2010 – Newport Seen

Jack Jones and Mike Renzi, fabled musicians after the performance

Jack Jones and Mike Renzi, fabled musicians after the performance

It was actually rectangular tables at New York’s fabled Algonquin Hotel for the sold-out performances of singer Jack Jones, accompanied by Newport’s own Mike Renzi on piano.

The Star's poster

The Star’s poster

The ghosts of both literary and musical greats haunt the historic Algonquin on West 45th street in New York, while living legends perform in the long, narrow, clubby Oak Room.

Jack Jones Greatest Hits TourRecently, Mr. Renzi, the Emmy-winning pianist-composer (for “Sesame Street”) who is in Newport when not traveling to accompany Liza Minelli, Shawn Monteiro, and Tony Bennett, was there to accompany singer Jack Jones, whose appreciative audience applauded the singer’s every song, story and comment. His wife Eleonora Jones was there to smile and encourage.

Newport Seen ventured down to this home of The Algonquin Round Table, which comprised the legendary literary lights and figures of the early- to mid- twentieth century who gathered there regularly to out-wit each other. (Instead of bon bons, they traded rapier sharp bon mots.) Some of the Round Circle members were Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross, publisher of the New Yorker Magazine, novelist Edna Ferber, humorist Robert Benchley, playwright Marc Connelly,and the irascible Alexander Woolcott.

Mr. Jones, son of the famed singer Allen Jones, has had an estimable Hollywood career, and Mr. Renzi rates him as one of the fine popular singers today. He performed love songs, ballads, up-tempo numbers and of course, the theme from “The Love Boat.”

Relaxing after the show, Mr. Jones and Eleonora talked with Newport’s Ellen Barnes, Newport Seen, and Mr. Renzi, whom Mr. Jones acknowledged during the program, enjoying the historic lounge of the hotel, forever haunted by its literary and theatrical past.

It was a New York night.