Friday, July 7, 2000 | 8:44 a.m.
Bob Anderson belongs right there with the late Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and all of the great saloon singers of the past. Anderson is also a singing impressionist with very few peers.
He is appearing Mondays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 and 10 p.m. in the Stardust Conference Center, difficult to find but worth the search.
Conductor, arranger and pianist Bill Stevenson is Anderson's Ralph Sharon. Sharon is Tony Bennett's conductor, arranger and pianist. Stevenson is joined by Hap Smith, guitar; Brace Phillips, bass; and drummer John Nasshan; stalwarts all, each with copious credits.
Anderson's first half is a salute to songs that have become a great standard repertoire, opening with "Almost Like Being in Love," followed by "You and the Night and the Music," "Call Me Irresponsible," "Just One of Those Things," "September of My Years," "It's Alright with Me" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."
"It Had To Be You" closes the segment and leads into his near-perfect singing impressions, which included Bennett, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Anka, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Elvis, Wayne Newton and Tom Jones, with an encore song for the last-named.
This usually concludes the impression session, but this night he asked for requests and responded to them with on-the-mark carbons of Engelbert Humperdinck, Johnny Ray, Jack Jones, Steve Lawrence, Mel Torme, Robert Goulet, Goulet doing Frankie Laine, Laine, and a bulls-eye Johnny Mathis for the first of his two standing ovations.
Returning to his own superb voice, Anderson sang "All By Myself," and "What's New," a beautiful lyric that was added to a Bob Crosby Orchestra instrumental trumpet solo, first entitled, "I'm Free." "In the Still of the Night" closed out a bravura 90 minutes.
At $19.95, tax, tip and one beverage included, this is a real bargain. Nevadans with proof of residence are charged $9.95. Look for a dinner and show deal shortly. Anderson may have finally found his win-win situation at the Stardust. The hotel is supportive. He richly deserves this.