Peter Nero & Philharmonic Pops Team Up with Andrea Marcovicci For Valentine’s Day

 If you are looking for a very special way to say “I Love You” to that important person in your life, or just to treat yourself to a very special evening, plan to attend the Love Songs of World War II on Monday evening, February 14.  The concert will be held in the Au Rene Hall at the Broward Center for Performing Arts and begins at 8:00 PM.  Tickets may be purchased at the box office, by calling 954-462-0222 or online at www.curtainup.org.

A Chat With Andrea Marcovicci
By Tom David, Arts Editor

 Andrea Marcovicci, “torch singer, spellbinder, heartbreaker” (People), was hailed as the “most Sinatra-like” of the new generation of cabaret performers by Life.  She has “an incandescent enthusiasm and a masterly balance between poignancy and wit”, says The New York Times.

 Andrea Marcovicci began her career as an actress in the soap opera “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”  She has performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, in films and on television.  But her forte is cabaret or concert performances and that is what we are being treated to here in Fort Lauderdale on Valentine’s Day.  She makes her home in Los Angeles, but keeps busy, on the road performing all over the world.  I managed to catch up with her on Monday, January 31 to chat a bit about her upcoming trip to Fort Lauderdale and her performance at the Broward Center for Performing Arts.

 What is it like being an actress, chanteuse, wife and mother all at the same time?  How do you ensure each performance remains fresh and unique?  How do you adapt to performing in venues from a small cabaret to a huge concert hall?   These are some of the questions I posed to her.

 Miss Marcovicci, mother of a four year old daughter and wife to a busily working actor, spends an average of 12 days a week (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) away from home and in a non-average week much more.  So who plays “mommy?”  That role falls to her husband, actor Daniel Reichert, who evidently does a smashing job of it.  So much so that the daughter calls her father Mommy and her mother Daddy!  There is a lesson in this somewhere.

 We talked a great deal about the music she’ll be performing (well known and not so well known music from the 40’s, the war years) and how tremendously it impacts the veterans in the audience.  Florida has the greatest concentration of WW II veterans in the entire United States and Fort Lauderdale has more than its fair share.  She says in the first several rows,  where she can still make eye contact with her audience, she sees great displays of emotion, ranging from tears to jollity.  Spouses of the veterans are equally affected.  At the conclusion of concerts like this she asks for the veterans to stand and be applauded. She pointedly then makes sure all veterans from all wars stand to be equally applauded.

 When asked how she copes with performing in spaces as widely divergent as an intimate cabaret to a large concert hall, she responded, “If you can reach the front row you can reach the very back row.”  Each gesture, may look effortless to the close up rows, but is actually pointedly exaggerated to be felt in the far distances of the hall.  The same amount of energy is needed regardless of the size of the venue.  Yoga and walking on a treadmill make up her exercise regimen.

 In addition to her busy singing schedule, future performing plans include a fully staged production of Lady in the Dark at the Hal Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia.  Being the busy lady that she is, she is pretty well booked until January 2001, at which time she plans to take four months off from singing and take a holiday by making some “fun television movies!”

Phildanco! Flies through the air in an outstanding evening of dance!
By Tom David

Whoever said man was not meant to fly has not seen Phildanco perform. These sleek, well-trained dancers broke all sorts of gravity barriers last night in their performance at Amaturo Hall in the Broward Performing Arts Center. What powerful dancers they are!  Every movement  was up and outward from the group and upward once again.  The energy streaming forth from these dancers was highly contagious and you could see audience members literally on the edge of their seats as they watched the performance raptly. 

The company performed four dances, “Labess II”, a simple dance of joyousness of place and a celebration of self acceptance.  “Echoes” was a tribute to Alvin Ailey, a dancer not unknown for high-flying, “La Valse” to the stirring waltz music of Maurice Ravel, and finally, “Beattyville”, an energetic and happy tribute to master choreographer Talley Beatty.  Each dance was unique in its own way, but similarly united by the soaring upward and outward movement of the bodies.  The Graham legacy and training in the dancers was evident, evident also that they had learned their lessons well.

It is impossible to give any one dancer more credit than the other. If for no other  reason, 
they didn’t remain still long enough to figure out who was who from the program.  No matter!  This company exhibited strong team work and gorgeous dancing.  It was a wonderful way to spend an evening and the audience continuously let them know their appreciation with whistles, loud applause ands shouts of Bravo.

The Phildelphelphia Dance Company (Phildanco) may be reached at phildanco@aol.com for information about future performances.

ART
The Great Debate
By Tom David

 There is nothing subtle about the production of ART, currently playing at the Parker Playhouse.  Hanging prominently center stage, at a slight tilt, its face away from the audience, is a canvas.  Its presence invites all manner of pre-show speculation.  The Playbill takes it a step further by proclaiming the title of the show on its cover in bold primary colors.  No doubt, the topic of the evening’s entertainment is to be ART.

 How many essays, dissertations, comedy routines, dramas, etc., have been written about art?  I dare say thousands.  In each, the creator is expressing his or her opinion about the work under discussion.  They like it.  They hate it.  They LOVE it.  They DETEST it.  They’ll pay a fortune for it!  They wouldn’t put it in the barn.   Hundreds upon hundreds of words are employed in the discussion of art and in so doing, personal relationships are often made, forged, tested sorely, and broken.  

 The human race, being a somewhat literate one, enjoys all this fuss over whether something is good art, bad art or even art at all.  The dramas that unfold, the broken marriages, the custodial fights - all for ART are good examples of the role art plays in our lives.

 The play, ART, as written by Yasmina Reza, and translated by Christopher Hampton, is but one more example of this on-going debate about art.  She employs three characters and an expensive piece of art to unfold ninety additional minutes to this debate.  She writes cleverly and the actors perform admirably.  The set is sleek and artful.  It is an enjoyable, and not a trivial evening.

ART, playing at the Parker Playhouse through Sunday, February 13th.  
For tickets telephone (954) 763-2444.
 

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