Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for August 8, 2010- "Dream a Little Dream"

Erin Cronican here! Sierra Rein is off celebrating her 5 year wedding anniversary with her main squeeze, Pete, so I am filling you in on the great time that was had last Sunday.

It was an inspiring night at The Salon as we trilled our way through nearly 40 tunes with the theme “Dream a Little Dream- Dreams, Goals & Aspirations.”

Our Co-Host was Ricky Ritzel, one of Cabaret's Finest Ancestors, 13-time MAC Award Winner and Former President of MAC. As Sierra wrote in the last blog, Ricky is best known for inventing the 2-drink minimum (google 'last supper'), and is also half of the duo “The Loungeoleers.” Ricky started the evening by accompanying himself on the piano, singing “I’ve Got a Crush On You,” after which, he and host Mark Janas played a fun little piano duet. Ricky then handed it over to Salon attendees- first to Ronnie Giles, which crooned “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Louisa Poster was next with a light and fluffy, “Dipsy Doodle.” Soon after, Susan Hodgson gave us her rendition of “The Light in the Piazza” from the musical of the same name. Next was the ever clever Richie Eisenberg, who sang “Never Too Late” followed by Kristin Maloney with the wistful and gorgeous ballad, “Sweet Dreams.” You can see Kristin in the upcoming NYMF show, “The Great Unknown.”

Mark Levy rocked the house next with his tongue twister, “The Nightmare Song” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Iolanthe.” Next was Sunny Leigh with “I Have Dreamed” from “The King and I,” followed by Kevin McMullan with “My City.” Bobbie Horowitz next gave us a touching rendition of “Teenage Dreams” and Gini Dustin wowed us with her original, lovely tune, “Lonely City Nights.” Then we had Bill Zeffiro entertain us with his multi-cultural uptune, “La Comedia E Finita” followed by Steve Schachlin’s haunting melody, “Holy Dirt,” from his show “New World Waking” a song cycle about peace. Next, Edie Stokes sang the warm ballad, “Two For The Road” and Mark Watson charmed us with “Pictures of You.”

It’s always wonderful to see Salon members working together on ensemble pieces, and producer Tanya Moberly and Salon Co-Founder Kristin Maloney gave a hilariously acted and sung rendition of “Dog Dreams.” Etc Etc super server, David Ballard, came to the stage next with “Purpose” from “Avenue Q” and Alison Nusbaum cracked us up as she comically boozed her way through a torch song. After that, Etceterette/Blogette Erin Cronican (yours truly) came to the stage with a dream of different sorts, going through the motions of auditioning with “Climbing Uphill” from “The Last Five Years.” Erin can next be seen in “Nab-A-Date” a musical with a possible Off-Broadway run in 2011. Next, with Ricky Ritzel on keys, The Salon was formally introduced to Madame with co-star Rick Skye, who sang “The Oldest Living Showgirl in Vegas.” Madame has a Feinstein’s gig on August 19 (for adults only- she can get racy!) And the first act was closed by Etceterette Marnie Klar, with a touching rendition of Stephen Schwartz’s “Liontamer.”

Act II of the Salon was kicked off by none other than the Magnificent Multiple Mac & Bistro Award winning Marcus Simeone, our Special Guest of the evening. Marcus started with “Too Many Rivers to Cross”, and then gave us a poignant song about gay marriage and its acceptance globally -- but not domestically. Marcus ended the 3 song set with an amazingly moving “When Angels Cry.” Marcus can next be seen performing in “Calling All Angels II”- two extraordinary evenings of exceptional talent to benefit The Gregory Kennell Fund: Fridays, August 13 & 20 at 7:00 at the Metropolitan Room.

Following Marcus was Classical Corner, with our very own Mark Janas. This week, Mark exposed us to the delightful music of Chopin (who was born 200 years ago this March.) Mark introduced us to Chopin’s four Ballades by breaking down the themes and teaching us about the nuances of the writing. He concluded the segment by opening the grand piano so we could fully experience the sound of these solo piano compositions. It was truly magical, and Classical Corner continues to be a unique and valuable part of The Salon.

Next up was producer Tanya Moberly, who sang a heart-wrenching medley of “Some Lucky Girls” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” Not a dry eye in the house, even from Tanya! Following Tanya was the ever charming Joey Infante, who soothed us with his ballad medley, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “When You Wish Upon a Star.” After accompanying Joey on piano, Mike McDonald stayed at the keys and performed, “I’ll See You In My Dreams.” Matthew Ward was next, making us remember our childhoods with a lovely, “Rainbow Connection.” To satisfy the musical theater crowd, Salon regulars Mark Watson and Sunny Leigh performed their version of “The Music Man” hit “Till There Was You.” To bring the energy back up from all of the ballads, Joan Jaffe brought the funny with her song, “There’s a Broken Heart for Every Light on Broadway.” And no Joan Jaffe performance would be complete without a little dancing- in this performance she showed off her soft shoe (wow- say that 5 times fast!)

Next up was Marc Ostrow, who introduced us to one of his original tunes, “I Often Wonder if She Ever Thinks of Me.”After Marc came Jordan Siwek, a young singer/songwriter who brought in his new tune, “Shall I Compare You?” Jordan made lots of connections after this honest performance, something that we at The Salon are very proud of. We love to hear when professional connections are made through our event! Following Jordan was Keni Fine, who did a parody song called “I’ve Thrown a Custard in Her Face” as well as "Henry the Eight Foot Man" to a tune oddly like that of “I’m Henry the VIII, I am” from the Herman’s Hermits. Next we had the sultry tones of Ellen Bullinger, who warmed the crowd with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.” Ricky was then able to coax up jazz great Daryl Sherman, who accompanied herself with a medley of “Let’s Fly Away” and “Come Fly With Me.” And Ricky Ritzel finished off this week’s Salon with one more playful tune before closing out the evening and bidding all of us sweet dreams.

Next week we will NOT be hosting The Salon due to a special event being held at our venue. But please do join us August 22, where our co-host will be none other than Danielle Grabianowski with the theme “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda – Songs of Regret” and our Special Guest will be Sidney Myer. And Sierra Rein, The Salon’s regular Blogette, will be back at the keys.

-Erin Cronican
Co-Blogette for The Salon

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