He plays the songs that make the whole area sing.
This month, Bob Egan celebrates seven years as the host of cabaret night at Moonstruck restaurant. Egan is a bright-smiled Pied Piper, using the magical powers of his fingers to lift the room’s spirits and take everyone away to their carefree “place” for a few hours. He has a masterful talent to sense the room and choose the perfect songs to bring joy to his guest’s souls.
Egan’s music, combined with the area’s consistently best cuisine, has made his select Sunday evenings in the lounge at Moonstruck something special. And next month’s Halloween Party is legendarily fabulous.
I spoke with Egan, a part time Asbury Park resident, last week.
TBP: When did you start playing the piano?
Egan: I have been playing since I was ten years old – I am not going to say how long ago that was though (laughs). I wanted to play in the second grade but my parents made me prove that I would stick with it. I will never forget the nun in my fourth grade class that called my mom and suggested my parents get me a piano, which they did – an old upright, $199 delivered and tuned.
TBP: And now, watching your fingers play the piano at Moonstruck is like spectacular performance art.
Egan: Sunday evenings are a big party where the guest list is constantly changing. The audience is great and the impromptu singers are a fun surprise. There are always a lot of surprises.
One of the most touching things was two years ago when I played on Father’s Day and the young Albert Smith brought his father Al Holmes. Albert sang “Not While I’m Around” from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. There was not a dry eye in the house, including mine.
TBP: You perform all over the tri-state area, including some Monday nights at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. Is there a song you never want to play again?
Egan: “American Pie” – it was a hit when I was young and it is exhausting to perform but I still like it every once in a while.
I enjoy playing love songs which is great because people here are romantic at heart. Some of the most requested songs at Moonstruck are “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “As Time Goes By.” All great songs that are popular with all ages.
TBP: What are you doing with those famous hands when you are not performing?
Egan: I love working in my gardens in New Hope. I love my gardens. When I am in Asbury Park, I love riding my bike around – no hills. I also love working with my singers but I always look forward to getting back to the piano.
Celebrate seven years with Egan, Sunday, Sept. 23, 6 to 9 pm. BobEganEntertainment.com has more info or call Moonstruck at 732.988.0123.