HE WROTE GOOD SONGS

solo performance · jon peterson · Ages 14+ · world premiere · one person show · United States

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MARY O'LEARY certified reviewer · June 08, 2014
"He Wrote Good Songs" is a marvelous tour de force performance by Jon Peterson. It is a moving portrayal of highs and lows in the life of the multitalented British actor, singer, songwriter, Anthony Newley. A show not to be missed!... full review

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FREIDA KAY · June 24, 2014
The 85 minutes for this show just flew by! Jon Peterson and Joshua Kranz, the MD, work so well together and seamlessly that it seemed more like watching a film.The story of Anthony Newley's life was easy to follow as a well as educating. Jon did a wonderful job with the acting and singing: his acting was sensitive and engaging and his singing was just right, responding to the moment. The songs chosen seem written for this show, but of course were not. Anthony Newley wrote autobiographical material. The musical arrangements with underscoring were very interesting. Joshua Kranz deserves kudos for his style. Responsible for sewing this interesting quilt is Gwen Hillier, the director. Thanks to all 3. It was fun sitting in the audience. ... full review

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TOM MESMER · June 25, 2014
Wonderful work by Jon Peterson and the team behind this story of the complicated man behind so many songs which have become standards over the years. Thanks for a brilliant night of theatre!... full review

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ALISON LEWIS · June 14, 2014
tagged as: Jon · Peterson · Anthony · Newley · brilliant · performance
The writing, singing, energy, intelligence, vulnerability, and overall brilliance of this performance were on a whole other level of extraordinary. I'm so very glad that I went!!!... full review

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JANET MILLER certified reviewer · June 14, 2014
I LOVE Anthony Newley and all his brilliant songs, mostly written with Leslie Bricusse...some of us are 'at that age' and we remember...So Jon's charming and heartfelt performance was truly a gift. It is clear he has total command of the material and the storytelling and he works perfectly with his onstage partner-in-crime, MD Joshua Kranz. Kudos also go to director Gwen Hillier. This is a DO NOT MISS SHOW! ... full review

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KIRK FREDERICK · June 15, 2014
tagged as: entertaining · talented · slick · fast-moving
I concur with the other reviewers' assessment that this is a "MUST SEE" show, especially for fans of Anthony Newley, of cleverly assembled biographical "revusicals," and of exuberantly talented performers. Jon Peterson was clearly born to create Newley's story on stage; he's not only written a slick and fast-moving 80-minute telling of the gifted songwriter and performer's life, but he also embodies the talented "Littlechap," brilliantly singing about 20 of his famed songs including "Candy Man," "What Kind Of Fool Am I," and "Who Can I Turn To?". Director Gwen Hillier is also to be congratulated on her ability to keep the exposition-filled piece moving along, with clever on-stage costume changes on the tiny black-box stage. Musical director ... full review

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JIM WITOSZYNSKI certified reviewer · June 17, 2014
A very entertaining show filled with lots of good songs. This show is a one man show about Anthony Newley (Google him). I remember him just a little bit growing up (he was a regular on variety shows) and knew him mostly from his singing style (which I remembered as being a little irritating) and from being in the movie "Doctor Dolittle" - the Rex Harrison version. This show covers his life from being a kid in London to his death in 1999. After seeing this show I feel like I have met the guy. Jon Peterson really captures Anthony Newley's style of singing but he is able to make it even more pleasant. The way the story is weaved in with the lyrics of the songs is very well done. The music is played live by the musical director, Joshua Kranz and... full review

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TONY FRANKEL · June 17, 2014
Yes, this is a superficial "And then I..." retelling of Anthony Newley's life, but Jon Peterson's one-man outing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival is fun, escapist fare. In addition, audiences unfamiliar with the composer, actor, and one-time husband of Joan Collins should be flabbergasted by the gorgeous standards Newley left us (especially the ones he wrote with Leslie Bricusse). Peterson manages to evoke Newley's iconic vibrato and gesticulations without ever being clownish or pastiche. Written by Peterson, and accompanied on synthesized piano with understated verve by Joshua Kranz,"He Wrote Good Songs..." is an honest view of the philandering entertainer who made it big at one point or another with Broadway, film, and concerts. While I'm ... full review

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TRACE OAKLEY certified reviewer · June 29, 2014
I am a great fan of Anthony Newley, and naturally was excited to see this show. Overall, it was a major disappointment. Jon Peterson doesn't sound at all like Newley. He has a rather thin voice, but the real problem is that he lacks Newley's depth and darkness, and only occasionally recreates Newley's unique mannerisms. The show felt rushed, with nearly every song played at the same fast tempo. As the director of a Fringe show myself, I know about the running time rules, but I would have liked a few cuts, thus allowing some songs and dialog to play out at a natural pace. The script was pretty terrible, peppered with stale old jokes, and pedestrian telling of Newley's life story. Newley and his songs could and should be a great and compelling... full review

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CAROL NACE certified reviewer · June 17, 2014
This was ok. Unfortunately, the performer should have been miked. It was often times hard to hear over the music. Additionally, he forgot his lines at least twice and once needed cues from his producer. ... full review

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