Richard Malavet: Very Good Years: The Intimate Sinatra

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Richard Malavet

Very Good Years: The Intimate Sinatra

Metropolitan Room, NYC, July 24, 2015

Reviewed by Marilyn Lester for Cabaret Scenes

Richard-Malavet-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212How many folks get the chance to pay a grand public homage to an idol, particularly one who’s an icon and legend? That good fortune belongs to Richard Malavet whose new show, Very Good Years: The Intimate Sinatra, is a loving tribute to “The Chairman of the Board” in his centenary year. Backed by pianist Janice Friedman (subbing for John di Martino), with Paul Myers on guitar, Boris Koslov on bass and Shinnosuke Takahashi on drums, Malavet handily launched into a melodious “You Make Me Feel So Young,” followed by a lively, Latinized “Night and Day.

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” Therein followed a chronology of Sinatra songs special to Malavet, interspersed with just enough narrative to set up meaningful context.

Malavet has an easy manner and a bright, engaging smile, which easily reflect his singing style and the generally mellow tempos of his song list.

“This Love of Mine” and both the Spanish and English versions of “Once I Loved” were all delivered with sincerity and affability.

About a third of the way into the show, he got fully into his stride with an up-tempo “I’ve Got the World on a String” and a fluid “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me,” the first two works scored within the illustrious Sinatra-Nelson Riddle collaboration. Several of Malavet’s selections reflected his Latin heritage, including foot-tapping arrangements of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “All the Way,” “Let’s Fall in Love” and “The Summer Wind.” In the intimate stylings of “I’m a Fool to Want You,” “All or Nothing at All” and “Put Your Dreams Away,” Malavet’s admiration of Sinatra as a self-described saloon singer was especially apparent.

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  “Frank Sinatra is the Great American Songbook,” Malavet declared; this ardent, sincere tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes” absolutely proved the point.

Marilyn Lester

Marilyn Lester left journalism and commercial writing behind nearly two decades ago to write plays. That branch in the road led to screenwriting, script-doctoring, dramaturgy and producing for the stage. Marilyn has also co-authored, as well as edited, books. It seemed the only world of words she hadn’t conquered was criticism, an opportunity that presented itself via Theater Pizzazz. Marilyn has since sought to widen her scope in this form of writing she especially relishes. Marilyn is a member of the Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild, Women in the Arts and Media and The League of Professional Theater Women.