Barbara Cook, a true legend of the musical theatre world, has had a beyond-impressive career. Having ruled over Broadway as the original Broadway Diva for the past 50 years, Barbara Cook gave the concert of a lifetime tonight. There were fewer than 100 seats on the stage of the massive Bass Concert Hall, and everyone in the room felt the honor of being on that stage with her.
Although Cook may be best known for having originated roles as the ingénue in almost every original Broadway cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musicals ever produced and her long-time friendship with the Emperor of Musical Theatre, Stephen Sondheim,
Barbara did not sing a single song from one of these legends. Instead, tonight she chose to sing from America’s songbook of classic jazz and the soul music of the past decades.
As she told stories about her time on Broadway and her friendship with the legendary Sondheim, the room was at rapt attention, waiting on her every word. When she was singing, the audience was enthralled. At 85 years old, she took command of the audience in a way that was just unparalleled.
Performances such as this remind us that the Texas Performing Arts Program is the best deal in town! To cap off the perfect night, Ms. Cook gave the audience a true treat, closing her show with an un-amplified performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Barbara Cook gave a sold-out, one-night-only performance on the Bass Concert Hall stage, but other incredible events are scheduled throughout the coming year. Check out the season offerings that will be coming to UT campuses in the months ahead by going to www.TexasPerformingArts.com.