Monday, November 5, 2012

The Salon Wrap-Up for November 4, 2012 "Lowered Expectations"

First of all, let me extend my heartfelt thoughts and wishes for those who were adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy this week - from those who had difficulty with power, damage and health issues, down to those whose paychecks were affected by being unable to travel to work. It was a tough week, but us East Coasters made it through with amazing grace.

Co-Host, Bill Zeffiro
We were thrilled to be back among our Salon family, as we ushered in the week’s theme, “Lowered Expectations.” Sitting at the piano and manning the mic as Co-Host was composer, music director and 2-time MAC award winner, Bill Zeffiro. When he’s not at Salon or playing for greats such a KT Sullivan, Bill can be found at La Mediteranee every Tuesday evening from 9-11:30pm. No cover or minimum (though, they’ll certainly encourage you to buy a glass of their wonderful French wine!)

Bill Zeffiro started off our evening with his original tune, “Lower Your Expectations.” Natasha Castillo started the open mic portion of the evening with the pop tune, “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her.” She has her debut show coming up at The Duplex this Saturday, November 10 at 7pm, and also has a show Friday, November 16 at 7pm. Get out to support our newer cabaret artists!

Sean Patrick Murtagh brought his lovely and powerful bass vocals to the Wildhorn song, “Only Love” from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Kevin McMullan sang “I Don’t Want To Know” from Jerry Herman’s Dear World. Charlotte Patton asked Bill Zeffiro to come to the piano and sang the salsa inspired, “My Attorney Bernie.” Charlotte will be appearing at The Metropolitan Room on Election night with a group of singers singing patriotic tunes while the ballot counts are being shown on big screens. $5 cover 1 drink minimum - show your country pride!

Bistro Award-winning Parker Scott was next with Bill Zeffiro, singing “Anthem” from Chess. And it’s an appropriate song for our pianist, given that Mark Janas revealed that Bill was the president of his high school chess club.! Sunny Leigh was next, with Barry Levitt at the piano, singing the classic “Lost In The Stars.” Sunny is having an innovative, private “living room salon” performance on December 16 4pm - it’s limited to 30 people, so get your reservation in now!

Barry stayed at the piano to play for Joey Infante, who sang a spirited and dance-in-your-seat inducing, “El Cumbanchero.” Joey just started rehearsing with Barry for a show he’ll be putting up at the Metropolitan Room in May 2013. We can’t wait! David Gillam was next, reading from his very first published book, “Gingertown” while host Mark Janas improvised some underscoring that perfectly matched the mood of the story. If you’re interested in buying this amazing hardcover, 215 page fully illustrated book, you can buy it at The Salon every week ($28), or buy it online at

David Ballard, our wonderful server, brought in hilarious, original tune, “A Song About Your Baby.“ Erin Cronican (yours truly) sang the oddly hopeful tune, “I Will Be Loved Tonight” from I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Erin just announced her brand new season with her theater company, The Seeing Place. Details here. Adam Shapiro, tonight’s Etceteron, sang the hilarious, “Hey, Let’s Be Friends,” which is from his brand new show, “Adam Shapiro’s Guide to the Perfect Breakup.” The show runs Thursday, November 8 (7pm) at The Duplex, as well as November 15 (7pm) and December 30 (4:30pm). I can’t wait to see it!

Tonight’s Salon Spotlight was none other than the talented (and funny!) Stearns Matthews. He started his 3 song set with “He Touched Me”, famously sung by Barbra Streisand. His second song of the set was the patter-filled song, “A Corset Can Do A Lot For a Lady.” HIs final song of the set was “I Am What I Am” from La Cages Aux Folles. Stearns has a show coming up, “The Importance of Being Stearnsest,” at Don’t Tell Mama on November 6 at 8:30pm, November 19 at 7pm and December 16 at 6pm. Be sure to check it out!

