Monday, March 25, 2019

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 24, 2019: "Slip Sliding Away: Things That Elude You"

On what felt like it might be the first day of spring, a small but extremely talented crew of singers and enthusiastic audience members gathered at Don't Tell Mama for tonight's Salon.  Mark opened by introducing Tanya and congratulating her on her brand new Bistro Award (and MAC nomination) for director. Then, he introduced our three co-hosts for the evening.  They are three-quarters of the group "Mama's Boys," Tommy J Dose, Brian Kalinowski, and Jon Satrom. (The fourth member, Paul Pilcz, is in Israel, so, obviously, couldn't be here tonight.) The Boys have an upcoming show, but apparently their 1st performance is sold out, so if you missed Salon, you should hurry to catch their second show on April 8th. (At Don't Tell Mama, of course.) 
At any rate, WE had them tonight, and they were terrific! They opened the evening with the Dear Evan Hansen/Hamilton mashup "Found/Tonight."


MamasBoysPoster-1.jpeg



After the break, the Boys presented us with a trio of musical gems which are not in their show, beginning with "I Know Him So Well," from Chess, sung by Jon and Brian. They followed this up with a focused and deeply felt version of Pink's "Glitter in the Air." Tommy and Jon closed this set with, as they called it,  a "two man song" from The Secret Garden, "In Lily's Eyes."
And at the end of the evening, the warm-hearted trio serenaded us with "Louder Than Words," from Jonathan Larson's musical tick..tick...BOOM!.

 Quick Wrap - Classical Corner

Tonight's theme, Things that Elude Us. inspired Mark to give us examples of works where the keys are ambiguous or ambivalent. He began with the Prelude in E minor by Chopin. A feature of the prelude form is that there is an element which repeats over and over. In the case of this particular Chopin Prelude, there are repeating chords which slipslide down in key as they go along, giving a most elusive harmonic impression.
For his second example, Mark chose a landmark work by the Geman opera composer Richard Wagner: the Liebestod (Love-Death) from his opera Tristan and Isolde. Isolde sings this transcendent aria at the end of the opera, as she expires next to the body of her slain lover, Tristan. The harmonic suspensions overlap, change, and meld together so that the sense of any particular key is lost. The piece also grows to one of the mightiest and most erotic climaxes in classical music. As Mark observed, Wagner in real life was a pretty terrible person: an anti-Semite who borrowed money and never paid it back, and was politically controversial. Nevertheless, he was a sublime composer who revolutionized the music of his time.
Mark played the Liebestod in the piano transcription by Franz Liszt. Liszt was good friend of Wagner, and also the father of Wagner's second wife, Cosima.


Roster of performers for the evening (in order of appearance):

Click link to visit the performer’s website or other links, when available.
All piano accompaniment by Mark Janas unless otherwise noted.

Co-Hosts:  Mama’s Boys – Tommy J. Dose, Brian Kalinowski, & Jon Satrom
Analisa Bell, Quinn Martin, and Alexandra Foley
Josh Carr & Scott Roche
Frank McDonough
Sally Darling
Rachel Moss
Bennett Silverstein
Erik Strebig
Joshua Bennett
Janice Hall 
Marnie Klar

BREAK

Co-Hosts: Mama's Boys
Tanya Moberly
Fred McDonough
Alexandra Foley
Quinn Martin
Analisa Bell
Josh Carr
 Scott Roche
Bennett Silverstein
Janice Hall
Co-Host: Mama's Boys

Special thanks to our pianist for the evening, Mark Janas. Thanks also to Erik Strebig on lights and sound, and the astounding waitstaff (Joshua and Leo), and management at Don't Tell Mama. Finally, thanks to Ruben Olvera for his Videography!

Ongoing Shows:

Most Tuesdays (6pm): Peaceable Hour with Sarah Rice, Janice Hall, and Mark Watson at St. Clements Church, free, see schedule for details - peaceablehour.com, 423 West 46th Street, NYC.

Wednesdays-Sundays: Adam Shapiro is performing in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish at Stage 42, 422 W 42nd St, NYC.

