CURRENT CD
"A Long and
Winding Road "

on
PS Classics

ORDER YOURS TODAY
at
www.amazon.com
or
www.maureenmcgovern.com


 

2014

 

 

Click for full article here.

2013

 

From the vaults...

 

Maureen McGovern finds a musical life after 'The Morning After'

 

November 1, 2013

By Kaitlynn Riely/The Pittsburgh Press


Next week, Maureen McGovern will return to the site of her baptism.

Into theater, that is.

Ms. McGovern, a 64-year-old native of Youngstown, Ohio, has had a 40-year musical career that included singing the Oscar-winning songs "The Morning After" and "We May Never Love Like This Again," Grammy nominations and starring roles on Broadway. On Monday, she will perform at The Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown, as part of the TRUST Cabaret Series presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

It was at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, appearing as Maria in a 1981 production of "The Sound of Music," that Ms. McGovern first got her start in musical theater, she said in a phone interview this week.

By then, she'd already been up the charts -- and back down.

Ms. McGovern, a self-described "shy performer" at first, grew up admiring singers such as Joni Mitchell and Carole King, and made her foray into a singing career through folk music. Then came her big break, when her song "The Morning After," from the 1972 disaster film "The Poseidon Adventure," reached the top of the Billboard charts in 1973. She also performed "We May Never Love Like This Again," from the 1974 disaster film "The Towering Inferno," which received another Academy Award.

It was success that should have propelled her to appearances on, say, "The Tonight Show," Ms. McGovern said. But instead, in a move that remains somewhat puzzling to her years later, her management booked her for a month at the Trolley Bar Lounge in Green Tree.

From there, her career fizzled and her funds ran low. She made her way to Marina Del Ray, Calif., taking a job as a secretary, though she continued to travel occasionally out of the country, to places such as the Philippines, Japan and France, where she remained hugely popular.

"I'd be like Beyonce and Madonna and come back and be Glenda Schwartz at the typewriter," she said, referring to the name she assumed.

A new chapter of her career took flight in 1980, when she appeared as the "Boy's Life"-reading nun in the disaster flick parody, "Airplane!" The next year, she was cast as Maria in "The Sound of Music" for the Pittsburgh CLO, where she later starred in runs of "South Pacific" and "Guys and Dolls."

It was the Maria role, however, that caused the biggest bounce for her career.

"I thought that would be a nice baptism into theater, and it certainly was," she said. Three weeks after her musical debut, she debuted on Broadway, replacing Linda Ronstadt as Mabel in "The Pirates of Penzance."

Since then, Ms. McGovern's Broadway roles have included Luisa in "Nine," as Polly Peachum in "3 Penny Opera," and as Marmee in "Little Women, The Musical." In addition to musical theater, her career has spanned genres ranging from jazz to big band, swing and cabaret.

"Music has been the air I breathe," she said.

The key to making music into a career that can span four decades, she said, is "the old adage of never giving up."

Ms. McGovern, who has long worked in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, said she is working on several new projects, including a show that will be a tribute to women singer-songwriters, a children's jazz album and an American spirituals CD, plus a book titled "Surviving the Morning After" that she thinks will be released in 2014.

When she returns to Pittsburgh Monday, she'll be giving a cabaret performance.

"I really love doing that, because it's the freest of everything we do," she said.

Tickets are $50 to $60, and are available at TrustArts.org, 412-456-6666 or at the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave.

Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1707.

First Published November 1, 2013 3:50 PM

 

Cabaret at Bethel Woods

Since its opening, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has offered patrons the finest of nearly every genre of music.

Now, add cabaret to that list.

Saturday night marked the venue's first venture into the cabaret style. It did itself well by hooking up with Scott Samuelson, co-owner of the Bradstan Country Hotel in White Lake.

The opening artist at Bethel Woods' new Bradstan Cabaret Series: Grammy-nominated star Maureen McGovern.

The result was a perfect night of cabaret music -- missing in Sullivan County since The Nancy LaMott Room at Samuelson's Bradstan hotel closed in 2008.

Working with Darlene Fedun, chief executive officer at Bethel Woods, the pair have helped turn the Bethel Woods Events Gallery into potentially one of the top cabaret venues in the country.

McGovern dazzled the sold-out audience with 90 minutes of classic baby boomer sounds, accompanied by a piano and what has been called "The Stradivarius Voice." The show features songs from Bob Dylan, Carole King, the Beatles and a moving rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" without a microphone, before ending with her signature song, "The Morning After."

The Cabaret Series continues with The Callaway Sisters starring Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway on November 2, and concludes December 14 with Karen Mason's show "Christmas, Christmas, Christmas."

For ticket information, visit BethelWoodsCenter.org, ticketmaster, or call 745-3000.

Barry Lewis


Click for slide show (10 photos)


It's always a thrill to see a singer/actor who has the exceptional talent and stage craft to grab an audience and hold it enthralled throughout a performance. Add to that - beauty, warmth and wit and you have the dazzling Maureen McGovern who will be at The Kate (Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center) in Old Saybrook, Connecticut for one night only, July 13.

She will be performing her acclaimed "A Long and Winding Road." This show-stopping concert celebrates her love affair with the works of Jimmy Webb, Carole King, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Randy Newman and other groundbreaking singer-songwriters from her early years, which "The New York Times" dubbed "the second half of the Great American Songbook." It's an entertaining look at the songs - "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress," "Let It Be," and "Fire and Rain" and many more.

This year Maureen is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her Oscar-winning, Billboard #1, International Gold record, "The Morning After" from "The Poseidon Adventure," and her 1st Grammy nomination as the Best New Artist. Her follow-up hit was "We May Never Love Again" from "The Towering Inferno." And who can forget her portrayal as Sister Angelina, the singing nun, in the classic disaster-movie-spoof "Airplane," and its sequel.

Maureen, a fine actor, has also conquered Broadway as the lead in "The Pirates of Penzance," "Nine," "Three Penny Opera," and most recently in her Drama Desk Nominated role as 'Marmee' in "Little Women, The Musical" and also in the first National Tour of that show. To these prestigious credits she also has guest starred with all the major symphony orchestras, including the 75th -anniversary season at Tanglewood with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops and in yearly concerts, cabaret and jazz clubs.

