Bernie Furshpan's Metropolitan Room, on West 22nd Street in Manhattan, was more than just simply a packed house; it was filled to the shaking rafters with an exceptionally appreciative crowd.
It was a love fest. It was a night of diva worship. It was a birthday celebration, as Ms Moore turned 70 yesterday. (Pieces of Melba's birthday cakes were shared with the room.) It was cabaret at its best. It was joy. It was heavenly. It was a part of entertainment history. It was dynamite!
When I entered the club with my pal Nick Lion, my very good friend Kevin Scott Hall was on a queue of people waiting to get in, which I assumed we'd have to join. Kevin was, after all, Melba's press guest and also did a q&a with her.
Nick went to the front desk and lo and behold, our good friend Denise-Spann Morgan of The "Marvelous" Marvelettes had us on her guest list, so we squeezed into her booth. Bernie greeted us in the lobby and ushered us in. It's always nice to see Bernie and his beautiful wife, Joanne, at the club.
|Bernie, Joanne & Nick|
NYC talk show host Barry Z sat in the booth directly behind me.
Richard Skipper was also in the house and we got to talk after the show. Always great to see Richard in the house!
I have to admit that I arrived in a bad mood after an awful traffic day into Manhattan. It's Halloween weekend, the Mets are playing, and a truck burst into flames in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, closing traffic there and making my commute complicated and my livery car driver nasty and difficult to deal with. But Melba lifted my spirits high with her performance after I finally arrived.
|Melba & Me|
Hers was an eclectic selection, kicking off with "Don't Rain on My Parade." Melba did her disco hit, "This Is It," sang "I've Got Love" ~ a beautiful number written especially for her, from her Broadway breakthrough Purlie. She even covered The Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road" beautifully. Yes, it has been long and winding for us all.
Melba's dad, who is 100 years old now, even came onstage to play piano and sing with his daughter aside the piano. His gravelly "Satin Doll" was a delight! Melba had some wonderful duets as well.
Fans brought Melba bouquets of beautiful flowers, and gifts. My own Nick and Denise even went up to the stage to give her presents. Can you believe the diva is 70?! She is still a beautiful babe. Melba wore a white, dressy pantsuit with black trim and a train. The top had a peplum to it. She wore heels but doffed them at some point. Actually, somebody took them off for her. Now, that's true divahood!
Melba's fantastic back-up consisted of a three-piece band and three back-up, all-male vocalists. All were superb.
|Nick gifts Melba|