Barbara Cook is perhaps best known for her Broadway roles: she was the original Marian the Librarian in The Music Man, Cunegonde in Candide, and Amalia in She Loves Me. And her cabaret and concert interpretations of Stephen Sondheim's songs have no peer. But now, nearing the age of 85, the legendary singer and Kennedy Center honoree has taken a far jazzier approach. Her new CD, Lover Man, digs into the great American songbook, featuring standards by composers like Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter, but also cover more modern material, such as Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind.
Barbara Cook will perform tomorrow evening at the Pitman Theatre at Alverno College, in a concert celebrating her 85th birthday, and Alverno College’s 125th. She joined Lake Effect’s Bonnie North by phone from her New York apartment, and talked about the expansion of her musical range, and offered some advice to aspiring singers of all genres.