Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at New Jersey’s Count Basie Theatre

Tony Bennett was shaking when the curtain rose on “All the Way,” the magnificent ballad on which he sang with Lady Gaga on “The Colbert Report” last week.

Bennett, 95, was so confident of his vocal abilities he blithely let his audiences know: I’m good. “I’m doing great,” he told the audience in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday. “Not going to sing that song!”

But on Saturday he sang it on Broadway — and you have to admire the resolve of someone who is old enough to be your grandfather to admit he has a great voice.

The concert was a heartfelt and inspiring tribute to Bennett and the great American songbook he has recorded over the past half-century. His voice was still strong but it was sounding slurred. He seemed to be tapping on the piano. But there was no way to tell whether the speech impediment was bad luck or bad illness.

Still, the crowd — a big crowd — hung on his every word, watching as the performer retained his sense of humor, a gift he’s cultivated over a long and successful career.

People applauded every show stopping moment. Even when Bennett sang songs without accompaniment, he made the audience clap at the top of its lungs.

“I’m the original greatest show-off,” he told the audience.

As he has in his numerous music videos, the dancer extraordinaire in him resurfaced when he placed his hands on the front of the piano, close to Lady Gaga.

The camera zoomed in on a tiny patch of muscular activity as the singer dangled over the piano.

The song launched with a dramatic entrance:

I’m laying on the floor

in my little purple night gown

I’m singing a song

I hope everybody feels

I’m just plain

and my heart is breaking

over a man who never met me

Who never loved me enough

to say

I love you, Tony

I mean —

I know this all went

I feel like a fool

I want to be free

And if you love me,

tell me, tell me

I want to feel

so much what you feel

I feel down and down

and down

Hearing it, and smiling, I looked forward to the next number.

Please listen carefully to the music’s words.

I want you to feel

so many things I just can’t say

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Please, tell me

Tell me

Please

What you’ve done

What you’ve said

What you’ve done

What you’ve said

I can’t believe

I’m saying so many things

Please, tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Please, tell me

Please

So many things I want

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Can you tell me if you

Know if I’m doing OK?

So many things I’ve done

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Tell me

Please tell me

Tell me

Please

Tell me

Please

Please

Please

Please

I’m asking you

please

please

Please

Please

please

please

Please

please

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