I was really jealous of Terry Gross. I wish I could've conducted that interview. Luker sings my late father's favorite song on her new CD, a salute to Jerome Kern. Kern co-wrote new songs for Fred Astaire musicals. My favorite is Swing Time, in which Astaire and Ginger Rogers introduced us to "Pick Yourself Up."
Just like Judy Garland, Durbin was a child star in the 1930s who blossomed into a major grown-up movie star in the 1940s. She was classically trained and added an unforced sexiness to opera selections. Durbin was one luscious babe with acting skills. She was a pro at light comedy. She and Judy did a short feature together as kids at MGM. Garland rose to became the top musical queen at MGM. Durbin ruled at Universal.
Irene Dunne did the role of Magnolia onstage in Show Boat. So did Rebecca Luker. I've discovered that music makes a great host or hostess gift when invited to someone's place for a party. Or it can be a birthday present. Keep that tip in mind. And keep I Got Love (Songs of Jerome Kern) in mind. This Rebecca Luker CD is a gift I'd love to get.
Rebecca Luker is married to fellow Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein. He's appeared with Louis C.K. on his brilliant FX sitcom, Louie. We've seen Danny on HBO's Boardwalk Empire and in the 2005 movie TransAmerica. New York theatre audiences will be lucky enough to see him star in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of Talley's Folly. The Pulitzer Prize-winning romantic comedy has February previews and opens on March 5th. Danny got one of his Tony nominations for playing Luther Billis, the WWII sailor always trying to pull a fast one, in the acclaimed Broadway revival of Rodger's & Hammerstein's South Pacific. Before its successful Lincoln Center run closed, one performance aired on PBS stations. If your PBS station ever repeats it, make it a "must-see." He was a younger, sexier, more aggressive and brawnier Billis than we're used to seeing. (Think of Ray Walston in the 1958 movie version starring Mitzi Gaynor.)