THE JAZZ TIMES - VOX CD Review
by Christopher Loudon
Sings Rodgers & Hart (Andreasong)
She evokes a cultured elegance reminiscent of Ivor Novello or Noel Coward. Her disciplined professionalism, coupled with an innate theatricality, places her in the same supreme league as Barbara Cook. As a storyteller with a sparkling, winking way with a saucy lyric, she rivals the irrepressible Julie Wilson. So, it’s hard to imagine anyone better suited to an extended foray—part romp, part waltz, part shimmy—through the Rodgers and Hart songbook than Andrea Marcovicci. Thanks to several cleverly crafted medleys, Marcovicci manages to shoehorn 21 of the illustrious team’s best, ranging from platinum-edged classics to delightful rarities, into this 14-track mélange. Like every great cabaret performer, Marcovicci is a lyricist’s best friend. (Hart, of course, reciprocates by providing some of the finest wordplay in the history of popular song). Navigating any of Hart’s rich narrative veins—the coyly risqué (“Sing for Your Supper,” “A Little Bird Told Me So”), the archly witty (“To Keep My Love Alive,” “Everything I’ve Got”), the wistfully woeful (“He Was Too Good to Me,” “It Never Entered My Mind,” “Little Girl Blue”) or the stunningly romantic (“My Heart Stood Still,” “Where or When,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Bewitched”)—she handles each word, each phrase, like the gem it is, often increasing the overall value by unearthing seldom-heard intros and extras verses.
THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN
February 1, 2008
by Craig Smith
ANDREA MARCOVICCI, "Andrea Marcovicci Sings Rodgers & Hart" (Andreasong). A really good show tune has enough creative elasticity and inner truth to work both in and out of context. These treasures by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart certainly do, and they fly especially high thanks to cabaret queen Marcovicci’s individual way with and obvious affection for each number. She tastes the words as well as sings them, smoothly uncoils her rich voice at every pitch and dynamic, and is now cool, now hot, now detached, now obsessed as needed.
And with the phenomenal pianist-arranger Shelly Markham and gifted bassist Kevin Axt backing her, she has just the right kind of full-hearted collaboration to form an artistic trio that can’t be beat. Just listen to one tiny moment, and you’ll know what I mean. In “A Little Birdie Told Me So” from the now-forgotten "Peggy-Ann", Marcovicci notes about a naughty suitor, “He will use poetic words that no one understands, and illustrate the meaning with his hands.” The voice, bass, and piano combine to deliver a perfect and perfectly damning take on the unseen gent. All the other songs get the same top-notch treatment, including “Where or When,” Sing for Your Supper,” “Thou Swell” and the inimitable “My Funny Valentine.” If you can’t make it to San Francisco to catch Marcovicci’s regular work, this is the next best thing.
February 28, 2008
CD Review by CHUCK GRAHAM
"Andrea Marcovicci Sings Rodgers & Hart" (Andreasong Recordings)
It takes a little maturity (as in: a divorce or two, a couple of near-fatal broken hearts, more than one story of unrequited love) to relish the rue of cabaret. These little nightclub islands of civility celebrate saloon songs with a vengeance. More than a blues bar, less than Alcoholics Anonymous, the cabarets we remember are filled with anonymity.
Nobody has a last name. The bartender never assumes anything, never judges anybody. Drinks are always a bit stronger than you remembered them.
But for some poorly understood reason, cabaret thrives only in big cities with a modicum of sophistication. Tucson is getting there. The Baked Apple has long been famous as a place to give life a second chance. Let a few more people lose a few more fortunes. That should do it.
Then book a few singers like Andrea Marcovicci, applauded by the International Herald Tribune as "the greatest cabaret star of her generation." Her exploration of bittersweet happiness in this collection is a great place to start appreciating the lifestyle. Listen to the words of the revenge anthem, "To Keep My Love Alive." Enjoy the sly sensuality of "Bewitched (Bothered and Bewildered)." Hear the hope in "Little Girl Blue."
Marcovicci's voice has an operatic veneer with a huskier steeliness underneath. Polite enough to make your mother smile, but also promising more earthly delights.
What the critics said about the live show when it debuted in San Francisco:
“A fascinating glimpse into the heyday of early 20th century musical theater. A silky “He Was Too Good to Me,” emerges as a potent mini-drama; poignant performances of “Falling In Love with Love” and “It Never Entered My Mind” support Marcovicci’s description of Hart as 'the greatest-ever writer of the unrequited love song.' She evokes the emotional atmosphere of each song with a deft touch; nothing is overstated... The decidedly un-romantic “To Keep My Love Alive,” about a woman who bumps off a string of husbands, offers a wickedly funny counterpoint to the tender moments. With Marcovicci as an advocate, the pair never had it so good.”
