My Christmas Song for You
THE CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) November 30, 2006 Andrea Marcovicci, 'My Christmas Song for You' (Andreasong) 3 stars By Richard Pratt It's entirely fair to refer to Andrea Marcovicci as a diva, assuming you've got the classic definition in mind: a distinguished female vocalist, as opposed to a pretentious prima donna. Marcovicci, a film and television actress turned Broadway maven, has been dubbed 'The Queen of Cabaret' for her torchy nightclub style. She enhances her musical resume yet again with her first holiday album, sure to strike a chord with those who treasure the American popular music of the mid-20th century. From the bright, lilting strains of 'Christmas Waltz,' and 'Sleigh Ride' to the playfully coy 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,' Marcovicci glides effortlessly through the classics, including the big-band standard 'Blue Champagne' and the Peggy Lee-Cy Coleman soother 'Christmas Lullaby/All Through The Night.' A romantic original, 'The Gift,' was my favorite. There's no pretense here: Marcovicci sincerely cherishes the songs she performs, and it shows. Relax, and enjoy. -- Best song: 'The Gift' THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS (Birmingham, Alabama) December 1, 2006 A Pitch-perfect Christmas ANDREA MARCOVICCI, 'My Christmas Song for You' - Andreasong Recordings ***** By Alec Harvey There's not a voice out there quite like Andrea Marcovicci's. The cabaret singer and sometime actress can wrap her pipes around ''White Christmas'' and ''The Christmas Song'' like nobody's business. This CD is a class act all the way, featuring fun takes on favorites such as ''Sleigh Ride'' and ''Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,'' as well as a touching original, ''The Gift.'' THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN (Santa Fe, New Mexico) December 22, 2006 Andrea Marcovicci: My Christmas Song for You By Craig Smith Cabaret is highly stylized art. It expresses the immensely scaled emotions of life, love, and tragedy through perceptive, poignant or painful lyrics, almost tossed off in a safely intimate and musically shimmering setting. In that sense, it's the campfire around which we warm ourselves, or wonder, or weep, while dangerous eyes glint in the forest of the soul beyond. Thus, this album is at once as hieratic and formal as any ancient ceremony, and as new as tomorrow's sunrise. Marcovicci's magnificent voice and excellent diction inform every selection, and her superb supporting musicians and their idiosyncratic ways with familiar fare are as refreshing as an ice-cold martini. True, their versions of 'White Christmas', 'Silver Bells','Winter Wonderland', 'Sleigh Ride' aren't your standard kind of holiday music. Neither is Marcovicci's take on 'Silent Night', or on a blend of Peggy Lee's 'Christmas Lullaby' and the Welsh carol 'All Through the Night.' They all swing, or strut, or sigh, or simper, or even snort. But then, cabaret is the king of different. This is the kind of album best listened to by lovers - of each other, of the sultry, or of masters of style and craft. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (New York, New York) Sunday, November 26, 2006 Have a Merry Disk-mas - Chill out with the cool CDs of the season By DAVID HINCKLEY This year's holiday CDs don't include too much rockin' around the Christmas tree, but they offer some nice pickin', croonin' and cookin'. Among the music-only CDs, here are some of the selections - with their coolness ranked, of course, in jingle bells. 3½ BELLS (out of 3½ BELLS). ANDREA MARCOVICCI, 'My Christmas Song for You' (Andreasong) Familiar songs, sparkling piano and one delightful surprise after another, like starting 'Silver Bells' with the music to 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.' Marcovicci's phrasing is subtle and superb, giving a fresh twist to strong selections like 'The Christmas Waltz' and 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.' ALBANY TIMES UNION (Albany, New York) December 6, 2006 MUSIC - Holidaze Music By Greg Haymes Andrea Marcovicci's 'My Christmas Song for You' (Anderasong) finds the acclaimed cabaret singer capturing the intimate magic and melancholy of the holiday season with help from guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and cornetist Warren Vache. News from; AMERICAN THEATRE WEB 11/24/2006 Broadway and Beyond: CDs for the Holiday Season XM 28 On Broadway 'Broadway and Beyond' With Thanksgiving behind us, I feel like I can talk about holiday things, so let me start with some new CDs that are perfect for this time of year. If you're looking for the ultimately sophisticated holidaytime CD, well, look no further than Andrea Marcovicci's 'My Christmas Song