By Kristen N. Schweizer
January 27, 2020
An Intimate Evening with David Foster was exactly that. The legendary hit-maker curated and hosted a gratifying evening of incredible music with breaks for jokes and anecdotes about the stars and songs in his storied career. (Apparently, Chuck Berry is ‘kind of a dick.’)
Foster opened the show by walking out onto the stage, arms raised as if to say “yes, it’s me. You’re welcome.” Backed by stupendous musicians – on bass, drums, and keyboard – Foster reminded audiences that he scored the 1988 Olympic winter games before starting back at the beginning with his decision to drop out of high school to pursue music.
Foster, born in Victoria, British Columbia, currently holds 16 Grammy Awards. He is responsible for fostering young talents like Josh Groban and Michael Bublé and giving Whitney Houston her famous Bodyguard songs. Foster flashed a picture of him and a 19-year-old Celine Dion behind a massive mixing board on screen as he cracked wise about his (at the time) locks of flowing hair. His current gray hair is distinguished proof of his decades of leadership in the genre of American pop music.
Foster was joined by his wife, the sensational Katherine McPhee, who added a whimsical levity to his present-day status as a living legend. She and three equally talented vocalists treated us to pitch-perfect renditions of his cathartic catalog, including “All By Myself”, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” The Power of Love,” “And I Am Telling You,” and “Got To Be Real.” American Idol alum Pia Toscano brought tears to our eyes with “The Prayer” and she, McPhee, and Shalaya Frazier received a mid-show standing ovation for “Feeling Good.”
I must give credit where credit is due, booking someone like David Foster was a genius decision and brought the highest caliber that a San Diego audience could ask for on a Monday night. The Intimate Evening – which aired on PBS in 2019 – strikes the right blend of jukebox musical and memoir and made complete by the beautiful and elegant California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
The rest of their twenty-fifth season speaks to the level of talent that only an elegant and established venue such as this can attract. Upcoming season XXV highlights include the Grammy-award winning Chris Botti (April 9), country music sensation Lee Brice (March 5), and a live show from the Emmy Award-winning cast of Whose Line is it Anyway? (March 12.)
California Center for the Arts Escondido
340 N Escondido Blvd, Escondido CA 92025 |