She was born with a rare and magnificent voice of many octaves, and is equally at home with Broadway theater music as she is with jazz, classical, folk, pop and big-band idioms. An accomplished actor, Maureen deeply feels and strongly projects the full-range of a lyric's intent. And she has earned the well-deserved nickname, "The Stradivarius Voice," In concerts, she frequently vocalizes the instrumental riffs. That is one magical experience not to be missed by music lovers.

We caught up with Maureen by phone to get an update for this story and she graciously filled us in about her busy and fulfilling career.

Q: "Maureen, it's hard to believe it's the 40th Anniversary of 'The Morning After' from 'The Poseidon Adventure.' Its theme is as timely today as it was when you received a Gold Record and Grammy nomination for your #1 recording. Is there anything you do to keep it fresh when you perform it today?"

Maureen: "The song is the ultimate hopeful anthem, and I still get letters from people who can relate to its message. As the world becomes more chaotic and 'curiouser and curiouser,' the theme still resonates -- each time I sing it there is more reason than ever to understand its message."

Q: "That was a solid-Gold hit for you in more ways than one. Can you tell us, what are your fondest memories of that success?"

Maureen: "I had been singing 'The Morning After' for a long time and had my 'aha!' moment on one of my MDA Telethon appearances. My youngest niece had just been diagnosed with one of the muscle diseases that are related to MD. When I sang 'The Morning After' that night, its message of hope hit me personally in my heart of hearts, and I could barely get through it."

Q: "Speaking of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, you were on the national board for many years when you received its prestigious Directors Award. Was the presentation known is advance or was it a surprise?"

Maureen: "Yes, it was a surprise. I was stunned, but also honored that they recognized my thirty-three years with this wonderful organization."

Q: "You have conceived and co-written so many outstanding acts for yourself, how do you choose which of your shows to perform at any given venue? And is there a special reason you've chosen 'A Long And Winding Road' for The Kate (Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center) in Old Saybrook, Connecticut on July 13?"

 

Maureen: "My musical director and arranger, Jeff Harris, and I went through over 400 songs to create this coming-of-age greatest-hits show. It's a wide open title so that we can alternate the program and vary the songs that influenced me on the way to 'The Morning After.' "

Q: "Of all the songs that you have sung in concerts, recordings, Broadway and major films, is there one song other than 'The Morning After,' that is most requested, or another one that you could go on singing forever?"

Maureen: "Oh, there are so many. I especially love to sing Alan and Marilyn Bergman songs from my 'The Music Never Ends' CD tribute to them and Jimmy Webb's 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.' Of course, anything Gershwin. I love to sing [Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's] 'All The Things You Are' and [Kurt Weill's] 'My Ship.' I also love the delicious irreverence of Tom Lehrer's 'Vatican Rag.' "

Q: "We've heard that your new show for this Fall is called, 'Sing My Sisters, Sing.' Can you tell us what inspired the title?"

Maureen: "It's a show that celebrates women singer/songwriters. The title is from an Annie Lennox song, 'Sing my Sisters, Sing!' It honors all the great women singer/songwriters from Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee and Annie Ross to Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro, to name a few."

Q: "We've heard that other projects include 'Carry It On,' a one-woman theatrical show about your life and career and a companion memoir called 'Surviving The Morning After.' "

Maureen: "My director and co-writer, Phillip Himberg, is the Producing Artistic Director of Sundance Institute Theatre, and together we created my theatrical one-woman show, 'Carry It On.' This explores my life -- in tandem with the 'Boomer Experience.' In addition, I am currently writing my first book, a personal memoir entitled, 'Surviving The Morning After.' "

Q: "Tell us about 'Maureen McGovern: Musically Speaking,' your lecture and master class that is usually presented in the music departments of colleges and high schools and also for professional and semi-professional singers in locations where you perform around the country."

Maureen: "'Musically Speaking' is a two part-four hour experience which begins with a lecture with songs, and is followed by a master class with four students. It's about the power of music. Music as a healing process that reaches inside and changes us in a very deep and profound way. It is an interactive lecture. The master class shows how I dissect a song and turn it into an intimate musical conversation with the audience. I help the singer to get in touch with both heart and mind, concentrating on interpretation, color, action and relaxation. Sometimes it's interesting to take a lyric and give it a different point of view so that the song takes on an entirely different meaning. Many who come to 'Musically Speaking' are part of a group, like the Sweet Adeline's – they don't usually sing solo, and this gives them a huge leap of faith to sing out there on their own and also to make their chorus work richer. My dad was in a barbershop quartet and his sister was a Sweet Adeline."

Q: "Is there a special word of advice that you'd like to offer to aspiring singers who want to follow in your footsteps?"

Maureen: "The best advice is to believe in yourself more than anyone else does. You need to gain as much experience as you can outside the public view -- take classes to feel comfortable, continuously fine-tune your craft. And, don't let anyone but yourself own your publishing. If you write a song, music or lyric, be sure that you own your work -- at the very least most of it.

"And be sure to get a good voice teacher, especially if you get into a Broadway show, as you'll be doing eight shows a week and you need to know how to protect your voice and how not to cause damage to your instrument. I have worked with Marge Rivingston for over 30 years and she is one of the greatest vocal coaches ever. Yes, you can quote me! She knows how to strengthen, expand and protect your voice in all circumstances. To find a really good teacher you need to get recommendations, referrals from people you trust. It's all part of taking care of yourself, your talent, and your career."

The following is a quote from one of Maureen's students that is especially gratifying:
"Maureen did a 4 plus hour "Musically Speaking" Master Class that gave us all a new definition of the term 'master'. Maureen shared her personal anecdotes, performed songs and snippets of songs, sang a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday,' shared her personal vocal warm-ups, her routine for preparation for a performance, and answered questions. She made us laugh hysterically and cry buckets. At one point, the entire audience was clutching tissues and sniffing . . . talk about an emotional roller coaster ride! To top it all off, Maureen also coached four soloists individually in front of the audience, and took a nurturing approach to adding more dimension and color to each singer's already fine performances. The four student/solo singers sang, cried, laughed and visibly grew in their performance capacities after being coached by Maureen."

Among the many fine human qualities Maureen has revealed to us in her interview, her 'Musically Speaking' master class and lecture is a tribute to her willingness to directly help and inspire the next generation of performers.

