Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Salon Wrap Up for April 29, 2012 "Love's What We'll Remember”

The mood was warm and fuzzy as we welcomed in the penultimate Salon of the season - with the theme, “Love’s What We’ll Remember.” On hand as Guest Host/Pianist was Matthew Martin Ward, with Mark Janas on the keys for this evening’s co-hosts - 7 students from the Manhattan School of Music: Zach Appel, Oliver Donaldson, Chris Harrelson, Rachael Hirsch, Bradley Lassiter, Anna Penchuk, Janani Sridhar & Maren Weinberger! These talented singers kicked off the evening with a lively mashup of songs in a reprisal of their 8-person Discover Opera Valentine’s Concert (directed by Andy Gale.)
Co-hosts: Students at the Manhattan School of Music
Jennie Litt (with David Alpher on the piano) premiered a brand new song (not heard anyone, anywhere!) “Marriage” - lovely ballad about the survival of a couple’s vow. Jennie and David have a show coming up at the Triad May 17 at 7pm. Olga Slavnina sat down at the piano and impressively played Chopin’s gorgeous “Impromptu Fantasy.”

Olga Slavnina
Co-Host Brad Lassiter was next, with the gorgeous medley of the ballads, “When I Fall In Love” and “Some Enchanted Evening.” Sunny Leigh (along with Barry Levitt on the keys) graced the stage with a smooth and lovely rendition of “This Can’t Go On.” Sunny has a show, “Sunny Leigh in Metro Jazz” on Sunday, May 20 at 4pm at the Metropolitan Room.

Sunny Leigh
Barry Levitt stayed at the piano as Peter Napolitano came to the mic to introduce the next 2 songs. Peter is directing (and Barry music directing) “Smile On My Face: The Songs of Richard Eisenberg.” The show is premiering at The Laurie Beechman on May 6 at 1pm. The first song they introduced was “Hum a Song” with the ensemble of Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman and Adam Shapiro. They then sang the jazzy love ode to NYC, “A Walk In The Park” with Erin on lead vocals and Adam and Rob on charming backing vocals. Co-Host Rachael Hirsch was next with the wistful “A House Is Not A Home.”

Rachael Hirsch
Elaine St George brought up the haunting,”All I Want” - a little sneak peak at her show, “Take Me As I Am: A witty and opinionated look at Joni Mitchell on relationships.” If this performance any indication of what her show is going to be like, I’d suggest using your tickets as soon as possible - June 6 & 13 (7pm) and 7 & 14 (9:30) at The Metropolitan Room. She’s wonderful! Leni Tabb (a Salon newbie!) sang Bachrach & David’s charming, “I’ll Never Gonna Fall In Love Again.”

Leni Tabb
Co-Host Zach Appel gave us a heartfelt, “How Long Has This Been Going On?” and then invited up Co-Host, Oliver Donaldson, and performed a hilarious, “Me and My Shadow” - what a lively and fun duet!
Oliver Donaldson and Zach Appel
Arianna, rocking a pair of amazing red heels, sang the flirty, “He Plays The Violin” from the musical, 1776. Erin Cronican (moi!) brought in a song about what can happen when you take love for granted: “How Did We Come To This” from Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party. (Be sure to come out to see me in Richie’s show!) Sarah Rice, in her usual fashion, brought up a stunning soprano song, in French no less: “Les Chemins d’Amour” by Poulenc. She has a show currently running with a fascinating concept, “HIStory/HERstory: Where Truth Lies” with David Vernon at Union City Performing Arts Center on May 10. This is a FREE SHOW - there’s really no reason to miss it!

Sarah Rice
Co-Hosts Anna Penchuk and Chris Harrelson enacted an all-too-familiar scene about the nerves created by the potential for love with Chris singing Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and Anna coming in later with “Send In The Clowns” from A Little Night Music.
This week’s Classical Corner was a rare treat- Mark introdued us to Veli Kujala. From Finland, and commonly billed as “World’s Best Accordion Player,” Veli played 3 enchanting numbers that got the audience clapping and cheering. You’ve never seen an accordion played like this - to be sure! Mark remarked about how amazing it is that so many diverse and talented musicians join us each week. It truly makes The Salon as special place to be.

Veli Kujala
Second Act
To kick off the second half, Co-host Janani Sridhar gave us luscious alto tones with the Gershwin standard, “The Man I Love.” She then invited up fellow host, Rachael Hirsch, to sing, “I Know Him So Well” from the musical Chess. For the final song the Co-Host set, Maren Weinberger sang the adorable story song, “Tolls” by Jeff Blumenkrantz.

Janini Sridhar
Manhattan School of Music is producing Ragtime, May 8, 9, 10 and 7:30pm - and you can see some of these students in the production!

Tanya Moberly “I Think I May Want To Remember Today” from the Maltby & Shire musical Starting Here, Starting Now. Marnie Klar sang the ultimate song about love, from a mother to her child - “I’d Give My Life For You” from Miss Saigon. Nicholas Levin brought Marissa Mulder up to the stage to sing one of his beautiful, original tunes: “Warm as Winter”
Nicholas Levin (piano) and Marissa Mulder
Andy Gale came to the stage with eye-patched Mark Janas (who Andy called “the best pirate pianist ever!”) to sing a medley of, “Hi Lili HI Lo” and “Secret Love. It was so lovely that it inspired the whole audience to sing along in a sort of reverent, lullaby tone. Adam said he was drunk on the talent in the room, despite abstaining from his desired red wine - and thank Mark & Tanya (and the staff of The Salon and EtcEtc) for creating such a wonderful place for artists to share with one another. Barb Malley was next with, “Sunday in New York” - Barb is bringing back her show, “I Remember Brooklyn” to Don’t Tell Mama on Saturday, June 30 with a quintet of musicians. Congrats, Barb!

