Christine Ebersole: After the Ball

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Christine Ebersole

After the Ball

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, April 5, 2017

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Christine Ebersole

If you saw a glow in the sky above Manhattan on a recent spring weekend, it may have come from West 54th Street. There, lighting up a packed house at Feinstein’s/54 Below, was Christine Ebersole performing her sparkling show After the Ball—a generous program of theater, film, and popular classic numbers, interspersed generously with reminiscences from her career on stage and screen. 

With a bright trio in perfect sync with her—Larry Yurman (MD/pianist); Adam Fisher (cello), and Jack Cavari (guitar)—Ebersole, wearing a simple black dress, chatted, told family stories, and joked with her delighted audience. And she sang—gloriously. With her crystal-clear soprano, she covered generations of music, ranging from such oldies as “After the Ball,” “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goo’ Bye!)” (an Al Jolson specialty), on which she took a chorus on kazoo; “The Way You Look Tonight,” (from the Astaire/Rogers film Swing Time); “My Baby Just Cares for Me” (added to the score of Whoopee! for its film version, for Eddie Cantor);  the sweet “Wait Till You See Her” (a Rodgers  & Hart classic written for By Jupiter); and the Gershwins’ “’S Wonderful” (Funny Face).

Other selections included “I’m Old Fashioned” (Johnny Mercer/Jerome Kern), “Autumn Leaves” (more Mercer, with Joseph Kosma); Frank Loesser’s “Inchworm”; a poignant “(Have I Stayed) Too Long at the Fair” (Billy Barnes) and—bringing a tear to the eye—Romberg and Hammerstein’s “When I Grow Too Old to Dream.”

Audience demand brought her back on stage for an encore: Ellen Fitzhugh and Larry Grossman’s “I Do What I Can (with What I Got)” (Paper Moon) – with which she bowed off to long and loving applause.

Peter Haas

Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.