To hear Maureen McGovern's 'Stradivarius Voice,' enjoy her humor and warmth -- in person or on CDs -- go to www.maureenmcgovern.com.

Maureen will be at The Kate (The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center), 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook, Connecticut at 8 pm on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Tickets: 877-503-1286,.
www.katharinehepburntheater.org/

Written by Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Critics On The Aisle



Maureen McGovern at 54Below - A Very Good Vintage


Friday, December 21, 2012
by Alix Cohen on Playing Around

Maureen McGovern has a voice like fine mulled wine; spiced but not cloudy, rich, warm, and inebriating. Her current show features iconic holiday fare, seasonal satire, and, aptly, songs addressing the resilience of the human spirit, something on most of our minds these days. "My first single was released in 1972. We thought the world was coming apart even then" precedes a clarion "The Morning After."

McGovern makes every musical sentiment not only credible but empathetic. This is grade A entertainment, no fuss, no glitz, nothing to prove. Movement arises out of lyrics or, during terrific scatting, the intriguing habit of fingering the air as if it was an instrument. Patter is minimal and feels sincere. Acting chops take her seamlessly from an extremely funny duet of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with additional lyrics by Jay Leonhart (here playing a hip, jaded Santa) to an elegant a capella pop rendition of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" coupled with the waltzy "Babes in Toyland."

Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," the carol most favored by servicemen abroad, was ironically written in Los Angeles among palm trees. McGovern's version is lush, unhurried-savored. We sing along. An up tempo sleigh-ride medley follows. The vocalist is infectiously joyful (she looks twenty years younger singing these). Accompaniment is first jaunty, then exhilarating, but never overly familiar. Years later, we're told, "The Christmas Song" was penned by Bob Wells during a heat wave in the San Fernando Valley. When McGovern's mentor, Mel Torme, discovered the lyric on his collaborator's piano, Wells explained, "It was the only way to cool off."

Three songs by the incomparable Tom Lehrer are given short shrift. Surely one should hear the entirety of such as "The Vatican Rag" every few years: First you get down on your knees/Fiddle with your rosaries/Bow your head with great respect/And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect! Comic selections also include several from McGovern's days as special guest on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. The hysterical "The First Nouvelle" adapted by Patti McKenny, describes an uber-gourmet Christmas dinner, wherein a holiday array of the first Nouvelle was toast to our health with White Zinfandel. (paraphrased) . The appalled family immediately descends on grandma for turkey sandwiches. McGovern's wry delivery is priceless.

"From the ridiculous to the sublime" introduces "My Favorite Things" which, I swear, she makes sound fresh. The usually somber "A Child Is Born" and more especially "Mary, Did You Know?" are rendered moving and current. McGovern often lets out her voice like a kite on the wind, then draws it in with a single breath and higher register, ending feather light. Every word is pristine. And she holds a note so long one can practically see it.

Arrangements are both perfectly suited to the artist's instrument and always interesting/painted slightly outside the lines. Songs trail into one another with finesse. The show is varied, fun, reflective and stirring.

Maureen McGovern at 54Below
Musical Director/Piano/Arranger- Jeffrey Harris
Bass- Jay Leonhart

Additional Arrangements Mike Renzi & Lee Musiker

54Below
254 West 54th Street
December 19-23 7 p.m.; December 22 10 p.m.


Maureen McGovern: Putting Our Hands Out in Time for the Holidays

by Doug Strassler on December 21, 2012.
Posted in Arts & Film, Music
New York Press

It's been forty years since Maureen McGovern launched to pop stardom, the singer admits close to the beginning of "Home for the Holidays," the seasonal cabaret performance running through Saturday at 54 Below. That was when her first hit, "The Morning After," the theme from The Poseidon Adventure, won an Oscar and earned her a Best New Artist Grammy nomination. McGovern recounts that year's roster included the odd mix of Eumir Deodato, Marie Osmond, Barry White, and eventual winner, Bette Midler.

The honey-voiced singer recalls that and other highlights from her career as she songs of the season, exhibiting an attitude that is grateful not just for her success for the collaborators and fans that have made it so. And so the evening is full of chestnuts both somber and comedic. She delivers a powerful rendition of "Mary, Did You Know?" and scats her way through "Caroling, Caroling." She brings the house down with such staples as "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - the latter of which gets an assist from bassist Jay Leonhart as Santa Claus himself, arriving at the airport and awaiting his own limousine.

Audience members will also be reminded that McGovern's voice is rich enough to lend itself to radio play as well, as she reads two novelty cooking songs once performed on Garrison Keillor's show, "Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake" and "The First Nouvelle," about two different sets of unappetizing Christmas treats. The humor extends to Tom Lehrer ditties like "I'm Spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica" as well, and "Santa Chopstix."

Other numbers included a cover of Barbra Streisand's "Ordinary Miracles" as part of a tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch and "The Christmas Tree," co-written by accompanist Jeffrey Harris (with Judy Bowen). McGovern does sing "Morning After," as well, as an inspirational, but that's about it for her catalog of hits. Another song from Harris and Bowen, "Another Woman in Love," goes mentioned but unsung. "Can You Read My Mind," her love theme from Richard Donner's first Superman movie, never even gets a mention.

McGovern concludes with one other familiar standby: "Auld Lang Syne," at which point I reminded my date that the passengers chorusing to this in The Poseidon Adventure didn't fare so well. But those at 54 Below had no reason to worry. McGovern remains in ship shape.

Maureen McGovern performs through Saturday at 54 Below, 254 West 54th Street, (646) 476-3551, www.54below.com.



Maureen McGovern at 54 Below

Here's another reviewer's take on this artist


Written by Susan Hasho

 
Do I have to mention that Maureen McGovern is an icon to many? Certainly the song There Has to Be a Morning After will remain hers forever; and her singing voice is, and has always been, a clarion call to excellence for singers everywhere. However, on Wednesday night at 54 Below, I was impressed by the sweet intimacy of her show.

She opened with a Here Comes Santa Claus medley. She then slipped into There Has to Be a Morning After. And I

I didn't see it coming.I felt halfway through the song that she had managed to skillfully reinterpret her own hit making it intentionally relevant in this brief time since the Newtown, CT tragedy.

