Broadway to Dim the Lights in Memory of Barbara Cook


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Cook recorded many successful studio albums, one entitled Barbara Cook's Broadway and another called Barbara Cook at The Met.

The singer who was one of Broadway's leading ingenues and cabaret performers passed away in her Manhattan home at the age of 89. With the help of pianist and music arranger Wally Harper, Cook constructed iconic programs often centered around themes, including composers like Stephen Sondheim.

Respiratory failure occurs when there isn't enough oxygen moving from the lungs through the blood. In the show, Cook sang a number lauding an endowment of "Vanilla Ice Cream", which turned into a mark number for the entertainer when she started showing up in nightclub. Her best-known roles were performed during her 20s and 30s.

A regular on the Great White Way in the 1950s and 1960s, Cook appeared in the original productions of Leonard Bernstein's Candide and Meredith Wilson's The Music Man, for which she won a Tony award in 1957.

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Her Broadway career ended in the early '70s as she struggled with depression, alcoholism and weight gain.

Born in Atlanta in 1927, Cook always hated vocal exercises, never had a vocal coach and had an effortless skill of creating beauty by just opening her mouth. She is survived by their son Adam.

As her drinking spiraled out of control, Cook withdrew from show business.

Sondheim became one of her biggest champions. She returned to the stage in the '80s, playing Sally in a critically-acclaimed concert version of Follies at Lincoln Center in 1985. "You should simply profoundly grasp your identity and you'll be fine", she said. "In life, aren't you drawn to the more authentic people?"