Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Salon Wrap-Up for February 13, 2011: "Love and Desire”

Love was in the air and on the stage last Sunday, as The Salon welcomed Valentine's Day-esque revelry and joy, as well as some heartache. The Etcetera Etcetera restaurant was packed to the gills as well, and looking gorgeous and surprisingly young for its age. Part of this had something to do with the 11 amazing Manhattan School of Music students that Mark Janas invited to co-host for the evening: Adam Behlen, Juliana Curcio, Hannah Fuerst, Andy Klima, Anna Lawrence, Rachel Policar, Mitch Roe, Chris Sierra, Christian Sineath, Sarah Smith & Costas Tsourakis. Throughout the night, they performed selections from their Valentine's Day revue "Single in the City: Or, the Bumpy Road to Love." Cleverly structured around the lyrics of "They Can't Take That Away From Me," the show is the first part of the MSM's "Discover Opera Program" (the second being the opera-based educational show, this year entitled "The Secret Music Garden"). They opened up with a quick medley that included songs from On The Town (with the wonderful bass solo "I Feel Like I'm Not Out of Bed Yet"), "Manhattan Madness," "Another Hundred People" from Company and "What More Do I Need?" Then solos from West Side Story, She Loves Me, and a hilarious parody of "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" entitled "Boy Wanted/"

Elaine St. George next sang the hilarious "Old Fashioned Love Story" from Wild Party, brilliantly executed with less-than-innocent panache. Following this came a sweepingly romantic rendition of "My Funny Valentine" by Joey Infante, accompanied by Michael McDonald on piano. Culling from his Cubano roots, Joey will be performing his show "Babaloo" at The Metropolitan Room on June 21st with music director Barry Levitt. Next, Sunny Leigh sang a beautiful soprano aria "Mon Coeur Souvre Ta Voix" (French!) from the opera Samson et Dalila. Her show "Strong Enough" continues with Barry Levitt on February 27th at the Triad. Next, Stephen Hanks lovingly sang Don McLean's "Birthday Song"in honor of his wife, who was in attendance. Stephen is keeping busy as the President, Board of Directors for Musical Mondays Theater Lab, writing for, and will help produce The Fartiste (based on the real-life flatulence-performer Le Pétomane) Off-Broadway this Summer!

Then we had welcome newcomer Barbara Malley, who performed a crowd-pleasingly funny song of her own, entitled "Wait 'Til You're 65." A recent addition to the MAC community, Barbara is working on future solo shows and continuing her composing skills. After Barbara, Ashley King sat at the piano to sing/play through her own song "Sunday Matinee," which she considers her "love song to New York." This is from her new musical, Pigeons. Then Stephanie Zagoren sang the popular favorite, Jerome Kern's "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" from Show Boat. We then heard Rachel Wood sing the ultimate story-of-love-song, "Meadowlark." Before the MSM students took to the stage again, myself, Tony Imgrund, and Erin Cronican celebrated love and Tony's birthday by singing the an Andrew Lloyd "Webber Trio" (you can view video of it here), which was a mashup of "Love Changes Everything," "An Unexpected Song" and "I Don't Know How to Love Him." I stayed on stage and invited Bill Zeffiro to duet on the acerbic "The Little Things" from Company.

Our glorious co-hosts, the Manhattan School of Music students, then brought in another medley of love songs, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Strangers in the Night," the hilarious "Good News" (set on a subway train), "Standing on the Corner" (awww love those guys!), a powerhouse rendition of "You Don't Own Me," a heartfelt "Where is Love" that morphed into "When I Fall in Love," and a frenetically brilliant "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup."

After the break, we eagerly sat down to hear a third set of the MSM students, who opened the second act with some sexy, sexy talk. First, the delightfully dirty "Can That Boy Fox-trot!" and the powerful "Cry Me a River," then the flirty "The Tennis Song" from City of Angels. Next, a gorgeous combination of "They Say It's Wonderful" and a loving duet of "Song on the Sand" from La Cage Aux Folles. Finally, all the ladies got up to sing through a clever Mark Janas arrangement of "Frankie and Johnny" (lovingly donated by Julie Reyburn from her Feinstein's show).

Producer Tanya Moberly (who will be featured with Mark Janas at Sue Matsuki's "People You Should Know" show on February 26th, Don't Tell Mama, 6pm) then sang Jonatha Brooke's "At The Still Point." Then, the ever-lovely Janice Hall sang an aria from Russalka, in which a water sprite performs an invocation to the moon (it caused many of the MSM opera students to gasp in glee!). Janice is soon to perform her Marlene Deitrich show "Grand Illusions" in the "Musical Legends" series starting February 24th - more info at We then had a treat - literally and figuratively - as Mary Lahti (with Jim Lahti at the piano) tossed Valentine's Day sugary treats and hilariously sang "Candy." Mary will have two shows in April - the first on April Fools' (4/01/2011) at the Third Street Music School, and then on April 6th with soprano Ellen Weiser. We then heard the Marissa Malder (with Bill Zeffiro at the piano) sing through the belterrific "The Lorelei."

Fellow Blogette Erin Cronican sang the incredible "And I Will Follow" by Jason Robert Brown. Erin will perform in a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, opening March 30th. She was followed by Jane Glick, who sang "When You're Old and Grey" by Tom Lehrer. Her show, "About Time," will next perform at the Metropolitan Room, Sunday the 20th at 4pm and Thursday the 24th at 7pm. Louisa Poster sang "They Ain't Done Right By Our Nell" from her Betty Hutton Tribute show, Richard Eisenberg sang his Bistro award-winning love song "Two Again," and composer Donna Stearns rocked the room with her original song "Dinosaur Days." To fill out our rock ballad quota, Zach Wobensmith sang "I've Been" from Next To Normal, and Steve Schachlin brought in the tears with his amazingly personal "Going it Alone." We have much to congratulate Steve for - he just signed a record deal for his work, and has received a 100% success rate in Australia (all who use his work in auditions have booked the job, according to one vocal coach there!). Bill Zeffiro returned to the piano to sing Randy Newman's biting "Better Off Dead" - his Kennedy assassination comedy (his description!) will have a reading at Simple Studios for just a $5 cover fee this week. Rounding out our regulars for the evening was David Ballard, who sang "Way Ahead of My Time" (David will sing a number of songs, including an original, at Sue Matsuki's "People You Should Know" series with Tanya, Mark, and Marnie Klar!).

To complete the evening's love-fest, our glorious co-hosts performed the last set of the evening, a beautiful combination of solos and duets, including "Story of My Life," "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "Oh, Happy We," "It's Never That Easy/I've Been Here Before," the catchy social-media-referencing "Be My Friend," and ending on "They Can't Take That Away From Me." We thank the MSM students for sharing their immense talents, humor, soulful angst, and wonderful performances!!!

NEXT WEEK! Miles Phillips (renown singer and director) will co-host a President's Day Weekend, appropriately themed "That's Historical!" Sing from musicals based on historical events or people (1776, Evita, Barnum, etc), maybe a song featured in movies like Back to the Future, or perhaps songs that have been dusted off from one's own personal performance all works! Get in your time machine, and we'll see you then!

-Sierra Rein
The Blogette for The Salon
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