Monday, October 31, 2011

Update from Producer Tanya Moberly- October 31, 2011

SALON – that unique, MULTIPLE AWARD WINNING, Weekly Open Mic Event, created and hosted by Mark Janas returns to Etcetera, Etcetera - 352 West 44th Street, NYC 10036 – on Sunday, November 6th from 7-10:30PM! (Sign-Up Begins at 6:15.)

The optional theme for the evening is “Puppy Love.”

Our Co-Host will be MAC & Bistro Award Winner Sarah Rice! Sarah is best known for originating the role of Johanna in the Broadway production of SWEENEY TODD. She will be appearing in LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND – A BENEFIT FOR ZANI'S FURRY FRIENDS on November 26th at 7pm at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd St, NYC (212) 695-6909. For more information:

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

Salon continues every Sunday (except November 27th):

November 13th:
Theme: The Marvelous 50's & 60's
Co-Hosts: The Wonderettes - Brittney Morello, Danielle Erin Rhodes, Lara Seibert & Morgan Smith

November 20th:
Theme: Stupid Love – An Evening About Questionable Choices
Co-Host: Laurie Krauz
Salon Spotlight: Julie Reyburn

November 27th: NO SALON

December 4th:
Theme: Don't Mess with Texas
Co-Host: Faye Lane

December 11th: Holiday Party
Co-Host: TBA

Salon is an ongoing open entertainment event in which singers, writers and musicians share their talent with each other and audience members.

There is a $10 cash cover collected at the door and a $15 food/drink minimum (cash or credit) per person. (For more information about Etcetera, Etcetera's delicious There are no reservations; seating is on a first come/first served basis, Doors open and sign up begins at 6:15pm. The evening runs 7-10:30, withone intermission. If you would like to sign up to perform, see one the evening's 'Etceterettes' to fill out a card with your name, the name of your song, whether or notMark will be playing for you and any upcoming events you'd like to promote. We do not present performers in order of sign-up, however, indicating requests as clearly and as early as possible as far as time restraints are concerned always makes everything much more possible. ALWAYS BRING SEVERAL SONG SELECTIONS to avoid duplication. All types of material, on or off theme are always welcome at Salon. We enthusiastically welcome instrumentalists, poets, playwrights, essayists, comics, illusionists and performance artists. Please limit your selections to three or four minutes in length (including introductions). Please also bring clear, complete charts for Mark to read. Sitting on the piano is not allowed, nor is flash photography. Please turn off all noise making devices and give performers your undivided attention.
Visit our website at and look for us on Face Book!

Thank you to our sponsors Dr. Garrett Bennett & Father Jeffrey Hamblin, MD!

Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday, November 6th!


Tanya Moberly

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Salon Wrap-Up for October 23, 2011 "That's Italian - Opera to Pop'era"

We were wowed and awed by the talent at The Salon on Sunday night, when we transported ourselves to Italy with our theme, “That’s Italian - Opera or Pop’era.” On hand as co-hosts was “O Sole Trio” made up of Erin Shields, Giuseppi Spoletini, and David Shenton. And, with a name like that, they had to start the show with “O Sole Mio” - and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. What a wonderful way to kick off the show.

Co-hosts Erin Shields & Giuseppe Spolenini
Joey Infante brought in his best Italian with “Torna a Surriento” which suited his deep bass sound and romantic phrasing. Barb Malley started by singing for us an Italian song she would NOT be doing (because of the translation of the song, which she proceeded to translate hilariously.) She, instead, charmed us with her version of “Speak Softly Love” from “The Godfather.” She has an upcoming show called “I Remember Brooklyn” November 13 at 1pm at the Laurie Beechman (which is a benefit for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.) Janice Hall then joined us at the stage singing “O Del Mio Amato Ben” (and in Italian, no less!) by a composer Stefano Donaudy. Marya Zimmet continued the theme by showing off her Italian accent, then giving us a fun and jazzy rendition of “Taking a Chance On Love.”

