Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for September 19, 2010: "It's About Time"

"Time heals everything...Tuesday, Thursday.
Time heals everything...April, August..."
- Mack & Mabel by Jerry Herman

Saloners, I almost typed in "2001" instead of "2010" in the headline of today's blog entry! Glad I caught that - but what an almost-on-theme goof: this Sunday's Salon was all about Time...the years, months, minutes, seconds...the waiting for things to occur and the things that speed by and take you by surprise. All were suggested and explored this past Sunday!

The co-hosting and special gues of the evening was shared between vocalist and 2009 Bistro Award Winner Deb Berman and music director/guitarist Sean Harkness. This duet is performing together in "All in Good Time" at the Metropolitan Room on October 14th (4pm), 25th (7pm) and November 2nd (7pm) under the direction of Susan Winter.

Sean Harkness and Deb Berman

Deb started the evening off with "What a Difference a Day Makes," then calmly segued into bringing Sue Marcus Rauch, who sang "No Time at All" from Pippin. Sue is working on a cabaret show of her own in New Jersey, and will be performing in a NJ-local production of How to Succeed In Business... After Sue, the charming Jane Glick took the mic and sang "Nothing Really Happened" - Jane will produce her own show in January of 2011 on the "time" theme as well! Next, David Rigano dedicated his own original song (from his version of The Little Mermaid) to his friend who just had a baby - the song was sweetly entitled "What a Father Wants." After David, Richard Eisenberg popped up on stage to sing his toe-tapping original work, "Never Too Late."

To bring a little devilish reminiscence to the Salon, Kevin McMullen then sang "Those Were the Good Old Days" from Damn Yankees (one of my favorite songs!). His gypsy band show "Twist of Fate" will perform five performances in October, November, and December at the Laurie Beechman Theater. We then had Shana Farr sing "Crazy World" from Victor/Victoria - she used this piece in her tribute to Julie Andrews and it was a great fit. She performed at the fest of San Genarro's Opera Night at Grand & Mott Street Weds night, and will also co-host The Salon on October 10th!

Funny lady Joan Jaffe chastised us on the usage of proper names over time and sang "Istanbul (Not Constantinople), complete with Babylonian dance. Her album, "Joan Jaffe Sings Funny" will have a FREE concert-showing at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Center on October 20th, 6pm. She was also proud to have directed Louisa Poster's cabaret, which performed this past Monday, and will present her own show at Don't Tell Mama on October 27th and November 3rd, each at 7:30pm. After this funny lady, we had a funny man - Ray Jessel - come to the piano to play and sing a brand new song - "Curmudgeon." This is a new song currently playing in his Don't Tell Mama show - three more performances on September 29th, and October 12th and 26th (all at (9:15pm).

At this time, Deb Berman stepped in to sing another sweet ditty, "If I Love Again," from her show with Sean Harkness. We then had the tall crystal-voiced David Ballard, who brought in the powerful end-of-one's-own-time-themed "You Gotta Die Sometime" from Falsettos. Then Sierra Rein (that's me!) sang Janis Joplin's "Move Over," which I am currently singing in the show "8-Track Throwback" with Marquee Five - we have 4 more shows remaining in our initial run: today, Thursday the 23rd at 8:30, then Sat the 25th at 4:30 and October 2nd and October 16th (both at 6pm). All shows at Don't Tell Mama - Then, Sierra was joined by Etceterette Arianna to sing a duet of "There's Always a Woman," originally cut from the Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle. Then Arianna took the stage to sing "It's Time," from Linda Eder's album. She opens tonight (Thursday) in a new musical entitled The Lost Boys, or an Awfully Big Adventure, based on the life of J.M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan) - performances are September 23 (8pm), September 24 (8pm), September 25 (2pm & 8pm), September 30 (8pm) October 1 (8pm) and October 2 (2pm and 8pm) in Bay Ridge.

