Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for October 10, 2010: "Color My World"

Shana Farr

It was a bright, colorful array of performers this past Sunday, as the theme was "Color My World," and indeed every shade of the spectrum was explored that evening. The silver-voiced Shana Farr was this week's co-host on the theme - her recent show at Feinstein's, "Whistling Away the Dark: A Celebration of Julie Andrews ," highlighted her warm, red tones and sun-yellow disposition. She also brought her absolutely gorgeous collection of jewelry from Shana Farr Designs, which some singers borrowed and modeled during the evening's performances. My favorites were the Fortune Cookie and (not surprisingly) the Awards Show collections. Dressed in stunning green-blue satin, Shana was a lovely co-host!

Shana began the evening with the favorite Willy Wonka song, "Pure Imagination," then invited Mark Levy to sing "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago. Next, Richard Eisenberg brought in a song he had written the night before - the paint was still fresh! - with a nice hook, entitled "Color Blind Blues." Adam Shapiro then sang "From A Distance" and was proud to announce for the first time his upcoming holiday show, "No Chestnus, " a Christmas show with absolutely no Holiday carols. This will be directed by Peter Napolitano and will perform December 17th and 18th at The Duplex. After Adam, Sue Marcus Rauch sang "Orange Colored Sky," then Annie Kozuch sang the sultry ballad "I Love the Way You're Breaking My Heart." Annie will be performing a CD showcase "Here With You," on Oct 21 & 28, November 4 & 11 at the Metropolitan Room, and her CD is currently #6 on the CMJ Jazz Chart! Annie will also be co-hosting The Salon on October 24th, so make sure to come to see more of her then. Edie Stokes then sang the classic "Paper Moon" - her own self-titled show is coming up November 7th at 6pm, at Don't Tell Mama.

We then had singer (and conductor!) Debbie Litnak, who crooned through "Look to the Rainbow." Then, David Schmidt (who Shana has known since High School), sang "All the Things You Are" in a gorgeous baritone - Howard Keel incarnate! Then, we had a blue-complexioned Cabaret singer Kay M. Pringle (accompanied somewhat by Sierra Rein) sing "My Moment" by Hector Coris, in hopes that an Avenue Q producer might be in the audience. Then, Kay appropriately sang an upbeat "Blue Skies." After Kay, Jan Brennan ripped through "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and turned those blue skies upside-down with her powerful torch vocals.

Next, we had a treat from Blue Hill Troupe cast members of The Little Shop of Horrors, soon to be performing at the Theatre at St. Clement's, direction and choreography by Andrea Andresakis. First, Allison Plotkin sang "Frank Mills" from Hair. Then we had a trio of Alison Plotkin, Shanna Siegmund & Suzanne Taylor sing the opening "Urchin" title number. Last, we heard Shanna Siegmund sing the role of Audrey, with "Somewhere That's Green". The show performs November 12 -20, 2010 at The Theatre at St. Clement's on West 46th Street, and is a benefit performance for The Carter Burden Center for the Aging. Tickets online at http://www.bht.org/ or by phone at (866) 811-4111.

Classical Corner with Mark Janas was all about colors, and as they relate to the different keys and sonorities a performer or musician might perform in. He spoke about the inflation of pitch over the centuries - pitch has not been a fixed understanding on the page throughout the years - and spoke of the seven modes in greek music (including the major, dorian, ionian, lydian, and others). Each of the different modes have a different color that dramatizes what the mode feels like. Music is a language we can't quite pin down verbally, but many composers in the past have attempted, in their own interpretation, to assign colors to each key as they see or feel it in their minds. For example, Russian composer Alexander Scriabin was heavily inspired by color, and created his own color wheel of the keys - C# was purple, C was red, Bb expressed a rosy/steel, G was orange, E sky blue, and so on...

Mark then exemplified the changes of color in the mind's eye when you transpose a song from one key to the next, and had Annie Kozuch sing "How Deep is the Ocean" in C minor, Bb and Cb versions. There is indeed a darker weight to the flat keys comparatively! To complete the evening, Mark played parts of Debussy's Clair de lune in three keys - Db (the original key, sounding like moonlight), C major, and G major, then went back to the Db original and performed the whole piece in its entirety.

With Rainbows certainly dancing in our eyes, Shana Farr came back after the break to showcase her talent. With music director Fred Barton at the piano, Shana began with a medley of "Rainbow Connection" and a callback to "Pure Imagination." After reminiscing about her Missouri memories, she then sang the dreamy "Moon River." Finally, Shana sang sang a Barton arrangement of "Living in the Shadows," a song originally sung by her inspiration, Julie Andrews. After Shana left the stage, Fred Barton stayed at the piano keys to sing the spritely and crowd-pleasing "Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be" from Snoopy.
Producer Tanya Moberly, whose show "Theater Songs" will be revamped again in December, sang the plaintif "Colored Lights," and then Lauren Sprague - who is brand new to NYC!!! - sang "How Lucky Can You Get" from Funny Lady. We then had some welcome returns to the stage; David Schmidt poured his voice into "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific, Annie Kozuch sang a rhumba version of "Somos Novios (It's Impossible)" in Spanish, and Sue Marcus Rauch sang "September Song."

Adam Shapiro came up with a brilliant introduction of seeing red, feeling blue, then being green with envy at the onset of a relationship breakup, and then passionately sang the hilarious Weird Al Yankovic original "One More Minute." Richard Eisenberg sang two quick encores, "The Hottub" and the deviously dirty "Viagra," both comedy parody songs. Debbie Litwak returned to sing "Someone to Watch Over Me," and Jan Brennan sweetly performed "It Was Not Exactly Paris." To end the evening, Shana Farr sang the inspirational "Let the River Run."

NEXT WEEK! Co-Host Valerie Lemon will bring her Cabaret expertise to celebrate the hoofers, kickers, choruses and Broadway babies we all know (and perhaps some travelers, tarot readers, and coin belt-wearing ones that we don't) - The Salon's theme on Sunday will be "The Great American Chorus Line-– A Tribute to Gypsies Everywhere"! Facebook event can be found here.

And a reminder, we are still running a Special for the month of October: Bring two new people and get in for free! That's right! BRING TWO PEOPLE THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN TO SALON BEFORE AND YOUR ADMISSION IS FREE!

See you Sunday!

Jewelry by Shana Farr

Kay models some silver-blue stone jewelry by Shana Farr.

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon
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