Photo Coverage: Linda Purl Plays the Beach Cafe
If you were making a movie about New York City and were tasked to re-create the perfect intimate night club experience that included a beautiful glamorous singer and famous New Yorkers at the tables look no further. That scene took place at the Beach Cafe with actress/singer Linda Purl performing her show up close and personal singing to you from the curve of Tedd Firth's Grand Piano on the East Side of Manhattan last night.
Linda Purl, so celebrated and well known for her enormous career on Television and in Film also happens to be a superior vocalist with a compelling voice and mastery of phrasing that only a good actor can bring to the music. Performing with only a piano is one of the most difficult ways for a pop/jazz vocalist to work and you have to be quite expert in your musical ability to make it happen. Linda is born to do it, in fact it's probably the best way to get to know her. Tedd Firth on the piano of course is also the perfect musician to be accompanied by. In this case it's lucky that Dave Goodside's Beach Cafe only has room for a Grand Piano, a Mic Stand and about 60 patrons. The experience can't be beat. BTW, if you had to type cast the perfect night club/restaurant host you would probably find someone like Dave. He sets the tone for the evening with his hospitality and friendliness.
Born in Connecticut, Purl grew up in Japan, becoming the only foreigner to have trained at the Toho Geino Academy. Her studies continued at Neighborhood Playhouse and Lee Strasberg Institute. She was Founding Director of the California International Theatre Festival. Purl currently tours with her solo concertsMidnight Caravan - Celebrating the Great Ladies of the Glamorous Nightclub Era and Up Jumped Spring. Solo albums are Alone Together, Out of this World-Live Midnight Caravan and just released Up Jumped Spring. Past concert venue appearances include Lincoln Center Jazz, Feinstein's in NY, Naples Philharmonic, Catalina Jazz Club in LA, Crazy Coqs in London, Club Raye in Paris and Satin Doll in Tokyo.
Linda Purl has played several roles in television series, starting with The Secret Storm. In 1978, she appeared as newlywed Molly Beaton in the ABC western drama series The Young Pioneers, set in theDakota Territory of the 1870s and based on the novels of Rose Wilder Lane. She also acted alongsideShaun Cassidy in the 1979 TV movie Like Normal People. On Happy Days she played two different roles: Richie's occasional girlfriend Gloria in season two of the show (1974) and Fonzie's steady girlfriend Ashley eight seasons later (1982-1983).
The list of her roles goes on and on but last night one of Linda's finest roles played out at the Beach Cafe.
Article & Photos by: Stephen Sorokoff
Tricia Miller, Mark Waldman, Jamie deRoy
Ron Insana & Linda Purl