Upcoming Shows:

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 (7pm): The 33rd Annual MAC Awards take place! Among the Salon family nominees are Tanya Moberly, Marnie Klar, Sally Darling, and Salon itself.   www.MACnyc.com

Saturday, March 30th, 2019 (9:30 pm): Join Analisa Bell, Quinn Martin, and Alexandra Foley for "You've Got That Thing-A Celebration of Cole Porter," at the Triad Theater, 158 W 72nd St, NYC.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (7 pm): Mama's Boys (our co-hosts) open their show at Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th, NYC.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (8pm): Tanya Moberly directs Dan Ruth in the award-winning "A Life Behind Bars" at City Winery, 155 Varick St, NYC.

Monday, April 8th, 2019 (7 pm): Mama's Boys (our co-hosts) open their show at Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th, NYC.

Friday, May 3rd, 2019 (7pm): Frank McDonough will be singing at the National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave., NYC.

June, 2019: Josh Carr and Scott Roche will be performing their autobiographical show, "The Wrong People Travel," during this spring's Pride Celebration. 


NEXT SALON: March 31st, 2019:
Cabaret mainstay Jeff Harnar hosts "What a Swell Party: Parody or Patter Songs," so brush up your best party number and do drop in!

Submitted by Janice Hall
Blogette for The Salon
Email me if I missed anything!

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 17, 2019: "It's Not Easy Being Green"

Mark faked his lucky charms accent to introduce the theme of "It's Not Easy Being Green" at the top of the show, and then got our Co-Hostess with the Mostess onto the stage: Sue Matsuki is a fixture in the jazz and cabaret community, and as singer, teacher, and charmingly talented hostess, she made the entire evening as bright and cheery as a pot o'gold. She started out the show with "How's That For Openers?" the cleverly-lyric'd theme song of her upcoming show which is filled with opening numbers across Musical Theater. In the second mid-show set, we had a sing-a-long with the lights up of a popular and absolutely ridiculous Irish song, "Mrs. Murphy's Chowder" complete with full lyrics handed to the audience and with Sarah Rice, Janice Hall and Matthew Martin Ward up on stage to help out with the verses. She then sang the cool, swinging, vengeful diatribe song "You'll See," crushing on someone and the inner monologue of green jealousy, which is not a pretty color on Sue.  It was sung with Sue's signature smooth jazz vocal form, and quoted a lot of classic American Songbook song titles cleverly. She finished the set with "I'll Love You When" a "love song" to Donald Trump in a country song style, containing an impressive list of pop culture and social commentary. Sue's explained her philosophy to "Love thy neighbor, it'll drive them crazy" and sang lyrics like "I'll love you when Cabaret makes me rich..." She concluded the evening with "You Must Believe in Spring," written by Michel Legrand and Jacques Demy.

Sue has a bunch of performances lined up - check out the list below, but in particular note that she will be presenting at the 2019 MAC Awards on March 26th and will be teaching a "Building Your Show" workshop on Saturday, March 23rd from 10:30am to 1:30pm. Bring in 14 tunes and by the end of the class you'll have an idea of how to put together a show! At Don't Tell Mama www.cabarethotspot.com


Photo: bjryansmagnoliaroom.com
Salon Spotlight

Our Salon Spotlight was the winner of Metrostar/MAC/Bistro/Julie Wilson Awards and Broadway actor T. Oliver Reid, who does a tribute show of Bobby Short on March 25th at The Birdland Theater, and last night's Spotlight highlighted a number of wonderful songs from this set. T. seeks in his show to discuss the commonalities with Bobby Short and cultural teachings as a man of both color and style. Ultimately, T.'s goal is to bring modern audiences the experience of watching Bobby Short at the Cafe Carlyle, and no better singer could we hope for in this experience: T. is a passionate singer with an expressive connection to lyric, connected to his training in Musical Theater with 12 (going on 13) Broadway shows under his belt. Tonight's theme of "Green" brought about thoughts of "Spring" and"Beginnings," leading to a tender rendition of "Begin the Beguine" on a Larry Yurman arrangement, which featured T.'s rich baritone notes.  T. then related that in all his Broadway shows, so many of his coworkers shuddered at the thought of doing Cabaret as an art form...exactly for the reasons he himself went into Cabaret: as he said to this audience, "we can hear you breathing and have eye contact!" He then went into Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler's 1934 song "Ill Wind" from The Cotten Club movie (which was also featured in Reid's show "Drop Me Off in Harlem"). It was a slow, sultry, and heartbreaking song. The last piece was a Rogers and Hart classic, and we all know how R&Hart's works are some of the most beautiful songs in the American Songbook. He went into "Isn't it Romantic?" in a tenderly gleeful manner - swinging the rhythm, cheekily smiling and bouncing, utterly and adorably romantic in the gorgeous inner butterflies he set free with his emotions and voice. T. offered a true master class in intimate yet fully voiced and giving performance.

