Stephen Bishop: The movie themes composer
- Ibarra C. Mateo () - December 14, 2003 - 12:00am
To most concert-goers who had gone to Aliw Theater for the Stephen Bishop concert, it was apparent that they still widely associate him with the movie industry. Or to be more precise, to the impressive movie themes that Bishop had composed.

One of the most applauded numbers during the one-night only concert was It Might Be You, the theme from Tootsie, a 1982 Dustin Hoffman film directed by Sydney Pollack for Columbia Pictures.

In Tootsie, Hoffman had played Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels, a despondent unemployed actor who dressed up as a woman in an audition to land a supporting role in a soap opera which makes him/her famous.

In this hilarious gender-bending film which was a big hit light years before the wishy-washy word metrosexual was coined, Hoffman had been joined by Jessica Lange who played Julie Nichols while director Pollack essayed the part of George Fields.

The audience’s excitement after hearing the first few bars of Bishop’s 2003 rendition of It Might Be You somehow betrayed its longing for the kind of movies that Tootsie represents, the funny ones that can withstand the onslaughts of the breakdown of the grand narratives of our lives.

Separate Lives
, the theme of the 1985 movie White Nights starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, and Isabella Rossellini as Hines’ wife, was another much applauded number. Englishman Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin had performed Separate Lives for White Nights.

Regrettably, White Nights had been less of a success in the box office but its theme song continues to be a favorite of Filipinos in their 40s. The movie’s thin storyline involved a Kirov ballet dancer (Baryshnikov) who had defected to the US and an American tap dancer (Hines) who fled to the Soviet Union. Critics had described the movie as a "pas de deux between the CIA and the KGB."

Bishop had attained his greatest popularity as a movie themes’ composer, which included Animal House’s Dream Girl, Roadie’s Your Precious Love sung together with Yvonne Elliman, and The China Syndrome.

Famous singers who had recorded the songs of Bishop include Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Art Garfunkel, David Crosby, Steve Perry, Luciano Pavarotti, Stephanie Mills, Kenny Loggins, Johnny Mathis, Phoebe Snow, and The Four Tops. It is also interesting to note that Bishop had cameo appearances in The Blues Brothers and Kentucky Fried Movie.

The Bishop concert at Aliw Theater had been erratic. The concert was a listening experience for it showcased the songs that made Bishop one of the music icons before most of the members of the audience at Aliw hit their mid-life. Yes, traces of Bishop’s great musicality was present, but Bishop needed a dose of vibrance of a seasoned entertainer who could instantly establish rapport with the people before him.

After the truly magnificent South Border front act, Bishop’s opening number Parked Cars had sparked the audience. But the fervor did not last long. The songs Rhythm of the Rain, Send A Little Love, Make It Last, and One Love only elicited perfunctory clapping.

The roller-coaster ride that was the Bishop concert hit high with Separate Lives, spiralled downward with One More Night and Little Italy, and then picked up again with On and On.

Lani Misalucha’s intermission numbers – Bring Me to Life and Malaya Ka Na – provided a brief breather. However, as in her appearance in the Sergio Mendes concert also in Aliw Theater, Lani’s distinctive fashion sense stood out.

Bishop returned to the stage for his second act with Un Baile del Corazon, Something New in My Life, and Save It for a Rainy Day.

The audience seemed to be on the verge of submission when Bishop shifted to It Might Be You.

The concert’s tempo had wandered, and a good spiel by Bishop could have kept it on an even keel.

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