Beloved Broadway and television star Linda Lavin plays the Café Carlyle as if she is the most gracious host, inviting guests into her living room for an intimate soiree. One of those guests on the night we attended was Hal Prince who directed her in Candide, a reminder that though she’s known more for dramatic roles, and comedy, she can sing. As chanteuse for her Café Carlyle debut she is warm, charming, providing a distinct comfort zone of classic tunes. Age-less in sparkling blue, she wants to know, “I look pretty good, don’t I?” as if she needed to ask!
But she did become romantic with this crowd, singing, “Baby Let’s Get Lost/” “Let’s Eat Home,” with Steve Bakunas, who is her husband. Seated close as we were, we could see their eyes lock. Well aware that this was “Bobby Short’s castle,” she paid homage to him and his passionate connection to the music with a medley of “Here’s to the Boys/” “Hooray for Love,”/ “I Like the Likes of You.”
Linda Lavin closes out her set featuring the violinist Aaron Weinstein for a lively, “After You’ve Gone.” She met him at Birdland, she says and asks, “How do you play so fast?” “Amphetamines.” Like her, he doesn’t miss a beat.