Beginning on March 22nd, T. will be appearing in his 13th Broadway show - "Hadestown" on Broadway at The Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 West 48th St, NYC 10036.

He will present "T. Oliver Reid Celebrates Bobby Short" on March 25th at 8:30pm at the Birdland Theater – 315 West 44th St, NYC 10036.

Photo: Nitelifeexchange.com
For more information: www.toliverreid.com / www.hadestown.com / www.birdlandjazz.com

Quick Wrap - Classical Corner

Need something green and classical and Celtic? Mark instantly went to his favorite Celtic-song-singing soprano and our friend Sarah Rice, who first sang "The Courtyard Lullaby" by Loreena McKennitt. She introduced the song with a little detail about the mythology of the Unicorn - a universally beautiful, mysterious creature, it can shift between the visible and invisible and is a religious symbol in the middle ages. A pure virgin woman can attract a Unicorn to her lap, representative of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Another popular genre in Celtic lore and song is the "dead bride" song. After defining a few archaic words like "kine" = plural of cattle and "gear" = clothing/belongings, Sarah's dexterous voice flirted through the Celtic inner-melody trills and navigated to great soprano heights in the traditional "She Moved Through the Fair," which also featured a stirring a cappella section. To end Classical Corner, Sarah sang "The Voice," a rolling Irish waltz in 3/4 rhythm, with instrumental by Mark and rich soprano notes that reached a powerful climax (with the help of the tambourine) at the end.

Roster of performers for the evening (in order of appearance):
Click link to visit the performer’s website or other links, when available.
All piano accompaniment by Mark Janas unless otherwise noted.


Co-Host: Sue Matsuki 
Marnie Klar
Michael Colby
Karen Joyce
Michael Prince
Rian Keating "Milestones" 40th Anniversary in New York,
Ann Talman
Carol Sue Gershman
Richie Eisenberg
Deborah Stone (self on guitar)
Susan Mack (Takaaki Otomo on piano)
Daryl Sherman (self on piano)
Sierra Rein
Zach Wobensmith
Salon Spotlight: T. Oliver Reid
Classical Corner with Sarah Rice
BREAK

Co-Host: Sue Matsuki (with help from Janice Hall, Sarah Rice, and Matthew Martin Ward)
Tanya Moberly
Bobbie Horowitz (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Katie Neiheisel
Becca Kidwell 
Frank McDonough
Janice Hall (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Frances O'Flynn (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Sally Darling (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Matthew Martin Ward (self on piano)
Joshua Bennett
Alison Nusbaum
Barb Malley
Bennett Silverstein
Joan Jaffe
Dave Schweisguth
Co-Host: Sue Matsuki

Special thanks to musicians Mark Janas, Deborah Stone, Takaaki Otomo and Matthew Martin Ward. More thanks to Alison Nusbaum on lights and sound, and the astounding waitstaff including Joshua and Leo, and management at Don't Tell Mama. Finally, thanks to Steve Bustamante for his Videography!

Ongoing Shows:

Most Tuesdays (6pm): Peaceable Hour with Sarah Rice, Janice Hall, and Mark Watson at St. Clements Church, free, see schedule for details - peaceablehour.com, 423 West 46th Street, NYC.

Wednesdays-Sundays: Adam Shapiro is performing in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish at Stage 42, 422 W 42nd St, NYC.

