When I was 13 years old, I went to my first concert at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey with my friend, Sherri Elwing. We didn’t have tickets and her parents drove us. Sherri was approached by a man who asked if she wanted to see Barry, and he gave her a ticket-it turns out that he was Barry’s press manager. When she asked “what about my friend?” he said he only had one ticket and to pass it thru the fence and we could sit on one another’s lap. This was 1975 when things were very different. We ended up sitting next to Barry’s Mother and having a great time. This was a time in my life when my musical tastes were Barry Manilow, Barry Manilow…and BARRY MANILOW!
Fast forward 48 years and it seems fitting that my first FULL concert since the Pandemic was none other than Barry Manilow! And just how I felt as that 13 year old girl was how I felt tonight when Mr. Manilow performed with a 50 piece orchestra at Radio City Music Hall.
From the moment he took the stage, it was a night of his greatest hits and the audience danced, sang, clapped, waved around glow in the dark sticks, cried, and sang some more. “Looks Like We Made It” was the 3rd song he sang and the first of many that was a sing along. After singing “Even Now,” he said “I am so glad you all still like these.” How can we not?
After a first set of about 10 songs, including “It’s a Miracle,” “Daybreak,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “This One’s For You,” “New York City Rhythm,” and “Weekend in New England,” they took a brief intermission before returning to the stage with a disc-ish version of “Could It Be Magic” where he mentioned that Donna Summer sang it and it went to number one on the charts.
It was obvious that Mr. Manilow was having as much fun as the audience was and he even joked “let’s lock the doors and order pizza,” much to everyones delight.
Brooklyn born Barry Manilow was welcomed back to NYC with the enthusiasm fit for a king. He will be performing at Radio City for 4 more nights, and there are still some tickets available, even for as low as $78. Go grab a seat-you will not be disappointed.
Photos and Review by Debra L. Rothenberg