Greg Purnhagen - Babalu-cy!Elizabeth Ahlfors for Cabaret Scenes
Purnhagen is Simply Delicioso in Babalu-cy!, his welcome salute to Desi Arnaz, the handsome bandleader best known as husband/television co-star to Lucille Ball.
Babalu-cy! is a well-crafted tribute heated by Latin lustiness and evocative music, those sensuous rhythms that inspired the conga, rumba, and Estafan, Prado and Arnaz. Purnhagen didn't miss a rumba beat in channeling the spirit of old Havana into the Metropolitan Room, with enticing interpretations, passionate vocals and dance movements. His patter was natural, selectively informative; this Cuban charmer worked the room effortlessly, connecting in both ballads and up-tempo, bringing everyone into the fun and romance.
From the Arnaz songbook, he included number-one favorite Babalu with bongos and second favorite Cielito Lindo, and of course, he included Lucy, with talented Georga Osborne's perfect Lucy shtick. Musical director/pianist David Cook provided provocative arrangements with seven caliente musicians. With or without a Mojito it's Ole! to Babalu-cy!