There's not much to this documentary, but if you have an ear for sophisticated song styling and the thought of cabaret sets your heart aflutter, you probably wouldn't dream of missing it. The popular song-and-patter team of Wallowitch and Ross made their
professional debut in 1984, when they took to the stage to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ballroom, a now-defunct Mecca of NYC cabaret. Offstage, John Wallowitch and Bertram Ross each hailed as an important artist in his own right had been romantic partners for years.
They met in the '60s; Wallowitch had begun making a name as the talented composer of bittersweet songs in the Noel Coward-Cole Porter tradition, while Ross was at the peak of his fame as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Director Richard Morris's affectionate portrait of
these two men and their lives alone and together is certainly entertaining enough: Wallowitch is a quick-witted and wonderfully wry storyteller; his vivid recollections of his Philadelphia childhood are, like many of the original songs he and such friends as singer Lyn Lobban perform
here, hilarious and poignant. Ross is an equally entertaining raconteur, and his reminiscences of the 25 years he spent as a dancer and chief muse to Martha Graham are fascinating. But the film is essentially shallow and lacks bite. Morris celebrates Wallowitch and Ross's life together, but at no
time does either man discuss his homosexuality or what it meant to be a gay couple living together in the 1960s. Nor does Ross reveal any more than he has to about his personal relationship with Graham. The film is overly discrete and much too polite to be more than a valentine to Wallowitch and
Ross and the rarefied world of cabaret.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1999
- Rating: NR
- Review: There's not much to this documentary, but if you have an ear for sophisticated song styling and the thought of cabaret sets your heart aflutter, you probably wouldn't dream of missing it. The popular song-and-patter team of Wallowitch and Ross made their… (more)