Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pollstar: Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap
coming to St. Louis in December

The online tour information service Pollstar has added a listing showing four nights of performances by singer Sandy Stewart and her son, jazz pianist Bill Charlap (pictured), Wednesday, December 9 through Saturday, December 12, at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand (at Olive) in St. Louis' Grand Center arts district.

Stewart and Charlap have worked together as a duo in cabarets and jazz clubs since Stewart began her comeback in the mid-1990s. A big band singer and actress in her youth, Stewart had retired from the stage to raise a family after meeting and marrying Broadway composer Mark "Moose" Charlap in the 1960s. (You can read more about the circumstances of her retirement and comeback in this 1994 article from the New York Times.) Bill Charlap is well known in the jazz world for his six albums as a leader for the Blue Note label and his work with Gerry Mulligan, Benny Carter, Tony Bennett, Phil Woods and others. He played in St. Louis most recently in February of this year with the Blue Note 7 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Although the Pollstar listing does not include a presenting organization, the artists, dates and venue would suggest the work of Cabaret St. Louis and its impresario Jim Dolan, who have staged a number of shows already at the KAC. At present, the Cabaret St. Louis Web site doesn't list any dates beyond the current spring schedule, which wraps up with four shows this week at the KAC by torch singer Lina Koutrakos, and one on May 14 at the Sheldon featuring drag performer Varla Jean Merman.

However, a bit of Google-assisted sleuthing turned up this blog post from KDHX theater reviewer/host Chuck Lavazzi, which says that the Stewart/Charlap show is indeed part of a fall Cabaret St. Louis schedule that also will include "return engagements at the Kranzberg by Maude Maggart (October 21 - 24) and Steve Ross (November 4 - 7) along with first-time appearances by Nellie McKay (November 18-21)" and the Stewart/Charlap duo.

(This info is conveyed in the context of a review of Cabaret St. Louis' recent benefit at the Fox Theatre, so perhaps there was some information disseminated that night for the advance benefit of the patrons who attended. That's just my speculation, though, as there's nothing in the post indicating the source of the info, save a link to the Cabaret St. Louis site.)

Regardless, as always, Pollstar listings should be considered unconfirmed until officially announced by the venue and/or presenter. If/when an official announcement is made, StLJN will have the details for you right here. In the meantime, for a bit more on Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap, check out the video in the embedded window below for a clip that includes a brief interview and some footage of them in the recording studio.

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