Cabaret stylist supreme

Steve Ross @ Norwich Playhouse.

Steve Ross @ Norwich Playhouse

By Neville Miller

A man in a dinner suit sang and played piano. While making the words clear he conjured from the keyboard worlds of drama, extravagance and wit which at the same time enhanced the songs.

This was Steve Ross, impeccable cabaret artist from New York, treating us to the cream of 20th century popular songwriting with a programme called Love and Laughter.

He celebrated the era of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and others whose songs had words that could be cherished as much as their melodies.

It was a time when Fred Astaire was turning dancing into cinematic art and legend and becoming a hero to Steve Ross. Nowadays, with his lightness of voice and figure, his style and his expertise, Mr Ross is a reminder of Astaire.

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Saturday's entertainment included many of the great romantic songs. I cannot believe that anyone could have sung Always with more feeling or that even Sinatra could have summed up more potently late-night devastation in a bar with the line “one for my baby and one more for the road”.

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