Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Salon Wrap Up for April 15, 2012 "Kooky, Zany, Silly – The Great Comedians of Stage & Screen”

I’m so, so thrilled to be here at The Salon after a 1 month hiatus - thank you for having me back! And what an amazing show to come back to - the wacky theme, "Kooky, Zany, Silly – The Great Comedians of Stage & Screen.” But even more importantly, tonight also marked the return of Salon creator, Mark Janas, after a kicking a little brain surgery butt in March. For maybe the first time, Mark was able to sit back and enjoy The Salon from the audience perspective, with Guest Host/Pianist Ricky Ritzel at the keys. Ricky is Multiple MAC & Bistro Award Winner and Former President of MAC - we are incredibly lucky to have his presence at the piano tonight.

Our Co-Host for the evening was Alison Nusbaum, the 2012 MAC Award Winner for Piano Bar Singing Entertainer! Alison will be at Don’t Tell Mama (343 West 46th St, NYC 10036, 212-757-0788) April 24th &April 27th at 9:30pm and April 30th at 7pm with her new show “LADIES – A Raucous Homage to Mel Brooks’ Broads.” (For more information:

Alison kicked off the evening with “High Anxiety” which she connected to how she felt about taking on hosting duties -- but I can tell you right now, she has absolutely nothing to fear!

Co-host Alison Nusbaum. 
Guest Host Ricky Ritzel
Kicking off the open mic portion of the evening, Adam Shapiro charmed us with his favorite Weird Al Yankovic song, “One More Minute.” Adam is appearing next in Richard Eisenberg’s first cabaret, “Smile On Your Face” - with one performance only, May 6 at 1pm, at the Laurie Beechman.

Pilar Walsh was next with “Some Other Time” from Bernstein’s On The Town. Pilar is brand new to New York City as well as to The Salon, having moved here almost 3 months ago. We gave her a true Salon welcome by singing Happy Birthday - Pilar, thank you so much for spending your special day with us!
Pilar Walsh
“Dr Sue” Horowitz brought us her original kooky, zany, silly song, “You’d Be Perfect.” Sue has a CD available for sale, “Keys of Love” which includes warm and inspirational tunes. You can buy the CD by talking to Sue, or by going to Next, Edie Stokes became a “Wicked Woman” right before our eyes, which was enticing and (at turns) hilarious. A veteran of cabaret, Edie is contemplating putting together something a little different for her next show - most likely a collection of jazz tunes. Whatever you do, Edie, audiences will eat it up!

Edie Stokes
Ritt Henn was next, complete with a wee ukelele, singing a touching, original lullaby “Don’t Forget I Love You” (with a working title of “The Alzheimer’s Waltz.”) The song is usually sung by partner in crime, Mary Liz Mcnamara, so it was a rare treat to hear Ritt’s interpretation. Next up, you can see Ritt and Mary Liz at The Duplex on April 25 at 7pm. Lou Iacovino, longtime Salon-er, brought in the off-theme but on-charm, “The Best Is Yet To Come.”

Lou Iacovino
Bill Zeffiro sang “Bronxville Darby & Joan” from Sail Away by Noel Coward. Bill is in the midst of writing a musical about Harry Houdini, which will probably be ready for its first reading sometime in the summer or fall. He is also performing the role of Billy Flynn in the upcoming ACTOR-OWN reading of “Chicago,” a collective created by (yours truly), Erin Cronican.

Speaking of yours truly, Erin Cronican brought up the comedic, “Summer In Ohio," from Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. Erin is performing the role of Roxie opposite Bill on April 23 (along with Salon regulars Candice Oden, Marnie Klar, Elaine St George, Lea McKenna Garcia, and Mary Lahti.) For more information about this program (we're especially in need of men) please email Erin

Marnie Klar, tonight's Etceterette, wowed us with the classically wordy, “Getting Married Today”  (with able soprano assistance by Alison Nusbaum.)

Marnie Klar
For tonight's Salon Spotlight we welcomes to the piano Salon Founder Mark Janas, back from his hospital stay after brain surgery (not to worry - he's just fine!) Mark still has some work to do in physical therapy on his right eye, so rather than read music Mark opted to bring in a piece he had worked on from a previous Salon - Chopin’s “Ballade in A Flat Major, Opus 47." It was amazing, and the love in the room was even more amazing. We're so glad to have you back with us, Mark.

