Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Salon Wrap Up for April 22, 2012 "Tough Guys and Dangerous Dolls"

Etcetera Etcetera became a safe house of gangsters, crime bosses and femme fatales on Sunday. It was a hot night where the dames sang sweetly and the guys showed us the caliber of their guns! Billie Roe co-hosted with deceptively nice-looking Steven Ray Watkins hosting at the piano (remember, looks can be deceiving!). The theme of the evening was "Tough Guys and Dangerous Dolls," a theme that brought out the film noir and precarious morals of all of use. Billie accepted a Bistro award for her Theme Show "Dangerous Women – Life in Film Noir" at the 2012 Bistro Awards last week. She opened up the evening with the theme from the musical "City of Angels" (yup it has lyrics!) with an introduction reminding us that we all are noir voyeurs - we like the dark part of humanity, and we like to watch. She then went into a sultry and bluesy number called "Harlem Nocturne (Nocturne for the Blues)" by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers.
Steven Ray Watkins
Billie Roe
Barb Malley, complete with a martini prop, slurred her words marvelously through "As We Stumble Along." In addition to print work in commercials, you can soon see Barb in Gretchen Reinhagen's vocal student showcase "Name Dropping" May 7th at Don't Tell Mama, with Tracy Stark at the piano. Richie Eisenberg was next, singing his original bad-girl-meets-her-match song "Ulterior Motive." You will be able to see more of his original works at his showcase "Smile on My Face" at the Laurie Beechman, featuring Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman and Adam Shapiro. We then heard Jim Speake sing "It Had to Be You" in a sweet tenor.  Mark Janas then took over for Steven to play for his friend Carroll Mailhot, a soprano who gorgeously sang "Summertime." Sue Hodgdon next grabbed the mic and sang the demandingly dangrous "Peel Me a Grape." Her show, "On The Bumpy Road To Love" (directed by Peter Napolitano with Barry Levitt at the piano) will show at Don't Tell Mama May 12th at 3pm.
Jim Speake
Carol Mailhot
Joann Sicoli sang "Gee Whiz," a fun 50's love song that portended a fun show at Don't Tell Mama on May 3rd, 7pm. Then came the Birthday Boy David Ballard, whose birthday was actually on Sunday. He celebrated by singing his hilarious original "A Song About Your Baby," and we all celebrated by singing him "Happy Birthday." Sierra Rein (that's your humble Bloggette for the week) then sang "Diva's Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part?)", illustrating the danger involved in not giving the Diva in your show the proper stage time. My group Marquee Five will perform at the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival on May 18th, with Mark Janas, featuring songs from their past two shows and including a few numbers from our upcoming "swing"-themed show. We then heard the dangerous beauty of Maureen Taylor, who sang "Same Mistakes" from Breakfast at Tiffany's. After Maureen left the stage, Salon creator and uber-MAC-Award-Winning host Mark Janas took to the piano to play the second George Gershwin "Prelude," and doing so beautifully...almost criminally.
David Ballard
Singer, Director, multiple MAC, Bistro and Nightlife Award-winner and President of MAC Lennie Watts was the week's Salon Spotlight. This tenor with began his set singing "I Got Nothing But the Blues," a funky blues rock number that got sadder each time the key got higher. He followed that with the song-that-got-away-casting-wise, a different and unique interpretation of "Tomorrow" from Annie. He closed his set with a fun sing-along "Takin' It To The Streets." We then were excited to hear that Lennie is returning to the stage with his new show "Bloody Bloody Lennie Watts," who (with Steven Ray Watkins at the piano, a full band and backup singers) will be at the Metropolitan Room June 6th, 13th, 17th and 27th. Next, host Steven Ray Watkins got his own Corner of the evening, "Stevie's Corner." He chose to focus on some of his favorite "tough guy" pianists, starting tongue-in-cheek with Elton John's "Talking Old Soldiers." He then sang Ray Charles' "Them That Got," a song that reflected his favorite tough guy...himself!
Lennie Watts
After the break, our scintillating bad-girl Billie Roe stole the stage all for herself and - with Steven at the piano on hand as her partner in crime - to sing some tough tunes. She began with patter from "Franke's Wild Years," a hilarious monologue in the style of film noir. She then tore through "Gotta Move" (with a bit of "Route 66" mixed in for good measure), powerfully belting her noir heart out. She finished with "You Don't Know What Love Is," a song originally meant for the movie soundtrack to the 1941 Keep 'Em Flying, starring Abbott & Costello.