Newcomer Lisa Viggiano joined us at the mic, proving that you can fit the theme just by showing up! She belted out the Judy Garland favorite, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” It was so wonderful to get to know Lisa, and hope she comes back! (Thanks to Barb Malley who told her about The Salon at a show earlier today!) Dawn Derow came up next with her glorious soprano in the character of Magda, singing “O Mio Babbino Caro” an aria from Puccini opera. Next up was Larry Bakst, who impressed the crowd with his version of “Non Ti Scordar Di Me.”

David Ballard, server extraordinaire, then came to the stage and blew us away with “Anthem” from “Chess.” Not only were the vocals spot on, but we were thrilled when co-host David Shenton improvised part of the song on violin.

David Ballard
Your blogette for the evening, Erin Cronican (me!) then came to the mic with Kurt Weill's, "Speak Low." Though not entirely on theme, Erin was thrilled to finally be bringing in a more "standard" style of song compared to the usual contemporary flair. Candice Oden started her song with a humerous apology, for mistaking her song “Vienna” as being a good fit for the Italian theme (don't worry, Candice- it reminded me of Venice too!) Candice made us forgot all about the discrepancy immediately with her haunting and powerful vocals.

David Shenton was asked to lead this week's Classical Corner. David remarked that typically Italian music is set to voice, so he hunted down a piece that could be piano only and found "Sonetto 104 del Petrarea" 2nd year of “Annee de Pilgrimage” by Franz Liszt. Franz was known for taking famous Italian poems & sonnets and setting them to music, and it was just gorgeous. He then brought Erin & Giuseppe back to the mic for a mash up of “Mamma” and “O Mio Babbino Caro" to close out the 1st half.

O Sole Trio kicked off the 2nd half with “Mambo Italiano” which included a well dramatized scene, complete with a dance break. The second song of their set was, “Come back to Sorrento,” with the multi-talented David Shenton on violin. He mentioned that he usually preferred to play duets -- he didn’t mention that this meant he’d be doing one with himself on violin & piano!

David Shenton, playing dueling instruments
Frankly, it wasn’t quite fair to the other hosts to follow that, but given that they’re a team, they should probably be used to it. Their final song of the set shows is what happens when food and love get mixed up together and what can happen - a mash up of “Angelina”  and "Zooma Zooma." Complete with costumes, the trio went from opera to jazz in seconds flat. What a treat it was to have these three with us.

As always, it was wonderful to bring up Salon Producer, Tanya Moberly, who sang "Anyday" from her upcoming Ani DiFranco show (with backing assistance by co-vocalist, Erin Cronican.) Jonathan Long came to the mic to sing his (fabulously tenor) version of “O Sole Mio” in a medley with "Just The Way You Look Tonight" with David Shenton on the keys. Julie Reyburn, Salon Board member (and expectant mother!) wowed us with the brand new song, “Cautiously Optimistic” by Scott Evan Davis. You can see Julie sing this song and one other in a show of Davis’ songs at Birdland on October 31.

We were thrilled to have Charles Coleman sing for us next, with a deep and lovely “All The Things That You Are” by Jerome Kern. Mark let us know that Charles is an accomplished symphony composer that has had his works performed around the country. How lucky are we to see such talent week after week! Nick Levin then asked for audience participation as he handed out lyric sheets to “Capuccino in Alabama” a hilarious patter song. The audience is always tickled when Nick performs at the piano.

Nick Levin
The final songs of the night were brought to us by our fearless hosts, who did some mock posturing and fighting over who had the best song. What resulted was a jazz/opera mashup of “That’s Amore” and “Largo al Factotum”, which frankly, just made me want to take better voice lessons and eat pizza. A great time was had by all!

NEXT WEEK: The optional theme for the evening is “Monster Masquerade” - with your co-host Janice Hall and Salon Spotlight: The Alumni of Maine State Theater. Come dressed up in costume, especially if it’s of a character you’ve played in days gone by, or come dressed in black, as Janice said that SHE always does! We also welcome songs that are off-theme. Be sure to bring a second option, in case your song has already been reserved.