She is much more accessible in a lovely room like 54 Below and a lot of fun. She did a dialog with Jay Leonhart, her bass player, while singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town. She spoke about her appreciation for the songwriter Tom Lehrer and sang God Rest Ye Merry Merchants. And with music stand in hand, performed a reading of three songs adapted by Patti McKenny for a Garrison Keillor Christmas show - I'll say no more. You'll have to go to the show to see this; it's very funny.

In honor of the "Great American Songbook," she sang Irving Berlin's White Christmas so human-sized that I wanted to sing along and lo, she then asked us to do just that. She closed with Ordinary Miracles (Harris/Hamlisch) quoting, "We are not here to curse the darkness. We are here to light a candle." And, Ms. McGovern and her brilliant musicians have certainly given us a warm, lovely glow of a Christmas show.

Musical Director/Piano/Arranger – Jeffrey Harris and Bass - Jay Leonhart

December 19-23 at 7pm & December 22 at 10pm 54 Below.com (646) 476-3551



Maureen McGovern at 54 Below




Maureen McGovern is terrific. Period.

Many of us remember her songs from movies: The Morning After from The Poseidon Adventure and Can You Read My Mind? from Superman. Both decades ago.

Well, my little chickadees, fasten your seat-belts, because this woman is still an extraordinary singer who knows not only how to deliver the music, but better yet she knows how to tell the story. McGovern is a now a woman with some life under her "belt" and she is ready to share the goods she's got.

With the aide of her most excellent music director and arranger Jeffrey Harris, and the always, lucky for us, employed Jay Leonhart on the bass, McGovern fills the gorgeous room at 54 Below with a serving of holiday fare that is delicious.

Harris has created a series of unique medleys that move from one song to another with such ease that it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Twas The Night Before Christmas is laid on top of Chopstix. The Morning After leads us to Santa Clause Is Coming To Town. McGovern visits the classic songs of Christmas - the secular and the religious - with skill and abandon. And she tosses in more than one obscure tune to give the night a little zip. This woman even scats in the middle of songs about snowflakes! Seriously - who does that?

McGovern is a wild woman with a huge voice that she can wrap around a song like a golden glove. She loves the melodies as much as the stories, and she loves the audience. There are many cabaret performers who simply don't know what to do with speaking to us listeners. They whisper like insecure children. They talk about themselves-selves-selves. They go on way too long. They have a script they are following and one dropped glass can throw them off their game. Such is not the case with McGovern. She acts as if she is throwing the best dinner party and happens to have extra room for everyone in the joint. She is as comfortable speaking as she is singing, and she imbues the room with her ease and generosity.

She is even generous enough to allow the audience a few turns at sing-a-longs, which of course made more than one of us tear up. I was raised singing Christmas carols a cappella. I know them all, and the harmonies to go with them. So this evening was a little like being back at home, minus of the downside of ancient relationships gone wrong and the all-purpose family tension that takes a licking and keeps on giving.

And one of the most delightful discoveries of this place is that it is, by New York standards, pretty darn affordable. A $60 ticket gets you a seat and your minimum purchase of drink and vittles. That is a great deal.

A great deal coupled with a great talent is something you should not miss. She is only here for a week - so pick up the phone and get on over.

Maureen McGovern at 54 Below is a fabulous, fabulous night.

www.ushernonsense.com

Maureen McGovern December 19-23 at 54 BELOW located at 254 West 54th Street. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com.

Cabaret review: Maureen McGovern
"Morning After'' singer serves up warm Christmas chestnuts at 54 Below

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012, 3:50 PM

Maureen McGovern draws a lot from her 1990 Christmas album for her tatest
holiday show.

jdziemianowicz@nydailyne

Forty years after she broke through singing "The Morning After," the theme to the disaster flick "The Poseidon Adventure," Maureen McGovern's supple voice still has the warm and inviting glow of a fire in the hearth. It insistently summons you to come close.

Which explains why I so often found myself leaning in during her seasonal celebration, running through Sunday at 54 Below.

Drawing heavily from her excellent 1990 Christmas album - one of my favorite holiday CD's - McGovern was in great voice and a festive mood during her 70-minute set of chestnuts and lesser-known numbers that have been woven together to make for a sweet and joyful evening. She's joined by musical director and pianist Jeffrey Harris and bassist Jay Leonhart.

A merry merger of "Christmas Chopstix" and "Here Comes Santa Claus" started thing on a playful note, while a jazzy "Our First Christmas" showed off the influence of mentor Mel Torme. The unaccompanied and heartfelt "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was sent out as a wish during wartime.

After finishing the religious-themed "Mary Did You Know?" McGovern admitted "I love that song" and added that she first heard it when Reba McEntire sang it. On a completely different note, the jaunty "Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake" was a fun ode to an ill-conceived confection that could double as a doorstop.

Mixed into the evening was a poignant "Morning After," "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music" and "Ordinary Miracles," dedicated to its composer, the late Marvin Hamlisch. The three weren't strictly holiday fare. But heaven knows that their hopeful and uplifting messages are resonant anytime.

 


December 19, 2012

New York Times
A Seasonal Meal With a Warm Heart and Tasty Comedy
(Who Needs Chestnuts?)


Maureen McGovern at 54 Below

By Stephen Holden
The singer Maureen McGovern radiated the comfort, joy and good humor of a benign Christmas angel at Tuesday's opening-night performance of her holiday show at 54 Below.

At her most engaging, Ms. McGovern effuses the gentle, warmhearted authority of a younger, American Julie Andrews, with a dash of salt. No matter that her voice is not the technically perfect instrument of two decades ago. It is still in good condition, with fluty high notes intact, and when she applies it to an unaccompanied "I'll Be Home for Christmas," the song's wistful, wartime longing registers.

Conceptually the show, "Home for the Holidays," in which she is accompanied by Jeffrey Harris on piano and Jay Leonhart on bass, belongs to the something-for-everyone school of Christmas entertainment. 'Santa Chopstix" cleverly pairs the tune of 'Chopsticks" with the words of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." During 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," Mr. Leonhart burst in as a cantankerous, entitled St. Nick, arriving in New York by air and expecting to be met by a limousine that will make a stop at the Bronx Zoo to drop off a couple of reindeer.

There is a religious component - Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry's contemporary hymn "Mary, Did You Know?" - and a nonreligious one (excerpts from Tom Lehrer songs). The best comic numbers are two cooking songs that Ms. McGovern said she performed two years ago on Garrison Keillor's radio show. The Irish novelty "Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake" describes a lethal fruit cake with a nailed-on crust that has to be attacked by a hatchet and saw. "The First Nouvelle" lists the mismatched components of an unappetizing, minimal Christmas feast.