Then, in a change of structure, we had the Classical Corner with Mark Janas before the break. The theme of "Time" had Mark thinking about the musicality of time - natural rhythms that are universal to us, how we perceive time in intervals throughout music. In classical music, time is not consistent - many times it uses "Rubato" which literally means "robbing one time for another time," or stretching the feeling of time in certain places throughout the piece. Classical music is a balance between the driving rhythm of music and the rubato stretching. He then played through Chopin's "Ballad #3 in Ab, Opus 47" to exemplify what music sounds like without the stretching of time (really boring and weird-sounding) and then once through with the appropriate rubato to create the drama, diversions and emotional surprises the music was meant to have.

(And a trick for singers from Mark: even on musically "driven" works, try rehearsing it stretched and rubato throughout to find the inner stresses before bringing it back to a "normal" rhythm - it will help in the lyric expression!)

After the break, Deb Berman and Sean Harkness performed a wonderful set with voice and guitar, beginning with "Day In, Day Out." Then Sean sang and played guitar with "You Came to Me Out of Nowhere," then did a fantastic reinvention of "My Romance" (as if Huey Lewis played a blues rock version!). Sean has a way of making his guitar speak it's own monologue, and it was a thrilling thing to hear!

Sean took over the co-hosting reins from Deb at the end of their set, bringing up Salon Producer Tanya Moberly to the stage. Tanya sang "Knowing When to Leave," from Promises, Promises, and promoted her show "Theatre Songs", which will perform at Don't Tell Mama on Thursday, September 30th with Mark Janas on piano and Ritt Henn on bass. Maria Zimmet then sang (with Sean Harkness on guitar) the beautiful "No More Blues" with a pitch-perfect smooth voice. She'll perform at the Westbank Music Festival in downtown NYC in a few weeks, so look out for that. The wonderful Susan Winter then sang a beautiful combination of "Darn that Dream" by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Eddie DeLange and "Here's That Rainy Day" by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke -- with Sean Harkness on guitar again. Susan's MAC Award-Winning CD "Love Rolls On ...Live!" will have a release performance run on October 15th (9:30pm) and October 22nd (7:00pm) at the Metropolitan Room.

Next, Bill Zeffiro - always the bon vivant - sang his original song "Lower Your Expectations" - he can be seen each Tuesday at La Mediterraine on 42nd Ave from 9-12pm, and at each last Thursday of the month at Flute. Then, Tommy Schull (our sound guy!) played the tune that originally got him into playing the piano - "Fur Elise." We then heard Lenore Stefanik sing the Sondheim favorite, "Do I Hear a Waltz" in a robust soprano.

We then had time for a few encores! Kevin McMullen sang the heartfelt "I Don't Want to Know" from Dear World, Shana Farr performed "O mio babbino caro (Oh my dear papa) " by Puccini (showing off her opera chops!), and Ray Jessel sang his fairly new ballad, "No Longer in My Life." Then, Joan Jaffe returned, promising that we'll laugh at her Barnes & Noble set on October 20th. Richard Eisenberg came back and sang "The Moment that We Fell in Love" with both Mark Janas and Sean Harkness backing him up. Sue Marcus Rauch sang "For All We Know" and incorporated her own poem, "Reflections on Time" into the mix. Deb Berman and Sean Harkness closed the evening with "Nobody Else But Me."

THIS SUNDAY - the theme of Salon is “Happy Birthday, Georgie G! A Celebration of Gershwin”.

Our Co-Host will be that Dreamy Crooner from L.A. - Todd Murray! Todd is appearing at The Metropolitan Room, (34 West 22nd St, NYC 10010, 212-206-0440, on September 24th, September 29th & September 30th at 7:30 and October 4th at 9:30. He is also joining Terese Genecco and Her Little Big Band at Iridium, (1650 Broadway at 51st. St., NYC, 10019, 212.582.2121, on September 28th - sets at 8 & 10. For more information:

Other dates and themes:

October 3rd:
"Weather or Not"
Co-Host: Daryl Sherman

October 10th:
"Color My World"
Co-Host: Shana Farr

October 17th:
"The Great American Chorus Line – A Tribute to Gypsies Everywhere"
Co-Host: Valerie Lemon

-Sierra ReinThe Blogette for The SalonSpelling mistakes? URL's I missed? Did I mess up? Please email me.

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