Jackie Evancho Performs at Cafe Carlyle in NYC - New York City Article
35 E 76th Street, (212) 744-1600
Through Saturday, April 22
On recordings and even her videos (which, as she says, rather immodestly albeit truthfully, “broke the internet”) super soprano Jackie Evancho always seems more like a supernatural presence than a flesh-and-blood performer; that peerlessly-perfect voice would sound amazing coming from anyone, let alone someone who only turned 17 a few days ago. (Yes, I know, we all have credit card debt older than that.) But the great thing about experiencing Miss Evancho in person is the reminder of her reality, and that this superhuman voice is housed in the person of someone relatively inexperienced in terms of relating to an audience and especially in a New York nightclub. (It will be years, if ever, before she can connect with a crowd like, for instance, Marilyn Maye.) The main thing we learn from her patter is that she has had very little experience in life other than appearing on talent competitions, both locally in her native Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and on national TV.
She appeals to a wide range of people who can generally agree on few things (besides Ms. Evancho’s obvious talent): her pride in having sung at the Presidential Inaugural Gala three months ago is not likely to be applauded by the same folks who will cheer for her support of transgender rights. She covers a lot of bases musically as well: even though she tells us this is probably the first time a song by Coldplay (“Viva La Vida”) has been heard in the Carlyle, it’s also the first time that I can remember hearing Puccini (“Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot”) here. Her rendition of “Music of the Night” is especially moving; for the first time the Lloyd-Webber song is something more to me than an show-stopper for a creepy baritone in a Halloween mask. She’s the kind of performer that immediately inspires one to start compiling one’s own request playlist – mine includes both “The Bell Song” from “Lakmé” and “Creole Love Call ”by Duke Ellington. Hearing Jackie Evancho in such an intimate space is a rare chance to experience perfection at close proximity.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)