Blogette for The Salon
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Salon Wrap-Up for October 16, 2011 "Inappropriate Songs for Weddings & Funerals"

What a wonderful and boisterous time was had on Sunday, as we welcomed The Cougars of Cabaret: Patricia Fitzpatrick, Helena Grenot and Dana Lorge, who led us through this week’s theme: "Inappropriate Songs for Weddings & Funerals.” Despite their rowdy demeanor, these three feisty ladies wooed and charmed us into submission, which may have been the plan all along. You never know with these ladies.
Mark Janas addresses the sold out crowd.
Patricia Fitzpatrick kicked off the first half by enchanting Salon sponsor Father Jeff Hamblin with her rendition of “Teach me Tonight.” Our first Salon guest of the evening, Madelaine Warren, sang the lovely “Street of Dreams” by Sam Lewis, a song from the Tin Pan Alley days. Stephen Hanks then came to the mic, singing “Give ‘Em What They Want” - the “11 o’clock” number from “The Fartiste,” a show he’s producing Off Broadway at Sofia’s Downstairs Theater (currently in previews.) Joining us next was Barb Malley, whose infectious smile and delivery made us hungry for Sara Lee (by singing a tune of the same name) -- especially when she brought out a box of muffins. Wholly inappropriate for weddings and funerals, in my book.

Barb Malley, and her beloved Sara Lee.
The lovely, Bistro Award winning, Janice Hall, sang the gorgeous and haunting melody “Losing My Mind” from Sondheim’s “Follies.” Be sure to come back on October 30 to see Janice host The Salon, with the theme of “Monster Masquerade.” Come dressed up in costume, especially if it’s of a character you’ve played in days gone by, or come dressed in black, as Janice said that SHE always does! Next up to the mic was Stephanie Zagoren, who sang the dreamy (and apropos!) “Autumn in New York.” Mark Levy stole our hearts with “September Song “ which he tried out with us before performing next Thursday at a donors dinner, to benefit his alma mater medical school. (That’s right- we have some multi-disciplined singers at The Salon!)

Speaking of folks with medical degrees, Father Jeff Hamblin, MD (the ultimate hyphenate) came up to the mic with a list of hymn tunes that people have asked about for their weddings. Some highlights, “The strife is o’er, the battle done, the victory of life has now been won...” ... “See the kings triumphal lay.” ... “Come labor on, who dare stand idle.” With this, we got a glimpse into one of Father Hamblin’s greatest strengths - keeping a straight face when dealing with such requests! Father Hamblin was excited to announce Julie Reyburn’s next Feinstein’s show on November 27. Also, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving his church is offering a full dinner to those who have no family in town and would like a place to spend the holiday. Get your reservation to Tanya or Mark by the Wednesday before, and you can get in free.

After the “hymn” jokes that Father Hamblin shared, Mark Janas shared a joke of his own. He recalled a specific sermon where a minister talked about the sin of drinking booze and that all of the parishoners should purge themselves of drinking forever by emptying their bottles of liquor into the river. The parish then announced the next hymn to be sung by the congregation: “Let’s Go Down To The River.” (yuck yuck.)

With the audience in a spirited mood, Annie Lebeaux further made us roar with one of her brand new original songs, “There’s Only So Much I Can Do” in honor of all of the singers she’s had to play for as an audition accompanist. Etc Etc’s faithful server, David Ballard, brought highly inappropriate (and oh so good) bravado when singing “Ladies who Lunch.” David announced that he just started the BMI Workshop as a lyricist - look forward to new songs being premiered at The Salon in the future!

Rounding out the first half of singing, Salon Blogette Erin Cronican (c’est moi!) came up to sing Adam Guettel’s lyrical “How Can I Lose You” from “Myths & Hymns,” which Erin noted would be appropriate for anyone trying to steal focus from someone else’s wedding or funeral. Etceterette Shana Farr serenaded us with her gorgeous soprano, singing “Ribbons Down My Back” from “Hello Dolly.” Shana was just asked to join the board of the American Songbook Project, which brings classic American songs into schools. More info here.

