Lee Musiker, Josh Groban, Susan Graham, Barbara Cook, John Pizzarelli, Jessica Molaskey, Sheldon Harnick, and Ted Rosenthal at Carnegie Hall.
Lee Musiker, Josh Groban, Susan Graham, Barbara Cook, John Pizzarelli, Jessica Molaskey, Sheldon Harnick, and Ted Rosenthal at Carnegie Hall.
(© Richard Termine)

Tony Award winner Barbara Cook celebrated her 85th birthday one week early, on Thursday, October 18, with a special concert at Carnegie Hall.

Cook, joined by a four-piece band led by Ted Rosenthal, performed her critically acclaimed show, Let's Fall In Love, which she debuted earlier this year at Feinstein's at Loews Regency. Highlights of the show included "Georgia on My Mind," "House of the Rising Sun/Bye, Bye Blackbird," "When Sunny Gets Blue," "The Nearness of You," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "Here's to Life."

After Cook concluded her 90-minute set, she was surprised by a bevy of special guests, beginning with guitarist John Pizzarelli, who read a letter to cook from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He was then joined by his wife, singer Jessica Molaskey, for a duet on "I Want to Be Happy/Sometimes I'm Happy."

They were followed by opera superstar Susan Graham, who delivered a bravura rendition of Meredith Willson's "Till There Was You," which Cook introduced in The Music Man; lyricist Sheldon Harnick, who performed a musical tribute to Cook set to the tune of "She Loves Me"; and international pop superstar Josh Groban, who performed a stirring version of Stephen Sondheim's "Not While I'm Around."

The guests later joined Cook for a private reception upstairs at Carnegie Hall. Let's hope for an encore performance next year!