There are the Osmonds, the Gershwins, the Jacksons, and there are the Callaways – a true cabaret sibling treat. Broadway star Liz and her older sister, cabaret diva Ann, have teamed up in Ann’s Tucson home after a 14-month pandemic separation , and they bring sheer delight in their streamed show Side By Side.
It’s a fun-packed evening: while Liz plays a straight bat, Ann is full of curve balls, little sharp asides and gleeful undercutting, making this an interesting journey through their friendship and total lack of rivalry which they often pretend to entertain.
With Ann at the piano, interspersed with backing tracks, they open with close harmony perfection in Side By Side with the comic “something we’ve long awaited, now that we’re vaccinated”. In Here Come The Callaways, they celebrate famous sisters and brothers in a bouncy comic style. Melissa Manchester’s Come In From The Rain hits an all too different deeply emotional note, relevant to their reunion.
Moondance is an upbeat bluesy number and Ann’s mash-up of My Buddy and Old Friend has a 2am cabaret bar feel to it. The uplifting Corner Of The Sky and the elegiac Company/ Marry Me A Little show just how deep their range is.
Two medleys lift the spirits – one of ’60s and ’70s songs they sang as kids in the back seat of the family car on the way to a holiday hotel, and another dubbed The Huge Medley – which certainly lives up to its name – with an endless stream of great tunes, from Marry The Man Today to A Boy Like That, Nowadays, Enough is Enough and more.
Liz’ s Broadway career began with Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along and they produce a clear, innocent and haunting rendition of Our Time from the finale of that show.
You can catch the show on demand until May 31. It’s a great pick me up.