“Her beautifully trained voice carefully adds a wonderful touch of drama to her musical presentation.. it's the best evening of cabaret that you can ever imagine -- pure entertainment.”
ABOUT ANDREA MARCOVICCI: ABOUT ANDREA MARCOVICCI: Andrea Marcovicci, the Queen of Cabaret, "torch singer, spellbinder, heart-breaker" (People) was hailed as the "most Sinatra-like" of the new generation of cabaret performers by Life Magazine. She “has the capacity to caress a song with a warming embrace… Marcovicci steals the heart …the epitome of elegance and showbiz savvy,” declared Variety, while Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times, "Andrea Marcovicci has an incandescent enthusiasm and a masterly balance between poignancy and wit."
Cabaret legend Andrea Marcovicci has entertained sold-out audiences from coast to coast whenever touring her numerous critically acclaimed shows. She holds the record for the most seasons ever played at New York's legendary Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel - twenty-five years - and is the final performer ever to perform there! She's also played to sold-out houses at the esteemed LICEU Opera House in Barcelona, at Town Hall in New York, and at her Carnegie Hall solo concert.
In 2005 Andrea released her very own Calendar replete with luscious photos and anecdotes of her life and career in television, film and theatre. An actress and singer, Andrea began on the daytime television series "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing". She debuted on Broadway in "Ambassador", the musical adaptation of the novel by Henry James, staring Howard Keel and last appeared on the Great White Way in Frank D. Gilroy's play "Any Given Day" with Sada Thompson. Her numerous appearances off-Broadway include "Coco" at the York Theatre, "The Wedding of Iphigenia", "Variety Obit", and "The Seagull". She performed Ophelia to Sam Waterston's Hamlet for Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park. Regionally, she received rave reviews for leading roles in "St. Joan", "Burn This", and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco and her most recent of many appearances at 42nd Street Moon, SF, (where Andrea had previously starred as Daisy in "On A Clear Day"), in the title role of "Coco", played to sold-out houses. In Los Angeles, she starred opposite Anthony Newley in "Chaplin", portraying all the legendary actor's wives and starred in the Philadelphia revival of "Lady in the Dark" at the Prince Music Theatre. Her film credits include: "The Front" (nominated for a Golden Globe Award) with Woody Allen, "The Hand" with Sir Michael Caine, "The Stuff" with Michael Moriarty, "Spacehunter" with Peter Strauss, "The Canterville Ghost" with Sir John Gielgud, Henry Jaglom's "Someone To Love" (featuring Orson Welles in his last film appearance), and "Jack the Bear", as Danny DeVito's wife. Her many television appearances include "General Hospital," "Arliss" for HBO, "Cybil", "Taxi", "Magnum P.I.", "Hill Street Blues", and "Trapper John, M.D.", among others and numerous made-for-television movies. She has appeared in two Henry Jaglom films - "Irene in Time" and "Someone to Love" for which she provided commentary for the DVD release.
Andrea was most honored to usher in the Millennium with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her concert work includes appearances with the San Francisco Pops, Florida Philharmonic, and Oregon and Ft. Worth Symphonies among others. Her 1993 Carnegie Hall solo debut, with the American Symphony Orchestra, was to a sold-out audience. Prior to that, Carnegie Hall commissioned "December Songs" specifically created for Andrea by Maury Yeston. The concert was then reconceived as a ballet by Lynn Taylor Corbett and premiered with Andrea at The Carolina Ballet in 2002. Lincoln Center commissioned both her Noel Coward show and her "Kurt Weill in America". The latter was recreated for cast and appeared as part of the prestigious Lyrics & Lyricists series at the 92Y where Andrea has four times served as Guest Artistic Director and Director, and twice directed the "Cabaret Concert for Young Audiences" at the New York Cabaret Convention.
Enjoying the intimate art of cabaret performance, Andrea has appeared at numerous prestigious nightclubs throughout the country including the famed Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, The Rrazz Room in San Francisco, Le Chat Noir of New Orleans, The Gardenia in Hollywood, and many others. Her London cabaret debut in 1994 sold out a one-month engagement at the Music Room at Pizza on the Park. Sheridan Morley, theater critic of The Spectator and The International Herald-Tribune, called her "the greatest cabaret star of her generation." Peter Hepple in The Stage and Television Today wrote, "Marcovicci cast her spell, with a voice of supreme tenderness, much rangier than at first appeared, with a thrillingly controlled vibrato, marvelous diction and phrasing that can only come from a skilled actress."
Andrea Marcovicci has performed at the White House and her numerous fundraising efforts have produced everything from building additions to aiding the disenfranchised. In recognition of her accomplishments in the arts, she is the recipient of several awards and honors including three Lifetime Achievement Awards and two honorary degrees.