by DICK KEREKES
Babyboyy Productions presented actor/singer Patric Robinson in concert on July l6 at Showwalter Hall in Jacksonville. The concert was entitled “Classic Patric” and truly lived up to the billing.
Mr. Robinson is a Jacksonville native who has been an active singer and actor since his high school days. He is a veteran of many stage appearances over the years at almost every theatre in this city, and has also been very active as an actor in education drama with the youth of Jacksonville.
Over the past ten to twelve years, Patric has presented his cabaret shows on occasion at various venues in this city and yours truly has been privileged to have attended most of them.
Robinson’s most recent show was among his best simply because he has really developed his stage presence to display his vocal prowess. Additionally, Robinson has a vast knowledge of the finest standards and show tunes that are part of America’s musical history and he knows how to sing them and share them with his appreciative audience.
Accompanied very capably by Laura Sloan on the keyboard, Patric opened the show with the Sinatra favorite “Without a Song,” followed by Aretha Franklin’s “Say a Little Prayer for Me,” and another Sinatra standard, “A Foggy Day in London Town.”
Robinson then announced he was going to do a jazz medley of standards, and cleverly presented six songs that he stitched together with wonderful segues that teased the audience about what was coming. He started and finished the set with “Accentuate the Positive” and in between entertained us with classic favorites: “Don’t Mess with Mr. In-between,” “ Moonglow,” “Route 66,” and a great rendition of Bobby Darin’s signature song “ Somewhere Beyond the Sea” as well as “Straighten Up and Fly Right”.
One of Patric’s favorite recording artists is the late Sam Cooke, and after a bit of information on his career, Patric presented a tribute to Cooke by singing two of his compositions. The first, a gospel song “Jesus Gave Me Water,” was followed by Cooke’s big hit “Chain Gang,” which was a real treat for the audience who sang along.
Rat Pack artists Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr. were honored with a song made famous by each of them. Robinson was especially effective and moving with Davis’s “What Kind of Fool Am I?”
An Oscar Hammerstein’s 1937 composition made famous by Peggy Lee, “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” has always one of my favorites and it was sung in a haunting and bewitching style by Robinson.
In between many of the numbers Patric chatted with the audience on a variety of subjects in a humorous and ad-lib fashion that had the audience laughing.
The concert was obviously well planned and rehearsed, and Robinson’s singing style just gets better and better. Patric’s showmanship is excellent and he is truly a professional who aims to please his audiences.