In April and May 1976 Shirley MacLaine performed a series of sold-out concerts at New York's famed Palace Theatre, repeating the success she enjoyed earlier that year at London's Palladium Theatre.
The concert was originally recorded live and issued on Columbia Records. Now, DRG Records has released the concert on CD for the first time, and it hits stores April 23. The 13-track CD, "Shirley MacLaine: Live at the Palace," features a host of theatre and film tunes, including several from Cy Coleman's Sweet Charity, the Broadway musical that was filmed in 1969 starring MacLaine. Other songs include "The Gypsy in My Soul," Seesaw's "It's Not Where You Start" and "The Donkey Serenade (Hustle)." MacLaine is backed by Shirley's Gypsies: Adam Grammis, Candy Brown, Gary Flannery, Jo Ann Lehmann and Larry Vickers.
In the liner notes for the disc, singer-composer Elton John writes, "When Shirley MacLaine played the London Palladium in February 1976, she garnered the best reviews I've ever seen for a performer in any sphere of entertainment. Enraged by this, I decided to see the show for myself . . . Seeing is believing and this lady captivated me. Every facet of her act was superb—singing, comedy, dancing and most of all warmth and complete mastery of her audience. The lady is quite simply a lesson in professionalism for any other performer."
Shirley MacLaine made her Broadway debut in Me and Juliet and later understudied a featured role in Pajama Game. When she got the chance to go on for star Carol Haney, Hollywood's Hal Wallis happened to be in the audience and immediately signed her to a five-year contract for Paramount Pictures. MacLaine has starred in innumerable films, and she won the Academy Award for her portrayal of the mother of a young woman dying of cancer in 1983's "Terms of Endearment." The redheaded actor-singer dancer also earned Oscar nominations for her roles in "The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir," "Irma la Douce," "The Apartment" and "Some Came Running.
The complete track listing for "Shirley MacLaine: Live at the Palace" follows:
"If My Friends Could See Me Now"
"My Personal Property"
"Irma La Douce"
"I'm a Person Too"
"The Gypsy in My Soul"
"It's Not Where You Start"
"Every Little Movement (Has a Meaning All Its Own)"
"The Donkey Serenade (Hustle)"
"She's a Star (La Chanteuse à Vingt Ans)"
"I'm a Brass Band"
"If My Friends Could See Me Now" (Finale) —By Andrew Gans