Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for August 29, 2010: "World Cruise"

Adam Shapiro

The evening on Sunday August 29th was a welcoming one - in that we were welcoming singer Adam Shapiro back to dry land after cruising around the world performing for Holland America Cruises. He was a joyous and fun co-host, as any Showboat captain should be! The Special Guest performer was Karen Oberlin, star of cabaret and stage, and a multiple MAC and Bistro Award winner. People brought many different interpretations of the "World Cruise" theme, and we had some few surprises along the journey, including many new performers!

Adam opened up with an appropriately titled Noel Coward piece entitled "Why Do the Wrong People Travel?" We next had a debut performance from Elaine St. George, who sang "There's a Boat Leaving Soon for New York." Elaine will perform her new show "InspiRAYtion - the Musical Legacy of Ray Charles" - at the Metropolitan Room on December 5th at 9:30pm! Then, David Rigano sang "The Palio" from Travelogue, which David himself wrote based on the horse races in Palio, Siena. Next was our second debut performer, Sue Marcus Rauch, who followed Rigano with another Italian-themed song by singing a spit-fire rendition of "Mambo Italiano." We then heard "My Ship" - what a great song! - as sung by Sunny Leigh with the wonderful Barry Levitt on piano.

That brought us to return Saloner Kit Benton, who sang "You're in Paris" with John T. Prestianni at the piano. Kit will sing at the Laurie Beechman Theater on November 7th in her show "French Connection." Next, we had two back-to-back debut performances; Gilbert Weiss made our imaginations travel with the classic "The Impossible Dream" from The Man of La Mancha, and then Scott Sussman performed "Lana Laney," written by Michael Colby (lyrics) and Peter Millrose (music). Then , the ever-saucy Edie Stokes sang "Give Him The Ooh La La" from Cole Porter's Du Barry Was a Lady. Her new show - "I'm on a Carousel" - is coming up at Don't Tell Mama on November 7th.

Richard Eisenberg - Bistro Award Winner - brought in one of his dirty ditties entitled "My Loves." To Adam Shapiro's glee, we then heard Marnie Klar sing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Michael Colby then came up to sing "I Could Be a Hero," a song written with lyrics by himself and music by Peter Millrose about a Superman-esque character. If you've never seen the loooong list of songs written by Michael, check out his website and lists of songs here. Next, David Ballard performed a gorgeous rendition of William Finn's theme-appropriate "Sailing" in his crisp, clear tenor.

To bring the ship around towards the end of the first half, Steve Schachlin sang a cut song from his musical Last Session. We next saw pianist/composer Bill Zeffiro and singer Karen Oberlin (in a sneaky preview of what was to come) sing a duet of "Let's Take a Walk Around the Block" (music by Harold Arlen, with lyrics written by Ira Gershwin and E.Y. Harburg). Then, Sierra Rein sat Adam Shapiro down in a chair and serenaded him with "Mama Will Provide" from Once On This Island (you can see video of this here). Her vocal group, Marquee Five, will perform their latest show "8-Track Throwback" at Don't Tell Mama for five performances in September-October starting Sept 16th. We next had our Etceterettes of the evening sing; Janice Hall (a finalist in the Metrostar Competition) performed the Dietrich and Knef song "Ich habnoch ein koffer in Berlin," and Arianna performed the stirring "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" from the new musical A Tale of Two Cities.

Karen Oberlin

After the break, we got to see our lovely guest performer of the evening, Karen Oberlin. She just finished three weeks at the Algonquin and two weeks at the Royal Room in Palm Beach. She will perform on Saturday, October 9 at the Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center for the closing night concert at the Cabaret Convention, then on Friday, October 1st for the Mabel Mercer Foundation Event at Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Lincoln Plaza, 66th St. Her new CD "Live at the Algonquin: Songs of Frank Loesser," is out, and she will also perform at the Ritz Supper Club in Fairfield, CT on October 30th. Karen sang three lovely pieces: one about not traveling ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore"), one about yearning for travel ("How Are Things in Glocca Morra?), and a third about the urge to just settle down for once (the upbeat "Mountain Greenery").

Mark Janas then took to the piano for this week's "Classical Corner." This week was a discussion about what makes a song sound like it's from a specific country in the world. Dance rhythms, instrumentation, modes of scale (ie the Sephardic scale in use for the Spanish "Playera"), the use of open chords in Aaron Copeland's fully American "Appalacian Spring," and the codified German chorales of Bach illustrated the musical differences between music countries. Mark then went on to describe even the correlation between food and music; Italian music and food is robust, emotional, open, yet simple like spaghetti and cheese, while French food and music is about color, sauces, and subtlety - he then exemplified this with "Claire de Lune," which he played beautifully for us.

After Mark, Tanya Moberly came up to sing "Paris" by Jonatha Brooke - she will perform Tues September 7th at the Tudor City Greens Concert, hosted by Raissa Katona Bennett, and Tanya's show "Theater Songs" will take place September 30th at Don't Tell Mama. Next, Kevin McMullan brought in the comedy song "I Left The One I Love On One Of The Thousand Islands" - he will soon take a trip of his own around the world in a touching memorial for his partner and composer, the late Jim Fradrich. Kevin's new show "Twist of Fate" will be performed at the Laurie Beechman Theater October 23, 28th and November 14th into December for more dates. Next, Matthew Ward did an amazing composer mashup piece at the piano, which included Bach and Gershwin and contained many musical jokes many of the other pianists in the room "got." After Matthew, Mark Levy brought in the Lord Chancellor character from Gilbert and Sullivan's show Iolanthe with "The law is the true embodiment" - and the rest of the audience provided the chorus repeats!

Then, Jordan Siwek (playing for himself on piano) performed an original of his, and Annie Kozuch performed "On a Slow Boat to China" - her CD "Here With You" will have a release show at the Metropolitan Room on October 21st and 28th at 9:30pm. We then were treated with another Michael Colby lyric, this time with the music of Stephen Silverstein and sung by Gretchen Reinhagen. Gretchen's "Under the Cover Series: Pearl" show (in which the entire album of "Pearl" by Janis Joplin is reinterpreted from start to finish) will be at Don't Tell Mama October 24, 26th and November 4th.

To complete the evening, Father Jeffrey Hamblin sang a joyous and audience-participated "Valderi, Valdera". Dr. Sue sat at the piano to perform her sexy song "Si, SeƱor," Dani Rhodes sang while Jason Hurley played guitar on their original composition "The Captain," and Adam Shapiro brought the ship to shore by singing "Take Me Back to Manhattan" by Cole Porter.

There will be no Salon on September 5th (Happy Labor Day Weekend!) and September 12th - the next Salon will thus by September 19th and a new theme, guest co-host and guest special performer will be announced soon. Check back here, visit our Facebook group, or sign up for The Salon mailing list by emailing Tanya at

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon
Spelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

No comments:

Post a Comment