Photo Credit: unknown
The Game of Life
Don’t Tell Mam
Sunday, November 10th @ 7:00 pm
The Game of Life is the 4th show, by octogenarian and cabaret darling Bob Diamond, since returning to Cabaret in 2011. This show, as the others, leads with a great concept, and is beautifully delivered. Having worked in TV and theater for most of his professional career, Diamond knows the “business of show,” and his clever concepts and devoted connection to the interpretations of lyrics make him a special performer.
Director Gretchen Reinhagen has worked with Diamond on all of his shows, but she recently has allowed for the use of a music stand. This convention is not common in cabaret but, let’s face it, remembering the lyrics to 16 tunes is difficult at any age. And at 82 years young Diamond has certainly paid his dues. In this case, with this artist, the convention did not distract and was mostly used for game props.
Performed to a completely sold out room, Diamond’s show, based on the board game LIFE delivered as much surprise as it did poignancy. His interpretation of “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” (L. Brown / R. Henderson) was revelatory in the context of this show! The show was clever, funny, poignant and well-sung.
Special recognition to both Music Director Matthew Martin Ward and Bassist Tom Hubbard who supported Diamond with great success.
This show is an example of a completely well-crafted and written performance. The patter was immediately relevant to the songs, and led us in and out of transitions beautifully. For example, in the actual board game of LIFE there are Career Cards and Action Cards. Diamond used those to segue between songs. This devise was smart and appreciated!
A few of the many pleasures, for me, were his ballads…man, can this man act!
“Why Him?” (A. Jay, B. Lane), “Guess Who I Saw Today My Dear” (M. Grand, E. Boyd) and the brilliant and under used song “The Lady Down the Hall” (A. Dinerman) were 3 stand out moments. Three ballads one after another is not something I usually like, but these interpretations were so powerful, each in their individual spots, and also as an arc of storytelling. Conversely, the pairing “Summer Was” (J. Wallowitch) with “My Favorite Year” (M. Brourman / K. Gottlieb) did not seem to serve either song as well as when performed separately.
Bob Diamond has certainly lived life, and continues to live it to it’s fullest. Life is not just a bowl of cherries…it’s what you make it. Diamond shows all of us how to live life a little bit better every time he steps on stage.