Both songs left me with an itch to throw dietary caution to the wind and stuff myself.

Maureen McGovern performs through Saturday at 54 Below, 254 West 54th Street, Manhattan;
(646) 476-3551, 54below.com.

 

December 2012
 


SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH

MAUREEN McGOVERN

As this year comes to an end,
it's time to take a moment and restore.
Relax, enjoy, feast and sing while we toast the season
and celebrate new and old Holiday favorites!
Come HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS with
MAUREEN McGOVERN
at 54 Below!!

MAUREEN McGOVERN
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

JEFFREY HARRIS
Musical Director / Piano / Arranger

JAY LEONHART
Bass

Additional arrangements
Mike Renzi and Lee Musiker

December 2012
 


Maureen McGovern

54 Below
New York, NY

In excellent voice and accompanied by two fine music - Jeffrey Harris as pianist, musical director and arranger, and Jay Leonhart on bass - Maureen McGovern covered a varied Christmas songlist both spiritually and spiritedly. The good spirits were contagious as McGovern offered such standards as the medley of "Sleigh Ride," "Winter Wonderland" and "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," to tongue-in-cheek holiday material by Tom Lehrer, to a few delectably warmed-up old chestnuts (yes, we heard Mel Torme/Robert Wells's "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts Roasting by an Open Fire"), as well as parodies written for radio's Garrison Keillor.


Not all songs got the full treatment. Some got but a few bars as they made a point in her patter, such as Lehrer's "The Vatican Rag." Or his "(I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica." But Patti McKenny's take-off on "The First Noel" - a sly wink at fashion-conscious "nouvelle cuisine" recast as "The First Nouvelle" - was given full play, much to the audience's sheer delight. More powerful, and a highlight of the program, was McGovern's moving rendition of "Mary, Did You Know?."


In the elegant setting of 54 Below, McGovern and her show, with its emphasis on hope, brought a truly welcome gift of cheer to an audience still shaken by the mayhem at the Connecticut grade school but a few days earlier. Eager to participate, and given the nod, most everyone in the room enthusiastically joined her on Irving Berlin's iconic "White Christmas." It was that kind of night.
Maureen McGovern continues at 54 Below through December 23rd.


Peter Leavy
Cabaret Scenes
December 18, 2012
www.cabaretscenes.org

Remembering when....

McGovern and Other Assorted Divas: (left to right) Leslie Uggams, Maureen, Marilyn McCoo, Domingo, Stefanie Powers, Patti LaBelle and Susan Anton and (not pictured) Juliet Prowse, on "Placido Domingo Steps Out," May 1985.

 

 

"Different Worlds" by Maureen McGovern named Top 10 of Best TV Theme Songs!

 

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
ON BEHALF OF ALL WHO ARE IN NEED FROM HURRICANE SANDY.
1-800-733-2767 // www.redcross.org
For more information, click here.

 

The following YouTube video was forwarded to me.

How amazing it is that 40 years later this song would have such a specific meaning today.

So much pain... so much sorrow. May it still bring some hope.

For all who have endured the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, you are in my prayers.
May you find comfort and be restored.

Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

October 2012

 

 


August 2012

 



Boston Pops pays grand tribute to Gershwins

By Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle Staff


Monday August 27, 2012
LENOX -- In setting the scene for Friday night's Boston Pops "Gershwin Spectacular," the orchestra's conductor Keith Lockhart credited brothers George and Ira for helping forge a distinctly American musical style by fusing jazz, Tin Pan Alley and classical idioms into a stunning catalog of compositions during a 13-year burst of creativity from 1924 to 1937.

A better tribute than the one assembled by the Pops team for a highly appreciative audience of well over 10,000 would be hard to imagine, thanks not only to the orchestra's ability to capture the essence of George Gershwin's jazz and Ravel-influenced synthesis of symphonic style but also luxury casting of Broadway baritone extraordinaire Brian Stokes Mitchell and Maureen McGovern, the 40-year show-biz survivor who still remains best-known for "The Morning After," from "The Poseidon Adventure" that topped the pop charts in 1973.

"It was recorded when she was 5," Lockhart quipped as he introduced the ever-glamorous songstress (now 63) for a 20-minute set that began with a torch-song melange of "Love Walked In" and "Embraceable You" but quickly segued to a moody take on "Summertime," a scat-inflected "Little Jazz Bird" and a trio of Harold Arlen classics (the only non-Gershwin element of the program) that included "The Man That Got Away," "Stormy Weather" and the showstopping "Blues in the Night."

Vocally, McGovern demonstrates considerable prowess in her ability to spin a long lyric line and weave sentiment as well as hard-headed cynicism into her musical tapestry. Her mellifluous, wide-ranging soprano is an especially good fit with the orchestra and remains well-preserved, in the best sense of the term.
Mitchell, of "Ragtime," "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Man of La Mancha" fame, is a consummate showman. He plays to the crowd with humorous gusto (as in his "Slap That Bass" duet with BSO-Pops double-bass player Larry Wolfe) and a witty rendition of Sportin' Life's "It Ain't Necessarily So" complete with audience singalong. His medley of " ‘S Wonderful," "Fascinatin' Rhythm" and "I Got Rhythm" served as a showcase for stylistic versatility combined with an uncanny combination of vocal power, breath control and sense of timing.

Mitchell united with McGovern for an inspired collaboration on the class-conscious "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" from the Gershwins' first Hollywood musical score, the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers 1937 film "Shall We Dance."

Despite the high-wattage star power, the night belonged to the Pops, Lockhart and stalwart arranger Don Sebesky, whose orchestral transcription of the piano Prelude No. 2 was especially memorable. Likewise, kudos to Sid Ramin, the Boston-based orchestrator who's now 93, for his version of "Love is Sweeping the Country," performed by the Pops with big-band virtuosity.

However, Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev delivered an idiosyncratic, improvisational version of "Rhapsody in Blue," marred by a few dropped notes, some off-kilter rhythm and several mangled passages. His small-scale pianism was no match for Lockhart's boldly sweeping interpretation. Though he cuts a cute figure on stage, Takushev turned out to be a not-ready-for-prime-time player.

