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Retired Chicago police sergeant, Andy Murcia was a vice dick turned into a 23rd District supervisor. He had a part-time gig as the house dick at the swank Ambassador East Hotel on the Gold Coast. Andy met more than a few celebrities there including the incredibly beautiful and talented, Ann Jillian. When that happened sparks flew and the two have been married ever since. I’m very blessed to have them as friends. I was invited by Andy and Ann to attend a staged reading of 'In Love--With the Music of great Antonio Carlos Jobim' at the Culver City Jazz Bakery.
The play was narrated by the Love Boat Skipper, Gavin MacLeod. Along with MacLeod the singers/actors were Amic Byram (playing the rich and sophisticated older man) Debi Nova (playing the very yummy, Girl from Ipanema) and Will Collyer (playing the idealistic cabana boy). They all did real justice to the great Jazz-Samba-Bossa Nova music of Jobim.
I have to single out Debi Nova who performs well beyond her 22 years. Nova knew just how to flirt with her co-stars and the audience as she amazed me with her voice, charms and talent. Jobim created a true fantasy girl from Ipanema and Nova filled that vision perfectly. I don’t want to slight Byram and Collyer here but I think they’d understand that my infatuation with Nova is a “guy” thing.
Music director/pianist Bill Cantos, guitarist Pat Kelley and drummer Michael Shapiro expertly showcased their rich talents for this production.
The story line was cute, contrite, fun and perfectly crafted around Jobim’s timeless music.
The concept and play was the work of Ernest Chambers, a long time Hollywood producer who spent many years working with the late entertainment legend Merv Griffin. Special material was provided by Ken and Mitzi Welch.
I look forward to getting my hands on the cast album as this ambitious and exciting show moves forward.
I want to thank Andy, Ann, Andrew along with the entire cast and crew for a wonderful evening of first rate entertainment.
I found a YouTube offering from that Costa Rican firecracker, Ms. Nova you can see here: