Pianist-singer Page Cavanaugh, who passed away last Christmas eve at the age of 86, was one of Tinseltown's most cherished pop-jazz staples, an entertainer of high-toned elegance and sly, natural-fact charm who oversaw one of this town's longest-running parties. Whether way back when at Ciro's or right up to the turn of the century at Toluca Lake's Money Tree, Cavanaugh's trio regularly drew a stellar crew of admirers ranging from Jack Webb to Johnnie Ray. The cat was downright irresistible -- when his threesome first arrived in Manhattan circa 1947, Walter Winchell said the trio was "the greatest thing to hit New York since kissing," and Cavanaugh was subsequently forced to endure a lifetime of similarly abusive accolades. Today's no-cover matinee memorial, Remembering Page Cavanaugh , emceed by ubiquitous uberfan Leonard Maltin and featuring a bevy of musical performances, sure-to-be-hilarious reminiscences and a multimedia tribute, should be anything but a weepy farewell. With appearances by esteemed Cavanaugh acolyte Michael Feinstein, that old-time Hollywood Square Peter Marshall and actor-singer Betty Garrett (she of such MGM classics as On the Town and Neptune's Daughter ) and the snappy local trad-jazz bearer Mark Miller (to name but a few), the show is guaranteed to be as engaging, amusing and appealing as its subject always was (and Cavanaugh had at least five million friends, so call for reservations yesterday).
Sun., April 5, 11 a.m., 2009