List and Commentary: (Compiled by Melanie)
- “I Happen to Like New York”: She opened with this song as her opening music, the *illegal*
photo Mom took was taken in the moment she got on stage and into her song.
herself afterwards, saying her pianists (Michael
and Chris Walker) were “Roles Royce’s” in the music world. Maria said that one of them was conductor for
a concert for the Queen of England and her other pianist was the musical director for London productions Ragtime and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She went on saying how she was curious as to what she should
make this show about. Maria gave the microphone to Chris asking him:
“What were we going
to sing about?”
“We decided to do
a show about Post-Freudian influences on 20th Century music.”
to be a long night!”
- “Taking a Chance on Love”: This song I was thrilled to hear. Maria sang this song in “Blues
in the Night”, a show she did back in 86’ and I have a rare footage of her singing this song on video during a
concert version. ^.^ She did an interesting twist on it, and made the song richer by changing the tempo for certain verses.
Laurie and I then proceeded to sing this song all day long the following day while walking thru the Metroploitan art Gallery!
- “Move On”: This song was so beautiful. It was a duet from Sunday in the Park with George,
a show she did in 90-91’. She sang a verse straight to me, and when I smiled, she smiled back and continued to sing.
The high notes in this one gave me chills.
- “The Man with the Child in his Eyes”: No matter where you sat, you couldn’t take your
eyes off her face for this one. She expressed such sorrow and sadness through her eyes and her movement. A poignant moment
would be during the second show, as the piano played, she gave a powerful expression of a woman’s face trying hard to
hold back from bursting into tears.
- “Paris in the Rain”: This song is one of
my favorite songs on her solo album. This was also the last song I expected her to sing! It was done beautifully and for many
of the verses she sang with enough action that everyone could picture that she was in Paris
At the second show, after we had met her between them, Mike played accordion during a segmaent of this song.
Well to our suprise he came out onto the floor right infront of our table and serenaded Laurie and I! When Maria saw what
he was doing, she smiled and started to laugh. After the song was over, she smiled again and said:
“That was just a little serenade for you girls” She turned to the rest of the crowd and said “These
girls are special guests tonight, they knew me while I was in London and came
here to see me tonight, they’ve got all kinds of drawings and pictures, and they’re wonderful!” The crowd
turned all their eyes on Laurie and I, we were sitting there innocently in complete disbelief at what she had just said.
“Now, where are you from again?” She turned to me and tilted the microphone to my table.
“Oh, Rhode’s Island.” She said it wrong the first time, but laughed when I
repeated and she realized she had messed it up. Maria then walked over to Laurie and asked where she was from and Laurie replied:
- “The Folks Who Live on the Hill.”: I never heard this song before Saturday night. It’s
a sweet song and the piano part reminded me of “My Ship”. Afterwards Maria said that this was a song she
still hopes would come true one day.
- “Short People”: -dies laughing- Just remembering this song makes me crack up laughing! Maria
who is such an animated performer, got so into this song it was ridiculous! She had hysterical movements and I will
never forget how she sounded when she sang this line:
“They got them, little cars that go –in a squeaky voice- Peep! Peep! Peep!, they got them little voices
like ah –in a low, almost bizarre, husky voice- “Eeee! Eeee! Eeee!”
This song was my favorite one at both shows, Laurie and I never laughed so hard. Maria mentioned as she bragged about
her pianists, she joked about their terrible singing and how she “guess they have to get their way at some point tonight”.
As the middle of this song came up, Michael and Chris starting singing the song too! Maria turned to look at them pityingly
and shook her head. The second show she actually turned around and playfully shouted:
This song was then connected and turned into the following one...
- “Twisted”: This song is actually one that I knew from Bette Midler. I couldn’t wait
to hear her version. Well, after “Short People” concluded, she threw her arms over the piano, and said in a serious
voice “My analyst told me.” And then started the whole song after the audience laughed. There was an Asian woman
sitting a table away from me and she never stopped laughing! The second show, Maria (out of nowhere!) after she sang a verse,
threw her head back and laughed like a maniac.
- “Tom’s Diner”: This was a song that I only knew the title to. I heard she sang it well
at her New Ambassadors concert but little did I know how it sounded like. Laurie, who saw the show Friday night, told me it
was a pop song that was popular a few years ago. I recognized it immediately after Laurie hummed it. This song was one of
the best. Maria had no accompaniment for this song. She sang it all alone and then after she sang each verse, shifted into
this next song. It was so beautiful.
- “The Way He Makes Me Feel”: This song was beautiful. Mom had told me that it was from Yentl. It had been years since I saw that movie, so I didn’t remember how it
went. As soon as she sang the last verse of “Tom’s Diner”, the piano cued up and this song began without
any pause between. The song went by fast and the highlight would be the climatic chorus towards the end; which she sang with
a great deal of power. At the end of this song, as she held the last note to this song, the piano began to play the notes
of “Tom’s Diner” and she hummed the melody to “Tom’s Diner” before the lights dimmed.