Upcoming Shows:

Friday, March 22nd, 2019 (7pm): Susan Mack reprises her MAC Nominated show "Nobody Else But Me" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 (10:30am-1:30pm): Sue Matsuki, as part of Cabaret Hotspot, will present "Building Your Show" workshop at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC. www.cabarethotspot.com

Monday, March 25th, 2019 (8:30pm): "T. Oliver Reid Celebrates Bobby Short" at the Birdland Theater, 315 West 44th St, NYC.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 (7pm): The 33rd Annual MAC Awards take place! Sue Matsuki and her biz partner David Sabella will be presenting, and SO many Salon regulars are up for nominations! www.MACnyc.com

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 (7pm-10pm): Sue Matsuki sings and hosts Parnell's Bar Open Mic with Bill Zeffiro on piano. No cover/$20 food/drink minimum, at Parnell's, 1st Ave @ 53rd Street, NYC.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (7pm): Matthew Martin Ward will be a part of Joe Keenan's “Everybody Rise: A Resistance Cabaret” at Theatre at Birdland, 315 West 44th St, NY.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (8pm): Tanya Moberly directs "A Life Behind Bars" at City Winery, 155 Varrick St, NYC.

Sunday, April 7th, 2019 (1pm): Becca Kidwell, Alison Nusbaum, Tracy Stark, Lennie Watts, Karen Mason and others in "Heron's Landing Reunion" at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC.

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 (7pm): Frances O'Flynn with Matthew Martin Ward sing Jimmy Kennedy - "The Man Who Wrote the Teddy Bear's Picnic" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Sunday, April 14th, 2019 (7pm): Frances O'Flynn with Matthew Martin Ward sing Jimmy Kennedy - "The Man Who Wrote the Teddy Bear's Picnic" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 (7pm): Daryl Sherman will sing "Spring Fever" at the Birdland Theater, 315 West 44th Street, NY.

Saturday, April 17th, 2019 (8pm): Sue Matsuki sings "Ella and Me" with MD Gregory Toroian and Skip Ward on bass, at BJ Ryan's Magnolia Room 57 Main Street, Norwalk, CT. 

Friday, April 26th, 2019 (7pm): Barbara Malley with Musical Director Matthew Martin Ward in "OMG Am I A Diva?" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, April 27th, 2019 (4:30pm): Barbara Malley with Musical Director Matthew Martin Ward in "OMG Am I A Diva?" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, May 11th, 2019 (8pm): Sue Matsuki sings "Ella and Me" with MD Gregory Toroian and Skip Ward on bass, at Maureen's Jazz Cellar, 2 N. Broadway, Nyack, NY.

Saturday, May 18th, 2019 (2pm): "Heart Strong Heart Songs" a Benefit for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society co-Hosted by Sue Matsuki and Terri Dannenberg, starring Joann Gass, Paul McGrath, with guest star David Sabella and special guest star Carole Demas, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC.

Friday, May 31, 2019 (7pm): Sierra Rein - as part of Marquee Five - performs "8-Track Throwback" with Dan Pardo on piano, Matt Scharfglass on bass, and Rich Huntley on drums, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC.

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 (7pm): Bobbie Horowitz presents "It's Just a Number" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

NEXT SALON: March 24th, 2019
The theme for the next salon will "Slip Sliding Away – Things That Elude Us." So come with your comedic or not so comedic musical reflections on the things that slipped through our fingers. Our Co-Hosts will be noneother than Mama’s Boys – Tommy J. Dose, Brian Kalinowski, Paul Pilcz and Jon Satrom, so expect some amazing harmonies and playful hosting all night long!

- Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Email me if I missed anything!

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 10, 2019: "Acceptance"

After last night, we had to accept the fact that it was an hour earlier than we thought, and Mark Janas admitted he was a little tired from orchestrating for Len Cariou and Kathleen Turner for Broadway Backwards (performing tonight, Monday the 11th!). But we had to accept this fact, and looked forward to a great evening of music at The Salon! Our Co-Host Scott Evan Davis's music is not a stranger to Salon friends; as an ASCAP, Broadway World and MAC Award Winner, with CDs entitled "Next" and "Cautiously Optimistic," Scott's music has been sung on many stages throughout country. His upcoming musical Indigo is in development by Broadway producer workshops, so that will hopefully be seen by New York audiences soon. Scott introduced the theme of "Acceptance" as an overriding that runs through a large amount of his composition over the years. First, Adam Rennie sat simply on a stool and pontificated about his own inner questions, asking what's "Next," the title of Scott's CD. Adam made special use of the flowing and ebbing of the melody and soaring tenor notes. Scott is a teacher/coach as well, so he played for a few of his coaching students, who at less than 10 years old both sang both pop and musical theater with equal professional talent and poise.

