Barbara Cook, gifted with a clear, beautifully toned lyric soprano voice and
ingenue good looks, was a megastar of the Broadway musical stage for a decade
in the 1950's and 1960's. She created three important roles in the American
musical repertoire: Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's Candide (1956), Marian the
Librarian in The Music Man (1957), and Amalia in She Loves Me (1963). Cook later
shifted gears and has since performed primarily in concerts and cabaret, with
an emphasis on the Great American Songbook.
Today, Cook is offering a Mostly Sondheim program, based on the concept of Sondheim's 70th birthday celebration concert, which featured not only songs by Sondheim, but also songs that "he wishes he had written." It's a marriage made in heaven - but sometimes heaven takes its time. Although Cook's rendition of "Losing My Mind" was a show-stopper in the 1985 Follies concert at Avery Fisher Hall, she hasn't returned often to Sondheim material. Onstage she refers to the songs with a degree of awe as "art songs."
For all the skill that Cook brings to her performance, though, she still makes it look and sound easy, natural. Her art makes her seem artless. And that apparent artlessness accomplishes a small miracle: Barbara Cook is a convincing ingenue.....even at 73.
- Barbara Cook Master Class Barbara Cook master class August 13 in the Terrace Theater; and Mostly Sondheim performances August 14-18
- Sondheim Celebration: Barbara Cook Mostly Sondheim As part of its Sondheim Celebration, the Kennedy Center presents Barbara Cook for 18 performances in the Terrace Theater, June 5 to August 18.
- About The Sondheim Celebration at the Kennedy Center
- About Theater at the Kennedy Center
Watch and Listen
Barbara Cook: The Terrace Theater
Barbara Cook: Where she learned to sing
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