- Published on Friday, 05 April 2013 14:56
- Written by Corine Dana Cohen
Video was filmed at Philip Marie restaurant in the meat packing district.
Mimi was last seen in the new Broadway musical BONNIE & CLYDE playing the role of Emma Parker. Other credits include: Broadway: A CHRISTMAS STORY (workshop w/Beau Bridges) and THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (Dawn). Off-Broadway: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Audrey), SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN (Denise), MUSIC AND LYRICS BY HER (a music review) and GOOD OL’ GIRLS. National Tours: PARADE, BIG RIVER, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (Angel) and KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE (Maybelle Carter). Favorite Regional shows: ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE (Patsy), HANK WILLIAMS LOST HIGHWAY (Mama Lilly and The Waitress), COWGIRLS (Lee), BLOOD BROTHERS (Mrs. Lyons), WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG (Young Woman), PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES (Prudie), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Maria) and NUNSENSE (Sister Amnesia). Recordings: Mimi is featured on three cast albums: WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG, KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE and BONNIE & CLYDE. She recorded the theme song IN THE GARDEN for the Independent Film – TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING. Mimi is thrilled to have sung with Bruce Springsteen as part of Woody Guthrie’s Induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is the producer and singer on her album LULLABIES OF BROADWAY – nominated for Best Children’s Album: New York Music Awards. *Now available at CDBaby.com. For further information you can visit her website: www.mimibessette.com
- Published on Thursday, 04 April 2013 23:33
- Written by Diana Rissetto
Some back story is required in order for this review to make any sense so readers can understand why watching Michael Feinstein and Peter Cincotti on stage together was a bit like Christmas for me.
When I was a child and living in New York City, my family wasn't in the car much…but when we were, we listened to a lot of Michael Feinstein (and Sinatra and show tunes and Mandy Patinkin.) My sister had a Walkman. My sister escaped being brainwashed by our parents’ taste in music, and, therefore, my sister escaped growing-up feeling like she was born completely in the wrong era and becoming a very young 85-year-old, as I have been for most of my life.
My father passed away when I was a teenager, and some things always triggered memories of him and would make me particularly sad…particularly baseball movies, Revolutionary War battle re-enactments (what?) and Michael Feinstein’s voice. It reminded me of being a kid and being safe and being in my dad’s car on the way to someplace special…(usually New Jersey!) I could'nt listen to Michael Feinstein for a long time after my dad died. I found myself working “on Broadway” for several years, living a life one could very much compare to Ugly Betty and one very magical day I learned my office was going to be doing the publicity for Michael Feinstein’s musical All About Me. My co-workers were not that familiar with Michael and were confused as to why I was so excited. (They must have had Walkmans when they were kids.)
On the first night of performances, a mock talent show was held, and I was pulled from the audience to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as Michael played the piano. It might have been one of the silliest things I have done that month, but I was standing on a Broadway stage as Michael Feinstein played the piano and I sang the theme song from the movie I watched every day as a little kid. That was pretty awesome. I had come a long way from that little girl in that car.
Back story part 2 begins when I worked at Barnes and Noble in college and they would play the same three albums over (and over) again on a loop. One month, it was Peter Cincotti. And listening to the album at work was not enough…I bought it and listened to it constantly at home, too. I made everybody around me listen to him as well. There was something about him that was very special. He was a young, cute Italian kid who I thought sounded like Harry Connick, Jr. at the time, and that normally would have been enough for me, even at 18, I recognized that he was a completely brilliant musician and songwriter. I think it was when I read an interview with him in which he said that he wished he was around in a day and age when people would go-out to dinner and wear nice hats, as well as when I learned that he, too, lost his father as a child (and documented the emotions in a song) that I felt that besides being a brilliant talent, Peter Cincotti was also a kindred spirit.
In 2007, I heard Peter’s song “Cinderella Beautiful” for the first time, and found myself fixated on one of the lines. “You know I don’t like Christmas.” This line inspired an entire play…my Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes, which became my off-Broadway debut. I’ll always feel very grateful to Peter for the inspiration. I see Peter whenever he’s performing in the city…(Italians have good taste, he’s very popular over there!) and every show is better than the last. He’s absolutely captivating to watch and it’s been fun watching him grow-up from 18.
When I heard these two men would be appearing at Carnegie Hall together, I knew I could not miss it, and that it would likely be one of the best experiences I have ever had in a theatre! I was not disappointed at all. In fact, it was even better than I thought it was going to be. Michael and Peter sang songs from the Shapiro Bernstein catalog, with Michael telling tales of the catalog’s history. Michael Feinstein certainly knows his stuff, and he’s also hilariously funny at times. The lady next-to-me…who was probably in her 50’s…joked to me that she and I were the “youngest people in the room.” I’m pretty sure Peter WAS the youngest in the room. (You know who else was in the room? Tony Danza. He’s a big supporter of Peter’s work. He’s got excellent taste.) And the standards…oh, the standards! Michael performed “Melancholy Baby”, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “The Way You Look Tonight”, among many others in that beautiful, clear voice. (I also melted when I noticed the older couple in front of me reached for the other’s hand when he sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”. Isn't that what it’s all about! When he introduced the young Mr. Cincotti, Peter came-out and joked that he dared not talk like he knows anything about music when he’s in a room with Michael Feinstein who “probably knows what kind of shampoo Cole Porter used”…(“It was Prell”, Feinstein quipped.) Peter opened with “Until the Real Thing Comes Along” and then went on to sing his “favorite World War II love song” “White Cliffs of Dover”. (Hold on! I thought I was the only person of my generation who HAD a favorite World War II love song!) He also debuted a new original song called “Heart of the City”, another love song…to Manhattan. (Look out, Billy Joel, there’s a new piano man on the block singing about the city…and he’s quite remarkable.)
Watching these two guys on stage, both of which have very much impacted me personally and artistically, was a very special experience for me…and when it’s combined with some of the most beautiful music ever written and performed, which has stood the test of decades in a place like Carnegie Hall…well, what could really be any more magical?