Pianist/vocalist Eric Comstock will direct and host the evening. Others slated to appear include the pianist/vocalist Billy Stritch, Algonquin headliner Barbara Fasano, tenor saxophone star Harry Allen, plus the first-call rhythm section of Neal Miner (bass) and Vito Lesczak (drums).
Comstock, creator of the Off-Broadway hit “Our Sinatra” and the revues “Singing Astaire” and “Made For The Movies”, says, “Coward’s songs, though loved around the world, have rarely been given an overtly jazz treatment, so this will be a unique program. Everybody knows ‘I’ll See You Again’ and ‘Mad About The Boy’, but there are plenty of other Coward tunes that work in a swing context.
“Annie Ross is the ideal person for this kind of evening, in that she’s a world-class actor, a member of jazz royalty, and from the British Isles. Andy Bey is perhaps our greatest living pianist/singer. Billy Stritch is the perfect combo of wonderful musicianship and show business at its most fun and swinging, and Barbara Fasano, also a great actor/singer, will find depth we didn’t recognize in the Coward material. In Harry Allen, we have a link to the tenor tradition of Stan Getz and Ben Webster, which is American music at its best.
“As for Coward (1899-1973), he succeeded as a playwright, stage and screen actor, director, producer and wit, while still leaving us hundreds of excellent songs for which he wrote both music and lyrics.”