Friday, August 6, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for August 1, 2010: "It's Mathematical - Numbers about Numbers"

1 + 1 = :):):):)

It was a lively and jocular evening on the 1st of August at The Salon! The theme was "It's Mathematical - Numbers About Numbers ," and for the guest co-host we put one and one together to make comedy music/improv/standup duo Booth & Pat! The guest performer was the fabulous Jim Brochu, who added a lot of talent to the stage! (Let's see how many math jokes I can make before I annoy even myself).

Co-Hosts Booth and Pat ("the environmentally conscious BP") are the sum product of high energy, humor, two mics and a guitar. They take well-known songs and put them on their ears, or create medleys of familiar tunes and play with them. In addition to their singing talents, they were also able to provide self-effacing humor and keep the hosting ball in the air between singers. Booth & Pat first did a great medley of songs that provide the same chord progression throughout (apparently "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is a cousin of "Let It Be." They then went into a tongue-twisting, fast-paced version of "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies (there are a lot of numbers in that song!).

We then switched gears to have Mark Levy sing a classic rendition of "Some Enchanted Evening," with Mark Janas resuming his place at the piano. Ronnie Giles - a newcomer to The Salon and guest of David Rigano - came up to sing "They Can't Take that Away From Me," and did a little dance as well on stage. Ronnie will be seen as a drunken executive in the upcoming Hollywood film "Wall Street 2," and will be traveling to Warsaw, Poland to complete footage of the film "Finding Joseph." We then welcomed back Tony Imgrund, who sang "10,432 Sheep," a Jule Styne song made recently popular by Audra McDonald.

Michael Colby then sang "Tarts" from his show Happy Haunting (lyrics by Michael, composed by Gerald Jay Markoe). After Michael, Roberta Feldhusen (with her husband Roy at the piano) sang "Simple Little Things" from 110 in the Shade. Matthew Ward then stood to perform a Malty/Shire piece, "You Go To My Head." We then had composer David Rigano bring up an oldie from his composing past, "The Math", a delightfully sweet and funny song from his show Orchard Park. David will be directing a short play - The Secret Plays in the Work(s) In Progress Festival, and is having his show Facing East in workshop at the D Lounge on September 21st as a Trevor Project benefit.

I think Richie Eisenberg was waiting and waiting and waiting in anticipation for the theme of this evening, for he was practically beaming while he sang his song "Two Again." Steve Schalchlin stepped up to the piano to sing "The Edison Diner," lyrics by Amy Lyn Shapiro. Then Kevin McMullan (with Matthew Ward at piano) performed the unique "The Thousand Island Song." Kevin will have his new show, "Two Old Souls and A Band of Gypsies" at the Laurie Beechman in October and November of this year! After Kevin, our Producer Tanya Moberly sang "The Music That Makes Me Dance," which has a gorgeously appropriate "numbers" verse intro. Her show, "Theater Songs," will take place on September 30th at Don't Tell Mama - mark it down, people!

Next, we had a humorous rendition of the 2nd Barenaked Ladies song of the evening, "If I Had a Million Dollars." Our favorite singing waiter, David Ballard, sang "Tonight at Eight," and then Marcie Chasen (also in the Metrostar Competition!) sang "Making Love Alone." Sierra Rein (who couldn't come up with a viable numbers song that evening...sorry) sang "By Strauss," a favorite Gershwin number. We then had Maureen Taylor (who would rather measure by quality, she says) sing "Still" from Titanic. Finally, Jan Brennan sang "Unusual Way" from Nine. Jan is in the midst of the Metrostar Challenge at the Metropolitan Room!

What do you get when you add presence, grace, power, emotion, humor and a big voice? You get Jim Brochu, our special guest performer of the evening. Jim, who has been known for The Big Voice: God or Merman? and most recently the Dramadesk Award-winning show Zero Hour, is now proud to say his hometown is New York, after Zero Hour extended its original 7-week run into 10 months (and counting!). And, although he couldn't give us *quite* exactly what and where his next show will be, it will be announced soon! Check his website!

