I just got back from Ravinia. It was their Celebration of Summer, an all day event that was free admission (they encouraged you to donate a food item upon entry). We went because we learned from her web site that Patricia Barber was going to perform at the Martin Theatre. Somehow Ravinia didn't have her on their program, but she was on their web site when I checked earlier today. I had been wanting to see her at the Green Mill for the past two years, since seeing her at the Macy's music festival (or whatever it was called) two summers ago. The Green Mill shows start at 9 and, with the drive, it just seems that the show would go past my bedtime. This was close to home and an early show so I wasn't going to miss it.
We arrived at 5:00 with a picnic dinner for a 7:00 show. By 6:30, I thought there would be a line of people waiting to get in, but I noted that the park was largely empty and no one was at the door. This was rather strange, but we went in at 6:45 and got to sit in the 3rd row. By the time the show started, I think the theater was only a third full. Patricia Barber walked on stage on time, sat down at the piano, kicked off her shoes and socks and thanked us for attending (even "those who came in by accident"). The small turnout made the evening an intimate affair for those of us who attended and she handled it with grace and humor.
I don't have the musical vocabulary to describe the show with any justice. She performed some songs from her new album, The Cole Porter Mix including You're the Top (with some improvised lyrics) , a wonderful, sultry, jazzy rendition of Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney), and some numbers that I didn't recognize. It was a fantastic performance by a very talented group of musicians. They were listed on the sign as playing from 7:00-7:45, but the show actually ended at 8:25.
So yeah, I'm gonna have to see her at the Green Mill. I'll take a nap before the show if I have to.
Oh, and a quick note to Patricia Barber: You left your shoes by the piano.
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