A Stand Out Performance by Andrea Marcovicci
Also see Richard's review Upright Grand
The legendary Andrea Marcovicci recently returned to the San Francisco premier nightclub the Rrazz Room. Over the years I have seen this amazingly talented singer and actress from the Algonquin's Oak Room to the Plush Room to the current Rrazz Room. Each time, she broke the fourth wall between her and the audience.
The Queen of Cabaret has veiled, fragile-edged vocal cords and a fluent voice made less for display than for clarification. She melts inside a lyric and changes registers with a decorative phrase that illuminates a melody's arrangement. She still has a good voice, especially in the middle and lower registers. Andrea Marcovicci is a dedicated charmer and she was compellingly enchanting in her 80 minute show called Smile.
The singer explored suggestions of cheerfulness while performing songs of profound optimism. She sang enthusiastic tunes of the Depression era, from "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries" to songs with a murkier undercurrent. She told the audience that there was a recession in 1921 after World War 1 with soldiers returning from the battlefields of Europe who could not find jobs or housing, and then she sang the most popular song of the day, "Ain't We Got Fun."
Andrea Marcovicci paid tribute to Bing Crosby by wonderfully singing "Mairzy Doats" and "Zing a Little Zong" (although personally I don't equate these songs with Bing). She even reached back to the early 20th century with a bouncy version of "12th Street Rag." Hildegarde was honored as she sang the sweet and simple "Umbrella Man," and she honored the great Fred Astaire with "Isn't This a Lovley Day" segueing into "Pick Yourself Up." There was a little bit of cynicism when she sang "Shakespeare Lied," a kind of remedy to the old-style love song.
The legendary songbird was beautifully backed up by her pianist and arranger Shelly Markham who also joined her in singing several selections. Daniel Fabricant also backed up Marcovicci on bass and he was outstanding jiving "Slap that Base."
Andrea Marcovicci played the Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco through August 5th. For more information the room, call 800-380-3095 or 415-394-1189 or visit www.therrazzroom.com . Barbara Cook is coming to the Rrazz August 21 through August 26th.