Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The Broadway Moonlighters and their Girl Singer
Barbara Cook joined the Broadway Moonlighters under the direction of Jonathan Tunick at Birdland last night. It was Big Band Heaven! Barbara sang Nashville Nightingale, Autumn in New York and Sooner or Later. The Broadway Moonlighters, comprised of three trumpets, two trombones, five wind intruments including clarinets (sometimes plus Maestro Tunick), bass clarinet and saxaphones, a stand up bass, a drummer, and Lee Musiker on piano, were all there moonlighting on their night off from pits around Broadway. Oh man, the joint was swinging! The band pleased the audience all night, playing jazz standards and even a rendition of the Tunick orchestrated overture to Merrily We Roll Along which practically earned a standing ovation. The set list included two Tunick originals - Buffet Luncheon, an original featuring the clarinets in honor of the Buffet Clarinet Company in Paris, and Pumpkin Lane, after the exit on the Taconic Parkway. We all joined in on Let it Snow and they finished up the evening with Lullaby of Birdland. The audience was full of small world encounters - my friend Jan of Broadway and Me was there to see her husband K knocking us dead in the trumpet section, as was my Little Love, who sat next to her! My friend Kate Baldwin and her husband Graham Rowat were sitting at the table by us and they were joined by Miss Cook! Kate filled me in on the terrific news that she's just about finished her first episode of Law & Order: SVU. Thank goodness she's not playing the victim! Tony winners Priscilla Lopez and Kelly Bishop were behind us. Original production of Gypsy alum, Harvey Evans (replacement farmboy!) and Alice Playten (replacement Baby Louise), shared a table. Margaret Colin and her husband Justin Deas and his The Guiding Light chum Ron Raines were all there too. Marni Nixon was across the room too - thank goodness she didn't try to ghost sing for Miss Cook! I let myself pretend that we were in a swank supper club in the 40s and even treated myself to a dirty martini. The only thing missing from the evening was a dance floor!