By Linda Amiel Burns
Pianist/Singer Chris Barrett brings elegance and old world charm to LaRivista on Restaurant Row at his opening night on January 22, 2013.
There was a time in New York when you could hear great musicians playing the piano and singing all over town, in clubs and restaurants, even hotel lobbies. There was Bobby Short, Hugh Shannon, Danny Apolinar, Buddy Barnes, Benny Martini and Murray Grand, to name a few who held court at the keyboards. They each had a devoted following and gave cache to NY nightlife.
Times have certainly changed, but now you can go to LaRivista on Restaurant Row, have an enjoyable dinner and hear Chris Barrett every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in concert with two sets, at 8:00PM and 10:00PM.
Chris Barrett has delighted audiences with his virtuoso song stylings since 1973 in some of the best venues and clubs in NY, Europe and all over the world, bringing back much needed old world charm and elegance to a city sadly lacking in places just to sit and listen to a pianist/singer performing the great songs of America’s legendary composers. Chris’s repertoire seems to be endless and you never know what he will be singing next in his rich baritone voice, accompanying himself masterfully on the piano. At his opening night, on January 21, 2013, the room was filled with fans, music lovers and well-known performers such as Marilyn Maye, Eric Michael Gillett and others. His "sets" are an eclectic mix of songs from Broadway, The American Songbook and anything that strikes his fancy and that adds extra excitement to the mix. Chris performed a delightful "dance" medley that included "Shall We Dance," "Change Partners" and "It Only Happens When I Dance With You" and then many of the songs from Jerry Herman’s Mack & Mabel. He sang a lovely song by composer/pianist Franklin Underwood (who performs at LaRivista on Friday and Saturday nights) "I Wish I’d Met You" that was written with Johnny Mandel and the late Richard Rodney Bennett. Of course, no concert of this kind would be complete without Cole Porter songs and Chris offered masterful renditions of "Delovely," "In The Still of the Night," "Anything Goes" and "So In Love." After singing songs of Cy Coleman, Jacque Brel, Rodgers & Hart, and Johnny Mercer, he closed the first set with Artie Butler’s "Here’s To Life", a song that you have to have earned the right to sing and Chris Barrett brings a wealth of his talent and life experience to this moving song.
If you are looking for a place to have a special night out in Manhattan, go to LaRivista to hear NY legend Chris Barrett at the piano and enjoy a warm atmosphere, delicious food and, best of all, no cover charge. As Irving Berlin wrote, "Who could ask for anything more?"
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