Friday, November 18, 2011

The Salon Wrap-Up for November 13, 2011 "The Marvelous 50s & 60s"

Things were feeling bubble-gummy and pop-py Sunday at The Salon where we celebrated music of the 1950s and 1960s. On hand were four fabulous ladies: Brittney Morello, Morgan Smith, Danielle Erin Rhodes and Lara Seibert who brought us tunes from the musical “The Marvelous Wonderettes.” They started with a fun, perfect harmony version of “Mister Sandman” complete with storytelling from the show.
The Marvelous "Marvelous Wonderettes"
First up in the Open Mic segment was Diane Carey with the smokey ballad, “On The Day You Leave Me.” Susan Hodgson was next in line with “Black Coffee” -- proof that we love off theme material (the song was written in 1948, after all!) Susan just finished a show, “A Bumpy Road to Love” in October, and will be reviving it in early 2012 at Don’t Tell Mama. Look out for it!

We were excited to welcome back Bobbie Horowitz, who charmed us with a comedic, New York themed, “Flatbush Serenade.” The Wonderettes filled in some of the choruses with fun harmonies from the audience seats. Next up, Terri Giviens (who has the distinguished title of “Tanya Moberly’s childhood babysitter”) entertained us with an upbeat and lovable “Old Devil Moon.”

Terri Giviens
Stephanie Zegorin then joined us on the stage with the Paul Simon song, “Feeling Groovy” -- reminding us to: “slow down, you move to fast, you’ve gotta make the moment last!” Next up was the well acted and energetic, “Lipstick on your Collar” with lead vocals by Brittney Morello and backups by the Wonderettes. Richie Eisenberg regaled us with his very own tune, “All Good Things Must Come To An End.” Four of Richie’s songs are being featured in the Winter Rhythms Festival at Urban Stages on December 7 (along with other Salon regulars.)

Elaine St George brought us the delicious, “How The Handle A Woman” from the Lerner & Loewe musical, “Camelot.” We encourage singers to try new material and experiment with pieces in a non-traditional way, and I can personally say this was a slam-dunk success. Very, very lovely work, Elaine!
Elaine St George
David Ballard asked Salon Producer Tanya Moberly to sing with him on “Happy Together” - lucky for us, the audience couldn’t help themselves and joined in during the chorus -- the clapping, oohing and ahhing were contagious!
Tanya Moberly & David Ballard
Erin Cronican (yours truly!) was next, with the Cindy Walker & Eddy Arnold tune, “You Don’t Know Me.” Etceterette Marnie Klar then performed a touching version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Salon co-host Morgan Smith, went from shy to vamp with“Secret Love,” revealing that the “secret” love was in fact Richie Eisenberg (who did not seem to mind one bit.) I believe there was a little bit of blushing involved.
Morgan Smith
Mark Janas, fearless host of The Salon, then started our exclusive Classical Corner with some thoughts about tempo, and what kind of effect it has on a musical compositions. He told us a story about using a metronome on a “ballade” that he had been working on. Via this experiment, he found that when trying to keep the same ongoing tempo, the song loses all it’s color, and in some sections it can be “deadly” because the tempo would be too fast (or too slow.) He then wondered -- could someone sing it and make that straight tempo work? The answer, in short? No. He also discovered that he had to play the piece more lightly to go as quickly as needed to keep up with the metronome. In addition, he wondered what kind of balance he needed to keep the tempo the same and yet give accents to important notes? He found this to be incredibly difficult. He tried it slow, he tried it fast... some things became really exciting and others just fell flat. His conclusion: tempo is a fluid thing for classical music, which is very different than what we hear in 50s and 60s music, which tends to find a tempo and dig in to keep it.
The Salon's distinguished host, Mark Janas
Mark then introduced Chopin’s “Ballade in A Flat Major, Opus 47” to illustrate how a musician can interpret tempo as the piece progresses. One thing that Mark noted, which we all found particularly inspiring: Part of being a good artist is not judging yourself while performing for others. Let THEM decide if you’re good or not -- that should only be your concern when you’re rehearsing, not when you're performing. What really counts is telling your story with poetry and passion. And Mark definitely did just that. It was remarkable!

