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Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, (9/12/1989 - 9/17/1989)

Opening Date: Sep 12, 1989
Closing Date: Sep 17, 1989
Total Performances: 8

Category: Special, Concert, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Produced by James M. Nederlander, James L. Nederlander and Arthur Rubin

Opening Night Cast

Freddie JacksonPerformer
Regina BellePerformer
Michael WinslowPerformer


AP: "Freddie Jackson Sings on Broadway Through Sunday"

Singer Freddie Jackson has been touring and the tour has brought him to Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theater through Sunday. As he says from the stage, he feels much satisfaction because as a boy in Harlem he expected to be on Broadway only by attending one of the street's movie theaters.

Jackson sings contemporary rhythm 'n' blues with an emphasis on love ballads. There's also an emphasis on an uptempo beat and a fervent delivery. This is no limpid romantic ballad singing. It's more sexy than romantic. The band is loud. Not until Jackson sang ''For All We Know'' as a tribute to the late Donny Hathaway, bending notes and getting fervent with that one, too, could all the words of a song be heard.

On the second night of Jackson's ''Up Close and Personal'' show on Wednesday, the Lunt-Fontanne wasn't full but the audience was with Jackson all the way. He entered through a white door at the top of white stairs wearing a white suit, the short jacket edged in gold braid and gold epaulets widening his shoulders. This didn't hide the fact that the rest of Jackson is wide, too. But the audience responded to his dance steps and suggestive swaying with apparent ecstacy. Women in the front row vied to mop his perspiring brow.

Jackson did a medley of hits he has had since his first record in 1985. A high point of the show was ''I Do,'' the duet he recorded with Natalie Cole, sung here with one of his three backup singers.

The evening began with 20 minutes by comic Michael Winslow, whose forte is making noises into a microphone - of door locks, a dog, a car, an airplane. He's clever, with an engaging manner, and one would enjoy him more if not worried that one of his shrieks would pierce an eardrum.

Regina Belle, a singer in the general style of Anita Baker, had the middle slot, between the two intermissions. She has the voice, the range, the vocal stamina and the stage presence to hold and excite the audience with each song.

She doesn't yet have what Jackson does, the thread that ties different songs together and makes each one belong to the singer who's singing them.


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