Andrea Marcovicci | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Andrea Marcovicci

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Vocalist Andrea Marcovicci created her concert I'll Be Seeing You: Love Songs of World War II in 1990, at the suggestion of Walter Cronkite, but hasn't performed it here since a show at Park West two years later. Interspersing wartime classics by the likes of Frank Loesser, Oscar Hammerstein, Jule Styne, and Sammy Cahn with readings of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker, and others, she structured the solo show like a musical, framing it with a story about a young woman's relationship with a soldier during America's "good war." Since then she's abandoned the narrative--"I no longer need that device," she says--and replaced the poems with her own educated commentary about the songs and their authors, celebrating the way her parents' generation responded to hardship by creating great popular music. The finest American cabaret artist of the baby boom generation, Marcovicci displays the influences of folk and pop singers like Joan Baez and Judy Collins as well as show-tune legends such as Barbara Cook and Fred Astaire; her warm, resonant voice, gracious stage presence, and intelligent sensuality give new life to old standards. She's appearing as part of Steppenwolf's "Traffic" series, and the theater's 510-seat space--a bit more than half the size of Park West--should suit her intimately conversational style to a T. Mon 7/17, 7:30 PM, Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $50. All ages.

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