for You.' On this disc, you'll find Marcovicci delivering traditional songs in smoothly elegant style. Who else than this consummate cabaret performer would pair 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' with Cole Porter's 'You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To'? It's a terrific combination that might even be deemed 'swellegant.' Marcovicci's rendition of Adryan Russ and Brad Ellis' 'The Gift' is filled with subtle emotion that stirs the listener and is followed by the classic 'Sleigh Ride,' where even on disc you can hear Marcovicci sparkling with each 'giddy-up.' A six-piece band, under the musical direction of arranger and pianist Shelly Markham, provides the perfect accompaniment for Marcovicci - delicate and witty. This has been Andy Propst of AmericanTheaterWeb.com TALKIN' BROADWAY.COM SOUND ADVICE: CURTAIN UP ON CHRISTMAS: by ROB LESTER Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too ...' It's time to hear the new holiday CDs. We're making a list and checking it twice. Most are dominated by the old standbys, but there are some less overdone songs, too - and even a few new ones. It's hard to beat Andrea Marcovicci when it comes to touching the heart - or breaking it. Just listen to her carefully shaded line readings: the tender 'angels will watch over you' ('Christmas Lullabye' by Cy Coleman and Peggy Lee) or the lament of 'the gift that I long to see is one that I know can't be' ('The Gift' by Adryan Russ and Brad Ellis). These are under-recorded gems, but My Christmas Song for You is full of warmly sung, finely etched moments from lyrics we have heard sung by everyone. Sure, other singers are more technically dazzling with steel-belted or crystalline voices, but few can imbue a song with so much personalized drama and attention to detail. Her singing style may be an acquired taste, but I was converted long ago, though it can take seeing her in person to really 'get' the whole picture. This particular album grew on me more and more as I listened, as some of it's strengths are the most subtle moments. An interesting choice for a Christmas album is an old big band era piece, 'Blue Champagne,' so appropriate for Andrea, for she is the champagne of cabaret singers: high class elegance all the way. When the lady lingers lovingly on a phrase like 'each little dream we knew' or the word 'boomerang' this song about memories becomes that itself - memorable! When she sings 'White Christmas,' she really sounds like she is remembering the sight of those treetops and the sound of those sleigh bells. It's all about painting - and then relishing - a delectable image, even elevating a simple one others might toss away, like the litany of common sights of the season in 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas' or 'Sleigh Ride' or 'Silver Bells.' She can make a lot out of adjectives that sound careless, coy or awkwardly old-fashioned when others sing them: 'delightful,' 'lovely,' 'appealing.' She embraces the word by enunciating it with precision and adding a wide smile. Longtime musical collaborator Shelly Markham adds many graceful touches as arranger and pianist. The six musicians usually don't go too heavy on the melody line for these well-known tunes, allowing for breathing room and mood instead. Occasionally, for contrast, the simple beauty of a melody is emphasized, as in an instrumental break on 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' a track where guitarist supreme Bucky Pizzarelli is featured. Integrating some songs just instrumentally enhances the drama almost subliminally: for example, a moody and slowed-down instrumental of the normally peppy 'There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays' sets the tone for 'I'll Be Home for Christmas.' That leads into another 'home' dream, Cole Porter's 'You'd Be So Nice to Home To,' somehow making it an honorary Christmas song. ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE (Little Rock, Arkansas) December 17, 2006 Seasonal song and dance: There'll be no silent nights with latest selection of merry music. BY JACK W. HILL Andrea Marcovicci, My Christmas Song for You, Andreasong A cabaret singer known for playing in the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York, she sings up a storm in the Sinatra tradition. She's having a good time, too. Grade: B- ABOUT ANDREA MARCOVICCI: ABOUT ANDREA MARCOVICCI: Andrea Marcovicci, the Queen of Cabaret, 'torch singer, spellbinder, heart-breaker' (People) was hailed as the 'most Sinatra-like' of the new generation of cabaret performers by Life Magazine. She "has the capacity to caress a song with a warming embrace... Marcovicci steals the heart ...the epitome of elegance and showbiz savvy," declared