My friend the engineer Tom Rosado worked sound for one of Tony Bennett’s area appearances a while back, and said that the sound check was a wonder of casual brevity and ease: ten minutes of nonchalant professional grace that made the hardcore bands look like pampered and anal divas. TB breezed in, found that everything fell within his generous tolerances, thanked the sound people and went to what I would like to imagine was a long, lavish dinner with friends before tending to the small matter of the sold-out show, which he killed. There was no presidential teleprompter and in-ear monitoring, no complex cuing, no carting of the National Treasure through maintenance stations and checkpoints, no five layers of administrative approval of his stage banter. Bennett inhabited this stage as any other, of any size: as if it were his favorite old recliner – which it is.
One of our most decorated music legends, and one who more often than not would rather be home painting, Tony Bennett is throwing his considerable weight behind the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC)’s capital campaign. Revenues raised will be use to improve facilities, reduce restroom lines and generally help UPAC provide a more audience-friendly experience in its storied old theater. Ticket prices are $200, which includes Golden Circle premier performance seating and a tax-deductible contribution; $150, including preferred performance seating and a tax-deductible contribution; and $100 (subject to availability).
Tony Bennett, Saturday, June 29, 8 p.m., $200/$150/$100, Ulster Performing Arts Center, 601 Broadway, Kingston; (845) 339-6088, (845) 473-2072, www.bardavon.org.