“You went and saved the best for last…” Yup. There’s a song for this moment and how apropos to be writing about Gia’s final (attended) show at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe, experienced on the night of 12 Bars‘ last performance of the festival.
“When I decided to put together 12 Bars, I had no idea how a simple song set, purposefully stripped of most theatrics and presented through my own shaky vocalisations alone, would be received. In the event, it would be hard to imagine a better or more gratifying response.” ~ Richard Levinson (Thanks a Lot: My Gratitusical)
The response, in fact, was overwhelming. A narrative cabaret of comedic and occasionally maudlin personal moments beginning in 70’s Chicago to present day, Levinson’s honesty and spontaneity make for a hilarious, memory-evoking, right-there-with-you-buddy camaraderie.
“This is the kind of history that leads one to spend too much time in drinking establishments over many years. 12 Bars is sort of a pun. You probably got that already.”
We did. Immediately. And although that is not entirely it’s charm, Richard does remind us via the quintessential, piano-man arrangements and storytelling, and a few barres of Cheers, that sharing a drink and a song with friends is a heck of a lot more fulfilling than sitting home alone.
12 Bars is pull-your-heart-strings, belly-laugh exquisite
Very Highly Recommended
Here’s the song (and bars) list:
Welcome to the Club – Old Man Bar
Just Another Face – Strip Joint
Alex Don’t Want to Be a Marine – Enlisted Men’s Club
Old Surfer Girl – Beach Bar
The Girl at the Bar – Folies Bergère
The Kegger King – Fraternity Kegger
Hotel de France – Hotel Bar/Tabac
Rush Street, 1979 – Clip Joint
Go Home – Local Dive
Jazz Chicks – Jazz Club
Frankie – Mob Lounge
Romans – Roman Pub
And one more from the jukebox – Honky-Tonk Saloon
All songs w/m Richard Levinson except Frankie w/m Richard Levinson & David Vidal (c)Tinnitus Music
Special Art by Gaetano Vicini
Produced by Brian Wallis