The always lovely, Shana Farr.
And then we reached Mark Janas’ Classical Corner. Since we had The Cougars hosting the event, Mark thought it was appropriate to talk about the special relationship between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. 20 year old Brahms met composer Robert Schumann, who was so impressed with Brahms’ talent that he took him under his wing as a mentor. Mark played snippets of two Schumann songs: “Kinderszenen” and “Kreisleriana.” With this friendship, Brahms also became very close with Robert’s wife, Clara (then, 34 years old), for whom Brahms developed quite an affection. They particularly became close when Robert fell ill and the pair remained lifelong friends, though the friendship paled a bit once Robert died, which left Brahms feeling frustrated and bereft. Mark said experts theorized that Brahms held Clara up as the epitome of the ideal woman, but that in reality the only time he was capable of “being” with women was when he “paid” for their services. Both of these facts fueled Brahms’ passionate, haunting music. To illustrate, Mark played “Rhapsody in G Minor.” He also played “Opus 118 No. 2 Intermezzo,“ which Mark said was autobiographical of Brahms life and the unrequited nature of his relationship with Clara.

The second half of this week’s Salon was kicked off by Co-Host Helena Grenot with a special word for the bride and groom, after which she sang, “Lost Mind.” Helena then introduced the ever so demure Dana Lorge, another Cougar on the Prowl, who sang the tongue in cheek, “I Am Your Friend” directly to Mark Janas, who took it with aplomb. Dana then brought up her fellow co-host, Patricia Fitzpatrick, who sang about her experiences going to funerals -- using “Maybe This Time,” of course. Her object of affection? An urn with ashes, clutched closely to her chest. A perfect song choice for this sultry, low voiced maven.

Tanya Moberly then followed, bringing in the ultimate inappropriate song, “Untouchable Face” by Ani DiFranco. Tanya invited the Etceterettes, Erin Cronican and Shana Farr, to help the audience with some participation in the chorus, which you can see noted on the cards in the photo below. This song is a part of Tanya’s next cabaret, “Moberly Sings DiFranco” which is being done at Don’t Tell Mama on October 24 & November 14 at 9:15pm. She has a second cabaret that is running concurrently, “Tanya sings Jonatha” which runs October 17 & November 7. Both shows include a full band, and feature Etceterette Erin Cronican on co-vocals. Reservations strongly recommended at

Tanya Moberly, charming the audience. :)
Matthew Ward brought in a wedding scrapbook/songbook with many love songs, which somehow included... “A Good Thing Going” from “Merrily We Roll Along.” Um, yes, you read that correctly. For those of us who didn’t know the song, Matthew read the last lyrics, “And while it’s going along, you take for granted some love will wear away, we took for granted a lot, but still I say: it could have kept on growing, instead of just kept on. We had a good thing going, going, gone...” (Not especially compelling lyrics for a wedding!) Matthew then went to the piano and sang/played “Dead Lovers” by Matthew Ward and Steven Cole. He said this song was ”waiting in the trunk for the right kind of theme to come along.” Lucky us!

Ritt Henn then brought his bass to the stage, and shared his song, “Fear.” He made sure to let us know that he’s not one of those people whose voice gets lower as he gets older - “original key, mother f*ckers!” (Apparently, Tanya’s foul mouth rubbed off on Ritt- and we couldn’t be more pleased!) Especially precious was the whistling interlude by the crowd. Mary Liz McNamara then came to the piano, starting off by saying every song she has ever written was inappropriate for weddings & funerals. Did you know that the phrases “read philosophy” and “play Monopoly” are apparent euphemisms for something more “horizontal”? Or so we learned, with Mary’s clever original tune, “My Boyfriend, Lou.” She’s doing a show with Ritt Henn at The Duplex on October 26 and November 2.

Ritt Henn
Next, Paul Kolecki came up the piano and played a brand new uptempo/ballad/uptempo/ballad (it’s true, that’s what he wrote on his card.) Steve “The Whistler” Herbst then joined us at the mic for some grand whistling and lush vocals on a lovely medley. Elaine St George thrilled us with the gorgeous Lew Spence ballad, “A Wet Night & A Dry Martini.” Elaine was excited to announce that she would be performing the role of Marie in a private concert reading of “The Most Happy Fella” produced by Salon Blogette Erin Cronican and starring Salon faves Bill Zeffiro, Tony Imgrund and Lea McKenna Garcia.

