Music Park: Molly Ringwald w/ Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz, 7/28/16

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Molly Ringwald sings at Bethesda Blues & Jazz on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra welcomed a very special guest to its residency at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club on Thursday –- the irrepressible Molly Ringwald, Gen-X “it girl” and all around charming woman.

Singing jazz and big band standards, Dave and Molly along with The No Vacancy Orchestra, which included some players from our local Airmen of Note, entertained an attentive crowd. Dave kicked things off with early songs like “Nice ‘n’ Easy” by Frank Sinatra, looking and sounding every bit an old-fashioned crooner. (Waxing nostalgic for things “old-fashioned” during a performance of a song of the same name, Dave offered up the suggestion of drinking an Old-Fashioned. Not a bad idea, sir!) Dave captures Sinatra’s “tough but tender” persona well.

After Dave warmed up the crowd, he introduced Ms. Molly Ringwald, and the crowd caught its collective breath as the very recognizable movie icon stepped out onto the stage. In 2013, Molly released her debut jazz album, a collection of standards, titled Except Sometimes via Concord Records. And if I’m not mistaken, the Bethesda audience received quite a treat in Molly’s performance as she was often accompanied on piano by that album’s producer, Peter Smith, a marvelous talent.

Molly sang “They Very Thought of You” by Ray Noble, which appears on her album, as well as a selection from Guys and Dolls.

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Dave takes the mic again for Sammy Cahn’s “Please Be Kind,” and at this point, everyone in the house is relaxed and loose and having a grand time. In a few songs, Dave serves up a tremendous crowd-pleaser with Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” after a story about a childhood friend who was in the Jersey Boys movie adaptation.

Soon it’s time for Molly to return, and return she does with Johnny Mercer’s “I Thought About You,” a song Molly first learned to sing to her kids over Skype when she was away from home during tours. She then threw the audience a pleasant surprise with her cover of “Want One” by Rufus Wainwright.

Dave and Molly closed down the show with a tribute to Nat “King” Cole with Dave singing “Straighten Up and Fly Right” and Molly tackling “Just You, Just Me.”

Mr. Damiani and his orchestra are off to Los Angeles this weekend, but the man is from New Jersey, and he seems to like to perform around here, so no doubt he will be back soon. Molly Ringwald wrapped up a weekend of performances with Dave in Atlantic City, and she has a string of dates in California next month. Hopefully, we see John Hughes’ leading lady visit our stages again sometime soon.

Here are some more pictures of Molly Ringwald performing with Dave Damiani & The No Vacancy Orchestra from Thursday, July 28, 2016.

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