Fred Astaire was described by his friend, Oscar Levant, as "the greatest song and dance man of the 20th Century", a claim few would dispute. His dancing is the stuff of legend and continues to enchant film audiences to this day, but his key role in defining the Great American Songbook has long been undervalued. Modest about his vocal talent, Astaire was nevertheless the singer of choice for some of the greatest songwriters of his time including George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern.
Paul Ryan - a favourite vocalist of the late Jack Massarik - spotlights the less celebrated side of Astaire, featuring many songs he introduced - both obvious (Putting on the Ritz, Cheek to Cheek) and less so (Night and Day, One for my Baby) - along with those with which Astaire became associated (I Won't Dance, By Myself). All songs will be given a jazz flavour inspired by Astaire's 1954 collaboration with Oscar Peterson. Along the way, Paul tells the story of the man and his songbook, shedding new light on one of America's greatest entertainers.
"Ryan sings with a knowledge and understanding of the nuances and wit of the great lyricists… each song a narrative… personal and poignant, opening up a thousand memories" - Jazzwise
"An evening with Paul Ryan is a rare treat. He has the sublime gift of putting an audience at their ease. His songs are well-chosen, his delivery is a delight. Everything is guaranteed to make you feel better" - Sir Michael Palin
Should you wish to enjoy dinner or a light bite to eat before or after your show, Brasserie Zédel is located just across the foyer from Crazy Coqs. To book a table, please call 020 7734 4888 or visit us online at www.brasseriezedel.com/reservations.