Some Enchanted Evening with Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr Live on BroadwayI saw Harry Connick Jr. was he was practically a pup, an over-eager man-child about 20 years old whose talents were obvious and large. His brief bits on late night TV showed his joy for standards and a love of New Orleans jazz, but left me wondering whether he could do anything else besides smolder his way through Cole Porter songs, or just hammer out repetitive piano riffs.

Oh yeah, he can, and has been for two decades.

In concert, audiences get the the whole kit. He can croon, be-bop, and belt it out with anybody, tickle the keyboard with grace and exuberance, and his arrangements sound better every year. (I even saw him play drums once, and he’s not bad.)

He returns to the Neil Simon Theater where he made his first Broadway concert appearance 20 years ago. Great Performances tries to keep up with him and his band in “Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway.”

Great Performances: Harry Connick, Jr. In Concert On Broadway
3/2 9:30 pm WOSU TV
3/3 1:00 am WOSU TV
3/3 9:30 pm WOSU PLUS

Get ready for a 20-piece swing band, a 10-piece string section, and both a Steinway grand and upright honky-tonk piano.

Songs include:
“It Had to Be You”
“Hey, There” (from Connick’s recent hit revival of The Pajama Game)
“You Don’t Know Me”
“Some Enchanted Evening”
“Mona Lisa”
“The Way You Look Tonight”
“Who Can I Turn to?”
“Sweet Georgia Brown”
“Take Her to the Mardi Gras” (from his 2001 Broadway musical Thou Shalt Not)
“St. James Infirmary”

The New York Times gushed:

Taking control of everything has meant singing, playing, songwriting, arranging, orchestrating and bandleading, all pointed toward the goal of embodying something like a fusion of Frank Sinatra (and Sinatra’s greatest arranger, Nelson Riddle); Elvis Presley; Peter Allen (by way of Professor Longhair); and Frank Loesser reconceived in the spirit of New Orleans. Chad Batka for The New York Times

– Scott