Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Salon Wrap Up for July 8, 2012 "Back To Work”

The Salon was buzzing with hellos, hugs and high fives as Salon regulars and newbies mingled for the first time after our summer hiatus! I have to say, it’s rather unusual to see so much joy with a theme like, “Back To Work” - but I’ve stopped being surprised by the amazing and loving things I experience at The Salon!

Our Co-Host for the evening was the charming, Bistro Award Winner Meg Flather! Meg - also known as ‘The Home Shopping Diva’ - has just released her sixth original CD and will be appearing at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46thSt, NYC on August 17th at 7:30pm. For more information:

Meg started off the show with an anecdote about all of her various jobs, including her makeup artistry job for Yves Saint Laurent at Bergdorf Goodman… for 7 straight years. It was an easy transition, then, to the comedic chanson, “The French Song.”

Kicking off the open mic portion of the night, Mark Levy sang a deliciously fun (and wordy!) Gilbert & Sullivan song, “Love Unrequited” (The Nightmare.) Mark doesn’t have anything to promote, only to say that he pulls out this song every now and then to see if he can get all of the patter - he did a bang up job tonight!

Barb Malley taught for many years, so she told us that “back to work” means back to school for her. Appropriately, then, she said this Peggy Sue tune fist perfectly: “I Don’t Know Enough About You.” Tonight was the first time I had the honor of hearing Bruce Clough, who weaved us a tale with his snappy, Tin Pan Alley style song, “The Snake.” Bruce is doing a show on July 13 at Don’t Tell Mama called The Dark Side, which is an evening of creepy songs with a “silly” filter.

Sunny Leigh brought in the lovely Spanish ballad, “Uno.” She closed her show at the Metropolitan Room last week, and is planning another show next week. She reminded us that she always bakes cookies or cakes for folks who attends her shows. Fantastic! Nicholas Levin came to the piano and brought up Janice Hall to sing his brand new, French inspired, song “The Night They Bathed In Paris.” We love it when composers unveil new songs at The Salon! I can’t think of a more loving audience to try out new works.

The Henn Family Singers (consisting of Ritt Henn and his mom, Bets) premiere a new Henn/McNamara song, “Weekhawken Woman.” I think Bets give Ritt a run for his money in the charm department. You can find Ritt & Liz’s upcoming events on Facebook. Edie Stokes sang the sultry, “Angel Eyes.” Edie has a show, Illusions, coming up on September 30 at 5:30pm at Don’t Tell Mama.

Maureen Taylor broke our hearts while shedding some tears, with the touching ballad, “He Comes Home Tired.” Bobbie Horowitz sang her original song, “Rare” - both words and lyrics by Horowitz. I tell you, Bobbie brings in more than clever lyrics, but also the acting chops to go with them. By the way - Bobbie is offering her songs to anyone who would like to use them - what a deal!

You Blogette, Erin Cronican, sang “Say Goodbye,” a song by Scott Alan about the perils of letting work get in the way of being who you really are. Erin has one more week at The Salon before she takes a hiatus to star in the double billing of Harold Pinter’s The Lover and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Tickets are $12 each, or see both shows for $20. More info here:

Your Etceterette, Carolann Sanita, brought us the warm and powerful, “It Goes Like It Goes.” Carolann just closed “Gilbert & Sullivan In Brief(s)” at The Queens Theater, and is now prepping to travel with that show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She leaves July 31 - we wish her the best of luck abroad!

Alison Nusbaum & Ricky Ritzel were our Salon Spotlight for the evening, introducing us to their newest show called, “LADIES – A Raucous Homage to Mel Brooks’ Broads.” The first song of the set was “High Anxiety” punctuated nicely by the swig of an entire martini, apropos of the song’s theme. But then Alison pulled a disappearing act which forced Ricky to fill time with another Mel Brooks’ song - The Blazing Saddles Theme. Ricky then begged Alison back to the stage and she sang, “When You Got It, Flaunt It” from The Producers. Just plain hilarious. Alison and Ricky’s next show is coming up Tuesday July 17 at 7pm at Don’t Tell Mama.

For this week’s Classical Corner, Salon Host Mark Janas took to the piano to talk about the work he does at the keys: (hint: it’s more than just reading music!)

Mark said that much of what he does with with regard to “voicing” - paying attention to finer elements and emphasizing them, including melody and themes. (As a singer, this reminded me somewhat of dynamics.) Mark talked about how he plays the outside voices (low notes or high notes in a melody) more heavily so they stand out, and how he’ll emphasis certain themes more than others. He also pointed out that that certain themes show up once in a song while others are repeated throughout, so he’ll pay special attention to those differences and highlight them. Mark used Chopin’s “A Flat Ballade” as an example as he spoke, and then gave us a real treat - he played the entire piece for us so that we could enjoy the music with our new found knowledge. Oh, how I love Classical Corner!