Classical Corner

Mark Janas, Founder and Host of The Salon, was thrilled to introduce Sarah Rice as our Classical Corner performer. Sarah came in with the most incredible instrument, the theremin - the first electronic instrument and it’s the only instrument in the world that you can play without touching it. You’ve probably hear it in all of those old space movies (before they has synthesizers) - Marni Nixon told Sarah that she actually did film dubbing as a theremin because there were so few people who could play it in the 50s and 60s (!) At its high pitches, it has a sound like a musical saw, or like a radio being tuned but without the static. At its low pitches it sounds a little like an animal cooing, howling or mewing. Sarah said that the pitch of the instrument changes very easily based on its environment - if you breath heavily, if the static electricity changes around you, or even if you are shaky due to a few too many cocktails, it can change the sound drasticaly. As we listened to Sarah play this amazing instrument for three songs, I was taken back to the various silent movies I’ve watched, as there must have been theremins played. Special thanks to Matthew Martin Ward, who provided beautiful accompaniment on the piano.

Second Set

Bill Zeffiro was back for the second set with gusto! For his first song, he sang the perfectly on-theme tune, “Better Than Nothin’” His second tune was, “A Voice in the Blur.” HIs last song was what he called his obligatory Italian song, “La Comedia e Finita.” All three songs were Bill Zeffiro originals, which either originated at The Salon or The Algonquin. We’re honored and thrilled!

Salon Producer, Tanya Moberly, (who, according to Bill Zeffiro is “The straw that stirs the drink”) sang the heart breaking, “Holding To The Ground” from William Finn’s Falsettos. Tanya has her show “Tanya Lorraine Moberly sings Barbra Joan Streisand with Steven Ray Watkins” at Don’t Tell Mama - 2 more shows are coming up Nov 14 and Dec 4. All shows are at 7pm. There are discounts for Salon members - be sure to make reservations in advance. Gary Crawford was next, with Barry Levitt on keys, singing the Rodgers & Hart song, “Falling In Love With Love.”

Barry stayed at the piano as Susan Hodgdon sang the lovely, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Susan is bringing back her show, “On The Bumpy Road to Love” on December 8 at Don’t Tell Mama. Only a $5 cover, directed by Peter Napolitano and music directed by Barry Levitt. Lou Iacovino was next with the classic, “Cry Me A River.” Salon Board Member, Nick Levin, followed Lou with his hilarious parody, “When Sunny Gets Nude” to the tune of “When Sunny Gets Blue.”

Jon Weber, on viola, was joined by our amazing lighting & sound technician Tommy Shull, on piano, as they played the haunting, original song by their band, Hey Guy, called “Us.” Joan Jaffe was charming, as usual, with her unique take on Murray Grand’s, “Hungry”. Joan wrote & directed “Quirky Show” which performs this Wednesday, November 7. On Saturday there’s a special screening on 74th and Broadway for “Steps” with the cast and crew - and she’s in it!

Matthew Martin Ward brought Sarah Rice to the stage, and they together (with Matthew on keys and Sarah on voice) performed the song, “Autumn at the Automat” a rare Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt song. Audience participation was required with some “cha cha cha”s and through the musical interludes whistling.

David Arthur Bachrach (with Bill Zeffiro on piano) sang a rousing version of “Bandstand Boogie” which got the whole audience snapping along. You can see David Arthur in “Three Sisters” as the doctor, Chebutykin. Stay tuned for more info. Bill stayed at the piano and invited up Ellen Bullinger who sang a gorgeous, “Not Exactly Paris.” Ellen’s next gig is through the piety of Singers Concert at Pier 9 with the Ed Vokita Trio November 13.

Matthew Martin Ward was next with his clever, “No Leading Lady” to the tune of “Luck Be A Lady.” Matthew was proud to announce that songs from his musical “Lady in Penthouse B” will be performed at Urban Stages as a part of Winter Rhythms Festival, December 5 at 7pm. Richie Eisenberg sang the once every 4-year political tune, “Grand Old Game.” And co-host Bill Zeffiro closed up the evening with a poignant, “I’ve Still Got New York.”

Special thanks to Tommy Shull on lights and sound tonight, our friends at Etc Etc restaurant, and Salon Sponsors Dr Garrett Bennett and Father Jeff Hamblin.

Next week's co-host, Lennie Watts
Steven Ray Watkins
Next week, we’re welcoming as co-host, Lennie Watts with Steven Ray Watkins. The optional theme for next week is Making Arrangements. Bring in any clever arrangement of a song you love, or sing a song about planning. 

In the meantime, if someone video-recorded your performance and you’d like us to know about it, please post the link in the comments section of this blog post. Thank you!

We’ll see you then!

-Erin Cronican
Blogette for The Salon
Need anything? Please email me.

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