Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano, Sean Smith

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Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano, Sean Smith

Birdland, NYC, December 29, 2019
Reviewed by Ron Forman

Sean Smith, Barbara Fasano,
Eric Comstock

Eric Comstock and a piano—what a perfect combination! Add Sean Smith’s remarkable work on bass and the vocals of the beautiful Barbara Fasano (Mrs. Comstock) and you have the recipe for a wonderful way to have dinner at Birdland in the heart of the theater district either after a Saturday matinee or before a Saturday evening show. Comstock performs a different show each Saturday at 5:30 PM. The amiable singer/pianist does more than sing and play the piano extraordinarily well; he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Great American Songbook and his comments are filled with interesting, amusing, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny information and anecdotes about the songs and the people who wrote them.

Comstock opened with a lively “’S Wonderful.
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” Sadly, the show was performed just one day after the passing of Jerry Herman and Comstock paid tribute first with a medley of “It Only Takes a Moment” and “You’re My Best Girl.” Later he would do a very well acted, poignant performance of Herman’s “Time Heals Everything.” His performance of Ivor Novello and Jack Buchanan’s “And Her Mother Came Too” was hilarious. He and Smith combined to perform Smith’s composition, “Old School.”

Fasano joined Comstock for a lovely duet of “Old Friends.” She then paid homage to Jerry Herman with “Ribbons Down My Back.” After saying that Frank Loesser meant for the song to be sung in July or August, she sang “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” She closed her portion of the show with her husband joining her for a delightful “Put on Your Sunday Clothes.”

Comstock added fresh updated lyrics to Cole Porter’s “At Long Last Love.” He then included the seldom-heard verse for a softly beautiful rendition of “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (and Dream Your Troubles Away),” which featured a Smith solo that brought applause from the audience. Comstock closed with another very funny song, Noël Coward’s “Home Sweet Heaven.”

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.