Steve Ross: My Manhattan

| March 30, 2017

Steve Ross

My Manhattan

Birdland, NYC, March 21, 2017

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Steve Ross
Photo: Kevin Alvey

“I happen to like New York  …”

The spirit behind Cole Porter’s lyric filled Birdland on a March evening as Steve Ross, alone on stage, playing piano, singing and chatting to a packed house, celebrated a long-standing love affair between himself and what he calls “My Manhattan.”

Seemingly sprinkled with the fountain of youth, Ross presented an elegant menu of New York songs—numbers that stretched back to Victor Herbert/Henry Blossom for “The Streets of New York (in Old New York)” and celebrated more modern sophisticates of song such as Vernon Duke (“Autumn in New York”), Rodgers and Hart (“Manhattan,” “A Tree in the Park,” “I Gotta Get Back to New York”), and Porter (“Take Me Back to Manhattan” and a lesser-known, upbeat number titled “Please Don’t Monkey with Broadway”). Stephen Sondheim was represented as well, with a salute to “Another Hundred People” (who came to town you-know-how ) and “Broadway Baby.”

In a rare move within a cabaret show, Ross interrupted his music-making to chat with the audience, relating: his growing up in New Rochelle and Washington, DC; his turn in the Army, where he directed shows for the troops; and his coming to New York in the 1970s. The rest is cabaret history.

Then it was back to song, with a little-known number by Dietz and Schwartz, ”When You’re Away from New York Town” from the Mary Martin vehicle  Jenny, which Ross sang as a duet with himself, thanks to a pre-recorded  snippet. The finale: Ross and the audience joining voices in what he called “the American anthem”: Cohan’s “Give My Regards to Broadway”—ending a generous, warm-hearted evening of song, story, and class as only Steve Ross can deliver.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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