For the mid-show set, Scott sat at the piano again to play for Marta Sanders Cooper, who powerfully and emotionally sang "Save Me the Rose," about a woman accepting her place and looking towards the next step in life, in a rich alto belt. MAC Award Nominee for Best Female Debut, Emily Ellet, then performed "So Good," in the role of a daughter who is thrust into a family situation, and dealing with the dynamics of how they deal with their grandmother's failing mental abilities. This song is from Scott's musicals Indigo, which is having a few readings on the theme of non-verbal autism and how a woman learns how to get through being heard for the first time. Emily's soulful mix of bell-like power and round mezzo-soprano tones navigated the emotional lyrics and moments superbly. Marta returned to the stage with Analise Scarpaci to sing a relatively new song from Indigo. Marta played the grandma, with Analise playing her grandaugter with autism, singing "Just Drive" together on a different mental plane - in this realm, they are able to communicate out loud as they travel next to each other.  Next, Tanya took her spot to perform the song that won Scott his MAC Award for best song, "Before I Forget," a song she grabbed when he first sang it at Salon years ago. To end the evening, Scott invited another MAC Award Nominee for Best Female Debut Sierra Rein (me!) and her friend Kay ThePal (not nominated) to sing "If The World Only Knew," a power ballad of knowing one's inner strengths and power despite the blindness of others.

Scott Evan Davis, winning a MAC Award for song "Before I Forget"
Quick Wrap - Classical Corner

For classical corner, Mark opened up to discuss the Final Trio from Richard Strauss (music) and Hugo von Hofmannsthal (lyric)'s comedic opera Der Rosenkavalier. This is a comedy of errors and zany behaviors in three Acts, but in the final trio, the lead characters sing to reveal their inner monologues, leading them to accepting their own love or releasing of love of the other person within this musical love triangle. We had a dramatic reading of a translation of this scene by Maureen Taylor, Sierra Rein and David Ballard (as the Princess, Sophie, and Octavian respectively). Mark then played a recording of this glorious trio, but promises that one day it will be sung live at The Salon. The remaining lovers go on to have a little duet, simple and gorgeous. At the end of the last act, an apprentice Rose Carrier finds a single silver rose on the bare stage, and the music trips and floats its way around him as he joyously dances with the rose, to end the opera.

Roster of performers for the evening (in order of appearance):
Click link to visit the performer’s website or other links, when available.
All piano accompaniment by Mark Janas unless otherwise noted.


Co-Host: Scott Evan Davis and Adam Rennie (Scott Evan Davis on piano)
Tayden McAvoy (Scott Evan Davis on piano)
Maya Marcus (Scott Evan Davis on piano)
The Mama's Boys - Tommy Dose, Brian Kalinowski, and Jon Satrom
Susan Mack
Barb Malley (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Sally Darling (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Matthew Martin Ward (self on piano)
Angela Leone
Leanne Borghesi
Maureen Taylor
Classical Corner with Maureen Taylor, Sierra Rein and David Ballard
BREAK

Co-Host: Scott Evan Davis (Scott Evan Davis on piano) with Marta Sanders Cooper, Emily Ellet, Analise Scarpaci
Tanya Moberly (Scott Evan Davis on piano)
Bobbie Horowitz (Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Richie Eisenberg
Phillip
David Ballard
Joshua BennettDawn Derow
Co-Host: Scott Evan Davis and Sierra Rein...and Kay ThePal (Scott Evan Davis on piano)

Special thanks to musicians Mark Janas, Scott Evan Davis, and Matthew Martin Ward. More thanks to David Ballard on lights and sound, and the astounding waitstaff including Joshua and Leo, and management at Don't Tell Mama. Finally, thanks to Ruben Olvera for his Videography!

