Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Win Some, Lose Some

So Obama lost Pennsylvania. Fine. The race continues and talking heads on all the news networks rejoice because they can pretend to have something to talk about for another two weeks. Whatever. I refuse to be taken down tonight. WHY? Because I finally saw my friend Jane Monheit perform live! At Carnegie Hall! Woohoo!

Jane and I grew up together from elementary school through high school. She is one of those people who was born to sing. You can go to our local hometown library and rent the VHS tape of us in our elementary school musical "Cinderella: Revisited." She was the Fairy Godmother and sang like you would not believe. As kids, we all knew she was good, but i remember rewatching it with some friends many many years later and thinking "Damn, even then she was miles and miles beyond everybody." So now she is a well-known Jazz Singer with 7 CDs, two concert DVDs, and several national and international tours under her belt. She rocks. We were never really close friends, but we were always involved in the same artistic stuff in school growing up and new the same people. Before tonight, I haven't seen her in God knows how long. The last time we saw each other I think she was actually in the process of recording her first album, and we went to Great Adventure with mutual friends. This was back when both tracks on the Batman and Robin ride actually worked at the same time. Yeah. THAT long ago.

So anyway, I've tried several times to see Jane perform live and something always prevented me. Either the show was sold out, or i couldn't go on the day, or it was a time when i couldn't spring for the price of the ticket, but a few week's ago good ol' facebook let me know she'd be performing at Carnegie Hall, in a small concert series along with Michael Kanan on piano. The stars finally aligned and i bought my ticket. I have been looking forward to this for a long time.

So the first half of the concert is just Michael on piano which I'm totally cool with. They will be performing from the American Songbook so we've got great selections from Bernstein, Gershwin and many more. I'm always amazed at how just listening to live music can bring up the strangest thoughts and emotions. In the middle one song I was totally brought back to the time i got absurdly fired from working at our local library (the same one that has that tape of Cinderella: Revisited!) and i got really mad about it and relived in my head how i should've blurted out that I quit before they could've fired me, since Lord knows I wanted out of that terrible place. I had not thought about this in a very long time, but suddenly I'm listening to Moonlight In Vermont, and it is drawn out of me. The odd power of music. Michael gave a really great performance on the piano.

So Jane comes out for the second half of the show and it's immediately clear that she amazingly, beautifully, HUGELY pregnant! I mean seriously, it looks like she could give birth any second. She has that amazing pregnant woman glow to her, but it was quite a surprise. She made great reference to it singing Lucky To Be Me by Bernstein. So I was totally beaming throughout the whole performance. She sang some great standards that were really enjoyable and then she closed out the set with Somewhere Over the Rainbow which is somewhat of a signature song for her. She has recorded it a few different ways, but performing it live, the song is just massive. It's really amazing. I cried. I was so happy I got to see this performance.

Afterwards I got to talk to her, and it was really fun to see her again. She saw me in the audience! I saw her mom too which was fun! Her parents look totally young and great. I found out her due date is 10 days from now! It's totally insane that she can perform like that 8 and half months pregnant! I wish her and her husband and their new baby the best!

And now it's late at night and I have to wake up early for work. Boo! But tonight was so much fun. And Obama will eventually lock up the nomination. So I'm just gonna ride this contented feeling as I hit the rode to dreamland.

1 comment:

Pepperguy said...

Thanks for posting that! I've had the ENORMOUS pleasure of seeing Jane live twice, the first time before she "made it" and then more recently early this year. I was actually digging around to see if she's had her baby yet, and thanks to your blog, I know that (at least as of 4/22) she hasn't.

I got the opportunity to talk to Miss Monheit after the first concert and she was so delightful! She had just finished working with Wynton Marsalis on a project and was SO excited to tell me all about it when I told her I chose HER concert over Wynton and the LCJO that same night. :-)