On The Park
Pizza on the Park Cabaret - Richard Rodney Bennett and Claire
Martin, 21 September to 16 October, two shows nightly at 9.15pm
and 10.45pm, except for Sundays & Mondays.
Gastronomy of Jazz
Dig your heels into jazz and your fork into that savoury crust
- Pizza on the Park has done it again.
On the Park has never bopped so much: Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
& Claire Martin's month-long-string of performances have brought
even more bags of class to the Uptown pizzeria, where smoky voices
and Pancetta have always reigned supreme.
On The Park has always stuck to the unusual conundrum of slinging
perfect pizza and promoting proper jazz, which is nearly impossible
to contain in one venue, let alone one sitting. Yet, somehow in
the midst of dark tablecloths, singular red carnations and the kind
of table service that brings a gentle note of confirmation to your
heart, Pizza on the Park works successfully hard enough to please,
and this - above all - is worth the hefty ticket price.
Bennet and Martin exist in their own pleasant world of Cabaret:
Bennett ahead in age and wisdom, with a trail of musical feats following
after him, including the score to Four Weddings and Funeral, collaboration
with Paul McCartney and commissions from BBC Prom. His fingers are
nimble and his voice lissom and quick: the sixty-eight year old
can still duly seduce and comfort his cabaret crowd.
Martin's involvement creates a welcome pair. Her papery voice brings
hard edge lilts and twirls to the repoirtoire: she was brave to
belt out numerous Ella's -efforts that lifted to her well-earned
range. Together they perpetuate long-rehearsed jokes and anecdotes,
all still well received from a crowd ready to chuckle, in the midst
of an expert song-list.
It's the kind of night that makes you think you grew up in the thirties,
that the bottle of wine at the table is actually bootleg, and that
you will be walk away to some foggy soundtrack, and let's be honest:
this is why most like jazz, anyway.
Megan M. Retka
here to see the full month's schedule at Pizza on the Park