Barb Malley
Joey Infante brought in a touching, “Who Can I Turn To.” Joey told a story about how originally learned this song because he was asked to sing it at a wedding, and was having he darndest time remembering the lyrics. So. he dialed up Mark Janas who gave him some pieces of advice, and it’s been one of Joey’s go-to songs ever since!

Fellow Salon blogger, Sierra Rein - to our delight - brought in music from City Of Angels. She understudied (and performed!) the dual roles Donna/Oolie, so she shared the ever-appropriate, showstopping “You Can Always Count On Me.” Sierra says Marquee Five is off to the races performing again - this time at the Buck Hill Music Fest on May 18. Be sure to check out www.marqueefive.com for more details (and buy their CD!)

Sierra Rein
Adam Shapiro broke our hearts with the introspective tune, “Astonishing” from Little Women. You can see Adam on May 6 at the Laurie Beechman in “Smile On My Face: The Songs of Richie Eisenberg” (…and I can attest to the fact that he is FABULOUS in this show.) Sally Darling sang the lovely balladic medley, “We Can Let It Go/If Love Were All.” Sally has a show coming up - “I’m A Stranger Here Myself” (with Matthew Martin Ward on piano) - May 6 (5pm) and May 11 (7pm) at Don’t Tell Mama.

Matthew Martin Ward stayed at the piano to take his own slot - a spoof of Webber’s “Memory” from Cats. What could those Cats be thinking? Well, he told us, with lyrics like -- “Maybe when I was younger I took too many ‘ludes… What was the question?” The song is by Chicago cabaret artist, Pam Peterson (with some minor tweaks by Matthew, of course.) Co-Hosts Maren WeinbergerBrad Lassiter sang the touching duet, “How Do You Fall Back In Love?”

Mark Janas (piano) with Maren Weinberger and Brad Lassiter
David Ballard, our fearless server and longtime Salon singer, brought in one of our favorites - “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady. David continues his studies as a lyricist at the BMI workshop. We can’t wait to hear one of his original compositions again at The Salon!

Yulia (the lovely lady from Moscow and guest of Barb Malley) crooned a stunning version of “Cry Me A River” with amazing, from the memory, jazz accompaniment from Mark Janas. And as if that weren’t enough, Yulia invites up her sister and fellow Muscovite, Nadya, with a unique, female duet of “Evergreen” (just in time to celebrate Barbara Streisand’s 70th birthday, which was a few days ago.)
Nadya (left) and Yulia
Bill Zeffiro next stepped into the role of Guest Host (with great thanks to Matthew Martin Ward for the first half of the show!) He started by saying, “I don’t write many love songs…” (really?) and then introduced us to the mellow and sweet, “I’ve Still Got New York” (the best love story of all, in my opinion.)
Bill Zeffiro
Lou Iacovino was next to the mic, and started with an essay, “Don’t Sing You Love Songs To Me…” (with gorgeous accompaniment by Bill Zeffiro) and then sang the heartfelt and well acted, “How Do You Keep The Music Going?”

Lou Iacovino
Joan Jaffe brought her sparkly self to the stage with her adorable and samba inspired, “Down in the Depths.” Ever the song and dance gal, you can see her MAC Award winning show, “Man-ha-ha-ha-Tan” at Don’t Tell Mama at 7:30pm on May 6. Kerry Ipema was next with the hopeful, teenage fantasy “Legend in Leather” from the musical, Happy Days.

Kerry Ipema
John McLaughlin sang the lovely ballad, “You Go To My Head” - what amazing talent we had at The Salon this evening! Speaking of talent, I’m so thrilled to see long time Salon-er, Kevin McMullan, back at Etc Etc! In usual Kevin fashion, he started his slot with a little bit of stand-up comedy, and then launched into his upbeat and adorable, “She Had To Go and Lose It At The Astor.”

Kevin McMullan
Susan Hodgson brought in the powerful, “Out Here On My Own” from Fame. You can see her show, “On The Bumpy Road To Love,” at Don’t Tell Mama on Saturday May 12 at 3pm and it’s only $5! Ron E Giles was back at The Salon with “Moon River” from the iconic film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Ron E Giles
We were thrilled to have Paul Kolecki back with us - at the piano, he regaled us with his original tune, “Reaching Inside for Love“ - chronicling a completely inappropriate story he overheard on the subway one day. An incredulous, laughing audience sang along during the chorus - what a delight! Richie Eisenberg was next with his original tune, “On A Night Like This.” (Have you heard that he has a 1pm show May 6 at the Beechman?)

Co-Hosts Anna Penchuk & Chris Harrelson came to the stage again with the touching aching duet, “They Were You.” And to close the show, the student ensemble from the Manhattan School of Music came back to the stage with the closing number: “It’s Love/What I Did For Love.”

NEXT WEEK: Johnny Rodgers will be our Co-Host, with both Mark Janas and Bill Zeffiro at the keys as Hosts/Pianists. The theme is “Being Alive - A Celebration of Life” -- we’re all so grateful for the time we get to spend on this planet with art to inspire. Please bring in any song that makes you feel like celebrating your life and the lives of others!

Reminder - May 6 will be the LAST SALON BEFORE OUR SUMMER HIATUS.

-Erin Cronican
Blogette for The Salon
URL’s I missed? Names misspelled? Please email me.

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