriad of styles suited to each individual song, rendered with all the appropriate emotion each number requires. Mr. Dreier is more than a cabaret artist; he is also a consummate storyteller who weaves his own personal story into the epic tale of Ms. Day’s career. His worshipful reverence for Doris Day is palpable as he reveals details of his life and how his regard for the iconic star turned into a sustaining love that did not go unrequited. How exactly did that happen? Go see the show.
Doris & Me is written by Scott Dreier and Kurtis Simmons, and directed by Richard Israel. The extraordinary talents of Andy Langham at the piano and Gary Wicks on standup bass add immeasurably to the success of the evening
Doris & Me has two more performances—Saturday, April 13 at 8:00pm, and on Sunday, April 14 at 2:30pm—at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre. Go! You’ll have a good time.