- Written by Rex Reed
Yvonne Constant, a French soufflé that never falls, was once the toast of Broadway in the famous revue La Plume de Ma Tante.
I don't know where she's been hiding all these years, but those years melt away onstage at Danny's.
Blossom Dearie still wears the crown there, but every Friday night when she packs up her arrangements and taxis home, Ms. Constant takes over.
She moans, she sighs, she gargles her songs like mouthwash. She sings "My Way" in French (it's called "Comme d'Habitude").
She doesn't have much range or vocal power, but what she has is conviction and a certain je ne sais quoi that lands the audience in her sequined and curvaceous lap with Gallic gratitude.
I suspect she's old enough to know a thing or two about life and love. But whether it's a rueful "Don't Wait Till It's Too Late" by Arthur Siegel and June Carroll from New Faces of 1956, or "Razzle Dazzle" by Kander and Ebb from Chicago, Ms. Constant has charm, resolve and the acting ability to make them all come alive in her own inimitable style.
It doesn't hurt that she's also a sexy, sultry eyeful.
Highlights include "One of Those Songs" which she introduced in La Plume de Ma Tante. It had no lyric until Jimmy Durante turned it into a completely different kind of hit. She does both versions.
On "Mon Vieux," she makes you feel the wasted years of growing up with a strange, uncommunicative and misunderstood father she came to appreciate too late.
Quickening the pace (and the pulse) on Charles Aznavour's "This Time," she creates a vivid portrait of a woman racing against the clock to crowd every experience into her life before it ends too soon; which pretty much describes Yvonne Constant herself, a delight in any language.