The Cabaret At the Columbia Club; Feb.
Andrea Marcovicci is a cabaret legend,
an artist who has held court in the Algonquin Hotel’s storied
Oak Room for over 20 years. So her arrival for two nights of
performances at downtown’s Cabaret At the Columbia Club, as
well as a Saturday afternoon workshop, was a coup.
But for the uninitiated among us, Ms.
Marcovicci seemed, at first, a decidedly acquired taste. For one
thing, the woman has a vibrato that would make a mourning dove blush.
Her vocal chops are not subtle and her interpretive skills tend to
aim over the top.
But Marcovicci’s show, an
anthology of songs derived from movie history, was smartly literate
throughout and the joy she communicated for her audience and for that
extraordinary room created a magic of its own. Her treatment of the
less sentimental songs on her set list, like “Hamlet,”
made famous in 1949 by Betty Hutton, was dexterously witty and her
conflation of “The Way We Were” with “Thanks For
the Memory” demonstrated her gift for creative reinvention. By
the time she was done, Marcovicci had staked a memorable claim.