As their final piece de resistance, Lockhart and the Pops synched nearly perfectly to the closing ballet scene from "An American in Paris," the colorful 1951 MGM musical that won the Oscar for Best Picture as a showcase for the impossibly debonair Gene Kelly and the sweetly charming ingenue Leslie Caron in her cinematic debut. Although the big screen in front of the Shed initially balked for its descent to join the show, all went well during the 16-minute sequence.

The Gershwin score was modified with some typical Hollywood touches for the film; thanks to precision timing (only slightly off the mark during the brief tap-dance scene), chalk this one up as another Tanglewood triumph for the Pops players, Lockhart and veteran PBS-TV classical-music producer John Goberman.

For sheer dynamism and professional flair, the orchestra remains in the best of hands with Lockhart (in his 18th season) presiding over an ever-widening range of popular repertoire.

 


May 2012

 

MUSIC REVIEW
Pops' themes hail New England, American icons
By Jeffrey Gantz | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT MAY 28, 2012


Maureen McGovern joined Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Saturday at Symphony Hall. (HILARY SCOTT )

This year marks the centennial not only of Fenway Park but also of Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House as a museum. Saturday at Symphony Hall, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops paid tribute to the author of "Little Women" in a concert featuring Maureen McGovern, who played Marmee in the original cast of the 2005 Broadway musical "Little Women."

The first half of the evening was called "The Heart of New England," and it began with the Pops performing John Williams's stirring "Hymn to New England" against a backdrop of photographs taken by Art Donahue for the "Main Streets & Back Roads" segment of WCVB-TV's "Chronicle": spacious skies, amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties, and the odd white church steeple poking through autumn foliage.

Then the program went back to 1882 and what Lockhart referred to as "the O.J. Simpson trial of its time," in which Lizzie Borden was charged with killing her mother and father. He noted that there's "a rather gruesome song" about the murders (the Chad Mitchell Trio's "Lizzie Borden"), but what the Pops served up instead was a pair of selections from Morton Gould's score for Agnes de Mille's 1948 ballet "Fall River Legend." The "Elegy" was full of spooky woodwinds; the "Cotillion" sounded like a New England version of the "Hoedown" from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo."

Next, Lockhart turned to the man he called "the original cranky New England composer." That would be Charles Ives, and though Ives's knotty, idiosyncratic oeuvre is not exactly standard Pops fare, the third movement of his "Concord" Piano Sonata is named "The Alcotts" and was inspired by Louisa May and her father, Bronson. The Pops played it in an orchestral transcription by Henry Brant that preserved the parlor-piano ambience and the references to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Then McGovern sang "America the Beautiful" ("And crown thy good with brother- and sisterhood"), "Here Alone" and "Days of Plenty" (both from "Little Women"), and "Ordinary Miracles." She was in good voice -- you would hardly have guessed that it's been 40 years since her breakout hit, "The Morning After."

After intermission came "Visions of America: A Photo Symphony," a 45-minute multimedia work that combines powerful images from Joseph Sohm's book "Visions of America: Photographing Democracy" with music by Roger Kellaway, a Waban-born New England Conservatory graduate, songs by the Oscar-winning team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and narration by Clint Eastwood. Kellaway was a tiger at the piano, and torrential in his "States of Union -- 50 State Rag" number. The best of the songs, "To the Eyes of a Star," was sung by Maureen McMullan, a Berklee College of Music graduate.

 

cabaret scenes review

April 2012

 

Carry It On Banner

Check Itinerary for theatre information!

 

Maureen McGovern charms in 'Carry It On'
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 8:00 AM
By Peter Filichia/For The Star-Ledger
 

She doesn't just answer the famed question, "Where were you in '62?" Maureen McGovern also assesses where she is at 62.


Yes, in "Carry It On," McGovern's captivating and genuinely moving one-woman show, the singer freely owns up to three score and two years.

Of course, fessing up to one's age is what people always do when they don't remotely look that age. And McGovern definitely doesn't. Her vocal cords have remained in shape as well.

"Carry It On," now enjoying a substantial success at Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, is mandatory theatergoing for Baby Boomers. McGovern mentions a time when Buffy meant "St. Marie" and not a vampire slayer. She's here to talk and sing about Howdy Doody, "Father Knows Best," the Beatles and the doors.

No, not Jim Morrison's group -- she's talking about the many metaphorical doors through which she's gone since she grew up Catholic in Youngstown, Ohio. The doors opened wide for her skyrocket success as the voice of two Oscar-winning songs from disaster movies. Then they slammed shut. McGovern doesn't shy away from telling about her bouts with obscurity and many humiliations. As she wisely notes, "An artist never wastes a good heartbreak."

Nor does an artist fail to make a comeback if she has the talent, determination and good fortune. And this is a splendid return.

There's got to be "The Morning After" in any McGovern show, and the lady does not disappoint. In addition, there's one selection from "A Chorus Line" and a couple by the Beatles. She beautifully sings a Bob Dylan song, which may annoy those who prefer his gargle-with-razor-blades voice but will please everybody else. Add to these a "Happy Birthday" song that's hardly the four-line one we've all sung since time immemorial, but an actual happy birthday march. Through it all, McGovern proves herself equally at home with pop, jazz, folk and musical theater.

Another tune a -- medley of snippets of '50s and '60s pop songs -- may, on the surface, sound unexciting. After all, how many thousands have there been? But McGovern's hit parade doesn't involve actual words. She instead assembles all the nonsense syllables that were the backbone of novelty songs. Even those Boomers who bought every 45 single, eight-track tape and album will be surprised that there are so many. It's the evening's most hilarious highlight.

Pianist Jeffrey Harris accompanies McGovern with skill and sensitivity. The rapport they share goes a long way in making the evening seem to be a lovely after-dinner entertainment. McGovern makes the stage her own personal living room and is cozy-comfortable in it.

McGovern tells many a story about friends and relatives. She and director and co-writer Philip Himberg somehow make them universal, as if they're about everyone's folks and friends.

And now that her audience members are no longer babies and are hardly booming, McGovern tackles the inevitable issues of health care and health scares.

At one point, she asks, "How did we gawky girls turn out to be such captivating women?" There's no denying that McGovern made that leap.

While "Carry It On"will run only two more weeks, it deserves to run two more years.

