wild (or not) about harry

harry connick, jr. in "on a clear day you can see forever." photo by nicole rivelli/the hartman group.

You have to marvel at the sheer stamina of an artist like Harry Connick, Jr.

In concert on Sunday for two intimate but very sold out performances at the St. Marks Roman Catholic Church in Richmond (where he also performed in March), Connick is maintaining a seemingly unreal schedule this holiday season.

For starters, the singer, pianist and bandleader opened on Broadway last weekend in a new version of the Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

The production was first staged on Broadway in 1965 and popularized in a 1970 film version starring Barbara Streisand. But when word came last March that Connick would be featured in a new On a Clear Day, Dave Izkoff of The New York Times called the impending production “a stage revival we didn’t expect to see in this or any other lifetime.”

Ben Brantley was even less gracious in appraising Connick’s portryal of Dr. Mark Bruckner in Monday’s Times review of On a Clear Day’s opening night performance.  

“He has the look of a man just out of grueling dental surgery, who is both in pain and still semi-anesthetized. And he makes even an up number like the title song sound like an exquisitely sung dirge.”

We can only assume the musical will call upon an understudy for a Sunday matinee performance so that Connick can make his way to Richmond.

There is no denying that Broadway is in Connick’s blood. He was performer and composer for the short-lived 2001 musical Thou Shalt Not and scored big in the 2006 revival of The Pajama Game.

But Connick has also placed his music front and center on Broadway stages. Performances from a two-week engagement in July 2010 at the Neil Simon theatre were released last summer as Harry Connick, Jr. In Concert on Broadway. The recording has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category. It will compete in February against records by Tony Bennett, Susan Boyle, Seth MacFarlane and Barbra Streisand.

Those lucky enough to have tickets for the Richmond concerts are likely to be hearing something more seasonal than Broadway fare, however. Connick’s break from New York this weekend was advertised as “Harry Connick, Jr. Performing Christmas Music.” Needless to say, the singer/pianist will have considerable of source material to draw from.

Connick has several holiday releases in his discography. But the newest, 2011’s Music from The Happy Elf, may be the most enlightening. Instead of the grand orchestral pop that dresses 1993’s When My Heart Finds Christmas or 2003’s Harry for the Holidays, Music from The Happy Elf favors instrumental jazz trio music that reveals several musical accents from Connick’s continually inspirational homeland of New Orleans.

It’s an immensely appropriate recording for the Richmond concerts: intimate, involving holiday jazz for an equally intimate setting.

Harry Connick, Jr. performs at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the St. Marks Roman Catholic Church in Richmond. Both performances are sold out.

MARCH MADNESS; ROUNDUP; Roxbury CC grabs third place.(Sports)

The Boston Herald March 18, 2001 | Harmer, P.J.

Charles Lagoa went the length of the court and scored with six seconds left to give Roxbury Community College a 106-105 win over Vermilion C.C. in the third-place game at the NJCAA Division 3 national championships last night in Delhi, N.Y. site cedar valley college

Chris Brooks’ three-point play with 1:01 to play gave Vermilion a 105-104 lead and each team had the chance to score in the final minute.

Lagoa (25 points) grabbed a rebound on a Vermilion miss and went the distance, laying it up through traffic for the win. Vermilion’s last effort at the win fell short as the buzzer sounded.

The game featured 25 lead changes.

Vermilion opened up a nine-point lead with 7:46 to go in the first half when Edward Smith hit a pair of free throws. That was the largest lead for either team. Roxbury answered with a 14-4 run to take a 44-43 lead with 5:52 to go in the half.

The score was tied at 54 at halftime.

The second half pace was just as fast as the first and Vermilion again looked to take control. The Ironmen ran out to an 86-80 lead with 9:43 to go in the game. Roxbury ran right back into the game and tied it up at 91 with 7:23 to go when Lagoa scored.

Roxbury (31-1) fell to Cedar Valley College in the semifinals on Friday night.

“I’m proud of how they responded,” said Roxbury coach Malcolm Wynn. “To be undefeated and watch your dreams of a repeat championship come to an end, they showed a lot of character in being able to come back.” Wynn is retiring from coaching.

“I got a little emotional when one of the guys hugged me and wouldn’t let go,” said Wynn. “You feel the finality of it. It’s been a great run.” Keenan Small added 23 points for Roxbury. Johnafer White had 14 points, KaReem Horton 13 and Jared King 11. website cedar valley college

Joel Giles had 28 points to lead Vermilion (27-8). Chris Brooks and Steve Monroe each had 20, and Edward Smith added 11.

Catholic 76, William Paterson 62 – Pat Maloney didn’t remember the fourth 3-pointer he hit to help lift Catholic to its first NCAA Division 3 championship in Salem, Va. He’d imagined the fifth one 1,000 times.

Maloney hit the last two of his five 3-pointers 1:03 apart in the final minutes, ending William Paterson’s last rally and giving the Cardinals the victory.

With Catholic ahead, 57-53, Maloney padded the cushion by swishing a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:58 left. After Rashaan Barner’s tip-in at the other end, Maloney hit from about 26 feet with 1:55 left.

“The shot clock was running down and I think everyone thought (Andy) Rice was going to make a move to the basket,” Maloney said. “I was open. I was deep, but he found me and I just turned and let it fly. . . . That definitely was a shot that you end practice with yelling 3-2-1.” Women Ohio Wesleyan 70, Emmanuel 64 – At the NCAA Div. 3 championship in Danbury, Conn., Emmanuel came up short in the third-place game. Melanie Sloan (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Brianne Bognanno (10 points) led the Saints in defeat.

Washington (Mo.), which beat Emmanuel in the semifinals on Friday, defeated Messiah (Pa.), 67-45, to claim the title.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.

Harmer, P.J.

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