"My wife's in the kitchen and Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn," the taped voice twanged woefully from the speakers during intermission. This followed hard on the rather sizable heels of Big Al Downing, the opening act, who sang about one poor Mr. Jones, whose adopted son had turned to bank robbin'.

After all that, singer Ronnie Milsap had nowhere to go but up.

And up he went last night at the Warner Theatre, with a sleek and sweet set of pop country music that had 'em screaming from the rafters. There were smoke bombs, a somewhat shaky version of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" (complete with a battery-powered candelabra on Milsap's piano) and a medley of Eagles songs . . . . What?!!!!

Throughout, Milsap was a versatile entertainer and a first-rate vocalist. His smooth and easy presence moved the show along nicely, and his voice moved just as easily across the eclectic material. At one point, he even donned a guitar-shaped synthesizer and let loose with a shrill solo -- it was horrendous, but for a country singer also startling.

The only things missing were the baleful tales of divorce, drinking and cheating -- in short, all those things that make country music (and presumably country living) so irresistible. Ah well, nobody's perfect.