A Two-Dimensional Show at Feinstein's
Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., and Jimmy Webb hearken back to their days with The Fifth Dimension in a new show at Feinstein's at the Regency.
The show initially appears to have been designed as a tribute to Jimmy Webb, with McCoo and Davis performing the songwriters' major contributions to their onetime top-of-the-world pop group, The Fifth Dimension. But there must have been some heavy negotiations about the content of the program. It begins with McCoo and Davis singing a couple of Webb's tunes; then, suddenly, there is a three-song medley tribute to Laura Nyro (who also wrote hits for The Fifth Dimension), during which Webb awkwardly leaves the stage. He later disappears for a second time, and for much the same reason: It's not his music being celebrated at that point.
Despite the fact that substantially more than half the songs in the program were penned by Webb, the show finally comes across as a weird and unfulfilling cut and paste performance that is largely a Fifth Dimension nostalgia show. If Webb weren't physically present, we wouldn't have been misled into thinking the evening would be centered around his songwriting; still, we're glad he's there because he brings to the proceedings a more winning personal style than McCoo or Davis. When Webb isn't present, this cabaret act has the smell of a Las Vegas lounge show.
The patter is one of the prime reasons why this show is such a trial. When all three of the performers enter to start things off, they pretend they're at a rehearsal, delivering dialogue that is painfully forced. They give up on this rehearsal concept part way through the show, but the dialogue (and their delivery of it) never much improves.