Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2017’

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Lorna Luft @ Feinstein’s

Lorna Luft
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco, CA, June 23, 2017

Lorna Luft is in the enviable position of being a treasured link to a glorious history of music, songwriting and creation of The Great American Songbook. As the daughter of Judy Garland, Luft grew up literally sitting on the knee of composers like Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen. Her lineage is the stuff of legend and she has the backstories that make for fascinating cabaret banter. Her vocal style mimics her famous mother; a concentration of big belting numbers and poignant ballads. Luft took to the stage with a popular Garland tune, the optimistic and buoyant “Comes Once in a Lifetime” (Jule Styne / Betty Comden / Adolph Green).

A tribute to composer Johnny Mercer had snippets of many of his greatest hits: “Moon River”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Blues in the Night” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Opining on the current state of political affairs, Lorna segued “Cockeyed Optimist” from South Pacific as a message of hope. A fine homage to her great friend Peter Allen was heartfelt and her best vocal deliveries. The standouts were “I Honestly Love You” and his biggest hit “Don’t Cry Out Loud”.

Another tribute to good friend Burt Bacharach included so many of his great music: “Say a Little Prayer”, “Always Something There to Remind Me”, “Walk on By” and That’s What Friends Are For”. Two soft ballads in this sequence were lovely, “Alfie” and “A House is Not a Home”. It was altogether fitting to close with a big Garland finisher, “San Francisco”. A huge advocate of LGBTQ rights, Luft sits on the board of the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative and as an homage to Gay Pride encored with a rainbow flagged, audience participation rendition of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”. Luft is maintaining the huge task of carrying the torch for her late, great mother; a task she gladly accepted and lovingly owns.

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