Ongoing Shows:

Wednesdays-Sundays: Adam Shapiro is performing in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish at Stage 42, 422 W 42nd St, NYC.

Upcoming Shows:

Monday, March 11th, 2019 (7pm): The Bistro Awards take place - Tanya Moberly, Marnie Klar, Sidney Myer, Sierra Rein, Lisa Viggiano, and more are being honored along with Judy Collins at The Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd Street, NYC.

Monday, March 11th, 2019 (8pm): Mark Janas' orchestrations and money for a good cause can be seen at Broadway Backwards, New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd Street, NYC.
Friday, March 22, 2019 (7pm): Susan Mack's encore of "Nobody Else But Me" with Director Marilyn Maye at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, March 22, 2019 (8pm): David Ballard and Reuben Olvera will perform with the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in Big Gay Sing: Body and Soul in NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.

Friday, March 23, 2019 (8pm): David Ballard and Reuben Olvera will perform with the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in Big Gay Sing: Body and Soul in NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.

Sunday, March 24, 2019 (5pm): David Ballard and Reuben Olivia will perform with the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in Big Gay Sing: Body and Soul in NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (7pm): The Mama's Boys (Tommy Dose, Brian Kalinowski, and Jon Satrom) perform trios of harmony with Musical Director Elliot Roth at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (7pm): Matthew Martin Ward will be a part of Joe Keenan's “Everybody Rise: A Resistance Cabaret” at Theatre at Birdland, 315 West 44th St, NY.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (8pm): Tanya Moberly directs "A Life Behind Bars" at City Winery, 155 Varrick St, NYC.

Monday, April 8th, 2019 (7pm): Mama's Boys performs trios of harmony with Musical Director Elliot Roth at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, April 26th, 2019 (7pm): Barbara Malley with Musical Director Matthew Martin Ward in "OMG Am I A Diva?" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, April 27th, 2019 (4:30pm): Barbara Malley with Musical Director Matthew Martin Ward in "OMG Am I A Diva?" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, April 27th, 2019 (7pm): Lucille Carr-Kaffashan in "How the Light Gets In" with Jeff Cubeta (Music Director), Sean Harkness on guitar, Matt Scharfglass on bass, and David Hilder (Director) at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 (7pm): Lucille Carr-Kaffashan in "How the Light Gets In" with Jeff Cubeta (Music Director), Sean Harkness on guitar, Matt Scharfglass on bass, and David Hilder (Director) May 2nd at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 (7:30pm): Leanne Borghesi will perform as part of "All The Things You Are: Celebrating Jerome Kern" at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, 154 W 57th St, NYC.

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019: Leanne Borghesi in "Mood Swings" at  The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC.

Friday, May 31, 2019 (7pm): Sierra Rein - as part of Marquee Five - performs "8-Track Throwback" with Dan Pardo on piano, Matt Scharfglass on bass, and Rich Huntley on drums, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC.

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 (7pm): Bobbie Horowitz presents "It's Just a Number" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

NEXT SALON: March 17th, 2019
Next week the theme will be "It’s Not Easy Being Green" - so interpret that in whatever way you wish! Our Co-Host will be singer, producer, teacher and all-around great gal Sue Matsuki and our Salon Spotlight will be Broadway singer-actor (straight from his multiple God-and-human roles as the male Swing in Once On This Island) - T. Oliver Reid!

- Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Email me if I missed anything!

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Salon Wrap-Up for March 3, 2019: "Water"

Mother nature was on board tonight for the theme of last night's Salon, "Water," dripping snowy rain outside. But inside it was as warm as Spring, with Rick Jensen as our Co-Host (which makes sense since his CD is called "Spring Harvest"). Rick is an accomplished singer, arranger, pianist, and former co-host of The Salon - but this was the first time he did it as a songwriter. Coming from the landlocked state of Minnesota, NYC to him was all about discovering the sea, the shore, and he couldn't wait to see the ocean. He thus opened the show by performing by himself at piano, singing the first song he wrote as soon as he hit the Eastern Seaboard of New York City - "Coney Island," a rock piece filled with locales and romance and hopes of NYC and Rick's belted vocals and thrilling piano skills. For the second act opening, water turned to snow as he told us about his time growing up in the snow; practically every new winter event has it's own holiday, like the first Blizzard Keg-er of the year. He then went into a hilariously original song about partying a little too hard: "Hi Ho! That's the Jensen Way," for which all names were changed to protect the guilty and key changes rose as fast as alcohol levels. He went into another original about his little hometown experience, the piano ballad "Amanda Sang." Rick then flowed into the final song of the set, the powerfully supportive "Harbor." To complete the evening, he sang a song he's known since the 80s, "In Passing Years" which he eventually shared with the late, great Nancy LaMott; in fact, they opened the Don't Tell Mama room together many years ago, so it was a lovely homecoming.

