Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for July 11, 2010: "The Long and the Short of It"

The theme of the evening on Sunday the 11th was "The Long and The Short of It - Songs about Measure & Proportion, Size & Shape," or songs that 'cut to the chase' put things 'in a nutshell' or tell us 'the bottom line.' As Mark Janas was at his High School reunion, the "tall" drink of talent called Chris Haberl was at the piano as Guest Host. The Guest Co-host for the evening was Jamie DeRoy, an eight-time MAC Award Winner and seasoned hostess of her own variety show, "Jamie DeRoy and Friends." Our Special Guest Performer was the "short" of the theme's "it", Cindy Marchionda - a diminutive but spitfire star of theater and cabaret.

Jamie began her hosting job of the evening by singing a great song which punned some very well-known last names throughout history and celebrity (song title unknown- it was one of those original comedy songs!). Then Sunny Leigh sang "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues" with Barry Levitt at the piano and Susan Hodgdon, again with Barry at the piano, crooned "I Know the Truth" - two songs with very pointed "bottom line" themes! We then had Candy Benge come to the microphone with Stephen Downs at the piano, singing "Fade Away," a song from Downs' musical "SOS Titanic." A little fun fact about Stephen: he was a bit of a pop star in his youth, and opened for The Beatles when he was 16! Using that as a perfect segue, Joanne Sheeron brought her guitar up to play along with Chris on the piano with "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." Salon regular and overall bon pianist Bill Zeffiro then tinkled the ivories with a wonderful tribute to George Gershwin, who passed away on July 11, 1937. Bill played and sang Gershwin's last (albeit incomplete) work, "Our Love is Here to Stay."

After that sweet dedication, Jamie introduced Lindsey Holloway to the Salon stage. Lindsey, with Bill Zeffiro on piano, sang a 1931 song by Einar Aaron Swan entitled "When Your Lover Has Gone." She'll be singing with Bill at the Flute Grammercy for the Dorothy Parker Society on July 29th! After Lindsey, Michael Colby performed one of his original lyrics (with music by Jack Urbont) from their musical "Mrs. McThing" entitled "How Do You Make Magic?" Then Tony Imgrund - a new face to me! - sang "I'm Just a Small Town Boy" by Fred Silver.

For us sound geeks, and for the entire audience, we then had a treat from Australian singer Darren Williams, who brought in a Loop Machine (invented by Les Paul). Singing "Seasons of Love" from Rent multiple times, he was able to harmonize with himself on the spot and in real time, then complete the loop with a high rock counterpart. It was a wonderful thing to see; both the technology and Darren's talent in a unique synch! Darren promises he will return to New York in September, when he will perform at the Metropolitan Room.

We then had a virtual vacation to Cuba and Mexico, as Janice Hall (with Barry Levitt on piano) sang a mashup of "Dos Gardenias" (a cuban piece) and "Besame Mucho." Her solo show will commence at the end of October and is now a part of the MetroStar Challenge at the Metropolitan Room. We then had Barbara Porteus sing "Michael from the Mountain" by Joni Mitchell - Barbara will sing at Feinstein's yet again with Barry Levitt on July 31st and August 1st (Directed by Peter Napolitano), and can be seen this Friday the 16th at the MAC Showcase at Don't Tell Mama. Salon regular Jan Brennan sang the hilarious Heisler and Goldrich song "I Want them Bald" with Chris at the piano - Jan is also a part of the MetroStar Challenge! Composer Nick Levin then brought his song "Rootin' Tootin' Teuton Man" to The Salon, sung with brilliant and energetic comedic aplomb by Donna Coney Island.

