PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Manilow On Broadway; One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

By Harry Haun
30 Jan 2013

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Accompanying all of the above were some dazzling visuals — from paisley swirls to waves dashing against rocks in slo-mo. At one point, Manilow does a duet of "Mandy" with his younger self via a clip from "The Midnight Special." Record mogul Clive Davis, who introduced him in that taped segment, was an opening-night guest.

Manilow is of the old "Sing Out, Louise" school of crooning — arguably, not the best way to go for anyone recovering from the flu. If he was in a diminished state, his fans must have figured a little touch of Barry in the night was better than no Barry at all.

He played the audience like a harp and reaped so many standing ovations that some fans just decided to stand and dance in place. There was, in particular, a whole lot of side-swaying and head-bopping going on with "Can't Smile Without You."

The New York Post's Elisabeth Vincentelli, ordinarily the model of unreadable restraint at shows, exploded in her aisle seat like a fireworks display over "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You." It's the most fun I've ever seen a critic have in the theatre.