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Cabaret hierarchy rules at the Barns

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Entertainment,Music,Emily Cary

Andrea Marcovicci is the singer's singer whose very name is synonymous with cabaret. Since 1987, she has been a fixture in the Oak Room of New York's Hotel Algonquin delivering in her silky voice the whole catalog of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer and just about every American composer of the 20th century who mattered. When the club closed last year, it left a void in her life which Marcovicci is filling at the Gardenia in LA and by touring and presenting master classes. On Saturday, she shares some of her favorite movie songs with the Barns of Wolf Trap audience.

"My opening show at the Oak Room, 'Marcovicci Sings Movies,' became a recording," she said. "I followed it 10 years later with a concert and recording, 'Marcovicci Sings Movies II,' which I'll do at Wolf Trap. My shows develop organically from listening to my heart and the songs that are there.

"Movies have a huge impact on our lives. They influence how we approach love, the way we wish to be treated, spoken to and caressed. I was raised seeing Fred Astaire on screen and hearing the sounds of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland singing, so the music I love goes back to my earliest childhood memories. A song like 'Hi Lilli - Hi Lo' will echo through my life forever.

"One of the most meaningful songs I'll sing at Wolf Trap is 'When She Loved Me' from 'Toy Story 2.' Anyone who has had a child within the last 20 years will know it. I'll be backed by Shelly Markham, my trusty accompanist and composer. It's very important for me to share my music with audiences wherever I perform, so I always wait after the show to meet them and have CDs they can take home and enjoy many times over."

Onstage
Andrea Marcovicci
» Where: The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna
» When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
» Info: $27; 877-965-3872; wolftrap.org

Marcovicci has balanced her career between acting and singing. Her first television appearances were as a guest singer on the "Mike Douglas" and "Merv Griffin" shows, followed by the soap opera "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" and the film "The Front," for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year in 1977. She has since appeared on numerous television series and in great roles penned by the likes of William Shakespeare and Woody Allen. Her Broadway and Off-Broadway shows include "Ambassador," the title role in "Coco," "Chaplin" opposite Anthony Newley as all the actor's wives, "Finian's Rainbow" and dozens of others. Her latest film was "Driving by Braille."

She frequently appears in concert with major symphony orchestras. One of her most popular shows, "I'll be Seeing You: Love Songs of WWII," is requested around the country and in Normandy in recognition of the original Band of Brothers. Her talents do not end with singing and acting. She is the recipient of Lincoln Center commissions for directing and writing her Noel Coward and "Kurt Weill in America" shows. Her "Skylark: Marcovicci Sings Mercer" recording was commissioned by the Savannah Music Festival.

Marcovicci's seminal recordings celebrating musical memories created by Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Mabel Mercer and many others are always in vogue. Since 2004, she has had her own label, Andreasong Recordings. It is not surprising that she has an enormous collection of obscure sheet music.

"The only composers I ever met and shook hands with were Burton Lane and Sammy Cahn, but I did see Hildegarde. Donald O'Connor and Frank Sinatra and admired them from afar," she said. "They are among the many people who inspired us through movie music. My next project is 'Moonlight Cocktail,' a tribute to the nightclub era."

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