In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with multi-faceted entertainer Michael Feinstein. Michael is the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” and is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. Michael will be headlining the London Festival of Cabaret on November 4th at The Palace Theatre where he will be performing his acclaimed show “Michael Feinstein & Friends” joined by special guests Elaine Paige and Julian Ovenden for an evening of great music, lyrics and performance. We talked to Michael about his upcoming show in London and his spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Feinstein stated, “One of the things in my life has been the evolution I’ve gone through in my perception about LGBT rights. I guess it happens to everybody but for me I have been less on a soapbox and more just living my life as openly and freely as I can. So when I come in contact with people whom I have differing points of view the gentle approach of them seeing me with my husband Terrence in a social situation is sometimes more powerful than anything else. Like I was invited to the younger Bush White House on Valentine’s Day a few years ago to perform and everyone was saying ‘how can you do that?’ Well, my agreement was that I would only go to the White House if I could bring my life partner because we weren’t married then and we would be treated as a couple and we were. We were introduced together, we were treated as a couple and we were with on Valentine’s Day almost all the Bush family’s close friends and that to me was a very powerful statement. The thing that was interesting for me is that I had to hold in check my own emotions about some of the people who were there whom I had perceived as being those who threatened my own freedom and yet I connected with them on a human level. It was very freeing for me and in a certain way was freeing for them and I think that’s one of the things that has led us toward more marriage equality.”
Michael Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor of the Pasadena Pops succeeding Marvin Hamlisch. This year he also released a new CD, Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn, (Concord) in collaboration with legendary composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn, with an album celebrating Previn’s repertoire from his catalog of pop songs that have most commonly been featured in motion pictures. When his Manhattan nightclub Feinstein’s at Loews Regency that presented the top talents of pop and jazz from 1999 - 2012 closed in December of 2012 due to a year-long complete renovation of the Regency Hotel, Michael opened his new nightclub Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel in May of 2013. He plans to reopen in New York at a new location in the spring of 2014. He is also currently working on a new musical.
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