Monday, March 9, 2009

Music Review | 'Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams'

#JazzBluesFlorida #jazz #blues #Florida #Concerts #Festivals #Clubs

Bloggers Note - Barbara & Eric visit Florida each year for an engagement in the Royal Room Cabaret at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. As the article suggests, it is a wonderful show!

If Banks Fail in Yonkers: Songs for the Meltdown

Published: March 9, 2009
David Goldman for The New York Times

Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock, with Sean Smith on bass, performing at the Metropolitan Room.

Meet the new fun couple on the cabaret block; you may have known them when they were single. Eric Comstock, singer, pianist, aesthetic heir of Bobby Short and droll walking reference book of traditional American pop-jazz, was the brains behind the successful Off Broadway revue “Our Sinatra.” His comely wife, Barbara Fasano, who bears a distant vocal resemblance to Lena Horne, is best known for her Harold Arlen album, “Written in the Stars.”

Their first extended engagement together, “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” is a friendly housewarming at the Metropolitan Room in which they go out of their way to cheer up neighbors facing foreclosure on their cozy cottages.

The show reminds you that there is a song to suit any situation, even a financial meltdown. If Ira Gershwin’s lyrics for “Who Cares?” don’t offer expert accounting advice, they suggest that a cheerful attitude toward looming bankruptcy can help dissipate panic: “Who cares what banks fail in Yonkers/Long as you’ve got a kiss that conquers?” That giddy, optimistic love song is joined to Stephen Sondheim’s hyperbolic romantic pitch “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow,” a song to which Mr. Comstock imparts a faintly ominous undertone — the narrator is a little too eager to make the sale.

Conceptually this smart and amusing show follows an arc that begins with fantasy and denial (“Use Your Imagination,” “Not a Care in the World”), slips momentarily into despair (“Brother, Where Are You?,” “Remember My Forgotten Man”), then after several tangents including a trip to Brazil (“You Don’t Have to Know the Language,” “A Rainy Night in Rio”) returns to face grim reality with renewed determination and a restored sense of values.

As the jaunty, winking ’30s jazz song “A Hundred Years From Today” puts it:
And why crave a penthouse that’s fit for a queenYou’re nearer heaven on Mamma Earth’s greenIf you had millions what would they all meanOne hundred years from today.

“Nowadays,” a Kander and Ebb song from “Chicago,” gives the same live-in-the-moment message an edge of desperation: “men everywhere, jazz everywhere, booze everywhere, life everywhere, joy everywhere, nowadays.”

This show, in which Mr. Comstock and Ms. Fasano are accompanied by Sean Smith on bass, ends with “Ain’t We Got Fun,” an early ’20s salute to domestic canoodling as the ultimate panacea: “Not much money, oh but honey, ain’t we got fun?”

Along with that other swinging cabaret couple, John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, who live just down the block, Mr. Comstock and Ms. Fasano are turning the neighborhood into a hotbed of pleasure. Is this the new Peyton Place?

“Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams” runs through Sunday at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, Flatiron district; (212) 206-0440,


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