Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four? John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Remember when those lyrics seemed like an amusing hypothetical situation? In her wonderfully nostalgic cabaret show at Birdland, Maureen McGovern (herself “62 and change”) reminds us that, yes, time has passed, but we’re still here and the songs that we loved in the 60s are still relevant and enjoyable now that some of us are in our sixties.
While Thursday night’s sold out crowd at Birdland included many Baby Boomers who grew up with McGovern (remember “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure?), there were many new fans present, too. McGovern can still belt out a song, taking us soaring with “Up, Up and Away,” the breezy tune made famous by the Fifth Dimension, then switch gears and deliver an emotional ballad like Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me” or Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die.”
In between songs, she held those “dangling conversations,” expounding on everything from marriage, to kids, to growing up and moving on. The subtitle of the program, “Looking for Time and Love in the Digital Age,” was best represented by Paul Simon’s “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.” After her energetic presentation, McGovern mused that breaking up via Facebook and Twitter must now be added to the list.
A show stopper was McGovern’s rendition of “If I Had a Hammer,” that timeless anthem to protest movements, no matter the cause or the decade. Including the song near the end of the program guaranteed that the evening would finish on a high note and give us much to think about for days after.
Jeff Harris, piano
Jay Leonhart, bass
315 West 44th Street
Friday, November 11, Saturday, November 12, 2011