Second Set

Meg Flather was back to start the second act with a flair. She explained that one of the beautiful things about cabaret is that you get to sing songs that you’d never be able to sing in “real” castings. (True!) She then sang the most gorgeous rendition of “The Mason’s Song” from the musical, Working. Meg got the audience clapping and singing along with her next number, “A Song of Roses.” Her final number of the set was a gorgeous, original tune, “One The 2nd Floor.”

Tanya Moberly sang James Taylor’s “Millworker” from the musical Working, which was simply gorgeous. I love that Salon welcomes singers to sing cross gender songs - such a supportive, experimental environment. She has a show coming up on September 28 at 7pm at Don’t Tell Mama, where she will be singing the song from one album by Barbra Streisand. We’ll post more details as they become available.

Parker Scott brought us the charming song about workplace romance, “It’s Alright With Me.” Matthew Martin Ward was a whiz accompanying on piano. Parker let it slip that he is the middle of a love affair with Cole Porter, the composer of this song. We promise we can keep a secret (no one reads this blog, right?) Parker and his partner, Wells Hanley, won a 2012 Bistro award for Best Recording. He is doing a show on August 9 at 9:30 at the Metropolitan Room.

Susan Hodgson brought in “I Know The Truth,” a song sung by Amneris (the ultimate career woman) in Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida. She has a show coming up September 8 at 3pm at Don’t Tell Mama - and tickets are only $5! David Ballard pointed out that anything he sang tonight would be on theme, considering that he’s our trusty server! He brought in “Way Ahead of My Time” by Peter Mills, which was played by memory by Mr. Mark Janas. David just completed year one as a lyricist in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop. We’re so thrilled for him!

Elaine St George was next with a song for anyone who said, “Oh my gawd, I hate my job!” - the jazzy, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.” (Hey, that phrase sounds familiar!) Joann Sicoli, a newer face at The Salon, brought us a touching version of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar. Adam Shapiro announced to The Salon that he’s just been cast in a production of Ragtime, so he sang “Buffalo Nickel Photoplay Inc” as a teaser. I hope I get a chance to go up and see this fabulous show.

Richie Eisenberg approached the stage dressed in an apron armed with a spatula and pot holder, singing his original, “Good Ol’ American Hamburger.” Richie’s cabaret, Smile On My Face, will be coming back in the fall with singers Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman, and Adam Shapiro. Stay tuned for more details!

Kathy Ann Skylar played/sang a wistful tune original tune, “Woman of a Certain Age.” She’ll be performing July 19 at 8pm at Uptown Cabaret, at the Indian Road Cafe in Inwood (produced by Salon friend Alex DeSuze.) Steve the Whistler whistled and sang (and charmed) his way through Summertime from Porgy and Bess. Karen Collazzo, Salon newcomer, sang Jason Robert Brown’s- “I’m Not Afraid of Anything.” Welcome to our family!

Tommy Shull moved away from the sound board and sat behind at piano to play an original piece from his band, Hey Guy, called “Us.” They are doing a lot more acoustic shows around the city - be sure to check out their website for more details. Bill Zeffiro brought in his touching and yet funny original ballad, “The Final Days.”

In a rare treat, Mark Janas brought in his own open mic performance. A dear friend of his passed away from prostate cancer last week, so in honor of him Mark played a beautiful rendition of “Danny Boy.” As Mark reached the end of the instrumental introduction, the entire group joined in to sing the verse & chorus. It was truly uplifting, and in the loving spirit of The Salon.

For the closing number of the night, Co-Host Meg Flather brought us a brand new song that was brought about by a debate about religion. Meg said that whenever she is challenged, so just news to wake up and notice the angels that come her way to help her through whatever she needs. She then sang the lovely, “My Heaven.”

Meg was generous enough to bring a bunch of CDs to give away at The Salon. If there are any left after this evening, we’ll bring them out to The Salon next week and give them away until they’re gone!

Speaking of next week, the optional theme is “Divas, Dorks & Duets” - sing any song that involves two people or those who exude grandiose personality traits! Your Co-Hosts will be Joshua Desjardins & Joshua Warr. The Salon Spotlight will be Rosemary Loar & Co from Spoolie Girl.

-Erin Cronican
Blogette for The Salon
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