Jose Jose Is Affable but Passe in Greek Show

It was nearly a decade ago that Mexican pop singer Jose Jose began riding the crest of a comeback after his career had been nearly extinguished by illness and alcoholism.

But his performance Friday--the first of two evenings at the Greek--seemed less than heroic. The first of the moribund show’s symptoms was the turnout--the 6,000-seat theater was only half full. More tellingly, the affable performer proved more entertaining when he told jokes than when he sang. He still performs the catchy tunes that some fans have measured their summers by for 24 years, but changing musical fashions have made the 40-year-old Jose seem passe.

Whether it was hugely popular hits such as “La Nave Del Olvido” (“Ship of Oblivion”) or recent upbeat tunes like “Corre Y Ve Con El” (“Run and Go With Him”), he displayed a nagging lack of vocal energy, which may be attributable to his chronic emphysema. As the evening wore on, the harsh bald spots in his voice could almost be anticipated. Jose also saluted his “dear friend” Frank Sinatra with “New York, New York.” This only sharpened the contrast between Jose and the seemingly ageless Sinatra.