Mark Janas - though he is angelic, that's not God's light behind him. It's just a lamp!
For Classical Corner, Ricky put on a tie (he's classy-like!) and told the fable of absinthe addicted Camille Saint Sens and how his most famous piece of classical piece music, “The Carnival of the Animals” was written - inspired by slow animals, like roosters, elephants, tortoises… and critics. This story was told with Victor Borge flair - and the audience was dying with laughter. 

Ricky Ritzel. In a tie! (Thrown over his shoulder, but still...)
Second Act

For the Co-Host set, Alison graced the stage once more, martini in hand, opening the second act with, “As We Stumble Along.” For her next song, she delighted in taking a decidedly unfunny and touching song, and, quote “dragging it through the mud.” Seemed like a tall order, but it was done sublimely - a wacky, hysterical version of song, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” (I don’t want to give too much away, but there were some arm tricks involved.)

Alison Nusbaum
Alison talked about how many of her comedic songs came spur of the moment. For the final song of this set, Alison demonstrates what happens when someone requests/yells out for her to sing a song a little, well, inappropriate for her type: “Tomorrow.” (Yep.)

Salon Producer, Tanya Moberly, accompanied by the amazing Mark Janas, came to the stage with the hilarious piano/singer duet, “Schroeder” from You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. I promise, you have not seen this song really performed if you haven’t seen this version. Brilliant. Tanya is excited to announce that she’s producing her most amazing event, Mark Janas’s 60th birthday! It is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at midnight (get there before June 8 at 11:59pm.) Everyone is invited - be sure to check future blogs for details. 
Mark Janas and Tanya Moberly
Mark Janas, staying at the piano, was joined by Andy Gale and Julie Reyburn with a gorgeous duet mashup of “Moon River” and “It Goes Like It Goes.” Matthew Martin Ward followed that up with the lovely ballad “Blame It On My Youth” by Oscar Levant. Matthew announced that the last chance to see the MAC Award winning Janice Hall’s show, “I’d Rather Be…” is this coming Wednesday at 9:30pm at the Metropolitan Room.

Andy Gale & Julie Reyburn
Sally Darling, with accompaniment by Matthew Martin Ward, sang the adorable comedy song, “We Can Let It Go/If Love Were All” by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz. Sally’s next show is at 5pm on May 6 at Don’t Tell Mama - she suggests that you see Richie’s show at 1pm, her show at 5pm, and then The Salon at 7pm! (Sounds like a great plan. I’m not biased at all.)

Sally Darling
Susan Hodgson was next with a perfect song for the theme: a comedy song from a musical that was also a movie - “When You Got It, Flaunt It” from The ProducersRichard Eisenberg was next, with a follow up to a song he sang two weeks ago - “How Much I Weigh” (his parody lyrics to the tune of “My Way”) As mentioned previously, Richie is proud to announce that there will be a cabaret of his compositions performed by Adam Shapiro, Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, and Stacey Perlman - May 6 at brunch time (1pm) at the Laurie Beechman. 

To start of a round of encore performances, Ritt Henn came to the stage with his tune, “Trip Momma” - another Mary Liz Mcnamara original.

Ritt Henn
Pilar Walsh, our birthday girl, was back with the South American influenced, “Samba De Uma Nota So” (with Portuguese lyrics, no less!) We sure hope Pilar joins us at future Salons. Bill Zeffiro brought back with his tune, “Dream Weaver” which he wrote when he was 27. We’re lucky to have such prolific writers at The Salon (and double MAC Award winners, no less!) Erin Cronican asked Bill to stay at the piano, where he accompanied her with the Peter Mills song, “It’s Amazing The Things That Float” from the Off Broadway musical, The Flood.

Marnie Klar was back to sing the sultry and adorable, “Naughty Baby." Lou Iacovino came to the stage with the sweeping, inspirational ballad, “Here’s To Life.” For her encore, “Dr Sue” Horowitz sang another original parody, “Sue Horowitz” to the tune of “I”ll Be Seeing You.”

The final song of the evening was by our lovely co-host, Alison Nusbaum, in “You Musn’t Feel Discouraged” a song created for one of her childhood icons, Carol Burnett from the  Styne/Comden/Green musical, Fade Out Fade In - with able assistance on keys and mic by Ricky Ritzel.
Ricky Ritzel and Alison Nusbaum
Next week: The theme is Tough Guys & Dangerous Gals - bring any song about crime, fighting, crime-fighting, or anything else you find tough and dangerous. Our Co-Host will be Billie Roe, with Guest Host/Pianist Steven Ray Watkins on the keys. The Salon Spotlight will be Mr. Mark Janas.

-Erin Cronican
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