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Cabaret

My View: Charles Busch !

My View: Charles Busch !

Throughout my life one song’s melody and lyrics have played on a continuous loop.  I’ve heard it sung by my wife’s Russian family and their friends at parties and family affairs.  I’ve heard it when sung by various entertainers in the Catskill Mountains when I was a musician in the 60’s and marveled at  the “karaoke” effect it had on audiences.   Last night that song in the hands of Charles Busch at Feinstein’s/54 Below was it’s  most heartfelt and profound interpretation I’ve ever experienced.  In fact most of the songs in Charles Busch: My Kinda 60s show had that effect.  He infused new life into tunes that aren’t included in most current cabaret acts.

“Those Were the Days” is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric to the Russian romance song “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (“Дорогой длинною”, literally “By the long road”), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. Mary Hopkin’s 1968 version of the song, produced by Paul McCartney, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind McCartney’s own band The Beatles’ hit “Hey Jude”.

Another musical highlight in the show was composer Henry Mancini’s favorite song “Two For The Road” with brilliant piano stylings by longtime Busch musical director Tom Judson who has a warm melodic voice that meshed perfectly with Charles’.

Then the busy years went rushing by us

We lost our starry notions on the way

If by chance I’d see you in the tavern

We’d smile at one another and we’d say

Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

Those were the days my friend……… Charles Busch with his stories and songs made last night at the tavern Below 54th street one of those great days my friend.

(For another article by Stephen & complete photos of this show go to Broadwayworld.com)

Tom Judson & Charles Busch

Charles Busch

Feinstein’s/54 Below

Cabaret

Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

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