By Sandi Durell
On September 25, Feinstein’s/54 Below was packed with supporters for the New York PopsEd Fundraising event to help support music programs in all five boroughs of New York City. The event chairs were Hillary and Bill Weldon.
The evening, hosted by the always charming and delightful Steven Reineke, New York Pops Conductor, featured teaching artists who work with young people citywide presenting songs to which they can relate in order to whet their musical appeitites. And so, the group, consisting of Andrea Wood on vocals, Matt Davis on guitar, Mark Wade on bass and Scott Still on drums presented Adele’s “Hello;” “Lean on Me” and an audience sing along on “American Pie.”
There was fundraising aplenty both silent and on-stage as paddles popped up consistently and Principal of CS 55, Luis Torres was honored for his outstanding work.
The star of the evening was the always popular Lucie Arnaz who took the stage re-arranging things (she does have a flair for decorating) with her long time musical director/arranger/friend Ron Abel and Jeff Barone on guitar, Tom Hubbard on bass and Dan Weiner on drums. Lucie is, as they say in the vernacular, “one helluva performer.” She lights up that stage with an effervescent vitality and commands attention. Her show highlighted her auspicious career with songs from her winning starring role on Broadway in They’re Playing Our Song, the title song sung with a lot of pizzazz. She’s got the joy and the magic. Her storytelling is spectacular. 1979 was also the year she met her husband, Lawrence Luckenbill at Joe Allen’s (he was performing nearby in Chapter Two);they went on their first date to the Red Blazer Two where love bloomed, she melted into his arms and now they are married 37 years with three children and also two stepsons. She had many mommy/wife tales to tell that morphed into Craig Carnelia’s “Just A Housewife.”
Lucie reveals easily as she talked about her run in London in Witches of Eastwick where the family picked up and moved for 18 months, leading into “Who’s the Man” and the hauntingly sad “Loose Ends.”
Stories abound about life, motherhood, cold winters that prompted their recent move to Palm Springs where they now live, as hubby says, in the Dessert! The Palm Springs Jump exquisitely explains why …“Everybody’s Jumpin’ Down to Palm Springs.”
Always seduced by the rhythms in her life, Lucie went on to tell more in the cleverly arranged medley of these great tunes: “I Love A Piano/Slap That Bass/Drum Crazy/Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” giving solo turns to each of her musicians, before introducing her son Joseph, a songwriter, musician, teacher on guitar as they explored some Latin roots together.
Ending the evening on a high note, Lucie Anaz performed Chuck Steffan and Ron Abel’s “Until Now” encoring with the heart rending “Imagine.”
Oh what a night, oh what a performer is Lucie Arnaz! Hope to see her back on that stage sooner than later!!
Congrats to the New York Pops Underground and a successful evening!
Photos: Genevieve Rafter Keddy