THE PRESS, Christchurch

D4 ARTS

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Zippy New York

New York, New York, with Tim Beveridge and the Christchurch Symphony, conducted by Marc Taddei, at the Christchurch Town Hall, Saturday, June 6 at 7.30pm. Reviewed by Timothy Jones.

The Christchurch Symphony orchestra, augmented by a small rhythm section, kicked up its heels on Saturday and gave a nearly full house a great night out. Tim Beveridge provided wonderfully polished vocals and the band showed that it knew at least a little about what it is to swing.

The concert was tagged New York, New York, aid the song of that name opened and closed the show. Between came American songs sung by Beveridge and arrangements of music from Fancy Free, On the Town, and West Side Story.

These suites, it must be said, although brilliantly coloured and full of gorgeous astringent rhythms, do not always work especially well as concert pieces. Something about their structure, the rise and fall of tension and the

placement of climaxes is just not quite right.

But that's a quibble, because under Marc Taddei the orchestra sounded in top form, as usual playing better than we have any right to expect. And the star of the evening was undoubtedly Tim Beveridge, who offers the complete package of an easy stage manner and a powerful voice.

He sings very calmly and spaciously, with lots of daylight between each phrase. His background in belting out the biggest sound possible in musicals was never far below the surface and his big finishes on this occasion, in Mack the Knife, for example, were roof-raisingly big

Finally, there is perhaps only one thing more tiresome than finding a car sprawled selfishly across two parking spaces and that is an audience drowning music it has supposedly come to hear by clapping loudly in time to it. Can anyone tell me what this contributes to a performance of this or indeed almost any type of music?