Yes, we'd still need her, yes, we'd still feed her when she's 64.

'Carry It On'
Where: Two River Theater Company, 21 Bridge Ave. Red Bank
When: Through April 22. Wednesdays at 1 and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. How much: $37 to $57. Call (732) 345-1400 or visit trtc.org.

 

 

Over the River for Sinbad, Lidia Bastianich, Maureen McGovern
Check out what's going on at the Count Basie and Two River theaters this week.
By Edward Van Embden

Maureen McGovern in Carry It On Preview

 

March 2012

 

 

Wentzville Logo

Maureen McGovern Takes Listeners on a Long and Winding Road
The award-winning singer, whose career spans 40 years and 25 recordings, will perform at The Sheldon Concert Hall.


By Doug Kaufman March 16, 2012

St. Louis-In an award-winning career that has spanned 40 years and over 25 recordings, singer-actress Maureen McGovern keeps coming back to her true passion - performing live.

"I just love performing," McGovern said by phone from an extended concert stop in Palm Springs. "The show is a journey every night. It's a train we get on together - the audience and myself - and take this journey. It's cathartic in a way, for me. It's also just a joy - I work with such incredible musicians, and I feel very blessed about that. And at 62, to still be doing what I love, I'm grateful for that too.'

McGovern is the vocalist behind Oscar-winning songs "The Morning After" from "The Poseidon Adventure" and "We May Never Love Like This Again" from "The Towering Inferno," which earned her the nickname "The Disaster Theme Queen" in the '70s. But McGovern's current nickname, "The Stradivarius Voice," is perfect for her performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Sheldon Concert Hall, a cozy, acoustically perfect venue in St. Louis.

Maureen McGovern

"I love small, intimate theater, and I always do something in the show a cappella and off mike," she said. "I love it, because the audience, I can feel them breathing with me. So I'm looking forward to that."

The majority of The Sheldon concert will feature McGovern singing from "The Long and Winding Road," her latest CD.

"It's all Boomer, singer-songwriter classics from what the New York Times calls the second half of the Great American Songbook," she said. "In the '70s I was the Disaster Theme Queen, and then I went to Broadway in the '80s and started doing jazz and theater and classical, pop, Great American Songbook and big band stuff. I immersed myself in all that music. So this is kind of a coming home."

McGovern started out as a folk singer, singing and appreciating the music of James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jimmy Webb, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman and others.

"Great songs by those iconic singer-songwriters. Putting the show and the album together was like re-living my whole youth," she said, laughing. "I decided not to do it as a museum piece, but as what's relevant about these songs today. You take Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are a Changing' and that could have been written this morning. That's just a classic, classic piece."

Revisiting songs by those artists, plus The Beatles, Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Judy Collins, was a pleasant trip down memory lane.

"Going back to explore this - it was just a very rich time of my coming of age,' she said. "Listening to the songs informed my very philosophy of life. So it was a joy to do this."

McGovern is an accomplished actress who has performed numerous times on Broadway and other stages in dramas and musical comedy. She has also appeared on television and in films, including memorable roles as the lounge singer in "The Towering Inferno" and the singing nun in "Airplane" and its sequel. Her acting chops came in handy when McGovern created her one-woman show "Carry It On, an on-stage memoir she has performed several times. There will be elements of that at The Sheldon.

"'The Long and Winding Road' just takes the music and some of the things that we miss from our youth, and how times have changed," she said. "Whereas the other is literally a storyline of my life."

McGovern enjoys interacting with the audience.

"When I first started out, I was profoundly shy and would go immediately from one song into the next, hoping never to have to say anything. But now you can't shut me up," she said, chuckling, "so yes, I do talk."

Regardless of the music's time of origin, it reaches across the generations.

"People seem to respond," she said.

McGovern helps frame the songs for those who may not be familiar with them.

"I kind of put them into context as to what the inspiration for the song was, or what was happening during that time," she said. "And I've approached the songs in a new way. I'm not just doing a copy of how they were originally done. I obviously try to make them my own, but also (find) what's relevant, wha't's fresh about this... So that was the challenge, but also the fun part of putting this together. People will say to me, 'I've heard that song a million times - I never knew what it was about (before).'"

Music can speak to people in many ways, which is why McGovern is a strong advocate of music therapy.

"Music has an innate power to it that reaches inside and grabs you in a very profound and deep way, more than any conversation could do," she said. "And it sort of stays there. I've worked with music therapists and patients, and it's amazing - music therapy is not necessarily a cure for cancer, but it certainly aids in the healing process. It also aids in education, it aids in physiotherapy. People, after strokes, learn to walk sooner if they integrate music into the actual physiotherapy of it. There are a million applications as far as how music is helpful and is complementary in the healing process."

Clearly, McGovern understands the power of music, and what her singing can do.

"Music to me is a heightened conversation," she said. "It prints upon your mind and soul, just in a deeper way than a normal conversation would."

After 40 years, McGovern's musical conversations are still highlighted by her rich, sonorous voice. A fact her fans heartily acknowledge after shows.

"I'm signing CDs at the end, and people come back and they go, 'Yeah, you still got it.'"

Hearing this never gets old, and McGovern works to make sure she continues to hear it.

"If you treat your voice well, it treats you well back," she said. "You have to approach your life as if you're an athlete in training."

So McGovern makes sure to exercise, eat right, get plenty of sleep and do regular vocal warm-ups before concerts and even when she isn't performing.

"I feel it's a gift I've been blessed with, and you have to treat it with respect," she said.

Besides, when people call you "The Stradivarius Voice," that comes with high expectations. Speaking of which, what does she think of that nickname?

"It beats the 'Disaster Theme Queen,'" she said, laughing.

McGovern is at a point where she can pick and choose when and where she performs, allowing for plenty of relaxation time back home in central Ohio with her dogs Rocky, a 16-year-old Yorkshire terrier, and Hannah, a 12-year-old Yorkie/Silky cairn terrier mix. But even though travel can be a challenge, she has no plans to slow down.

"Most people talk about 'when they retire,' and that's always been a foreign word to me," she said. "I hope to sing till I drop. As long as people want to hear what I have to sing and say, then I'm glad to do it."

Getting There

Maureen McGovern will sing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. Tickets are $40 orchestra, $35 balcony and are available at www.metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111.

