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The Callaway Sisters: Side By Side | Review

For most of the duration of the pandemic, singer, songwriter, and actress Ann Hampton Callaway has been doing a monthly concert series from her home in Tucson, Arizona called “The Callaway Hideaway” via Zoom. Under normal circumstances, she would have been performing in clubs across the USA either solo or with her sister Liz, the renowned Broadway star, and the singing voice of many of the Disney princesses, but Liz lives in New York and has been unable to visit. Now after fourteen months with travel restrictions being lifted, they’re together again and performing for their many fans albeit still via Zoom.

The Callaway Sisters: Side By SideTheir recent series of Zoom concerts have been broadcast from Ann’s home in Tucson and have been a great success. The sisters sit at Ann’s piano and run through a programme of Broadway standards from Stephen Sondheim, Harold Arlen, and Stephen Schwartz interspersed with songs from singer-songwriters Van Morrison, Carly Simon, and Carole King amongst others.

They started with Harry Woods’s “Side By Side” with some of the lyrics changed to reflect their relationship and that’s followed by “Here Comes The Callaways” written by Ann which tells their story. Then comes “Come In From The Rain” written by Melissa Manchester and Carole Bayer Sager, Van Morrison’s classic “Moondance” before some more songs from Broadway including a delightful medley of Sondheim’s “Company” and “Marry Me A Little” (the show where Liz starred in the original Broadway cast in 1981). After “Stormy Weather”, the sisters perform “their greatest hit” – the theme song from the highly successful TV series “The Nanny” which Hampton Callaway wrote. Then there’s a mainly acapella medley of the songs the sisters sang as kids in the back seat of their parent’s car going on various vacations. That’s followed by the highlight of the show, a superb rendition of Carly Simons’ “That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be”. After that comes their “Huge Medley” of around twenty songs starting with the slightly obvious “Sisters” and finishing with “Get Happy”. Then comes the poignant “Our Time” from “Merrily We Roll Along” before the encore, Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend”.

The sisters are obviously enjoying each other’s company after their enforced break. They have those superb sibling harmonies and their love and affection for each other comes across with some funny, familial banter. It’s a fairly static show as there’s just one camera and they’re sitting down so Hampton Callaway can play piano although for some of the show they sing to backing tracks from another pianist but that allows Ann to have a bit more freedom to move around.

All in all, a very pleasant ninety minutes or so in the company of two cabaret greats whose ease in each other’s company makes the time fly by.

4 stars

Review by Alan Fitter

The Callaway Sisters: Side By Side
The Callaway Hideaway
Hosted by Nich Anderson
Selected Piano Tracks by Alex Rybeck
5/23/21 7PM ET/4PM PT

1. Side by Side (Harry Woods)
2. Here Come the Callaways (Ann Hampton Callaway)
3. Come in From the Rain (Melissa Manchester/Carole Bayer Sager
4. Moondance (Van Morrison)
5. My Buddy/Old Friend- Ann Solo (Walter Donaldson/Gus Kahn and Gretchen Cryer/Nancy Ford)
6. Corner of the Sky (Stephen Schwartz)
7. Company /Marry Me a Little- Liz Solo (Stephen Sondheim)
8. Stormy Weather/Sun Comes Out (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler)
9. The Nanny Named Fran (Ann Hampton Callaway)
10. Back-Seat-of-the-Car-Medley (“(Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A) Mercedes Benz” by David Conen / Jerome Bugnon / Ruth-maria Renner / Vincent Graf Schlippenbach, “Brand New Key” by Safka Melanie, “Sugar, Sugar” by Jeff Barry/Andy Kim, “Dance to the Music” by Sylvester Stewart, “Sweet and Innocent” by Billy Sherrill / Rick Hall and “Joy to the World” by Hoyt Axton)
11. That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be (Carly Simon/Jason Brackman)
12. The Huge Medley (“Sisters” by Irving Berlin, ” Bosom Buddies” by Jerry Herman, “Loathing” by Stephen Schwartz, “Sentimental Journey” by Les Brown / Bud Green / Ben Homer, “If Mama Was Married” by Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim, “II Wonder Why” by Irving Berlin, “Marry the Man Today” by Frank Loesser, “I Still Believe” by Alain Boublil/Claude-Michel Schönberg, “Every Day a Little Death” by Stephen Sondheim, “A Boy Like That” by Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim, “I Know Him So Well” by Tim Rice/Benny Andersson/Björn Ulvaeus, “Ohio” by Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green, “Nowadays” byJohn Kander/Fred Ebb,”Enough Is Enough” by Paul F. N Jabara/ Bruce Roberts, “What You Don’t Know About Women” by Cy Coleman and David Zippel, “Happy Days Are Here Again” by Jack Yellen/ Milton Ager and “Get Happy” by Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler)
13. Our Time (Stephen Sondheim)
14. You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King)



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