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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Songbird salutes the 70's

It was 1975, and I was 15 years old, and the biggest song on the radio was this incredibly romantic ballad called "Mandy" by an up and coming singer named Barry Manilow, and I was in love. And two years later, when I bought "Barry Manilow Live" (a double album!) . . .when Barry talked to the audience I felt like he was talking to me. All I wanted. . . What I really, really wanted . . . Was to go to a Barry Manilow concert. Alas, it was not to be. Last fall we heard that Barry was planning four concerts in Radio City Music Hall, and that the concerts would be in mid February. What a perfect Valentine to give to ourselves! Drew bought tickets for Sunday February 12 and we were both excited to go. And then in December Barry had hip surgery and wound up postponing a lot of his concerts. Our February 12 performance was moved to May 2. Our evening began in the Brooklyn USA Diner on West 43rd. We had enjoyed a meal here awhile back and figured we'd give it another go. The host was very eager to seat us and our waitress was very attentive. Loved my cheeseburger - huge juicy patty served on a sesame seed bun, with bacon and cheese and frizzled onions. Fries were a disappointment. Too soggy. Place specializes in dessert but we didn't order any. Then it was on to Radio City. Barry Manilow is now a 60-something with bad hips and too much plastic surgery, but the voice, the talent and the showmanship remain. He sang almost all of his hits, starting with "Could It Be Magic?" and ending with "I Write The Songs". Best performance of the evening was when he sang "Mandy" as a duet with a film clip of his 1975 performance on The Midnight Special. The audience loved him, so many of us sang along and waved our glowsticks ( freebies we got from the ushers). Sad when the show came to an end. Brooklyn Diner USA on Urbanspoon

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