Anita Gillette has proven her appealing show business talent over the years and one can say the same for Penny Fuller. Together in their new act “Sin Twisters” they double the pleasure, as was evident on October 2, 2013 with their audience-pleasing show at the chic mid-town nightspot 54 Below. (They do another at 7 p.m. on October 9). The friends are a natural fit together in a well-written and smoothly performed reprise of their respective careers, directed by Barry Kleinbort with backing by pianist and musical director Paul Greenwood and Steve Doyle on bass.
Both Gillette and Fuller have a welcome sense of fun in their joint approach, both celebrating themselves and each other, and playfully injecting a bit of competition here and there. The effervescent tone is set from the outset when they sing “Friends,” “Little Me” and “Sistah.” It is clear they are enjoying the gig immensely, an aura communicated to their audience.
Reminiscing, they launch into an account of their early show biz auditions. Gillette tried to make her mark with “Baubles, Bangles and Beads.” Fuller sang “A Wonderful Guy.” They breeze through respective show biz tales, emphasizing humorous incidents along the way.
Sometimes they solo, and at other times they engage in snappy duets, as with their punchy “Cabaret” medley. A highlight at the close is teaming with often hilarious new lyrics, courtesy of Barry Kleinbort, to Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top.”
Each singer handles ballads impressively and movingly, and each can be spiritedly sexy with vocals and body language. They are good-looking gals who mock the idea of aging and use their collective experience to advantage. With their impressive list of credits, they embody show business itself with their slick but easy-going demonstration of know-how and their wide range of talent.
Together they deliver an immensely pleasing night of cabaret with an abundance of sparkle. It was a great idea to team up as a duo, and their show deserves a much longer run that should result in further scheduling at 54 Below and elsewhere. At 54 Below, 254 West 54th Street. Reservations: www.54Below.com. Reviewed October 3, 2013.