Review: Terese Genecco swings S.F. like it’s Las Vegas

Terese Genecco doesn’t mess around, boy.

She and her “little big band” are playing most Saturdays through May at San Francisco’s Hotel Nikko in a rollicking retro show titled “Last Call,” but it might as well be named “Party Time.”

Genecco’s sheer personality lights up the stage as much as her vocals in a Las Vegas-style performance that amusingly has a two-ballad limit.

More is more with Genecco, who reprises some tunes from “Drunk With Love: A Tribute to Frances Faye,” her 2005 cabaret act at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.

Between fun banter on opening night — she schmoozed with friends and local cabaret insiders in the audience — Genecco fit in swinging interpretations of everything from the Beatles (“A Hard Day’s Night,””Yesterday”) to Cole Porter (“Night and Day,” “What Is This Thing Called Love” ) to Bacharach (“The Look of Love”) and Lieber and Stoller (“Kansas City”).

Her appropriately-named band of awesome local musicians includes pianist Mike Greensill, saxophonists Fil Lorenz and Tony Malfatt, trumpeter Rich Armstrong, bassist Daniel Fabricant, trombonist Max Perkoff, drummer Rich Odell, and, last Saturday, special guest percussionist “Mr. Bongo” Jack Costanzo, who played on cult favorite/nightclub singer Faye’s 1958 live album “Caught in the Act.”

When Genecco breezily describes herself as Judy Garland and Dean Martin’s love child, she gives an excellent impression of what she’s all about.

Cabaret lovers won’t want to miss her “Last Call.”

IF YOU GO

Terese Genecco

Where: Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., San Francisco

When: 10:30 p.m. most Saturdays through May 24

Tickets: $25

Contact: (866) 468-3399 or www.therrazzroom.com

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