Donna Coney Island

As the first half began winding down, Annie Lebeaux sang and played her piece "These Things Happen" (a highly suggestive piece supposedly meant to sing "the morning after"). Sierra Rein (with the help of Bill Zeffiro) sang "Too Darn Hot" by Cole Porter, from the musical Kiss Me, Kate. The lovely Maureen Taylor, who was door Etceterette, sang "This Time" by Brett Kristofferson. Maureen has several things coming up - she sang at the Cabaret Hotline Birthday Gala yesterday July 13th, is going to be singing at Danny Learey's Comix on July 29th, will sing at the Tudor City Greens concert on August 3rd, and will have her Bob Merrill CD (recorded live at The Metropolitan Room) Release Party in the fall! To close out the first half, we then had Erin Cronican, who sang "Dance Ten, Looks Three" from A Chorus Line, the ultimate B'way song about body measurements!

After the break, we had Special Guest singer Cindy Marchionda, who has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Cabaret, in National Tours and in many Regional productions as well (check out her bio for a full list!). With her diminutive size, she looked short next to Chris, and so she started her set out with Randy Newman's "Short People." Her second song was a unique arrangement of Stephen Sondheim's "The Miller's Son" from A Little Night Music - with it slowed down and swung, it became an altogether new song! She finished her set with a hilarious and sexy torch song "Long John Blues," about one woman's obsession with her local dentist...

Cindy Marchionda

Chris Haberl then got to do "Chris' Corner, " and played a beautiful minuet by Ravel along with a "Waltz in E Minor" by Chopin. After Chris, Producer Tanya Moberly sang "Now You Know." She will also be a featured singer at this Friday's MAC Showcase at Don't Tell Mama, and will also bring her show "Theatre Songs" to Don't Tell Mama on September 30th, bringing back Mark Janas at the piano and Ritt Henn on bass. Jamie DeRoy then stepped in for a moment to sing a joyfully comedic parody of a certain The Sound of Music song, this time entitled "60 Going on 70." Next up to the stage came the lovely Raissa Katona Bennett, 2010 Bistro Award-winner for the Concerts at Tudor City Greens, who sang "I Had a Dream About You" by Maury Yeston. Raissa will be returning to Feinstein's in January, she says, and will also be singing at Comix July 29th and at her concert at Tudor City Greens August 3rd.

Becoming a Salon regular now, Marc Ostrow performed his original piece "Am I In Love" (he joked that he was completely on theme today because most of his comedy songs are short). Then the classic beauty Lianne Marie Dobbs sang "One Less Bell" by Burt Bacharach - Lianne will be performing in How to Succeed in Business at Goodspeed in Connecticut this fall! To bring us to the theme of measurements, Richard Eisenberg sang his song "All Good Things Must Come to an End." Joseph DiSalle then brought an oddly entertaining samba song by Dave Frishberg entitled "Van Lingle Mungo." Kevin McMullen, who is going to be doing his own solo show at The Laurie Beechman with Mark Janas and Miles Phillips this fall, sparked the stage with "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long."

To sing about the biggest lady in Musical Theater, David Ballard sang "Giants in the Sky" from Into the Woods, and then to stay on theme Liz Ulmer sang "How Long" from Peter Mills' Taxi Cabaret. To end the evening, Jamie DeRoy sang "Gentiles on My Mind." Jamie's variety show "Jamie DeRoy and Friends" can be seen each Wednesday night, and in October she'll have her 25th anniversary of her show!


Next Sunday, July 18th, the theme will be “Cy Coleman” - the wonderful composer of such musicals as Sweet Charity, City of Angels, . Our special Co-Host will be Jana Robbins, and our special Guest is to be announced (Mark York had to bow out).

Plus! July 25th will be a unique Salon, as it is a “The Recording Arts/ Demo Night with Peter Millrose.” Co-Host will be Julie Reyburn, and Special Guest will be Hector Coris (both of which have award-winning Live CD's of their work!). For this evening, you will have the option to pay a $30 fee to Peter Millrose for a studio quality recording of your live performance. Reservations and payments are now being accepted for guaranteed slots. (Contact Tanya at 646-637-2806 or Mark is willing to offer rehearsal time earlier that afternoon to those participating. For more info on Peter Millrose:

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon
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