Rick Jensen

Salon Spotlight

Speaking again of Nancy LaMott, she introduced Rick many years ago to an up and coming singer, Barbara Fasano, and it's been a creative romance ever since. Two CDs and many shows later, they continue to sing together; in fact, the evening's "Water" theme came out of Barbara's CD "The Girls of Summer," so as our Spotlight, she performed three songs from said CD with Rick at the piano. She started out with Peggy Lee and Johnny Mandel's love theme from the film "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!" Luckily it's called "The Shining Sea," and it was a beautiful, free-flowing number that had us all fall in love with Barbara's rich alto and expressive emotional melody control, perfect for the 1966 melody. She then went into her volatile Italian Catholic (pardon the redundancy) family and her need for escape. She regaled us with her experience as a teenager in the 1980s, driving her 1960s Camaro to Robert Moses Beach and experiencing true freedom with a passionate rendition of "Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen. Nancy LaMott had previously sung the final piece, which Barbara had never sung before but wished to give her friend her due: a beautiful rendition of  "Moon River," which started out solo until Rick took a verse. She then she sat at the piano bench with Rick to travel down that river in a gorgeous duet together. 

Quick Wrap - Classical Corner

The topic of water in Classical music...hmmmm....Mark could have talked for an hour or two on how water inspires Classical musical. And while he didn't, there was so much wonderful material he went into that I had to get it all down. Mark started by going went back to his youth playing one movement of Handel's Suite, which was originally written for a huge party on the Thames for King George's son on July 17, 1717. The party took place on one barge, while the musicians performed on a 2nd barge, and both floated up and down the river all day long. In the Classicism/Baroque eras, music was more abstract until Beethoven 6th Symphony; he broke with tradition in one movement where you actually hear raindrops and the rolls of wind and thunder into a deluge of rain - depicted for the first time in classical music. Later in the Romantic era, composers would really relate their music to real objects, concepts, and things. Mark went into one of Chopin's "Barcarolle" movements, reminiscent of the movement of a boat. A Barcarolle refers to a rolling motion motif that flows back and forth throughout a piece. In Chopin's work, double trills on both hands are interesting features, perhaps to shimmer like the sun upon the water. 

In lieu of no recordings in the Classical period, most people would learn music on their own at home, from orchestra reductions down to simple one, two, three, or chamber ensemble arrangements. Mark then played a bit of the waltz king Johann Strauss' own arrangement of "The Blue Danube Waltz," which a family member might have played for her family members on one wet and wintery evening. Mark pointed out the art of transcription reduces it to a very simple rendition, but any good pianist would know how to expand upon the sheet music - adding flourishes, additional octaves, and a better heartfelt extension of the original notes. Adolf Schulz-Evler (1852-1905) is a lesser-known composer who wrote 52 pieces, mostly unknown or lost to history. However, his most famous work is an Arabesque on the theme of "The Blue Danube Waltz" with added jazz harmonies, very Gershwin-esque, with stunningly ebullient ornamentation in the melody - Mark played a recording by Marc-Andre Hamelin virtuoso pianist. (You can hear it via YouTube here).

A page from Schulz-Evler's Arabesque on "The Blue Danube Waltz"
The Impressionist era is even more about finding the images within the music: Ravel's "Gaspard de la nuit" is about a mermaid/water sprite and the shimmer of the light on the water, with the voice of the mermaid emerging from the fast-paced motif, and Mark played a bit of it gorgeously. To finish the corner, Mark played Debussy's "10th Prelude: La Cath├ędrale engloutie," which evokes a sunken Cathedral emerging from underwater. Murky and ghostly sounds of ringing bells and undulating currents running through it's broken windows as it sinks back into the deep. Finally, Mark played Chopin's last C minor "Ocean" Etude, which is literally written on the page in a wave of notes - the challenge is not to turn it into a samba but to flow in 4/4. It moves quickly, and it was a thrill to hear. 

