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Cole, Cole Heart

Andrea Marcovicci returns to the Oak Room, this time with her fabulous Cole Porter show. logo
Andrea Marcovicci
Though she has lived in Studio City, California with her husband and daughter for some time, Andrea Marcovicci has become as much a fixture at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC as the lighting sconces. Over the past 14 years, the lady has performed many shows there on many different themes. She'll be offering her latest act, titled So In Love: The Love Songs of Cole Porter, from November 19 through January 11, following a highly successful run at the Plush Room in San Francisco. I recently caught up with Marcovicci on the phone and found her to be as warm and witty as ever.


THEATERMANIA: I really enjoyed your show in San Francisco. Will the program of songs be the same at the Oak Room?

ANDREA MARCOVICCI: For the most part. I was lucky to have three weeks at the Plush Room to work on it. I like it but I probably will make some changes -- switch some songs around or do a different encore. I recently did a two-act concert version of the show in Irvine, and I'll be doing that version at the Caramoor Festival in 2003 and at various other festivals.

TM: Had you performed the show anywhere else before San Francisco?

AM: No, we opened at the Plush Room. That was gutsy! Since then, I've done the show at the Gardenia [in L.A.] and in Dallas.

TM: One of the fun things about Porter is the fact that there are so many verses to some of his songs. Do you get into finding and performing unfamiliar lyrics?

AM: To some extent. The mixing and matching is a lot of fun but, as you probably noticed when you saw the show, I'm not doing as many of the patter songs as, say, Steve Ross would. I just feel that there are some interpreters of Cole Porter who are so far beyond what I can do -- Steve Ross being number one. So I really stay away from the patter songs, except for "Let's Not Talk About Love." And I've always had "The Physician" in my repertoire. Jeff Harnar does "It's Delovely" beautifully; he's guested with me at the Plush Room. He's going to do the same at the Algonquin, and Steve Ross is going to do "Can-Can." So I felt I could stay away from those types of numbers and hit the more soulful, more romantic Cole Porter songs.

TM: And that includes lesser-known selections.

AM: Yes, I have some marvelously obscure ones, like "Weren't We Fools?" That was written for Fanny Brice, and very few people do it. I do practically all of Nymph Errant -- "How Can We Be Wrong?" from that show is gorgeous -- and "How's Your Romance?" from The Gay Divorce. I also don't think a lot of people do "Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye." There's so much fun to be had when you include all of that great stuff. Oh, and I'm doing "Down in the Depths on the Ninetieth Floor" now. I do it really differently from anyone else, I think -- very seriously, almost like a folk song. Shelly [Markham, Marcovicci's musical director] came up with a lovely arrangement for it.

TM: I don't remember if you do "Miss Otis Regrets."

AM: No. Other people do it so well. And you know what else? Sometimes, when everybody knows what happens in a song, I avoid it. That's the reason I don't do "Guess Who I Saw Today?" It's very difficult to put a spin on that song when everybody knows the punchline. "Guess who I saw today? I saw you." Surprise!

TM: What else is coming up for you besides the Oak Room show?

AM: Well, I'm doing a benefit for my alma mater, Marymount Manhattan, and one for the Montessori school in Wilton, Connecticut. I travel, travel, travel. [She starts to sing:] "Why do the wrong people travel, travel, travel...?"

TM: Are you doing more of that lately?

AM: This year was absolutely hellish. I traveled so much! Next year, I'm going to make a little more time for Alice. She's seven now and it's time for me to find out what she eats for breakfast -- don't you think? She's so funny with me. She says, "Mom, I want oatmeal." And I say, "You know your mother doesn't know how to make oatmeal. Think of something else!" Then she says, "Well, can you make hot chocolate?" and I say, "Yes, honey, I think I can do that..."

TM: What kind of music does Alice enjoy?

AM: She's so into Britney Spears -- and I got Britney's autograph for her! My husband and I were walking across Sunset Boulevard and there was Britney, driving by in one of those incredible Mercedes-Benz tanks. I said, "What a strange looking car that is," and my husband said, "That's Britney Spears!" Of course, me, I went right up to the car; her bodyguard rolled down the window and she gave us a signed picture. I haven't been that excited since I met Fred Astaire. I mean, I hate Britney's music, but Alice loves it. As long as she's happy!

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