Jim started out with the joyous "On a Wonderful Day Like Today" from The Roar Of The Greasepaint - The Smell Of The Crowd, then "Who Can I Turn To?" by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. He then did a duet, "Living in the Closet" from The Big Voice as his partner, Steve Schalchlin sang and played the piano. Then, on Mark Janas' request, Jim and Steve sang the poignant and powerfully emotional "How Do You Fall Back in Love?" Jim was also lovely to recall how he once held Ethel Merman's ashes in his arms (while visiting a relative of her's), and how a young man approached him after a show in San Diego five years ago - that man was noneother than David Ballard, our favorite singer-waiter!

The Classical Corner with Mark Janas concentrated on the different mathematical levels of counting. He began with Beethoven's Opus 132 in A minor (which Mark wrote his Master's thesis on!), and showed how the location of the downbeat changed the feel of each movement. He then went into Beethoven's 7th Symphony Scherzo, and asked Booth to count a straight 4-count while Mark yelled out the strong notes. It was mind-boggling to listen to!

We next had Tanya Moberly, who performed "Ten Cents a Dance." Next, our sound man Boris Pelekh - along with his guitar - performed his original song "Something's Coming", which is a staple in his 5-piece rock band Hey Guy (which also features our regular sound man Tommy Shull. Patrick Cook, who is a teacher at BMI, then came to the piano to play and sing his hilarious song "Thank You, Jacques Brel." Whitney Chapman sang "Cat's in the Cradle," Tony Imgrand sang "Go the Distance" from Disney's Hercules, and Mark Levy sang "Once Upon a Time."

Richie Eisenberg then sang another "Two"-themed piece of his own composition, this time a somber song entitled "Table Set for Two." Jan Brennan brought the lovely "Moonfall" from The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Steve Schalchlin brought in the ever-sweet "When I Rescued You, You Rescued Me" from Broadway Barks. Matthew Ward brought in the theme-worthy singalong "Inchworm," and David Rigano sang the mildly insane and random humor song "When It's Nighttime in Italy" (David is a collector of old music with completely odd lyrics!). After David, the always lovely Maureen Taylor sang "When I Am Here Alone" from The Little Women, and Ronnie Giles performed "Learnin' the Blues" by Dolores "Vicki" Silvers. Sierra Rein (with the help of her iPhone) performed "I Hate Men" (which is an entire lie in her book, by the way), and then Booth and Pat closed the evening with "Gibberish Medley," a hilarious collection of songs with themes like "Mmmm-bop" and The Muppet's "Manamanah."

TOMORROW!!! Sunday, August 8th, SALON, that Bistro & MAC Award winning open mic created and hosted by Mark Janas, returns to Etcetera, Etcetera - 352 West 44th Street, NYC 10036 from 7-10:30PM.

The optional theme for the evening is “Dream a Little Dream – Dreams, Goals & Aspirations”.

Remember, any material, on or off theme, is always welcome at Salon.

Our Co-Host will be one of Cabaret's Finest Ancestors, 13-time MAC Award Winner and Former President of MAC - Ricky Ritzel! Ricky is best known for inventing the 2-drink minimum (google 'last supper'), and is also half of the duo “The Loungeoleers”. For more information:

Our Special Guest will be the Magnificent Multiple Mac & Bistro Award winning Marcus Simeone. Marcus will be appearing in CALLING ALL ANGELS II – a Benefit for Gregory Kennell on August 13th & 20th at 7pm at The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St, NYC 10010, 212-206-0440. For more information:

There will be a $10 cash cover at the door, collected by 'Etceterette', Marnie Klar and a $15 food/drink minimum (cash or credit) per person. (For further information visit or call 212-399-4141). There are no reservations; seating is on a first come/ first served basis, with one intermission. Doors open and sign up begins with 'Etceterette', Liz Ulmer at 6:15pm. Erin Cronican will be our Blogette for the evening!


August 15th: NO SALON

August 22nd: “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda – Songs of Regret”
Co-Host: Danielle Grabianowski
Special Guest: Sidney Myer

August 29th: “World Cruise”
Co-Host: Adam Shapiro
Special Guest: Karen Oberlin

Visit our website and our Facebook page.

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon
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