Entertainment » Music

An Evening With Petula Clark

by Jack Gardner
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Dec 11, 2017
Petula Clark
Petula Clark  

On 7 December RJR in association with the Duncan Theater at Palm Beach State College presented an evening with British songstress Petula Clark.

Clark, who recently celebrated her 85th birthday, has been delighting audiences since 1942. Clark was a child prodigy and began her music career at the age of nine and began recording records a mere five years later. Bilingual in both French and English, Clark had hits in her native Britain as well as France and Canada.

It wasn't until 1964 and the song "Downtown" that Clark truly received world wide acclaim. During her career she has recorded hundreds of songs and appeared in major motion pictures as well as on Broadway and in the West End.

Clark is vibrant and delightful on stage. She is an energetic performer and still has a powerful voice that has deepened only slightly over the past few years. She connected with the audience immediately and her charming and sophisticated personality radiated from the stage. She was funny, joking with the audience, and charming. There was no moment in the performance that gave evidence of her age. She is timeless and ageless.

She began the hour long show with a song from her 1969 album "Just Petula" called "You And I" coupled with a song from 1968, "Wasn't It You." She continued with 1967's worldwide hit "Don't Sleep in the Subway" and followed with a track from her new album, "Living for Today," a cover of "Fever" that was made famous in the 1940s by her idol, Peggy Lee.

Clark's most well-known Hollywood role was in the 1968 musical adaption of "Finian's Rainbow" with Fred Astaire. Clark sang two songs from the movie, "Look to the Rainbow" and the iconic "How Are Things In Glocca Morra?"

She continued with her 1966 hit "My Love" which she followed with a cover of The Beatle's "Blackbird" and John Lennon's "Imagine."

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Sunset Boulevard" had many famous women portray the lead, Norma Desmond, and Clark was one of them, singing the role first in the West End and then in the 1st American touring company. Clark, donning a sequined and fringe jacket to get in to character, gave the audience her rendition of "With One Look."

Clark next gave us two of her hits from 1966, "Who Am I?" and "Color My World" which she followed with her 1967 international chart topper "This Is My Song." Bringing us back to the present, Clark sang the title track from her new album "Living For Today."

Clark continued with two of her hits from 1966, "I Know A Place" and "A Sign of the Times" followed by a cover of Steve Winwood's "While You See A Chance." She then returned to her own hit catalogue with 1966's "Couldn't Live Without Your Love."

No Petula Clark concert would be complete without her biggest international hit, "Downtown" and Clark did not disappoint. She closed the evening with the Tony Hatch composition "The Rainbow" which is also the closing track on her new album.

Clark is a force of nature on stage and as much a vocal powerhouse now as she was in the 1960s. Petula Clark is yesterday and today as well as tomorrow. She is truly timeless.

Petula Clark sang on December 7 at the Duncan Theater at Palm Beach State College, 4200 S. Congress Avenue in Lake Worth, Florida 33461. For tickets and information, call 561-868-3309 or visit www.duncantheater.org.

Jack Gardner has been producing theater in Dallas and Fort Lauderdale for the past 8 years. He has performed in operas, musicals and dramatic works as well as doing voice-over and radio work. Jack lives in South Florida with his three dogs.


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