When you see the cabaret act by Anita Gillette and Penny Fuller you are guaranteed double pleasure. In “Sin Twisters, Too!,” which enlivened Feinstein’s/54 Below February 24 and March 2, 2016, these show business veterans strutted their stuff with a wide range of songs, edgy comedy and playful demonstrations of what a great fit they are as a team. The show contained some of what they had done in a previous stint, but was enhanced by other numbers and patter that entertainingly displayed their skills and effervescent personalities. In short, they know how to turn on a room.
The tone was set with their opening numbers, “Friends” and “We Got Us.” They underscored their united approach with “Sistah,” sung with exactly the right flair.
These gals are great with stories. Gillette recalls how she showed up for an audition with a skirt torn in the back as she sang “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” when she could not avoid exposing the rip. Very funny! Fuller told how she sang “A Wonderful Guy” in her quest for success.
There was a lot of their show biz history covered in their anecdotes, as each has played major roles on stage. They also got mileage out of mentioning men in their lives, and making up some experiences strictly for gags. Their comic timing is superb, and Gillette knows how to use plenty of body language and acting chops to get her humor across. Gillette and Fuller were also amusing in faking competitiveness.
None of this would be as effective if the voices weren’t there to score points. Both have excellent, well-trained voices, which showed time and time again. They impressed with “Make the Man Love Me” from “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” and the ballad “Once Upon a Time.” Fuller was especially good with the difficult “Finishing the Hat” by Stephen Sondheim.
The program was chock full of fun songs, such as Irving Berlin’s “Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil,” A highlight was their medley from “Cabaret,” with each getting to show off assorted skills that made them natural fits for that hit.
When they encored with “You’re the Top,” they added very funny topical lyrics. The show was directed by Barry Kleinbort, with Paul Greenwood as musical director and pianist, and Ritt Henn on bass. Follow the Gillette-Fuller combination whenever they may turn up for a good-time evening of cabaret at its best. At FeinsteIn’s/54 Below, 254 West 54th Street. Phone: 646-655-9480. Reviewed March 3, 2016.