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Sunday, July 10, 2022

Glad we skipped the Marlins’ horrific loss. ——————— The 2nd day of my Olympic Trial was better in the sense that I walked almost10, 000 steps, but it was not as easy. I think I did better my first day because I started at 5 a.m. and ended at midnight. Yesterday I started at 11:30 a.m. and finished at 10:00 p.m. so did more in a much shorter period of time, and it was very hot. Even Barbara felt the heat. ———————— it was great seeing David for lunch even though I just spent five days with him in Vegas. Barbara got to hear his views on the issues facing our country. It took a couple of hours to walk from lunch to Birdland, where we saw a flawless cabaret show performed by Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano. Each of them is now world class, and there was a star- studded audience.

The only other musician in the show is Sean Smith, a very accomplished bassist who is also a composer. I have seen these people perform countless times and they are now so good that it is hard to describe.

We sat ringside right in front of the keyboard, which is my favorite place to sit. The performers were less than three feet away. Barbara and I got to visit with Eric before the show and with all three after the show.

It is no easy task to sing and accompany oneself on the piano. Nina Simone and Carmen McRae could do it at the top level, but not everyone could. If I had to pick one number Eric performed to be my favorite, it would be “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plans”.

If one really pays attention, one can hear Eric’s weaving in a little "Rhapsody in Blue", in a song about Manhattan. He performed very eclectic and often very sophisticated songs, including several by Rogers and Hart.

If I had to pick one lyricist, it would be Oscar Hammerstein. In my view, his lyric in South Pacific, “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” is the most important lyric ever written for the theatre. No other writing team ever strung together four shows as good as Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and King and I.

Last night, and to me this was worth the whole price of the evening, Barbara Fasano sang two of Hammerstein’s best, and did them as well as I have ever heard. First, “What’s The Use of Wonderin'“ from Carousel, and then “Something Wonderful” from The King and I.

She followed this with a great version of “Don’t Fence Me In”. I think people often forget that, along with some of the most sophisticated music ever written, Cole Porter also wrote this song, which Barbara sang at a really unique tempo. All three numbers were just unbeatable. ————————— We then had dinner, not a lot, with Erica Jong and Ken Burrows. We had not seen them since the inception of Covid other than last year when Grandson Jaden met me in New York and he and I had brunch with them. Barbara is very close with both Erica and Ken, and, as I mentioned, friends are now more important to us than events unless, of course, the event is for a friend. Got that? —————————- In an hour we leave for Kennedy Airport to travel back to Miami. Hopefully, we will have a uneventful trip.

One political comment. If the women in America do not get organized and show up at the polls in droves, the Republicans who think women are second-class citizens will take over. If you think things are bad now, as Jolson said, “you ain’t heard nothin yet”. ———————— Go Ukraine, and vote as if your life depended upon it.

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