When Andrea McArdle sings “If He Walked Into My Life,” Jerry Herman’s ardent reflection from “Mame,” it appears as if an imaginary proscenium arch surrounds the singer on the tiny stage of the intimate Metropolitan Room. It is a fervent musical statement, and the vivacious redhead turns it into a theatrical anthem of the first order.
McArdle, of course, made her mark as the original “Annie” at age 13 and lost winning the Tony to her co-star Dorothy Loudon, who appeared as Miss Hannigan, the tipsy keeper of an orphanage. “Loudon was a comic genius who didn’t like kids,” noted McArdle, “but she liked me!” Now at 45 (and the mother of an 8-year-old), McArdle reprised “N.Y.C.” and “Tomorrow” from the Charles Strouse-Martin Charnin 1976 musical.
“Tomorrow” still resonated with a sunny and soaring thrust, the McArdle pipes having blossomed from those of waif to woman with glossy resilience. There is an abundance of heart and humor in her hour. Auditioning for the dream role of Mama Rose in “Gypsy,” she sings a skillfully executed “Some People” with all the required flourish and zest.
A generous serving of Sondheim includes a tongue-twisting “Everybody Says Don’t” and a sultry “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.” “Over the Rainbow” serves as a plaintive benedictory and an emotionally valid statement for young and old.
Pianist and musical director Seth Rodetsky lends bold and flavorful support. Act would benefit, however, if his often intrusive and rushed spoken commentary were restrained.