Saturday, September 29, 2007

Andrea Marcovicci

Our dear friend and best man, Harley Rees, took Jen and I out last night to see the singer, Andrea Marcovicci, at the Bullit Cabaret in ACT Theater. Of all the scores of performances I’ve seen in my life, hers was among the most beautiful and moving; I started crying at the first song and remained a soggy mess through the entire set. Fantastic.

Miss Marcovicci is a true artist, and her show celebrated the songs popularized by another true artist, Fred Astaire. As she pointed out, many of the standards in the Great American Songbook were first introduced by the “entertainer of the century,” far better known as a dancer, Mr. Astaire himself. She sang numbers from dozens of his movies, tunes penned by the greats of Tin Pan Alley: Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Rogers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and of course, George and Ira Gershwin. (Her rendition of the latter duo’s “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” was as powerful a piece of musical theater I’ve ever experienced; the nuances of emotion conveyed in her vocals and phrasing communicated an incredible range of feelings, from despair to triumph and left me totally drained by dying for more.)

And funny, too: Miss Marcovicci offered up a history lesson on Astaire that wryly critiqued the banal plots of his movies, but celebrated the great man as Hollywood’s finest actor at “falling in love at first sight.” And the theme of instantaneously being head over heels for someone ran throughout the show; this having been my first time seeing Miss Marovicci, I myself have nothing but love for the self-identified “chatty chanteuse.”

I loved sitting there drinking in her vocals (and drinking, too; hooray for cabaret!), holding hands with Jen and gazing at her with brimming eyes; we both kept wishing our moms could have been there to enjoy the show. This was adult entertainment as it’s meant to be, grown-up and sophisticated as hell.


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