Andrea Marcovicci: Crossing Time

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Andrea Marcovicci

Crossing Time

Tom Rolla’s Gardenia, West Hollywood, CA, July 28, 2017

Reviewed by Les Traub for Cabaret Scenes

Andrea Marcovicci
Photo: Maryann Lopinto

Andrea Marcovicci’s opening number, a medley of “The Lilac Tree” (“Persipacity”) (George H. Gartlan) and “One Life to Live” (Ira Gershwin/Kurt Weill), offered a glimpse of the Marcovicci persona: the delight she has in the small romantic gesture (“Tying apples to a lilac tree!

”) and the mantle of “Queen of Cabaret” (“If there’s a party I want to be the host of it.

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”) This show didn’t dig deep into a songwriter’s oeuvre, or capture an era as many of her others do, but rather took a journey back and forth through time over a hundred-plus-year span of songs to look at the stages of life and to reflect on her own life.

Contributing to the poignancy of the evening was the fact that she was celebrating 32 years from when she first stepped up to the mic at the Gardenia and changed the face of modern cabaret.

Her vocal tone was very conversational which served the lyrics well and established an immediate bond with the audience. Her material ranged from a delightful story song “Henry” (Shelly Markham/Judith Viorst), a beautifully delivered ballad, “Ribbons Down My Back” (Jerry Herman), a nod to Mabel Mercer (“Is it Always Like This?”) by Alec Wilder, and an Irving Berlin medley harking back to the Marcovicci at Midnight evenings.

Ever on the hunt for hidden gems, Marcovicci uncovered some shining examples, all beautifully delivered and all by female songwriters: Babbie Green’s (with music by John Boswell) “And I Dance”; Francesca Blumenthal’s “Between Men”; and Christine Lavin’s “The Kind of Love You Never Recover From.” The word count of lyrics in that song and in several others during the show was well into triple digits and Marcovicci delivered them flawlessly.

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What can be said of the partnership with her musical director, Shelly Markham? They are joined at the hip, in the hep sense of the word.  

Les Traub

Les Traub has been covering the cabaret scene for over twenty years. He is a co-founder and President of Cabaret West and has produced cabaret shows at the Jazz Bakery, Cinegrill, Gardenia, El Portal Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and at UCLA. He co-produced and wrote a Sammy Cahn tribute show at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. He is Chairman of the Board of Musical Theatre Guild, where he co- produced Sail Away, High Spirits, Little Mary Sunshine and Street Scene at the Alex Theatre. He has lectured on cabaret in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Connecticut. .