Andrea Marcovicci has returned to the Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel for an unprecedented 22nd season and will be performing her outstanding show called “Marcovicci Sings Movies 11” until December 27th. Her long-time Musical Director, Shelly Markham was on piano, with Jared Egan on bass. This show brings us back to the romantic era of the movies with songs that serve as a “catalyst in recalling our memories.” Andrea entered the Oak Room in an obviously good mood, as she had just celebrated her 60th birthday the day before. She was wrapped in a shawl for the first song and then removed it to reveal a dazzling antique gown worthy of any movie star in an MGM musical. Andrea Marcovicci is an original – there is no performer in cabaret quite like her. The night I saw the show, Andrea was in very good voice. Her patter was informative, intelligent and never feels forced and often reveals a wicked and quick sense of humor. When Andrea sings, she tells the story of the song and emphasizes the lyrics and what they mean, that is why her phrasing is so interesting to listen to. Her audience feels welcomed as she makes eye contact and sings directly to each and every one in the room.
Andrea opened the show with “Long Ago and Far Away” (Cover Girl, 1944) and explained that this film was the only collaboration between Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth. She remembers going to the movies with her Dad as a child and seeing Lili (1952) with Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. She performed a tender version of “Hi Lili, Hi Lo” and the audience joined her on the last chorus. A photo of Fred Astaire was on the piano and Andrea sang to him in “It Only Happens When I Dance With You” (Easter Parade, 1948) followed by “I Won’t Dance” (Lovely to Look At, 1952) and “Cheek to Cheek” (Top Hat, 1935). Audrey Hepburn was honored with the songs of Henry Mancini from her films, “Moon River” (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961), “Charade” (Charade, 1963) and the gorgeous “Two for the Road” (Two for the Road, 1967). There was a fabulous medley of two Oscar winning songs “The Days of Wine and Roses” (1962) and “Call Me Irresponsible” (Papa’s Delicate Condition, 1963); a film that was written for Fred Astaire and eventually starred Jackie Gleason, two extremely different types of men, to say the least. No act about the movies would be complete without including Judy Garland who “broke the mold” and was represented by “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (Meet Me In St. Louis, 1944). A meaningful pairing of songs was “The Way We Were” (1973) with “Thanks for the Memory” (The Big Broadcast of 1938) and Andrea used some of the lesser-known and brilliant lyrics woven into this medley to great effect. A highlight of the evening was Andrea talking about her daughter Alice who is now 13, stating the universal truth that all mothers feel that “a child fills the holes in your heart and life.” Then she tenderly sang, “When She Loved Me” (Toy Story 2, 1999) to a toy doll. Andrea said that there is “nothing like the movies to lose yourself in” and she closed with one of the most treasured songs from Casablanca (1942) “As Time Goes By,” She entertained her audience for over 90 minutes, however, “the time went by” very quickly spending it with the charming and talented Andrea Marcovicci.
By… Linda Amiel Burns
“Marcovicci Sings Movies 11” plays at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel (59 West 44th Street) through Saturday, December 27, 2008. Performances are at 8:30PM with additional late shows, Friday and Saturdays at 11:00PM. There are special 7:30PM shows on November 27 for Thanksgiving, December 24 for Christmas Eve and December 25 for Christmas Day. For reservations call 212 419-9331 or 212 840-6800 and ask for Oak Room Reservations.