Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Salon Wrap-Up for April 10, 2011: "It's A Country Thing"

Hi y'all! It's pistol-crackin' time on the olde blog, as we celebrated Country music and Country folk on Sunday. The theme was "It's a Country Thing," and the glorious co-host of the evening was the guitar-playin' cowboy stud himself, Roger Mapes! Otherwise known as "Big Gay Al-abama," Roger is a songwriter, singer, guitar player, and artist. He'll be performing at the Carnal Carvnival this week, April 14th thru the 17th, at Bearapalooza. John Fisher was on hand to start the evening off at the piano, as Mark was coming from a reception for MSM previously.
Roger Mapes
Roger, resplendent in his black cowboy hat and white shirt, first sang a honky-tonk drinking song, "The Lord Loves a Drinkin' Man," then he invited Tanya Moberly up to sing a rocking duet with him of "Muscle Shoals." Elaine St. George, always with amazing song choices, sang a hilarious crowd-pleaser called "I Spend My Last Ten Dollars (on Birth Control and Beer)" and had the rest of the audience singing along with her in this Gretchen Phillips original. Her Ray Charles show, "InspiRAYtion" will run at the Metropolitan Room starting April 27th into May. Make reservations by April 20th, and you enter to win a copy of Ray Charles' biography. Sue Hodgdon then followed with a soulful, full-voiced "Black Coffee," which had enough pathos and woe to be counted as a Country song! Sue is working on an upcoming show, currently titled "Another Show of Silly Love Songs." We then heard Adam Shapiro sing Reba McIntyre's "Consider Me Gone," a great angry power song.

Barb Malley, sporting a great country-inspired vest and black skirt, sang "Walkin' After Midnight," popularized by Patsy Cline. Her tribute show to Brooklyn will soon take a main stage, so keep an eye out for information about that (which will benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation). Mark Levy "misinterpreted" (ha ha) the theme to be "choose a country," decided that his country would be England, and sang Gilbert & Sullivan's "It you give me your attention" from Princess Ida...cheeky man! Kevin McMullan, returning to The Salon after a huge trip around the world, had been to enough countries to justify any song, but still sang "I'm Checking Out." He will soon be doing a live recording of his gypsy-band show "Twist of Fate" soon. Welcome back Kevin! You can read his online blog of all his adventures here.

Next, composer Brian Allan Hobbs sat at the piano whilst I, Sierra Rein, sang Brian's original country-inspired musical theater composition, with lyrics by Colin Ebeling and Kristin Hanggi, entitled "Gimme a Loser." This song was an all-Bruin event, as everyone involved once went to UCLA together...mmph years ago! After that, Katherine Burger sang Hank William's "I'm So Lonesome I could Cry," with Barbara Blatner playing piano. She is in the BMI workshop, with two musicals and a play, "Morphic Resonance," currently running and in development in Germany. We then heard from Arje Shaw, singing "Drifter," an original song that matched his low, lovely tones beautifully. His novel, "The Fix" will be released May 10th, and he will be signing copies of this at Borders in Columbus Circle on that day! Janice Hall - sorry, 2011 BISTRO AWARD WINNING Janice Hall - next sang "After the Glitter Fades" by Stevie Nicks. She is in developments for a new show made up of songs about Hollywood!

We then got a treat - Kathy Moberly (mama of Tanya!) then sat behind the piano and showed us her classical piano abilities! She played for visiting singer Maria Maas, who sang "Chianti-Lied", a tarantella operatic drinking song from Germany. Maria is from the Netherlands, visiting her son in New York, and was spritely and fun and had everyone raising our glasses by the end in a toast. Next, we heard Maureen Taylor, who sang the heartbroken "Wanting" from Rags, a song that fits the soul of Country music if not the style. To close out the first half, Sierra Rein (that's me) sang a bluesy version of Huey Lewis & the News' "The Power of Love," which is the closest thing to country I have in my book, and something that reflected the love that Roger Mapes always writes into his songs. My vocal group, Marquee Five, has been nominated for a MAC Award this year, and thanks to the generous donations of our friends, family, and Salon members, we will record our debut CD "8-Track Throback" this summer!

