Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for June 27, 2010 - "Glitter and Be Gay"

The rainbows were high and the flags were flying on Sunday night, as The Salon celebrated Pride Week with the theme "Giltter and Be Gay." The Special Guest Performer of the evening was Terese Genecco, while Jonathan Whitton (fresh from a 2010 MAC Award for Special Production) stepped into Shaynee Rainbolt's shoes as a last-minute replacement as Guest Co-Host (and he looked fabulous in them!). Shaynee is fine - she was just delayed in Phoenix over the weekend. Our wonderful Mark Janas is back too! Fresh off his job in Maine playing for "Always, Patsy Cline," he sported the shirt he wore in the show – a wonderfully appropriate country-style shirt with two yellow treble clefs.

Jonathan Whitton first stepped to the stage – which was adorned with feathered rainbow banners carried in the Pride parade earlier in the day – and sang "Terrero" in his rock-tenor, accenting the melody with a rock falsetto. Throughout the evening, Jonathan was able to flit and flirt his way through the performers, interviewing them and bantering with some witty repartee each time! After Jonathan, Sierra Rein blues'd up the Huey Lewis & The News tune "The Power of Love," a song about the Universality of love from the movie Back to the Future. Then Bobbie Horowitz sang "When the Curtain Goes Up," a song written by herself and John Meyer. Celia Berk then lovingly sang "I'm Glad There Is You," by Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Madeira. Then we had the Anniversary Couple of the week, Mike McDonald and Joey Infante (who had brought in the flags on either side of the stage – one says "Together" and the other says "30 years"). They both wore tuxedo jackets, bow ties, and bicycle shorts! Joey first sang "Wearing My Shoes" in a Ragtime style. Then Michael sang a salute to the 1920's entitled "What is This World Coming To?", which included excerpts from "Baby Face" and "Five Foot Two."

Bobbie Horowitz

After that gay romp, we had Sunny Leigh, who performed a jazzy version of "It Might As Well Be Spring," and she felt gay in a melancholy way doing it. Then songwriter Richie Eisenberg sang something close to the "Glitter" theme and with augmented lyrics for the occasion – "Sparkle." Dan Furman and Salon Producer Tanya Moberly brought up Dan's crowd-pleasing song, "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore," and the audience knew exactly when to sing along with the "Bring Pluto back!" anthem. We then had Bill Zeffiro take to the piano and mic to sing "The Parting of the Ways." Returning to The Salon for another week's performance, Marc Ostrow performed his original "How Could You Cheat On Me?" - a song which contains a deceptively funny ending!

Speaking of funny endings, Joan Jaffe was next, performing "Down in the Depths" in her usual hilarious manner, taking up the stage to all her advantage. Marya Zimmer sang a jazzy version of "Lullaby of Birdland." Then Liz Ulmer wowed the crowd with "Just to Look at Him" by the late Brian Lasser, and Mark Watson sang "Song of the Sand" from La Cage Aux Folles. Singing and playing from his new show, New World Waking, Steve Schachlin performed the song "Gabi's Song." Marnie Klar then did a mashup-medley of "Primitive Man" by Cole Porter, followed by Barry Manilow's "Man Wanted" from Copacabana. To finish the first half, Erin Cronican performed "Infinite Joy," a song by gay musical theater composer William Finn.

With Special Guest performer Terese Genecco, you get three performers for the price of one. Describing herself as the "love child of Judy Garland and Dean Martin," Terese joked that she's automatically qualified for pre-rehab (as opposed to pre-school). But her enthusiasm, energy and voice certainly qualifies her as one of the great, new New York jazz and big band institutions. Terese and her Little Big Band have made a splash in recent years, and The Salon was so excited to have her this evening. She started out with "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" to commemorate her love-Dad Dean Martin. She then brought the audience to tears with "If I Was a Boy," a beautiful heartbreaking song (written by Maria Gentile and Karen Cole) that fit the theme of the evening perfectly. To finish her set, Terese sang "In My Drag," written by Phillip Swann (music) and Mark Winkler (lyrics) from their new musical Play It Cool.

Mark Janas was welcomed back to his Classical Corner and talked about the power of harmonic structure, using “Maria” from West Side Story to illustrate. Then Tanya Moberly sang “What More Can I Say?” one of my favorite William Finn songs from Falsettos. Birthday Lady Candice Oden sang “Someone to Watch Over Me” with Bill Zeffiro at the piano, and the crowd celebrated by singing Happy Birthday while she was delivered a dessert with a birthday candle by the Etcetera Etc. staff. And what do you get when you cross a priest and a psychiatrist and have him sing? Why, Father Jeff Hamblin, MD (who has been a supporter and frequent audience member of The Salon for quite a while!), who sang “The Impossible Dream.”

After the Padre, we had some room for encores – Mark Watson beautifully sang “Sing the Ballad of Sad Young Men,” and Joey Infante & Mike McDonald performed “Besa Me Mucho,” with Mike on piano and Joey singing in Spanish. Dan Furman, a whiz at the black & whites, played out a beautiful jazz tune, then Steve Schachlin had the audience singing along with the chorus on his piece “Time to Come Out” from his show New World Waking. Bill Zeffiro encored his new original tune (and a new favorite, I might add), “Universal Truth.” Sunny Leigh joined Bill Zeffiro to duet on “You’re Just in Love,” and then Richie Eisenberg sang an utterly dirty parody to “The Man Who Never Returned” entitled “The Man Who Never Got Laid.” Marnie Klar returned for another song as well, singing “Liontamer” from Stephen Schwartz’s The Magic Show. Erin Cronican (with Bill Zeffiro at the piano) sang “Even Though” from the musical I Love You Because, and Dr. Sue sang “Columbus Cabin Girl,” set to the tune of an old folk song. And finally, to complete the evening’s gay escapades, our host Jonathan Whitton sang “Dinner at Eight.”

Reminder that this Sunday, July 4th - there will be NO SALON in honor of Independence Day frivolities, so eat lots of hot dogs and watch fireworks instead!

The week after that, July 11th, the theme will be “The Long And The Short Of It.” Guest Host/Pianist will be Chris Haberl, and our guest Co-Host will be the fabulous Jamie deRoy. Our Special Guest will be Cindy Marchionda.

Joey Infante
-Sierra Rein
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