On the brink of her 70th birthday, Judy Collins retains the remarkable, crystalline soprano that is her dazzling voice, serving her so well throughout a half-century career from folk icon to sharp interpreter of theater music and standard-bearer of art song. During the 1960s, she became a template of the contemporary folk singer, moving from traditional material to giving the first widespread exposure to such songwriters as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Along the way, she inspired Stephen Stills to write "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." Later, her reading of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" became definitive, as did her interpretation of "Amazing Grace." Gradually she emerged as a fine writer, too, and last year's tribute album, Born to the Breed (Wildflower), focused on her originals rendered by a wide range of contributors, from Cohen and Joan Baez to Dolly Parton, Chrissie Hynde, and Rufus Wainwright. This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear Collins in the cozy confines of the Dakota. Russell Walden will accompany her on the piano. $50 at 7 p.m.; $35 at 9:30 p.m.
Mondays, Tuesdays. Starts: April 6. Continues through April 7, 2009