 

Broadway World Logo
Broadway World Logo

Kennedy Center sets new season

Rare perf of 'Guardsman' skedded

By PAUL HARRIS

Posted: Tue., Mar. 6, 2012, 12:16pm PT

The Kennedy Center will revive Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar's 1910 farce "The Guardsman" next season and host six touring productions including "The Book of Mormon" and "War Horse," the center's president Michael Kaiser said Tuesday.
Gregory Mosher will direct a new translation of the seldom-produced "Guardsman." Best known for the 1924 Broadway production featuring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, its sole Broadway visit, and a follow-up film by the duo in 1931, tells the story of an insecure husband who disguises himself to test his wife's fidelity.

Kaiser unveiled the theater schedule along with all other performance elements of the center's 2012-13 season.

Sked will include touring productions of Roundabout Theater Company's "Anything Goes," "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," "Jekyll and Hyde" and "Million Dollar Quartet." The center will also host a return engagement of Ireland's Druid Theater Company with three plays by writer Tom Murphy and host a festival of five productions from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Dubbed "Nordic Cool 2013," the fest will include a production of Henrik Ibsen's "The Wild Duck" by Oslo's National Theater and the Royal Dramatic Theater of Stockholm's "Fanny and Alexander," a stage performance of Ingmar Bergman's Oscar-winning feature film. The monthlong affair will also include Nordic dance, music, film, visual arts and literature components.

The KenCen's musical theater skein will also include the sixth season of its Barbara Cook Spotlight series of cabaret-style performances with perfs by Judy Kuhn, Maureen McGovern, Donna Murphy, Adam Pascal and Terri White.

Nathan Gunn, Garry Hynes, Donna Murphy, Adam Pascal
Set for Kennedy Center 2012 Season

By Brian Scott Lipton March 6, 2012 Washington, DC

The Kennedy Center has announced its 2012-2013 season.

Highlights of the season will include a new production of Fernec Molnár's The Guardsman, adapted by Richard Nelson and directed by Gregory Mosher; Tony Award winner Garry Hynes' production of DruidMurphy, featuring the works of Irish dramatist Tom Murphy; and Francesca Zambello's production of Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein's Show Boat, currently playing in Chicago.

From February 19-March 18, the Center will present Nordic Cool 2013, which celebrates the arts of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Among the performers are Norway's National Theater, Tamperere Workers Theatre, Royal Dramatic Theatre, Teatre Gruppet 38, ice percussionist Terje Isungset, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Danish Dance Theater, and the jazz pianist Víkingur Olafsson.

The Center will also present the national touring companies of The Book of Mormon, War Horse, Anything Goes, Jekyll & Hyde, Million Dollar Quartet, and Irving Berlin's White Christmas.

Cabaret performers in the Barbara Cook Spotlight Series will include Tony Award winner Donna Murphy, Adam Pascal, Judy Kuhn, Terri White, and Maureen McGovern.

The National Symphony Orchestra will feature such guest artists as Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Anne Soffie von Otter, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Anne Sophie-Mutter, while the NSO Pops, led by conductor Steven Reineke, will feature Robert Flack, Chris Botti, Seth McFarlane, Julia Murney, and Jennifer Laura Thompson.

In addition to Show Boat, the Washington National Opera will present Anna Bolena, Norma, Manon Lescaut, Don Giovanni, and Hansel and Gretel, along with two large-scale concert performances by Nathan Gunn and Diana Damrau.

Dance performances include presentations by the National Ballet of Canada, Mariinsky Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Shen Wei Dance Theatre, among other companies.

Jazz performers will include Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier with Jason Moran, along with The Heath Brothers, Kurt Elling, Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, Charles Lloyd, Jack DeJohnette, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

For more information, visit www.Kennedy-center.org.


January 2012

 

 
Broadway World Logo
PS Follies' HOT!HOT!HOT! Lives Up To Its Title
 

McGovern

 

Incredible to believe but the Palm Springs Follies is in its 21st season with an all new production called "Hot!Hot!Hot!" Equally unbelievable is the fact that I have seen and reviewed 10 of these shows since 2005, which means I've returned sometimes twice in one season. I'm really hooked on the Follies. You know why? It's one-of-a-kind. There's nothing like it anywhere. It has beautiful ladies - and none under 60. It has stunning gentlemen - the youngest ... 58 years young. These folks can dance and sing and lead the parade as if they were still in their prime. Well, I guess they are, and age, like the saying goes, is just a state of mind - at least if you look that good. Their music includes the good old standards of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s-songs that they truly know how to sing, because they grew up listening to and singing them.

 

 

 

And of course, those glorious costumes are simply gorgeous to look at! The performers, the music, the costumes - is that enough? Hell, yes!

Hot!Hot!Hot!, tributing summer music madness of the 50s and 60s, hardly falls short of its colorful apparel in lovely shades of orange, pink and purple. And the blue/green sequin outfits in Act II for the dance tribute are to die for. The blue sequined baseball uniforms for a tap sequence in honor of America's greatest pastime at the end of Act I ain't too shabby either to the strains "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "Shoeless Joe" from Hannibal Mo. Praise to Joan Palethorpe for her resourceful staging and choreography.

Guest star Maureen McGovern is truly one of our greatest singers with an instrument that has been compared to a Stradivarius. What a range! The voice soars on "Over the Rainbow" and then gets down and gritty with "Blues in the Night." It's such passionate artistry, you could listen for hours, so bring her CDs home with you! She's there through March 10: don't miss her! Ventriloquist Brad Cummings and his mini dinosaur Rex are back again due to popular demand. Pre-hysterical!! These two acts certainly contribute to making this edition of the Follies live up to its title "Hot!Hot!Hot!"

Follies creator Riff Markowitz' stand-up comedy - no matter how many times I have heard the same jokes about Palm Springs being a haven for gays and the aged ... "You all come here eventually ... to die!" - remains a dependable laughfest. His inimitable way with audience members is uniquely entertaining. Hot!Hot!Hot! is a great show. Will I be back next season? You'd better believe it.

Visit: www.psfollies.com for tickets and further info, as show plays through May 20!

 


Thanks to everyone who has written and left guestbook entries!

Always for Da Diva,

Brian (Buddy) Daher

For previous news about Maureen, please click on

Previous Latest News

Updated 6/2013


Back to Home Page Check out Maureen's Itinerary CD Order Info