Tuesday, October 28
Pop-culture historians are working overtime to revise the history of the '70s so that everyone believes the Pimp was King; but the pimp wasn't king, Paul Williams was. Pimps were underground anti-heroes, while Mr. Williams was starring in and scoring major Hollywood productions like Phantom of the Paradise, Brian DePalma's glitter-punk retelling of Phantom of the Opera, and the bizarrely entertaining all-kid gangster musical Bugsy Malone, which starred a young Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. Williams' melodic sense was (and is) keen and hooky but also retained a burnished edge, like a catchier Tom Waits, or an interesting Randy Newman. If you've ever cried to Kermit the Frog singing "Rainbow Connection," you've cried to Paul Williams, my friend. He brings that song and many others to the Blanche M. Touhill Center for the Performing Arts (8001 Natural Bridge Road, 314-516-4949) tonight in a joint performance with Melissa Manchester. Tickets are $20-$40, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.