“I know a place where we can go,” as Brit pop goddess Petula Clark sang in one of her 15 consecutive Top 40 U.S. hits that came out in the 1960s.
It’s Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, where “Pet” is serving you her hits in grand style (without any of the self-conscious I’m-doing-you-a-favor attitude of other stars), along with a whole batch of other tasty treats.
Petula talks about initially not wanting to play Norma Desmond in the musical of Sunset Boulevard — “I didn’t like her. She lives in the past and watches her own movies every night” — before launching into a commandingly acted “With One Look” that proves her raves were well earned.
She sits at the piano and delivers a heartfelt “La Vie en Rose,” after telling us about seeing the amazing Piaf in concert. (“She sang from the heart, soul, and sex. She was not an intellectual. She was a pop singer.”)
She remembers “a very young and slightly mad” Francis Ford Coppola using a handheld camera to shoot her singing “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” for the Finian’s Rainbow movie, then gives it to us, complete with Irish lilt and tuneful trill.
She even does her hit “My Love” as if it had been recorded in Nashville, and after singing “Downtown,” she does a satirical version called “Duane Reade” about all the useless depilatories and other glories you can find there.
At 79, Petula bounds with energy and crackle, and doesn’t dabble in corny patter or lame autobiography.
Just the songs, nice and sweet, accessorized with personality, charm, and humor.