A concert for those of you following Comstock/Fasano’s weekly offering ‘72nd and Song,’ unaware fans, and those hungry for sophisticated online entertainment, this is a jazz oriented, “zig-zag” through genres by the veteran couple who do it best. “We know you’re out there,” Fasano opens. “We’re picturing you here in this beautiful room.”
“Comes Once in a Lifetime” (Jule Styne/Betty Comden & Adolph Green) and “Lucky to be Me” (Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden & Adolph Green) are a jolt of happy starting the evening off with a smile. ‘Love the claps and snaps. Burton Lane/Ralph Freed’s “How About You?” follows suit, inserting …and Doctor Fauci’s looks give me a thrill…“The song was introduced on screen by Mickey and Judy and if you need last names, in the words of the great Bobby Short, there’s the door,” Comstock quips.
“New York, as we know,” he continues, “is a riddle wrapped in a conundrum, wrapped in a knish. Its soundtrack is diverse, complex and sometimes cacophonous, but if you’re really lucky, you find the right person to shut out all that noise.” “I Cannot Hear the City”(Marvin Hamlisch/ Craig Carnelia – Sweet Smell of Success) is a beautiful song rendered with palpable complicity and tenderness, side by side from the piano bench.
“Remember” (Stephen Sondheim – A Little Night Music) is given a more contemporary arrangement than that to which we’re accustomed. Comstock manages to keep its integrity making it sound more relevant. This is true of a number of this evening’s choices. Fasano’s version of “Marcie” utilizes superb control and sliding octaves while jazz-tinting musical approach. (Joni Mitchell, whose work was “a bit of a mantra” for the vocalist back when) Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin’s “My Ship” (Lady in the Dark) is straight ahead and affecting.
A medley from the couple’s show Downtown Abbey Road features three songs by Friedrich Hollander who followed Marlene Dietrich to Hollywood – the first written with Sammy Lerner, the second and third with Frank Loesser. A snippet of the iconic “Falling in Love Again” (in German, then English) leads into breezy, urbane interpretations of “I’ve Be in Love Before” and “You’ve Got That Look.” Comstock’s “Just a Gigolo” (Leonello Casucci/Julius Brammer/Irving Caesar) is aptly fatigued, resigned, and just a tad bemused. Again, arrangement is original.
“Put on Your Sunday Clothes” (Jerry Herman- Hello, Dolly!) creates a footbridge to a swinging “Broadway” (Teddy McRae/Bill Bird/Henri Wood.) A capella and counterpoint are nifty. Performance is effervescent. Keep your splendid silent sun;/Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods; …Give me interminable eyes! give me women! give me comrades and lovers by the thousand!… Give me such shows! give me the streets of Manhattan!…the erudite Comstock quotes Walt Whitman’s ‘Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun.’
The concert closes with Kenny Rankin/Ruth Batchelor’s “Haven’t We Met?” with wishes that we “bump into each other on the street and hug in the not to far future.” It’s sunshiny and expansive.
No advance registration is required to view digital presentations of Cabaret at Café Sabarsky, which will remain online on demand. This performance is being offered at no charge, and we are so glad that we can connect and bring the community together with the power of music.