Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Tessie O'Shea, a renowned British music hall performer, opened a high-energy, Sophie Tucker-esque stand at the Waaay Off Broadway Tuesday. O'Shea, who introduced tunes like "Slow Boat to China" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," has a long and distinguished stage history. Tuesday's perfomance, the first of six demonstrated she has lost none of her edge.
Her set included "I Got Rhythm," "Give Me Five Minutes More," and a host of show tunes, but it was with her "Silly Songs," a medley of British, Scottish and Cockney ditties that she charmed the crowd.
If that were not enough, O'Shea played a wicked banjo, told a few slightly indelicate jokes and provided a breakneck rendition of Tucker's "I've Had a Lot More Fun Since I'm 60." She also supplied the Waaay Off Broadway with the first costume change in that club's history.
O'Shea is of the give-them-their-money's-worthschool of entertainment and with ballads, Broadway tunes, and a retrospective of legendary music hall performers like Sir Harry Lauder, Will Fyffe and Florrie Forde, she gave her surprising opening-night turnout just that.