A Sister Trip in “BOOM!”

Jun 2, 2013 by

A Sister Trip in “BOOM!”

by Heather Cassell

It’s a musical trip down memory lane circa 1960s and 70s with the Calloway sisters in “BOOM!” at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco.

Tony award-winning sisters Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway sing their favorite songs that shaped their lives growing up in Chicago and New York during the radical times. It’s a joyful trip down memory lane where they revive the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Stevie Wonder and other great musicians of the era between poking sisterly fun at each other and recalling their youth.

The girls’ father was a reporter for CBS, so they got a front row seat to the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Watergate and all of the news of the day that affected and influenced their experience of the world, well at least Ann’s world anyway.

The older of the two, Ann, admitted that she was clearly more interested and moved by the stories her father would talk about around the dinner table than her younger sister, Liz, who didn’t quite grasp the meaning.

The sisters’ musical tastes were different from their parents, who introduced them to their first love the Beatles when they won a record at an event. They brought the Beatles home to their girls. Yet, even between the sisters their musical tastes differed and were developed in their own bedrooms.

Liz was more into show tunes and bubbly pop than Ann, who embraced the Beatles, Joni, Carole and who was a bit more radical than her younger sister.

They banned against their parents during road trips singing their own melodies to the days chart toppers as they crossed America in the back seat of the family car.

That lifetime harmony is strongly in tack throughout “Boom!” While the show is cute and fun, the real treat is to hear such accomplished musicians in the same room together.

Ann is a well regarded singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. She made her first mark with her Tony-nominated performance on Broadway in “Swing!” and writing the theme song for the TV show, “The Nanny.” She’s lead a storied career singing with more than 25 of the world’s top orchestras and big bands. She’s performed for President William “Bill” Jeffers Clinton in Washington, D.C. and at President Mikhail Gorbachev’s Youth Peace Summit in Moscow.

As a platinum award-winning writer, Ann’s songs have been featured on five of Barbara Streisand’s most recent musical releases. She’s been a guest performer for working with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood and she’s been featured at many of the Carnegie Hall tributes.

Liz is an award-winning actress, singer and recording artist herself. She debuted in Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along” on Broadway and later won a Tony award nomination for her performance in “Baby” and sang “Memory” as Grizabella in “Cats.” She’s lead a musical Broadway stage career that includes starring roles in the original casts of “Miss Saigon,” “The Three Musketeers,” and “The Look of Love.” Off-Broadway, Liz received a Drama Desk nomination for her performance in “The Spitfire Grill” and appeared in “No Way To Treat A Lady,” “Marry Me a Little,” “Godspell,” and Brownstone. She’s also appeared in New York at the Lincoln Center and Encores!, Chicago at the Chicago Ovations!, and in Los Angeles at Reprise!.

The sisters continue to work together on a new PBS-TV variety show “Singers Spotlight with Ann Hampton Callaway” that recently aired in Chicago with special guests Liza Minnelli and 2007 Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch the Calloway sister’s musical trip down memory lane, it’s a hoot! Tonight (Sunday, June 2) is the final show at Feinstein’s at the Nikko at 7 p.m. Tickets: $70 – $95.