Whistling Champion Steve Herbst

Ira Lee Collings absolutely broke our hearts with his tender yet powerful vocals on his ballad. We sure hope Ira joins us again, he really was wonderful. Lynda D’Amour wowed us with the smooth jazz tones and big notes on “Lover Where Can You Be?” You can find Lynda performing at the Club Cafe at the Napoleon Room in Boston, MA. Joey Infante then joined us at the mic with the lovely medley of “Never Neverland” from Peter Pan into “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” We were thrilled to have back Marnie Klar, who sang the Pink song “F**kin’ Perfect” from her show, “Marnie Klar Sings...” directed by Salon producer, Tanya Moberly. Marnie still has two upcoming performances November 1 and December 5 at Don’t Tell Mama.

The talented Ira Lee Collings
David Rigano then came to the stage with his tune, “An Ode to Beauty” (for which he wrote the music and lyrics. The song started as a lovely ballad and then became whimsical comedic number. Kevin McMullan started off by telling a few jokes about weddings and funerals, which lead into the impetuous “The Thousand Islands Song.“ Kevin will be co-hosting the Salon January 8, 2012 with the theme “Denial is not just a river in Egypt...” We then welcomed Melissa Heche, who marveled at why her song, “I Will Survive” is always played at wedding receptions. (yes, why is that???) She got the audience clapping with her fun and capable rendition of the disco tune.

Melissa Heche gets the crowd going.
The final number of the evening of what we had all been waiting for, a trio by the Cougars, “Together Wherever We Go” -- with lots of hilarious ad libbing and singing over one another. Don’t miss their show, “The Cougars on the Prowl” at Don’t Tell Mama October 20 & 21 at 8pm. Tanya was able to arrange 1/2 price admission for Salon members ($10 cover- unbelievable.)

NEXT WEEK: The optional theme for the evening is “That’s Italian- Opera to Pop-era!” Bring in whatever music you feel fits that genre -- we also welcome songs that are off theme. Be sure to bring a second option, in case your song has already been reserved. Our Co-Hosts will be the fine singers of O Sole Trio: Giuseppe Spoletini, Erin Shields & David Shenton! O Sole Trio is a new, vibrant musical ensemble whose shows feature a blend of some of the most popular Italian opera, Neapolitan and classic jazz standards with a concentration on the Italian language. For more information:

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

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Salon Wrap-Up for October 2nd: Sweet Revenge!

It was a dark and stormy night in NYC....the perfect setting for an evening of Sweet Revenge!

Our evening's host,Gabrielle Stravelli, got us started with the bitter "Goody Goody" - a song she claimed a revenge themed evening couldn't do without.

Barb Malley sang the "almost revenge song "I'm Gonna Laugh you Right Out of My Life." On November 13th at 1pm, Barb will be performing at the Laurie Beechman Theatre performing in a benefit for the Jackie Robinson Foundation directed by Barry Kleinbort.

Court Graves debuted a new song - "Whatever it Takes" - from the brand new musical, Play It Cool.  Court has been busy traveling all over with his Brazilian Jazz Show and has just gone into the studio to start work on a CD.

Paul Kolecki accompanied himself on the Tom Leherer classic, "Poisoning Pigeons in thtse Park," dedicating it to the obnoxious pigeons residing outside his window.

Nicholas Levin performed one of his original songs - "Director's Cut." It was a lyrically brilliant piece about a man editing the "bad parts" out of his home movies to make his relationship appear as he wanted it - a la George Lucas and Star Wars.  Nick will be performing with Donna Coney Island on October 6th as part of Steve, the Whistler, Herbst's After Glow concert.

The beautiful Sarah Rice sang a fitting trio from her "Screen Gems" concerts - Temptation, Jealousy, and Revenge - even breaking out the castanets!  Sarah will be performing in a benefit for Zani's Furry Friends at the Laurie Beechman Theatre the Saturday after Thanksgiving at 7pm as well as co-hosting the Salon on November 6th to the theme of "Puppy Love."

