Barbara Cook's Broadway

Thursday, 20 May, 2004

Though in her mid-seventies Barbara Cook still shines with energy and the moment she walks on stage her face beams at the audience. You immediately sense that nothing ever beats this lady, not even a throat infection that meant her opening night being pushed back from the 11 to the 20 May. Though still not fully recovered, her melodious voice is still a pleasure to listen to.

The show is a collection of Broadway hits, many of which Barbara Cook appeared in when she was still a Broadway musical star, long before she became a concert and cabaret artist. At each show Ms Cook sings a selection of songs chosen from 16 Broadway musicals. With tunes written by the likes of Irving Berlin, Rogers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, to name just a few, any lover of musical theatre is going to think they have died and gone to seventh heaven.

At this performance we were treated to such classics as ‘What’ll I Do’ ‘It’s Not Where You Start’, “In Buddy’s Eyes”. There were a few instances when Ms Cook’s voice faltered slightly on the higher notes, but considering she is still recovering from a throat infection, one must make allowances. As it was, each song was sung with emotion and her silvery voice still filled the auditorium. She also tells us some funny anecdotes concerning the many big personalities she has met over the years, which all adds to a delightful evening.

There is no question that Ms Cook is charming and lovable and has an amazing singing voice, however this is still a show for musical theatre fans. So, if you are always playing CD’s of your favourite musicals of the last fifty years then you would be a fool not to spend the evening with this most agreeable host.

Alan Bird

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