Published online on May 7, 2018
“Tenderly” is the first musical of Gilroy’s Limelight’s 2018 season. It tells the little-known poignant life story of Rosemary Clooney.
It is written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman, produced by Kevin Heath and Alan Obata, and directed by the talented Diane Milo, (Always-Patsy Cline), who also marvelously plays Rosemary from her neglected, destitute childhood to her final return to stage and screen after a rollercoaster ride at life. Milo’s voice carries throughout the performance with a fine resonance. All Clooney’s songs are threaded through the production from her “Come On A My House,” “Botch-a Me,” Mambo Italiano,” Tenderly,” “Count Your Blessings,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and “Straighten Up And Fly Right” just to name a few.
Clooney had two rocky marriages to actor Jose Ferrer, with whom she had five children and struggled to maintain mental stability throughout her life. Liquor and pills finally took her stardom for about eight years when she was invited to perform by her good friend Bing Crosby in his “50th Anniversery Special” and be in the movie ” White Christmas.” She then maintained her stability until her death from lung cancer in 2002. (She was George Clooney’s aunt.)
Michael Hirsch as Dr. Victor Monke, her psychiatrist, also plays all the other characters from her mother to Jose Ferrer to Bing Crosby. He gives an outstanding performance and adds a chemistry to all his characters that makes each one believable.
Michael Johnson ‘s piano with added bass and drums gives a solid musical back up, with Minna Rogers interesting subtle choreography. They tie the show together for an entertaining evening. As Limelight always does, this is a well-done production.
Camille Bounds is the Theatre and arts columnist for the Morgan Hill and Gilroy Life. She can be reached at bounds17@gmail,com
Where: Limelight Actors Theatre, at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, 7341 Monterey Street (7th & Monterey Street)
Tickets: $25 – senior Tickets $22
Running Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes with one intermission
Performances: Weekends through May 19
With matinees Apt 29, May 6 and 13
Reservations and Information: (408) 472-3292 or visit www.LimelightActorsTheater.com
Do make reservations. Doors open at 6:30 pm with an 8 pm curtain.
Check for matinees – doors open at 1 pm with a 2 pm curtain.
Lots of easy parking is available
Bring your dinner and wine, (corkage fee).
Dinner can also be ordered from the Milias Restaurant from their “Limelight Theatre to Go Menu”. Order by noon the day of the show and dinner will be delivered to the theatre at 7 p.m. To order call (408) 337-5100.