A sentimental journey from one war to another
By Jerry Tallmer
In 1987 a gorgeous and gorgeously talented young actress/singer named Andrea Marcovicci made her New York cabaret debut in the Hotel Algonquins historic Oak Room. A voice of apricots and almonds, said my review noting also that here was a voice, repertoire, and running commentary of high intelligence. The thinking mans singer, I wrote; then thoughtfully inserted (and womans).
A small section of that evening was a medley of popular songs of the years of World War II her parents war, the war that had taken place before Ms. Marcovicci was born, the Good War, as she is not the first or the last to say today. Andreas best friend growing up was a girl named Nancy Kronkite, and Nancy Kronkites mom and dad were in the Oak Room audience that night.
It was after the last encore that Walter Kronkite had a word for Ms. Marcovicci. You should do a whole show, he told her, on the songs of World War II. Youll make every man in the house cry.
Well, Ms. Marcovicci did put together a World War II assemblage it took two years of research, trial and error, etc. and did do it at the Algonquin and elsewhere.
Now that show or basically that show, expanded, added to, subtracted from, changed, developed is coming to this citys Town Hall as Ill Be Seeing You Love Songs of World War II, for one killer performance only, this Friday, February 23, at 8 p.m., at Town Hall.
The lineup, at this writing, in part includes As Time Goes By (naturally, says Ms. Marcovicci), Sentimental Journey (naturally), Ill Be Seeing You, Well Meet Again, Say It Over and Over Again, Heart and Soul, I Dont Want to Walk Without You, London Pride, JAttendrais, The Last Time I Saw Paris, and as the closer, of course, says the singer Therell Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover.
Composers and lyricists are Frank Loesser, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn. Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Jimny McHugh, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Noel Coward, and dozens of others.
It will be the first time Andrea Marcovicci has soloed at Town Hall since her What Is Love? of 1989 my very first concert experience anywhere. Backing her this time is a 12-piece chamber orchestra conducted by her music director Shelly Markham, with Tex Arnold at the piano.
So this is a very big show, she says, part dryly, part gleefully from her home these days in California. And as you might imagine, she says, Helen Stuart will make a surprise appearance. Tiny pause. Would be more of a surprise if she didnt. Helen Stuart is the stunning onetime model and café singer who is also the mother of Andrea Marcovicci, the mother-in-law of vintagecocktails.com impresario Daniel Reichert, the grandmother of singer and dancer Alice Marcovicci Reichert, age 11.