How much does Michael Feinstein love the Great American Songbook? The impeccably polished singer-pianist’s adoration for classic Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley tunes is as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky. Yet even ardent Feinstein fans are likely unaware of the breadth of his passion or the painstaking lengths he’ll go to preserve and protect the music. Which is why award-winning filmmaker Amber Edwards has crafted Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook, a three-part series scheduled to air Oct. 6, 13 and 20 on PBS.
Edwards and her crew spent months crisscrossing the country with Feinstein, chronicling his performances of the work of the Gershwins, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, Hart and others of the songwriting pantheon in venues large and small, and in settings that ranged from solo to full symphony orchestras. Offstage, they drew upon Feinstein the sparkling raconteur, tapping into his encyclopedic knowledge of not only the tunesmiths but also the artists-Sinatra, Clooney, Crosby, Cole and more-who helped make the songs indelible.