After such an incredible first half, it was time to take a break!

The second set was kicked off with a medley of “Dream” and “Dream Lover” -- hilariously sung by the Wonderettes. Tanya Moberly then sang the adorable “Frank Mills” from the 1960s musical “Hair.” Barb Malley was next, singing “Hostess with the Mostes’” from “Call Me Madam” - she was a real trooper, considering she had a wee cold, We’re just so thrilled that Salon members love our event enough to come when getting over being under the weather (wow- that was clever! Think I’ll use that again sometime...)

Joining us next on the stage was Salon funny lady, Joan Jaffe, who teased us with some interpretive dance and her rendition of “Bagel & Lox.” There sure were a lot of New York themed songs in the air!

Joan Jaffe
Lara Seibert then sang the gorgeous and sultry “Maybe” with able assistance from her Wonderette pals. The Salon guests were amazed by such talent in one room! Frank Loman, who’s here on a 2 month stay from Britain, sang, “Evergreen” as a thank you to the cabaret community for being so welcoming to him. He’s going back to London to do some projects and then plans to be back in NYC in February to revive his show at Don’t Tell Mama. Janice Hall came to the stage with Matthew Martin Ward on piano, to sing the smart & lovely, “When In Rome.” She surprised us mid-song by offering us the man’s perspective in response (“Mala Femmina”) in Italian -- which Matthew promptly translated (in a hilariously dry manner, I might add.)
Matthew Martin Ward
Matthew Martin Ward then took over the next slot, saying he believes we neglected the important music of 1950s sitcoms! He went on to remind us of a few songs based on their intervals and themes, including the opening tune from “The Patty Duke Show.” The audience all joined in merrily -- Ahhh... the good ol’ days.

Harold Sanditen (a self-proclaimed Salon virgin!) brought us “The Way You Look Tonight.” Harold is also doing a show in England and will be bringing it back here in March. We’re so thrilled to have you here with us, Harold - please come back! MetroStar Challenge winner Marissa Mulder graced the stage with the sassy Bill Zeffiro on the keys, singing “Sunday, Monday, Always.” They are so, so charming together -- the audience just loved it.
Marissa Mulder
Bill them stayed at the piano and brought us his earnest and sentimental, “What The Hell, It’s Christmas” (Ok, so it wasn’t those things at all, but he had us in stitches!) Bill has a song being premiered on November 27 with Julie Reyburn, is playing for the Donald Smith Tribute on December 1, and also is performing on December 7th at the Winter Rhythms Festival. There’s no rest for the talented!

Salon charter member Stephen Wilde surprised us by actually being on theme (his words, not mine) with the wonderfully comic, “One More Minute“ with Mark Janas piping in backing vocals. My goodness - it was precious. The audience had tears, they laughed so hard! Carolann M Sanita (who brought her mom, who’s visiting NYC!) silenced the audience with the lovely and sweet, “I Sure Like The Boys.” Carolann just had her successful cabaret debut at The Triad on November 12 - lucky for us, she recorded the show and will be releasing a CD!

Charles West sang the showstopping 1954 tune,  “Gotta Have Me Go With You” from “A Star is Born”. He’s a company member in “The Fantasticks” and will be going on in the role of El Gallo on Thanksgiving - if you’re in town, be sure to check it out! The show was closed with our lovely c-hosts, The Marvelous Wonderettes, singing, “Thank You & Goodnight” - a wonderful ending to a wonderful evening!

NEXT WEEK: The optional theme for the evening is “Stupid Love – An Evening About Questionable Choices.” Bring along any song that makes you shake your head in disgust, or revel in your rebellion! We also welcome songs that are off-theme. (Be sure to bring a second option, in case your song has already been reserved.) Next week, your co-host is jazz vocalist Laurie Krauz. Our Salon Spotlight is Julie Reyburn.

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