Walter Clemons
April 13, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Closer Than Ever

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Various Artists
Producers
RCA
genre
Soundtracks

We gave it an A

This Off Broadway evening, with four talented singer-actors, is a revue containing songs by the team of Richard Maltby Jr. (lyrics) and David Shire (music) written over the years. A few were slated for but cut from their best-known show, the 1983 Broadway musical Baby. The team’s work owes a lot to Sondheim, but their satirical songs about contemporary life and marriage have a flavor all their own. The show’s most moving number, ”If I Sing,” powerfully performed by Richard Muenz, grew out of a coincidence in their backgrounds — both Maltby and Shire are sons of orchestra leaders. Sally Mayes sings a funny number about a demure secretary with a surprising sex life (”Miss Byrd”), and the company joins on ”There’s Nothing Like It,” a hilarious ode to aerobic exercise. A

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