Lainie Kazan @ Feinstein's - New York City Article

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Lainie Kazan @ Feinstein's

Nov 4, 2019

Lainie Kazan
Feinstein’s / 54 Below
254 West 54th St
Wednesday November 6

Ever since her unforgettable appearance as Benjy Stone’s domineering Jewish mother in everybody’s favorite movie, My Favorite Year, most film and TV fans know Lainie Kazan as a pushy matron, as in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Desperate Housewives. But when you see Ms. Kazan live, she instantly becomes the buxom, beguiling singing sexpot of the 1960s, who was seemingly on every TV variety show at once (especially Ed Sullivan and Dean Martin) and headlined in all the best nite spots from the Persian Room to the Playboy Club (where she literally ruled the roost). Along the way she worked with and / or dated virtually everyone. (She’s the only person I’ve ever met who was close to both Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan.) Even at 78, Ms. Kazan remains a formidable figure (quite literally - comic book fans know well that she was Jack Kirby’s inspiration for “Big Barda,” love interest of “Mister Miracle”). She doesn’t play New York nearly enough, so this three-night run at Feinstein’s / 54 Below is a must-catch, and her March appearance at the club was the best I’ve ever seen her.  (PS: hot tip, she's about to be profiled in an immediately forthcoming issue of Playboy, the same magazine where she posed, as the world's sexiest semite, in 1970.)

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

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.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)