Review: Andrea Marcovicci at the Cabaret

Andrea Marcovicci, a cabaret legend, performed an anthology of songs from movie history this weekend at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club.

3 stars

The Cabaret At the Columbia Club; Feb.

26.

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.

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