Las Vegas, Jan. 29
The Cowsills (6), Kaye Stevens, Russ Black Orch (15); $7.50 minimum
Billing of The Cowsills and Kayc Stevens has everybody singing for more than 75 minutes, with little comedy relief other than Cowsills' cute family chatter and Miss Stevens' flip interslicings and mugging. Combination is expected to be a fair draw for two frames.
Cowsills' move out ponderously with each youngster dishing up a brief chorus and Barbara (Mama) tossing in her warbling bit. A curtain stagewait separates this seg from the unit going strong at their group chants, accompanied by the lads in the family. Theirs is a contemporary country sound mash in the main. Barry Cowsill does a loose-jointed impression of Mick Jagger's "'Honky Tonk Woman," replete with pink leotard, which may have oldsters wondering what it's all about. Susan's "When I'm 64" misses somehow, her advanced age of 10 moving her out of the baby class and puppet attitude lending a strange automated air to movements.
Best set is revival of MGM disk hits, winding up in new lacquer repro of "Two By Two," a swinging gospel shout that brings down the curtain to appreciative hands. Scissoring the opening individual efforts would give the act a big lift from the start. As it is the group doesn't get off the ground for some time, until socko blends give necessary power for blastoff.
Kaye Stevens has stylized her chirps and movements into the now mold, but doesn't come up with enough comedy inserts to relieve the song-after-song drive. In the vocal department she does penetrate well and soon, her direction detouring from the contemporary field briefly for a rib-tickling "Take Me Out To The Ball Game." Session atop piano has contrast to other kinetic moments, but a negative close with treacly, mushy talk drops the progress to a halt, A protracted milk session of ringside handshakes could be excised. One round of friendly touching is enough.
The Russ Black crew is kept
very busy sounding off the many
charts, with Frank Gary
downbesting for Miss Stevens from
the keyboard and Richard West
wanding his arrangements for The