Nobody can sell a song like Lorna Luft, and last night–in her Lorna’s Living Room show at Birdland–she really delivered.
In the Jim Caruso-produced night, Lorna paid tribute to three women who changed music with their intelligent, passionate gifts: Dorothy Fields, Betty Comden, and Laura Nyro.
In the course of doing so, Lorna soared on “Where Am I Going?”, brought down the house with a Kay Thompson arrangement of “Just In Time”, and did a brilliantly intricate “Eli’s Coming” with super-talented guest stars Ann Hampton-Callaway and Carrie Manolakos.
(The latter is an up-and-coming singer who Lorna said is so young “I’ve got bras older than her.”)
Lorna also hit a homer with a rare male-penned song–Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It (“Let’s Fall In Love),” which she sang with a wry cuteness before the tributes.
(“Why ask if shad do it? Waiter, bring me shad roe!”)
Between songs, Lorna regaled us with anecdotes about her three lady subjects, at one point remembering when her father, Sid Luft, asked her what Nyro’s “Poverty Train” was about.
“I think it’s about drugs,” replied young Lorna.
“That’s ridiculous. Get me a Scotch,” answered dad, sans irony.
There was also a joke about how Lorna knew of a certain Nyro song because “Roslyn Kind‘s half sister” recorded it. And Hampton Callaway made a great comment about Lorna having made a “Luft turn” in L.A. and ending up in Palm Springs, where she lives.
We need this lady to take the right turn and come back to NYC more often.
As long as she doesn’t take the poverty train to get here, lol.