Multiple award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch charmed an audience of admirers at Constitution Hall Saturday in an informal and diversified program of song, dance, stand-up borsch circuit repartee, conducting of a 30-piece orchestra and flamboyant pianistics. In this benefit for the Sisterhood of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, Hamlisch was Jose' Iturbi, Victor Borge, Leonard Bernstein, Jimmy Durante and Marvin Hamlisch, all rolled up into one.
The Broadway musical "A Chorus Line" and several films, including "Sophie's Choice," were recalled in selections written by Hamlisch. His adaptation of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" for "The Sting" was given a spirited rendition and an encore resurrected "Sunshine Lollipops," a Hamlisch pop tune of nearly two decades ago by the now 38-year-old composer.
Hamlisch's performance was showmanship of a high order but his autobiographical ramblings paled after a while. However, his Rent-A-Composer routine was an act of virtuoso spontaneity. Requesting bogus song titles from the audience, he created spur-of-the-moment lyrics and music for them. "Moses Malone" and "Virginia Does It Better" were combined in a hammered-out basketball court disco farce and for "Last Saturday Night" he went operatic with an aria in falsetto.