Roster of performers for the evening (in order of appearance):
Click link to visit the performer’s website or other links, when available.
All piano accompaniment by Mark Janas unless otherwise noted.


Co-Host: Rick Jensen (self on piano)
Bob Diamond (with Rick Jensen at the piano)
Mary Sue Daniels (with Rick Jensen at the piano)
Katie McGrath (with Rick Jensen at the piano)
Susan Mack (with Takaaki Otomo at the piano)
Tim Cahill (with Jim Harder at the piano)
Renee Katz (with John Cook at the piano)
Deborah Stone (with John Cook at the piano)
Conchetta Butera
Salon Spotlight: Barbara Fasano (with Rick Jensen at the piano)
Classical Corner
BREAK

Co-Host: Rick Jensen (self on piano)
Tanya Moberly (with Rick Jensen at the piano) 
Joanne Halev (with Rick Jensen at the piano)
Dawn Derow (with Rick Jensen at the piano) 
Patty Ruttner
John Trujillo
Josh Bennett
Richie Eisenberg (self on piano)
Co-Host: Rick Jensen (self on piano)

Special thanks to musicians Mark Janas, Rick Jensen, Jim Harder, Takaaki Otomo and John Cook. More thanks to David Ballard on lights and sound, and the astounding waitstaff including Josh and Leo and management at Don't Tell Mama. Finally, thanks to Ruben Olvera for his Videography!

Ongoing Shows:

Wednesdays-Sundays: Adam Shapiro is performing in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish at Stage 42, 422 W 42nd St, NYC.

Upcoming Shows:
Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 (6:30pm): Janice Hall and Sierra Rein will be performing in Decadence Weimar Cabaret at The Friars Club, 57 E 55th St, NYC.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 (7pm): Sierra Rein brings her solo debut show "Running in Place" to a new home at Don't Tell Mama with Bill Zeffiro as Music Director, Matt Scharfglass on bass and Rex Benincasa on drums. James Beaman, Director. Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, March 22, 2019 (7pm): Susan Mack's encore of "Nobody Else But Me" with Director Marilyn Maye at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, March 22, 2019 (8pm): David Ballard and Reuben Olvera will perform with the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in Big Gay Sing: Body & Soul in NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.

Friday, March 23, 2019 (8pm): David Ballard and Reuben Olvera will perform with the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in Big Gay Sing: Body & Soul in NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.

Sunday, March 24, 2019 (5pm): David Ballard and Reuben Olivia will perform with the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in Big Gay Sing: Body & Soul in NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC.

Monday, April 1st, 2019 (8pm): Tanya Moberly directs "A Life Behind Bars" at City Winery, 155 Varrick St, NYC.

Thursday, April 18, 2019 (7pm): Katie McGrath, with Rick Jensen, will be the "Aunt of the Year" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Sunday, May 5, 2019 (4:30pm): Concetta Butera in "Coming Home to Me" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 (7:30pm): Renee Katz will perform as part of "All The Things You Are: Celebrating Jerome Kern" at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, 154 W 57th St, NYC.

Friday, May 31, 2019 (7pm): Sierra Rein - as part of Marquee Five - performs "8-Track Throwback" with Dan Pardo on piano, Matt Scharfglass on bass, and Rich Huntley on drums, at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019: Joanne Halev with Alex Rybek at Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th St, NYC.

NEXT SALON: March 10th, 2019
"Acceptance" is the Theme this upcoming Sunday, so whether that's regarding reality, self-love, or inclusion of people from all walks of life, it's sure to be a heartwarming and supportive evening. Our Co-Host will be composer Scott Evan Davis, and on hand to sing his work will be Emily Ellet, Sierra Rein, Adam Rennie, Marta Sanders and Analise Scarpaci. Just accept it, you're gonna love his work! See you then.

- Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Email me if I missed anything!