Our Godmother/Producer, Tanya Moberly, then stood to sing "I've Got What You Want," a swinging rock gospel song. Her new show (as yet to be titled) will be in Fall and will feature Steven as Music Director. We then had a trio of hopefuls in a row - singers who were going to sing at the Noel Coward Competition on April 24th at the Laurie Beechman Theater (read about the results here). All had Noel Coward aficionado Bill Zeffiro at the piano to play for them. First up was Karen Oberlin, who sang the uptempo fun "Louisa." We then heard Shana Farr tackle the tongue-twisting lyrics to the funny-pessimistic song "There are Bad Times Just Around the Corner." Finally we heard Julie Reyburn, singing the bluesy Coward ballad "World Weary," about the yearning for a simpler life after hitting the city pavement for too long. Julie now epitomizes "no rest for the Mama," performing with Marquee Five on May 18th and singing for the Trevor Project in a benefit this next week!
Tanya Moberly
Karen Oberlin
Shana Farr
Julie Reyburn
 Next on our lineup of smooth criminals was Sally Darling (with Matthew Martin Ward at the piano) singing the bitterly funny salsa number "Why Him?" She will be performing with Matthew at Don't Tell Mama in her show "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," performing May 6th (5pm) and 11th (7pm). Matthew stayed to play for Janice Hall, who sang the dangerous inner thoughts of one revengeful doll, "Pirate Jenny." Janice will be missed, as she just left this week to sing "Three Decembers" at the Fort Worth Opera this Summer! We then had a Salon debut, Erin Cronican's friends Rachel Hirsch and Natalie Lovejoy (composer at the piano), singing the charming and clever-lyric'd "I've Got The Radio On." Rachel wanted to also promote the Actors' Embassy (, a resource and online community for actors, featuring blogs, council meetings, and an "Audition Central."
Rachel Hirsch
Nicole Kafka next sang "Those Were the Days," a gypsy song about past days in the tavern. Her show "Yesterday Once More" will take place on May 4th, 6th, 11th, and 13th at 8:30pm at Don't Tell Mama. Joe Regan, Jr sang "Selective Memory" by Michael Stoller (of Smokey Joe's Cafe fame) and Elaine St. George sang the beautiful Joni Mitchell song "Cactus Tree." Elaine, always a wonderful interpreter of lyrics, will bring her Joni Mitchell show to the Metropolitan Room May 6th and 13th. We then heard and saw some wonderful acting by Bob Diamond (with David Jarvis at the piano), performing "Mary's Bar" - his show "This Funny World" will be on April 29th, Sunday at 7pm at Don't Tell Mama. Cameron Fadjo (along with David Jarvis) then sang "Love Don't Need a Reason" - he will be a part of Gretchen Reinhagan's student showcase on May 7th. David continued to stay at the piano to play for baritone Paul Kolecki, who sang the classic American Songbook number, "Where or When."
Paul Kolecki
The last set of songs for the evening started out with composer Nick Levin, who sang and played his hilarious parody of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," only this time singing uncensored "tough talk" of David Mamet. Mark Janas continued to play for AMDA student Dominic Zicari (singing "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard), and then for Bart Lovins, who sang "Once Upon a Time." Bart is performing in a one-man show about John Wilkes Booth in Kentucky.  Kevin McMullan sang about bad girl "Minnie the Moocher." He has a lot of plans coming up: a recording of his show "Twist of Fate," a sequel in the Fall, and a trip back to India next January! Bill Zeffiro sang a brand new ballad, lovingly written for the Big Apple herself, "I've Still Got New York." Bill has finished his first play, and can be seen every Tuesday night at La Mediterrane, plus Friday nights at Aza with songstress Melissa Mulder. Billie Roe closed the evening by belting out an amazing jazz-hot rendition of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," a song featured in her "Dangerous Woman" show.
Nick Levin
NEXT WEEK! The theme is "Love's What We'll Remember," and the co-HOSTS of the night will be the Manhattan School of Music students working with Mark Janas! They will be joined in a Salon Spotlight with the world-reknowned concert accordionist and composer Veli Kujala, whose performance will be an amazing "first" for The Salon!

-Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Please email me.

No comments:

Post a Comment