Barry Manilow

All was quiet when Barry Manilow took the stage at the Kodak Theatre and began to sing “Ready to Take a Chance Again.” Then he arrived at the chorus, and the band started to swell, and the audience members rose to their feet for the first of many standing ovations. Or at least that’s how it would seem from the 2002 CBS special Ultimate Manilow! — Manilow ripping through “Mandy” and “I Write the Songs” to the delight of his faithful followers. But the second disc of this set includes raw footage of the performance that reveals coordinated efforts on everything from those standing ovations (and the rest of the applause) to second takes on “Weekend in New England” and “Looks Like We Made It.” Apparently Manilow’s musical perfectionism is on a par with his high-maintenance approach to makeup. (He frequently dashes offstage to get touched up.) The performances are fine, but Manilow can probably sing “Copacabana” in his sleep. Still, devotees of He Who Says He Writes the Songs But Actually Doesn’t will probably still give it two big thumbs up, just like NYPD Blue‘s Dennis Franz, seen doing likewise in the audience after “Even Now.”

Categories: Music