Christine Ebersole -The Empty Nester’s Lament




By Sandi Durell



Lovely to have Ms. Ebersole back at the sumptuous Café Carlyle after a five year hiatus. Of course, she’s been busy with her usual rounds of television, cabaret and a recent world premiere production of the musical Warpaint at the Goodman Theater in Chicago in which she starred alongside Patti LuPone, working with her old team from Grey Gardens (for which she won a Tony Award).


Now that her three adopted children have all gone off to college, she and husband Bill are suffering the empty nesters’ blues, a perfect theme for the charming and humor-filled soprano. It appears that her colorful and expressive voice has taken on a new emotional quality that rises from deep down from her beautiful, generous soul now that her children have left the house.




And so, along with musical director Larry Yurman (with whom she’s been making music for 23 years) and Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf on cello, Larry Saltzman on guitar, and “nearing her dotage. . . as gravity takes hold” (as she explained), it seemed fitting and proper to open with her title song “After The Ball” quickly segueing into “The Way You Look Tonight!” Pondering past, present and future and continuing in this growing older segment, a perfect pairing “Look At That Face” with a very funny ”What Did You Do To Your Face”- – – “you gotta face like Dracula . . . sometimes your boobs go up whenever you grin,” worked wonders.


“Lazy Afternoon” soared, floated and gently landed; a subtle, jazzy and new arrangement of “My Baby Just Cares For Me” was remarkable; a haunting wandering from the melody of “S’Wonderful” and a slow,  sorrowful “Autumn Leaves,” were each breath-taking in their freshness and originality.




Her sound is filled with rainbow hues that touch emotional chords and her light, witty interludes, with a wink and a twinkle, always produce chuckles of warmth and genuine reflection, as when talking about her 99 year old Mom (now at the Actor’s Home in Englewood, NJ) and especially about her children Elijah, MaeMae and Aron.


No truer words were ever sung as this spectacular performer encored with “I Do What I Can (With What I Got)!”


Photos: David Andrako

Get thee to the Café Carlyle to see the charming and exquisite Christine Ebersole ‘After the Ball’ thru October 22. 35 East 76 Street, 212 744-1600