"Love, Marriage, Children & Liposuction" - Naomi Miller
Don't Tell Mama (343 West 46th Street; 212-757-0788)
"You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's ryebread" or so the ad slogan goes, nor does one need to be Jewish to love Naomi Miller, though her show in many ways is beamed toward a Jewish audience. Nor need one be interested in love or marriage or children or liposuction to appreciate this ebullient entertainer. Naomi Miller is such a good singer and raconteur and warm cabaret personality that almost any audience could enjoy her whether she is singing Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman or Bock and Harnick or Sondheim or Kander and Ebb or the Gershwins among other luminous Broadway songwriters, or songs in Yiddish or special material. She's even lovable when she talks about (yuck!) dieting or (ugh!) liposuction. And she's touching and funny and heartwarming when she speaks of family life.
This show, directed smartly by Linda Amiel Burns, with excellent musical direction by Richard Danley, has something for everybody, even for the hearing impaired. Naomi explained that one of her sons is deaf from birth. Her husband, Harvey, is an expert communicator in sign language for the deal He stood off to the side of the stage and signed the lyrics and monologues exquisitely. There was frequent interplay between the couple that illuminated their close relationship.
It is a long show. There are sixteen numbers rive of which are medleys, but one's interest holds. The sold out house in Mama's back room had a great time and showed their enthusiasm whooping and applauding long and loud. Naomi Miller has been singing all her life and singing is as natural and as communicative to her as her smile. She so enjoys what she is doing that I, a perfect stranger until she walked on stage, felt as comfortable with her at the end of the show as if I'd been sitting at her kitchen table sipping a glass of tea. I heartily recommend her show. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll enjoy.