Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray

The Musical Romance of Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee

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Last Show: Saturday 23 rd September 2023

The Pheasantry (Chelsea)

When Frank Sinatra passed in 1998, journalists from around the country clamored for a statement from his lifelong friend and collaborator Miss Peggy Lee. A few days passed before Miss Lee summed up her thoughts with five words only, “I’m glad there was you.” Join award winning and acclaimed singers Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray for a thrilling new show packed full of Sinatra and Lee hits. Over 40 hit songs from The Great American Songbook are represented in “I’m Glad There Is You-The Musical Romance of Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee,” all woven around anecdotes and insider history from their remarkable music careers and devoted friendship that spanned almost 60 years.

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“Certain guarantees come with performers of stature. With Stacy Sullivan, it’s the assurance her shows are smart and intelligently constructed, mining unexplored territory with spectacular research, and are, above all, entertaining. Add pal Todd Murray to the mix, and that formula explodes two-fold."

Marilyn Lester, Theater Pizzazz

From the opening number, “I’m Glad There Is You” (Jimmy Dorsey, Paul Madeira) to the last, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (Cole Porter), weaving song and narrative into a fulsome tapestry, Todd Murray, and Stacy Sullivan give a full picture of the remarkable relationship between Peggy Lee (who was sometimes referred to as the “female Sinatra”) and Frank Sinatra. In a modern “now,” where so much remembrance of Golden Age stars is fading, it is as delightful as it is essential to bring two icons of music and the American Songbook to life.

Upon the death of her dear friend, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee summed up her thoughts thusly: “I’m glad there was you.” In those five succinct words, Lee drilled down to the essential in a devoted, close friendship that spanned almost 60 years. Sullivan and Murray haven’t quite hit that mark yet, but their own musical collaboration and friendship is very much on that plane. It’s easy to see how this crooner and sultry singer mirror the icons they pay homage to. 

There are so many memorable moments. One concerns a story about the early career of Sinatra. Working with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the accompanying pianist abruptly left the stage as Sinatra was about to start “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach). Not only is this tune a challenge to sing well, but without musical backup it can be a real trial. Sinatra launched into the tune a cappella and aced it. Murray is up for the test and offers several bars of the tune a la Sinatra. Then with Fukuoka, he goes on to present a beautifully nuanced and evocative interpretation of the song.

Among the 40 tunes total in the show are a “Hits Medley,” in which about half of them are traded off in a “battle of the stars.” 

Sullivan is no stranger to Peggy Lee. She developed her own one-woman Lee show some years ago and has played it in New York and around the country. She’s a great representative of the Lee songbook, possessing the same smoky vocal tone and sultry manner of wrapping herself around a tune.

Though the riches of The Musical Romance of Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee are overflowing,it’s also apparent there’s enough material in the Lee-Sinatra friendship to fill several more shows. Perhaps we’ll be fortunate enough to see a Part 2 sometime soon.