New York’s Cabaret Circuit Embraces Movie Songs
Not only has the cinema made a post-pandemic return to its former stand, the cinema, but it is also beginning to spill over into the cabaret circuit. Here are three current examples:
- Melissa Errico leads the list, tonight and tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at 54 below, with her specific genre act Out of the Dark: The Film Noir Project, a sample of his brand new Ghostlight Records CD.
- Ann Kittredge movie nightwhich covers a musical range from 1933 Gold Diggers for La La Earth from 2016, has a 7 a.m. date at the Birdland Theater on February 27.
- at Ann Talman The shadow of his smile examines the curse and blessings of likeness The Hollywood stars star at 54 Below on March 31 at 9:45 a.m.
The title of Errico’s album, and his evening, is a tribute to his favorite dark movie1947 out of the past. “It’s a great movie with Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas,” she says. “They’re both in love with her, and she’s a mean woman.” It ends badly. It is not for nothing that it is a black.
“It’s the whole sensibility of the record, and I had many, many mad scientists who helped me put together this list. I worked with Michael Feinstein, Jeremy Sams, Adam Gopnik – a lot of great musical intellectuals who helped me choose the songs.
The idea for this collection came to him during the last two years of enforced inactivity. “At the height of the pandemic, when the world was locked in isolated rooms, the world was watching movies. I returned to one of my obsessions—dark movie. This genre seemed mysteriously current. It really is the art of being isolated and alone, of desiring and perhaps mistrusting and feeling that the world is corrupt. This aesthetic came out of World War II. I thought, “Isn’t it amazing that WWII is ending and this kind of dark art is being created?”
In addition to establishing blackErrico ordered a few songs – “sort of neo-noirshe calls him. Dory Langdon Previn Added Lyrics to Haunting David Raksin The wicked and the beautiful. “Marlowe’s Theme”, which David Shire wrote for the years 1976 Farewell, my beautiful (Mitchum again, like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe), gets words from Gopnik. The latter collaborated with the late Peter Foley on a modern play black song written last year, “On Vit, On Aime”.
Michel Legrand, who put Errico on Broadway in Lovealso makes a posthumous contribution via a theme he wrote for Jacques Demy in 1970 Donkey Skin (donkey skin). Thanks to Sams’ English lyrics, the song “Love, Love” is a world premiere. “It’s a very hypnotic, swirling, challenging song,” Errico says. “Very similar to Legrand’s ‘Windmills of Your Mind’.”
The CD ends with a Feinstein suggestion: “Again” by Lionel Newman and Dorcas Cochran, delivered hoarsely by Ida Lupino in 1948 truck stop. (Co-star Celeste Holm criticized Lupino’s singing: “She does more speechless than anyone I’ve ever heard”).
“It’s a wonderful song, and I use it thematically,” Errico says. “It’s a denial of a more assertive ending, as if my album had some kind of shape – from flirtatious mystery to genuine despair to light of hope. I feel ‘Again’ is a song with a glow, a flicker of hope.
Then there’s Kittredge, who will never admit she’s a movie buff. “It’s dangerous to say because then you’ll trap me, but I has been the kid who was always watching movies,” she admits. “And I watched them again and again. All I knew for many years was movies, because I was from a small town in New England, so the idea of live theater wasn’t really there.
His movie night sprints through twenty songs, starting with “Dear Mr. Gable: You Made Me Love You” by Judy Garland, chained with Sunny side up“If I Had a Talking Picture of You” and ends with the 82-year-old Disney’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
“I’m sure some of my picks will surprise people,” Kittredge admits. “It’s not The Greatest Hits of Movies, but they’re all very meaningful to me.” Among the unexpected: “10,432 sheep”, what Doris Day did in the 1950s West Point History and “They’re Either Too Young or Too Old” by Frank Loesser, for which Bette Davis was jitterbugged to death by a jitterbug champion.
The inevitable inclusion – “As Time Goes By” – is correctly attributed to Herman Hupfeld and a 1931 Broadway show, Everyone is welcomerather than 1943 casablanca. This film’s composer, Max Steiner, was furious at the inclusion of Hupfeld’s song and did his best to have it removed from the film so he could write his own song. Currently, the first bars of “As Time Goes By” accompany the logo of every Warner Bros. film. who exit. (Sorry, Max.)
“I wanted to do something The Earth, and ‘Another Day of Sun’ is what struck me,” KIttredge says. “It’s done brilliantly in the film. When my musical director, Alex Rybeck, and I read the lyrics, we were like, ‘Oh, my God! I don’t think anyone knows what this song is about by listening to it in the movie, because the movie is so cinematically exciting. It’s so much less about the lyrics, so we stripped it down. In reality, this song is a film on its own.
Rybeck also helped change “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life” by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. He created a folk opera arrangement, and Kittredge does it with a guitar.
Barry Kleinbort worked on the adjustments, adding director’s touches. “He has a wonderful eye. He tweaked the beat from song to song, which is really exciting and really cool. I didn’t know it was possible, but he makes it even more intimate, which I really like.
Rybeck is also the musical director of Talman’s show, and Lina Koutrakos is its director. The three of them thought together and drew up a program for The shadow of his smile. The title echoes the Oscar-winning song by Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster from The Sandpiperwhich begins and ends the act, as it should since the film stars Elizabeth Taylor.
Ever since she was four, people have been telling Talman that she looks like Elizabeth Taylor in national velvet. “Throughout elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and all the way to New York, whenever national velvet was on TV – the next day people would come in, unannounced – strangers – and just say, ‘Oh my God, you look like Elizabeth Taylor in national velvet.’
“Once, while I was on the subway, I was rushing to my last encore to The Penzance Pirates, I noticed that everyone was starting to look at me. I didn’t know what was going on. Then this little old woman waved at me and said, ‘You don’t know why we’re looking at you? You look like Elizabeth Taylor in national velvet‘, and I said, ‘Oh, was that just last night?’ »
Talman had that his whole life, but his mother actually said, “You could play Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter.” Sadly, her mother had died by the time the 20-year-old actress did becoming Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter – in the 1981 Broadway revival of Lillian Hellman The little foxes.
A backhanded stroke of luck entered into this cast. Talman spent the summer of 1980 as a cabaret intern at the Williamstown Theater Festival and ended up doing duet scenes with Austin Pendleton. In the fall, she continued to study with him at HB Studios. When he got the director job The little foxes, he invited her to audition. Hellman got final casting approval, and Talman went to her apartment on Park Avenue and read for her twice. She only met Taylor at the first reading. The star approached the novice, hugged her, kissed her on the cheek and whispered in her ear: “Oh, my God! I feel like I’m looking at myself national velvet.’”
On Feb. 27, Talman plans to be in the Kittredge audience, cheering her on, but she would have much preferred to be at 54 Below, paying homage to Taylor since that day happens to be the star’s 90th.and birthday. Instead, she’ll be on The Richard Skipper Show celebrate it there.
“We tried so hard to get this date at 54 Below, but it was already booked. I now hope to be able to The shadow of his smile there every year on his birthday.