When she answers her phone in Los Angeles, Andrea Marcovicci isn't in a great frame of mind. The Boston Red Sox have just been eliminated from World Series contention -- and her husband is a rabid Sox fan. "It's a terrible thing to see your eight-year-old daughter crying over a baseball game," Marcovicci says. "She and I are going to have to have a long talk."
And if you were performing tonight in Boston, what kind of songs would you sing?
"Unbelievably sad songs about love and loss and the one that got away," she replies. "I'd sing torch songs about loving in spite of everything. I'd probably end with -- " But then she doesn't speak the title; she sings the lyric: "It's very clear, our love is here to stay." There is nothing affected or precious about it. To Marco-vicci, songs aren't to be talked about; they're to be sung.
Singing (and talking, too) is what Marcovicci will be doing at the Grandel Theatre Cabaret Series (November 11-16, 3610 Grand Boulevard, $17-$42, 314-534-1111) when she performs her new show, So in Love, the Love Songs of Cole Porter. Expect a mix of classics, standards and obscure treasures you've not heard before. Half the pleasure of watching Marcovicci onstage is to share in her enthusiasm for the material.
It wasn't always so. Growing up in Manhattan, Marco-vicci made show music a big part of her life. While her peers were steeped in rock & roll, she was singing the Fred Astaire songbook. But when it came time to perform professionally in clubs, Marcovicci discovered, to her dismay, that "I was absolutely terrified onstage. Every distraction drove me mad," she says. "If I heard a cash register or someone shaking a margarita, I'd become so frightened I could not concentrate." So she turned to acting.
In 1985, when she was asked to sing in a Los Angeles club, "I'd had a failure in every single venue you can have a failure in: My Broadway shows had closed out of town, my television series had gone south, my movies had not been successful. So I took that job, not to be famous, not to say, 'Now I'll be a cabaret singer,' but to have an expression of my heart. I sang the songs that I had traveled with over the years, songs that had not gotten lost along the way, songs that had been a big influence on my life." The rest, as they say....
Eighteen years later, Marcovicci is cabaret's most visible goodwill ambassador. But one thing hasn't changed: She's still singing from the heart. -- Dennis Brown
Married to the Mob
At D & B's comedy theater
Going to grown-ups' playpen Dave & Buster's (13857 Riverport Drive) for the Galaga, the Old West skeet shooting or the Skee Ball? Fuhgeddaboudit! The newest reason to hit D&B's is Joey & Maria's Comedy Wedding, an interactive theatrical experience that includes an Italian buffet dinner, cake and dancing -- plus mob jokes galore -- packed into a sitcom-style show about a big fat Italian wedding.
Joey and Maria get hitched at 6:30 p.m. Saturday nights through November, go on their honeymoon during the holidays and re-nup in January. Tickets cost $55.50 and must be purchased in advance by calling 314-209-8015. -- Rose Martelli
In the Pocket
Attention: scraggly, scaggy musicians who don't know a contract from a copy of Jet Lag magazine. The St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts are here to make life easier, dudes. They're celebrating their occupancy of that swanky new Regional Arts Commission building (6128 Delmar Boulevard) with four Music Business Keys to Success seminars, from 7 to 9 p.m. each Monday in November. Seminars include "Guerrilla Music Marketing" (November 3), a "Music Law Crash Course" (November 10), "A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Record Label" (November 17) and "Looking Good: CD Packaging Basics" (November 24), and it's just twenty bucks for the whole series in advance (or $10 each at the door). Call 314-863-6930 or visit www.vlaa.org. -- Byron Kerman
Labeled for Your Protection
Scott Ginsberg has been wearing a nametag for more than three years now. It's the sticker-kind, the kind you write on, and it simply reads "Scott." He doesn't wear the nametag because he's coming from a trade show, or because he's cheerfully mute, but because of his firm belief that nametags bring out the warmth in people. The former St. Louisan discusses Hello, My Name is Scott: Wearing Nametags for a Friendlier Society at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center's St. Louis Jewish Book Festival (2 Millstone Campus Drive, $7, 314-442-3299). -- Byron Kerman