Variety, while Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times, 'Andrea Marcovicci has an incandescent enthusiasm and a masterly balance between poignancy and wit.' Cabaret legend Andrea Marcovicci has entertained sold-out audiences from coast to coast whenever touring her numerous critically acclaimed shows. She holds the record for the most seasons ever played at New York's legendary Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel - twenty-five years - and is the final performer ever to perform there! She's also played to sold-out houses at the esteemed LICEU Opera House in Barcelona, at Town Hall in New York, and at her Carnegie Hall solo concert. In 2005 Andrea released her very own Calendar replete with luscious photos and anecdotes of her life and career in television, film and theatre. An actress and singer, Andrea began on the daytime television series 'Love Is A Many Splendored Thing'. She debuted on Broadway in 'Ambassador', the musical adaptation of the novel by Henry James, staring Howard Keel and last appeared on the Great White Way in Frank D. Gilroy's play 'Any Given Day' with Sada Thompson. Her numerous appearances off-Broadway include 'Coco' at the York Theatre, 'The Wedding of Iphigenia', 'Variety Obit', and 'The Seagull'. She performed Ophelia to Sam Waterston's Hamlet for Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park. Regionally, she received rave reviews for leading roles in 'St. Joan', 'Burn This', and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' at the American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco and her most recent of many appearances at 42nd Street Moon, SF, (where Andrea had previously starred as Daisy in 'On A Clear Day'), in the title role of 'Coco', played to sold-out houses. In Los Angeles, she starred opposite Anthony Newley in 'Chaplin', portraying all the legendary actor's wives and starred in the Philadelphia revival of 'Lady in the Dark' at the Prince Music Theatre. Her film credits include: 'The Front' (nominated for a Golden Globe Award) with Woody Allen, 'The Hand' with Sir Michael Caine, 'The Stuff' with Michael Moriarty, 'Spacehunter' with Peter Strauss, 'The Canterville Ghost' with Sir John Gielgud, Henry Jaglom's 'Someone To Love' (featuring Orson Welles in his last film appearance), and 'Jack the Bear', as Danny DeVito's wife. Her many television appearances include 'General Hospital,' 'Arliss' for HBO, 'Cybil', 'Taxi', 'Magnum P.I.', 'Hill Street Blues', and 'Trapper John, M.D.', among others and numerous made-for-television movies. She has appeared in two Henry Jaglom films - 'Irene in Time' and 'Someone to Love' for which she provided commentary for the DVD release. Andrea was most honored to usher in the Millennium with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her concert work includes appearances with the San Francisco Pops, Florida Philharmonic, and Oregon and Ft. Worth Symphonies among others. Her 1993 Carnegie Hall solo debut, with the American Symphony Orchestra, was to a sold-out audience. Prior to that, Carnegie Hall commissioned 'December Songs' specifically created for Andrea by Maury Yeston. The concert was then reconceived as a ballet by Lynn Taylor Corbett and premiered with Andrea at The Carolina Ballet in 2002. Lincoln Center commissioned both her Noel Coward show and her 'Kurt Weill in America'. The latter was recreated for cast and appeared as part of the prestigious Lyrics & Lyricists series at the 92Y where Andrea has four times served as Guest Artistic Director and Director, and twice directed the 'Cabaret Concert for Young Audiences' at the New York Cabaret Convention. Enjoying the intimate art of cabaret performance, Andrea has appeared at numerous prestigious nightclubs throughout the country including the famed Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, The Rrazz Room in San Francisco, Le Chat Noir of New Orleans, The Gardenia in Hollywood, and many others. Her London cabaret debut in 1994 sold out a one-month engagement at the Music Room at Pizza on the Park. Sheridan Morley, theater critic of The Spectator and The International Herald-Tribune, called her 'the greatest cabaret star of her generation.' Peter Hepple in The Stage and Television Today wrote, 'Marcovicci cast her spell, with a voice of supreme tenderness, much rangier than at first appeared, with a thrillingly controlled vibrato, marvelous diction and phrasing that can only come from a skilled actress.' Andrea Marcovicci has performed at the White House and her numerous fundraising efforts have produced everything from building additions to aiding the disenfranchised. In recognition of her accomplishments in the arts, she is the recipient of several awards and honors including three Lifetime Achievement Awards and two honorary degrees.