The best performances bring me through an arc of emotion and even if Ronnie Spector wiped the same tear, at the same time for her sister Estelle in every performance of “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,”, it still brought a real lump to my throat. At 74, Ronnie brings hope to all of us women. At City Winery, men are whooping and shouting, “We love you, Ronnie!”
The screens on each side of the stage showed a younger Ronnie in her Ronettes days shaking that money maker to “What I Say”. A guy behind me shouted out, “Do you still shake it like that, Ronnie?” “Oh, yeah.” And she gave us a little shimmy. Ronnie told little stories throughout the evening. “I first fell in love with Christmas growing up in Spanish Harlem.” and when she asked her daddy how Santa would visit without a fireplace, he told her Santa uses the fire escape. The next morning the milk and cookies were gone. Ronnie sang Yesterday Once More while photos of her family, husband Jonathan Greenfield, and her two sons Austin and Jason graced the screen and it was another “not a dry eye in the house” moment while we all sang along.
The age appropriate audience also appreciated Johnny Thunders’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” while we see Ronnie, so innocent and young on stage, in her tour bus, and shyly talking to Dick Clark with the Ronettes first appearance on American Bandstand. It was all fun and love for Ronnie at City Winery and with “Frosty the Snowman”,” I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, and “Sleigh Ride”, Ronnie made my Christmas in New York City night.