Singer Mary Deady returns to the West Bank Cafe on Tues., Oct. 30 at 7 pm to take her audience on another musical journey from Ireland to New York through the American Songbook – songs by Burton Lane, Cole Porter, Alan Jay Lerner, Sondheim, and more. Her last appearance there drew rave reviews; we recap one of them below.
Mary Deady’s American Songbook at the West Bank Cafe
By Cahir O’Doherty, Posted in IrishCentral.com on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Some singers are so good you can literally hear how much a song means to them as they perform it. It doesn’t happen very often, but it did last week at the West Bank Cafe on 42nd Street as Irish singer Mary Deady unveiled her latest musical journey at the Broadway hotspot.
A familiar face on the Irish scene in the city, it felt as though we were being collectively re-introduced to her since she is perhaps best known for singing Irish music. For many, including myself, this was our first introduction to her as a singer of the American songbook.
Aided by the utterly flawless musicianship of pianist and musical director Jeff Cubeta, Deady’s show From Ireland to America: A Musical Journey In Song was a marvel from the opening number.
It was Deady’s good fortune to be born in Co. Kerry, holy ground for generations of world-class singers and musicians. There she learned to play the harp, and later she left for Dublin for classically trained singing lessons that would eventually take her far from home on the musical journey that was her own life.
Deady chose songs that conveyed the immigrant love (and sometimes secret pining for) the homeland, and this she did as well as I have ever had the good fortune to hear. But the show has wider ambitions than merely relying on all too easy sentiment. Deady has a compelling tale to tell, and that is part of what takes this performance to the next level.
What I did not anticipate was being so moved by the deep connections between her life and the music that she took ownership of, each time from the first note.
Deady also sang songs in praise of the fairly demonic energy of New York City itself, and her version of the 1930 Cole Porter classic I Happen to Like New York seemed to conjure the whole damn city in a tribute that delighted the hard bitten New Yorkers in her audience. Believe me, that takes some skill…
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The Irish Lark
From Ireland to America: A Musical Journey in Song
traces Mary’s origins from a small village in County Kerry,
to traveling the world,
finding in time a home in New York City.
Although Mary is known for singing Irish music,
she has yearned to sing from the American Songbook
– from Porter to Sondheim –
where the heart and soul of this journey unfolds.
Mary is accompanied by Jeff Cubeta, Musical Director.
West Bank Cafe, The Laurie Beechman Theatre,
407 West 42nd
Street & 9th
October 30th at 7:00 pm
$15 food/beverage minimum
Call 212-695-6909 to reserve