JUST KERN

Grandel Theatre Cabaret Series

Andrea Marcovicci, a slender reed of a diva with a subtle, at times tremulous voice
Andrea Marcovicci, a slender reed of a diva with a subtle, at times tremulous voice

And there was plenty of information: The first half of the show concentrated on Kern's Broadway work and the second on his Hollywood career, which was both productive and pleasurable for the transplanted New Yorker. He wrote for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and he encouraged Ira Gershwin to work again after the death of brother George. Mehrbach inserted a sweetly casual tribute to Gershwin at the close of "My Bill," when he interwove the opening bars of "Rhapsody in Blue." These days, most of Kern's musicals like Roberta may never be performed again (except at San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon Theatre, which specializes in "digging up, dusting off and re-presenting those rarely performed musicals), but numbers like the insouciantly hard-headed "A Fine Romance" will endure forever, in or out of a museum. And with a curator like Marcovicci, whose mission is education as much as entertainment, we'll get a chance to visit the archives more often.

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