LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

Friday, February 8, 2013

PIA ZADORA TAKES NEW YORK: Back In Business!

PIA ZADORA TAKES NEW YORK:
Back in Business!

    Pia Zadora was born and raised in New York... and now, she's back home!  At one point in the opening night of her new show, "Back Again And Standing Tall", the Award-winning actress/singer recalled memories of appearing with legendary Tallulah Bankhead and Zero Mostel on Broadway as a child actress.  At another moment that night, Zadora declared to her audience, "Now I know why I love New York-- because you guys GET it!"... "it" being the truly "had to be there" feeling of singing live to an intimate crowd.  This was the kickoff of her four-day run at New York City's Metropolitan Room... and it was as intimate as it gets!  It was also Zadora's first time performing in New York since appearing in "Crazy For You" on Broadway in 1995.  If Ms. Zadora took a hiatus from live performances for a while, it didn't show in any way, shape, or form that night... unless she spent that time away from the spotlight to train and pamper her vocal cords.  Her voice was as unblemished and fresh (Dare I say "girlish"?) as ever.  The diminutive diva opened with the Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields fave "Pick Yourself Up". (Some observers may view that as a well-chosen song for Pia, whose career was often marked by stellar highs alongside some discouraging lows...)  Looking stunning in a black sequined mini-dress and white sequined jacket (and a generous amount of cleavage as well!), she made her way to the stage, interacting with the audience the entire time.  Backed by her five-man band, Pia didn't falter on a single note during the entire jazz-flavored show... and when she hit some of those pivotal moments, she REALLY nailed them.  An example of this was the big climax of Kander and Ebb's "Maybe This Time".  When she finished with, "Maybe this time, I'll WIN....!!!!", the results were pretty damn stellar.  For the crowd-pleasing "How About You?", after singing the song's famous line "I love a fireside, when a storm is due!", she cheekily inserted "That's tomorrow!".  But I doubt that the upcoming Blizzard Nemo could compete with the force of nature that was Ms. Zadora that night, as she swiveled her hips, tossed her champagne blonde hair, and thrust her knee in the air in true chanteuse style.  In between the songs, she spoke about her long and multi-colored career in showbiz, including stories about her frequent collaborator and friend Frank Sinatra, to which she dedicated, "I Wish You Love".  She also poked fun at her own long journey on the quest to finally find true love-- in the form of a dynamic performance of "Get Me To The Church On Time". ("Everyone should have one song that they're an expert about... This is mine!") Pia gave the audience a "cool down" period with a costume change: this time, an eye-popping Bob Mackie black sequined gown with a dangerously high slit-- accentuated again with that famous cleavage. 

Her repertoire of songs that night ranged from the sexy, fun "C'est Si Bon"; to the high-spirited "The Lady Is a Tramp"; to a provocatively tender "All of Me"; to "For Once In My Life"-- in which she truly went ALL OUT (yet again!).  If there was a common theme in  Zadora's "Back Again And Standing Tall", it was clearly L-O-V-E.  Given that Valentine's Day was only a week away, Pia Zadora's new show perhaps should be subtitled "The Love Show".  Indeed, her show was her own Valentine to the masses: her love of performing, her love of her fans, and her love for her hometown.  This was evidenced by her roof-raising medley of New York-themed hits, peppered with stories about her own starlit Big Apple experiences.  That evening, she also gave a shout-out to her her gay male fans, speaking about V-Day: "It's 2013.  If you're a married gay couple, then BOTH of you had better buy roses!"  I won't give
away the finale, but I will say that Zadora's choice of an encore was clearly aimed at her GLBT fans... and, judging by the audience, they were very well represented at the Metropolitan Room that night. She also gave a shout-out to her own true love: her handsome husband Michael, a Las Vegas police officer. That night, no one needed to ask what Pia Zadora herself was going to be doing on Valentine's Day!

"Pia Zadora: Back Again and Standing Tall" plays through February 10th at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St between 5th and 6th Aves.   Call (212)206-0440 or visit www.MetropolitanRoom.com for details!

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