Eric Comstock, Sean Smith, Barbara Fasano

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Eric Comstock, Sean Smith, Barbara Fasano

Birdland, NYC, March 5, 2022

Reviewed by Ron Forman

Sean Smith, Barbara Fasano, Eric Comstock

Eric Comstock, Sean Smith, and Barbra Fasano offer a weekly all-new show at 5:30 pm each Saturday at Birdland. The timing of the show is perfect for an after-matinee or before-evening Broadway show, offering dinner and a great musical experience. As the hour is too late to call it a brunch, Comstock amusingly called it a “dinch.”

Seeing Comstock perform is like getting an education in the Great American Songbook; his knowledge of it is encyclopedic. His stories and anecdotes are always interesting and amusing and often laugh-out-loud funny. Comstock and Fasano are the current masters of the art of a husband-and-wife team, interacting with each other on stage. Both performers are accomplished vocalists whose voices work very well when singing solo, but also blend beautifully in their duets.
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Comstock’s piano stylings and Sean Smith’s excellent bass playing add much to their sophisticated shows.

Comstock opened with a string of somewhat obscure but amusing songs, including a hilarious performance of Dave Frishberg’s “Let’s Eat Home.” Paying tribute to the Ukranian resistance, he performed a song from the film Rich Young and Pretty with music by Ukrainian-born Nicholas Brodszky (lyric Sammy Cahn). Smith performed his a bass solo of his own composition, “Ismere.”

Fasano joined Comstock and Smith on stage and opened with Stephen Sondheim’s “Old Friends.” She described her courtship with her husband, mentioning that they had been married for 18 years, and then sang a very Lena Horn-ish “How Little We Know.” (Phil Springer/Carolyn Leigh).
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After some interesting and amusing comments about Carolyn Leigh, she introduced a delightful song by Leigh and Cy Coleman that Comstock had uncovered—“Little What If.” The she lovingly sat at the piano next to Comstock for a New York medley of “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and “Broadway.”

The show closed with a very lively duet on “The Good Old Bad Old Days.” The encore had Fasano once again sitting lovingly next to Comstock at the piano for “Pardon Me, Haven’t We Met.”

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.