- “Play that Song Again.”: This also started with no pause for cheering. But as soon as I heard
the familiar piano chords, we started clapping and cheering anyway. This song is featured on her first solo album and
is one she is quite known to sing (it starts slow and then reaches an incredible speed at the end). I mouthed the words the
second show, and when she looked at me I finished lip-synching the line and she smiled. Better then the song itself was the
story she told the audience about it. She said:
that song in Switzerland for a concert of nearly five
thousand people and I talked really slow so…that…everyone…in…the…audience….would hear
and understand me. Then I sang that!” She laughed. “So of course, everyone in the crowd was just like,”
And she made a hysterical facial expression showing the shock that audience must have had.
- “In the Sky”: I completely expected Maria to sing this. Whatever concert she is in, she sings
this song. Maria spoke to the audience about the history of the song:
“In all shows that I do, I always have a sort of serious part, mainly because I don’t want this music to
be forgotten, this is the music I feel should live on. This next song was written in Germany
during 1942. And as you know, 1942, the Nazis came around and went here, took all the Jews and put them in the ghetto, which
is the Vilna ghetto. But in this group was the most extraordinary group of people who encouraged the community to write music,
and poetry and hold dances even thought they were all aware of what was happening around them. And they held a song competition;
this song was written by a twelve year old boy living in this ghetto and he wrote about the suffering and confusion as to
why all of this was happening. He won that competition, and this is the song.”
There was no other more poignant moment in the night then this song. I’ve heard it live before on a live BBC
2 radio broadcast on the internet, but this was where I saw the power and the intense emotion break through physically and
every person in that crowd was moved.
- “There’s a Boat that’s Leavin’ soon for New York.”: This song was the break- away from the serious segment and was enjoyable.
It –once again- was a song I hadn’t heard before and was purposively humorous. There were a few laughs from the
audience before it began because she said (referring to the last song)
is a song for the ones that got away.”
Gorgeous”: -dies laughing again- This song was such a treat to see live! This
is another song from her first solo album and it is hysterical. The second night, she
turned right and stared down the guy next to me as she said:
“Look….at….me….I….am….GORGEOUS!” Her whole face lit up and the song began.
Her facial expressions were laughable at this, but funnier then anything was the variety of movements she did for the three
“Look at this…-she pointed to her eyes- Look at that! –her smile-“ and then finally “Look
at those!” For the first show, she threw up her hand and boosted up her left
breast. That was too funny. Laurie and I cracked up. The second show: she did the same with the eyes and the smile, but just
stuck her chest out. For the line that came afterwards, stuck the left side of her hip towards the audience and shook her
derriere side to side. When the song ended, she picked up her microphone stand
“Oh…it’s so true. Don’t you just love singing songs that just feel good too sing? I’ve
sung some great ones but that one just fits me like a glove!”
- Sondheim Medley: “The Road you Didn’t Take/In Buddy’s Eyes/Too Many
These were the most beautiful songs of the night. They each shifted into each other. I hadn’t heard any of them before
but I’m certainly glad I heard them from her first. She talked, before the song began, about her and her first meeting
with Steven Sondheim at the “Being Alive” gala concert that was in 89’. When she asked the crowd:
“Who here has heard of the Theater Royal Drury Lane?”
She turned to Laurie and I when she saw both of our hands go up!
“Well I know you two have, You girl’s know everything huh?” She laughed.
Perhaps the most glorious moment of this medley was the climax of the song “Too Many Mornings”. She belted
out such a strong note and held it for so long that when it faded away, the crowd was silenced. I never saw anything like
it. That moment is forever latched into my memory because I’ve never seen anyone captivate a room with three lines.
- “Broadway Baby”: This song was also great to see live. It’s the feature song
and its one of her best known. She explained to the crowd that this was the first song Steven Sondheim ever heard her sing.
“When I saw everyone
else’s beautiful gowns they were wearing, I thought ‘Oh, my gosh! What
I am going to wear? But then I decided, ‘let’s do this song a new way; I’m going to do this my way.
So I decided to wear- what do you call it here? Jog shoes? Sweats?” She looked around. A woman called out:
“Sneakers!” Maria said enthusiastically. “Exactly! So here I was in my t-shirt, sweat pants
and sneakers and sang this song.”
When she prepared, she took several steps back from the microphone, smiled and said:
“Now picture me on
a big stage.” She lowered her head. When she lifted it back up, her eyes were wide and wandering around. Maria seemed
to step back in time and completely recreate what she had done. Her eyes had that innocent vulnerability in them and with
small steps and wandering eyes; she reached the microphone and sang.
- “The Way You Look Tonight”: This was a pleasant surprise! I knew she sang a
with this title, but I had no idea it was the one that Frank Sinatra sings! I’ve heard that song for years and years
every time my Mother listened to him. Whenever I heard the title, I always thought of the Elton John song. Maria’s version
was beautiful. She sang this as an encore song and then bowed one last time. Maria mentioned before the song began that it
was one of her favorite songs and that she loved Jerome Kern (composer).