Reviewed by Tony Villecco
Pop singer, jazz artist, Grammy nominee and Broadway star Maureen McGovern gave a thrilling and emotion-packed concert last Saturday (Oct. 17) at the Endicott Performing Arts Center. What was even more amazing is that, when she heard about the flood here she decided to donate her concert fee to the community. Pretty classy lady, huh?
Always an admirer of her vocals, I, along with the almost sold-out house, sat in wonder of her magnificent voice, incredible range and often moving lyrics. There were several original pieces by her pianist, the brilliant Jeff Harris, which actually brought the audience to tears.
McGovern has been in the music business since the late 1960s. Her carefree banter and down-home stories about the early days and the progression of her career were both endearing and insightful. Practically a regular in Manhattan’s best supper and jazz venues, McGovern sang both familiar works and a lot of material from her new show, “Dangling Conversations.”
From soft, moving ballads to very fast and funny selections, the audience responded favorably at every turn. Here is an artist who, perhaps, has not always been given her due or proper acclaim, despite her amazing career span and the fact that she has one of the best voices ever to grace an entertainment stage. But she has earned all the more respect and admiration because she has chosen her own style and music, opting to not go with the flow of the everyday “same old same old” that traps many pop singers. McGovern sings on her own terms.
The community is indebted to local performer Jill Weston, an avid follower and fan of McGovern, who was responsible for getting the singer to the area (along with EPAC’s Lou Ligouri). This standout artist has found a loving home here, and we would welcome her back as frequently as she is able to come here. I sat with a dear friend and asked her to come with me to meet the singer at a closing reception, but she responded simply: “I can’t; I’m overwhelmed.” We all were.