After the break, we heard distressing news that Roger had to be called away on an emergency! Luckily, though, his twin cousin, Yolanda Mapes, was nice enough to arrive and finish the evening. Now, Yolanda is very sensitive about her noticeable facial hair (she's starring as the Bearded Lady at the Carnal Carnival in Claxton, GA), so we were all very polite and thanked her profusely for her last-minute farewell performance tonight. Yolanda, who wore an adorable tutu and sparkly tiara, took up Roger's guitar and energetically sang "I'll Fly Away," which was known to most of the audience and allowed a huge multi-harmony singalong! She then sang a heartfelt and silly-dirty song, "The Only Thing Different," about heartbreak and having her man stolen out from under her. After Yolanda, Tanya Moberly sang "Nothin' Up," an angst-y Country song written for a 16 year old character...yet somehow Tanya put the adult spin on it!
Yolanda Mapes saves the evening!
We then had some great encores! Adam Shapiro dedicated the Tim Mcgraw song "Live Like You Were Dying" to his grandma, and sang with so much joy and gusto. Barb Malley brought in another Patsy Cline favorite - "Anytime" - and in the chatting afterwards broke into an impromptu "Hey Good Lookin'" with Yolanda. Arje Shaw sang the absolutely sweet original "For Tonight" ballad and regaled us with the fact that he was in "The Gathering" on Broadway 10 years ago with Jessie Eisenberg (who was just starting his career then!). Janice Hall then brought in a gorgeous song from a failed British musical about the silent film era entitled "A Gentle Fade." We then got a second dose of soprano Maria Maas, who sang a Vienna waltz with Mrs. Moberly once again on piano. Maureen Taylor sang "My White Knight" by David Friedman, which does indeed have a country feel to it. Elaine St. George sang the Kimmie Rhodes "Love Me Like a Song," which has breathtakingly soft and delicate lyrics and was originally wrote as a duet with Willie Nelson. Mark Levy then rocked the room with "House of the Rising Sun." His CD "Eclectic is Fine, But This is Ridiculous" is available, and he'll be doing a production of Don Giovanni soon!

To complete the evening's joyous and heartbreak-filled Country-themed evening, Yolanda Mapes returned to "the church of Mark and Tanya" to sing a wonderful song "We Are Angels," a lullabye with awe-inspired lyrics ("We are angels and we're struggling' to be human" caught my heart immediately). Roger then explained to us how attending The Salon over the past few years gave him creative strength to get back on his songwriting feet and continue his artistic path...another Salon member success story! Yay Roger! Yay Yolanda!

NEXT WEEK! The Salon will NOT be at Etcetera Etcetera due to a private party - instead, it will be at SAN MARTIN, 143 East 49th St, NYC 10017, 212-832-0888, (7-10:30pm/sign up begins at 6:15)

The optional theme for the evening is “The Great Escape!” Palm Sunday (April 17th) is the annual opening day of Coney Island. Houdini, the great escape artist - came to fame, fell in love and married in Coney Island. Amusement park, boardwalk and beach all in one and all in Brooklyn. Bring in anything having to do with getting away/escaping/vacation/a change of scene/relaxing/enjoying!!!

Remember, any material, on or off theme, is always welcome at Salon.

Our Co-Host will be Charter Salon Member - Donna Coney Island! Well known for her Stage, Screen & Voiceover work, Donna portrayed Edna Ferber in “Talk of the Town”, a show about The Algonquin Round Table that ran in The Oak Room and was musically directed by Mark Janas. “Talk of the Town” - along with Mark, a grand piano, Donna and her fellow cast members - is directly responsible for the birth of Salon. We are thrilled to have her as our Pioneer Co-Host in this new venue that we are trying out.

$20 in cash will be collected at the door by Sierra Rein - ($10 for the cover charge and $10 to purchase a food/beverage ticket, covering the $10 minimum and redeemable toward San Martin's delicious drinks and snacks. Any additional food/beverage charges can be paid by cash or credit.) There are no reservations; seating is on a first come/ first served basis, with one intermission. Doors open and sign up begins at 6:15pm with Marnie Klar.

Mark Levy on stage
Kathy Moberly at the piano
Maria Maas
Arje Shaw
Janice Hall
Elaine St. George
Mark Janas
-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