“No use leading with our chins, this is where our story ends”

Eydie Gormé, one of our most popular and talented singers, passed away on August 10, a few days shy of her 85th birthday. With her husband singer Steve Lawrence, Eydie was the among the best interpreters of tunes by the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, including Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, and the Gershwins. Folks under 50 may remember Eydie’s fun novelty hit “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.”

My favorite Eydie Gormé hits are the fabulous “I Wish You Love,” (by Trenet and Beach) andIf He Walked Into My Life,” (by Jerry Herman) from “Mame.” Hers is the most vibrant rendition of the song­ ever recorded (apologies to Angela Lansbury). Ms. Gormé also recorded in Spanish and enjoyed a number of hit songs en español. When you get a chance check out some of Eydie Gormé’s songs on YouTube.

What a fantastic talent! RIP.

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé

“So kiss me and say you understand”

Can’t let the passing of the last of the Andrews Sisters–Patty, yesterday at age 94, go by without commenting on how much I enjoyed their music. And I’m not the only one–the sisters sold 75 million records!

My favorite Andrews Sisters tune is the old Yiddish song, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, whose lyrics Sammy Cahn brilliantly re-worked. It was a huge hit during World War II, and to this day is still one of the most hummable songs ever. I dare you to listen to it and not be singing it for the next week (it’s on YouTube). Pay attention to the delightful lyrics.

I always thought the sisters were Jewish but come to find out they were of Greek and Norwegian descent.

The Music Man and La Bohéme in Seattle this month

The Music Man and La Bohéme arrive in Seattle this month. The Music Man, my all time favorite musical, will be at the 5th Avenue Theatre Feb. 7 through March 10. Alas, tickets range from $55 for the nosebleed section up to $115 for prime seating.

Maybe it’s just as well I can’t see the play. Might be a disappointment having seen Dick Van Dyke live in the stage production of Music Man many years ago in San Francisco. Fabulous. In the Wells Fargo Wagon is a Comin’ scene they used a real live horse! And of course it’s impossible to top and unfair to compare the Robert Preston-Shirley Jones film version—my favorite film musical. So much more cheerful than that depressing Les Misérables.

Seattle Opera’s production of Puccini’s La Bohéme is coming to McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center Feb. 23 through March 10. Tickets start at $25 and go up to $204, depending on location and time.

Madcap Mary discovers singer Mark Masri

While vacationing recently in Seaside, Oregon I visited one of my favorite haunts­–Tipton’s, a beautiful Tuscan-themed gift shop on the Boardwalk (319 Broadway, phone 503-738-5864) where a Mark Masri CD was playing. Masri is a talented and handsome Canadian who hails from Toronto and, according to the Boston Globe, is a genius at “melting the hearts of female audience members like warm chocolate.” I know he melted mine. Delicioso!

The CD is “Intimo”–Love Songs of Italy,” which premiered in 2011. Sung in Italian the songs include old standards like “Arrivederci Roma” and “Torna a Surriento” to Mark’s interpretation of Pavarotti’s signature song “Nessun Dorma.” Visit Mark’s website for more info.