Matthew Martin Ward accompanied himself on "If I Ever Love Again" which went into a gender-bending "That'll Show Him" from a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Raissa Katona Bennet sang "Hard to Handle."  Raissa will be hosting the Tudor City Greens concert on October 5th - which will also feature our own Tanya Moberley.

David Ballard once again graced us with one of his original songs - the hysterical "Now That You're Dying." It reveals the true feelings of a less than loving wife for her soon-to-be-deceased-by-her-hand husband.

Arianna brought out the tongue twisting "If (You Hadn't but You Did)" from the Comden/Green/Styne musical review "Two on the Aisle."

Etcetterette Janice Hall sang a song which was "not revenge, but could be construed as a threat," Henry Mancini's  "Meglio Stasera."  Janice will be co-hosting the Salon on October 30th.

The revenge theme was perfect for classical corner as one of the main themes of opera IS revenge.  To that end, Mark brought back the lovely Sarah Rice to sing the most famous revenge song ever - Der Holle Roche better known as the Queen of the Night's Vengeance Aria.

Gabrielle started off the second half of the evening with a jazzy "Devil May Care."  She then sang an original tune - "Didn't You Tell Me?" which was the inspiration for the evening's theme, and ended her set with "Cry Me a River" in a smokey smooth voice.  You can catch Gabrielle every Sunday at Le Pescadeux from 12:30 to 4pm.

Tanya Moberly sang an appropriately angry rendition of "I Don't Remember Christmas."  Tanya has oh so many things coming up in the near future - she will be appearing at er Tudor City Greens concert on October 5th,  she is directing Marni Klar's cabaret show which will play at Don't Tell Mama on October 3rd, November 1st, and December 5th, as well as performing TWO of her own cabaret shows at Don't Tell Mama on October 17thOctober 24th, November 7th, and November 14th.

Kevin McMullen sang the comedy patter song "Say We're Sweethearts Again," about a poor fellow who doesn't realize the cute things his sweetheart is doing are actually attempts on his life!

Susan Hodgdon sang a beautiful "I Don't Know How to Love Him."  Susan's emotional connectivity to everything she sings is really wonderful.  She will also be appearing at Don't Tell Mama this month on October 23rd "On the Bumpy Road to Love."

All the way from London, Frank Loman sang what he referred to as "A revenge of Sondheim on singers" - "Can That Boy Foxtrot."  Frank and Ellen Vereneikes - the "Lyrical Linguists from London" will be appearing at Don't Tell Mama on October 5th at 7pm.

Joan Jaffe gave us a list of life threatening things to do when you are "Too Old to Die Young."  You can see more of this funny lady on October 9th12th26thl and 30th.

Father Jeff Hamblin, one of the Salon's sponsor's joined us after spending the morning blessing the animals of his congregation.  He was proud to let us know he blessed over forty animals "without being bitten, pissed, or pooped on!"  Quite an accomplishment!  He explained to us that, while he came from a musical family, he has never been able to learn lyrics.  His family insisted he was "the smart one" and therefore should be able to make up lyrics.  He realizes now that they were trying to make him a lyricist.  To show off his lyrical abilities, he gave us his very own rendition of "Some Enchanted Evening."

It turns out, Janice Hall had a birthday this past week.  In honour of this Bill Zeffiro played her song request.  Bill will be playing every Tuesday night  at La Mediteranee from 8 to 11.  Only a one drink minimum.  On October 23rd, he will be performing an Evening of Noel Coward at the Algonquin's Oak Room.

Gabrielle ended the evening with "Don't Worry About Me" -  a song that was "not technically a revenge song, but trying to be."

Remember!  There will be no Salon this Sunday, October 9th, but  we will return on Sunday, October 16th co-hosted by The Cougars - Patricia Fitzpatrick, Helena Grenot & Dana Lorge.  The evening's optional theme will be "Inappropriate Songs for Weddings & Funerals."  Hope to see you there! 

Guest Blogette for The Salon
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