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Paulanne Simmons

''I'll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II''


''I'll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II''
Andrea Marcovicci
Town Hall
123 West 43rd St.
Friday, Feb. 23rd 8 p.m.
$45 & $40 (212) 840-2824
Previewed by Paulanne Simmons

Back in 1987 Walter Cronkite saw Andrea Marcovicci's show at the Algonquin. After the show, Cronkite, who is the father of a friend, told Marcovicci, ''Those songs from World War II…if you did a whole night of that, it would really make men cry.''

Andrea Marcovicci. Photo by Heather Sullivan.

And so she did. And so it does.

Speaking from her home in California where she lives with her eleven-year-old daughter, that's the way Marcovicci remembered the beginning of the show she will be doing at Town Hall on Feb. 23, ''I'll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II.''

Since it premiered in 1991 on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the show has gone through many transitions. But Marcovicci says throughout it has remained her most popular show, whether she has been accompanied by an eighty-piece orchestra or a lone piano.

Marcovicci attributes the show's success to the timeless quality of the songs. ''Young people come with their parents and their dates. When they're courting, the love songs they need are always there. Every few years they discover the old songs.''

She believes these songs are particularly powerful today when the country is again at war. ''I try not to make this a political show. But by the nature of the songs a statement is made. People are yearning for a black and white war as opposed to our quandary. I bemoan that we don't have music that is as powerful for our kids now.''

After Cronkite suggested a show composed of World War II songs, Marcovicci did two years of research. Since that time she's added new songs, dropped old songs and incorporated poetry into the show. The Town Hall show will be performed with a chamber orchestra in two acts, under the musical direction of Shelly Markham.

Although this is not the first time Marcovicci will perform at Town Hall (her first solo concert was in 1989), she still finds the venue special. ''After Carnegie Hall, Town Hall is the most influential hall in New York City,'' says the Manhattan-born singer. ''There's no seat in the house that doesn't seem intimate. I need the balcony as much as I do the front row.''

At Town Hall, Marcovicci will sing the songs of Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer and Jule Styne, among others. With that kind of repertoire, it's not surprising to find out Marcovicci's favorite singers include Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Judy Garland. But she says she's also crazy about Billie Holiday and Joanie Mitchell. And with an eleven-year-old daughter she admits to enjoying the music of pop stars like Rufus Wainwright and the sister of her protégé Maude Maggart, Fiona Apple.

Marcovicci has performed in films, on Broadway and in concert. But she says the cabaret is ''where my freedom lies.''

''In the audition world of film and T.V., you have to wait for the phone to ring,'' she explains. ''But I can always research a song and I can rehearse on my own schedule.''

This spring, Marcovicci will be back in New York City at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel performing ''just love…By Request'' (''I take requests from a top hat; it's insane.'') and then at the 92nd St. Y singing songs by composer/lyricist Leo Robin in the Y's ''Lyrics and Lyricists'' series. In the fall she'll be back at the Algonquin with a tribute to Larry Hart.

And, says Marcovicci, ''Who wouldn't love a show on Broadway?''

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