Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Salon Wrap-Up for October 21, 2012 "L, M, N, O, P - Songs From The Middle Of The Alphabet."

I came into Sunday night with the alphabet running through my head. And not because I was coming from the East side of the East Village, but because of tonight’s theme at this week’s Salon - 
“L, M, N, O, P - Songs From the Middle of the Alphabet.” From entering our space at Etc Etc, I would tell that the evening promised a ton of fun!

Co-host, Nina Hennessey
Our co-host was Broadway Veteran Nina Hennessey. Nina has been seen in the Broadway casts of WOMAN OF THE YEAR, DREAMGIRLS, CATS, LES MISERABLES and the revival of BYE, BYE BIRDIE. She started by saying that without the letters L, M, N, O, P , you wouldn’t have the lyrics to a song - and followed that with “Without a Song” from the musical play, Great Day.

Edie Stokes started off the open mic portion with the Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg classic, “Last NIgt When We Were Young.” Last year, Edie’s show was named one of the top 10 shows of 2011 by the Times Square Chronicles. We were excited to welcome back Tony Imgrund, who sang “Maria” from West Side Story, which he sang for his mother who was in town from Nebraska.

Jackie Kristel sang an adorable “The Alphabet Song.” She has a debut show at Don’t Tell Mama called “A Girl You Should Know” with 2 more dates October 26 and December 7, with Tracy Stark as her music director. Barb Malley was next, and true to her word she came dressed up for Halloween (since she’ll be missing next week’s Salon due to a hi replacement surgery.) She sang a medley of “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights / Your Cheating Heart” as Wendy, the Tavern Maid. Barb will be back in about 6 weeks when she will be able to climb that stairs again. We wish you a speedy recovery!

Carly Ozard brought in a contemplative telling of “Landslide” made famous by Stevie Nicks. Natasha Castillo was next with the pop infused anthem from Footloose - “Let Hear It For The Boy.” Natasha has a show, “Anything but Ordinary,” coming up at The Duplex - November 2, 10, and 16 with Steven Ray Watkins and directed by Lennie Watts. Richie Eisenberg was next with “Now That I Know,” a beautiful and lilting waltz. We’re proud to announce that Richie’s music was just featured in The Salon’s cabaret series, Salon Presents, on October 24 - if you missed it, you have one more chance at Winter Rhythms at Urban Stages on December 13. Come out and show some love to these wonderful singers (Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman and Adam Shapiro.)

Lou Iacovino was next (with Barry Levitt on the keys) singing “Learning the Blues.” On December 1 at 2pm, Lou will be the special guest performer at his friend, Jeannie’s, show at Don’t Tell Mama. Stay tuned for more details! Barry stayed at the piano and invited up Sunny Leigh, who sang a swinging “Lucky To Be Me.” On Tuesdays, you can see Sunny at 8pm at Dana Lorge & Barry Levitt’s new home - The Iridium!

Julia Klot, our youngest guest at The Salon tonight (12 years old!), took her seat at the piano and played & sang her original composition, “Apologies.” It was incredible. Julia has a show, “Introducing Julia Klot” coming up at the Metropolitan Room on November 4 at 1pm. She also has a CD available. Please get out there and support the next generation of singer-songwriters!

Annie LeBeaux brought in “Speed Dial,” an original song which explained what Joni Mitchell’s career would have been like if it started now instead of in the 1960s (in a tune very similar to “Woodstock.”) This might be my favorite song I’ve heard Annie do. Classic and wonderful! David Ballard, our dedicated server, sang a haunting “Losing My Mind” from Follies. Yours truly, Erin Cronican, sang “Quiet” from Jonathan Reid Gealt’s Forward. Adam Shapiro introduced us to “Never Before, Never Again” a song from The Muppets. He’s singing it at his sister’s wedding next weekend. Adam has a show coming up - “Adam Shapiro’s Guide to the Perfect Breakup” November 8 & 15 and December 30 at The Duplex. Can’t wait to see it!

Classical Corner

Mark Janas started Classical Corner by emptying his pockets into two silver buckets. He then talked about all of the ideas he had related to the theme. He’s always wanted to do something on pedaling. He also thought about teaching us about the golden mean, as well as covering composers that matched the letters in the theme - Liszt, Mendelssohn, Offenbach, Puccini, etc. He then came up with the idea of pairing a musical type with a composer, and allowing the audience to choose which one they wanted to hear. So, he wrote down a bunch of words on pieces of paper, and separated types of musical compositions into one group and composers into another group. He took those pieces of paper from his pocket and put them in the buckets. From there, he asked Salon members to draw from the bucket, and he would play something related to what was on the piece of paper.

Here’s what he did:

1st Choice
Composer: Chopin
Type: Nocturne
Song: Mark blended the two ideas and played Chopin’s C Minor Nocturne (with a very dramatic middle section)

2nd choice
Type: Mazurka
Mark played a Mazurka Polish dance - Mazurka in B Flat by Chopin. He explained that this type of music is in three, but one of the beats is always stretched (usually the 2nd)

3rd choice
Composer - Mendelssohn
Mark played, “Songs Without Words” which was considered a hunting song because it was full of horn sounds from fox hunts.

4th choice
Composer: Schubert
For this, Mark played “Moment Musical, Number 3 in F Minor.”

5th choice
Composer: Puccini
For the final piece, Mark played Che Gelida Manina’s “What Cold Hands,” the big tenor aria at the end of Act One of La Boheme.

Second Set

Nina Hennessey our fearless co-host, was back with a warm and earnest 3-song set, opening with, “Sometimes I’m Happy.” She followed that with a charming, “Girl Talk” and finished her set with “Morning” by Al Jarreau.

Salon Producer, Tanya Moberly was next, with a beautiful “Just Once” from The Fantasticks. David Gillam did a reading of his brand new children’s book, “Gingertown” a non-religious story about a little girl at Christmastime, which Mark Janas underscored beautifully. If you’re interested in buying this amazing hardcover, 215 page fully illustrated book, you can buy it at The Salon every week ($28), or buy it online at

William T Zeffiro, Jr was next (overly format, n’est pas?) bringing in his original “My Kind Of Guy” (a song he wrote for Marissa Mulder.) After the song was done, Nina quipped, “It’s kind of bleak” to which Bill retorted - “Bleak! You ought to hear my bleak stuff!” Bill can be seen every Tuesday at La Mediterranee at 7pm, and he can also be seen at The Salon as co-host on November 4! (Lucky us!)

Matthew Martin Ward started by playing a song from The Electric Company, “Without an S, a song would be an “ong,” - which the audience really enjoyed. He then said he didn’t remember anything else, and moved on to the wonderfully complex and dramatic 1940s standard, “The Midnight Sun” by Lionel Hampton. You can see Matthew on October 27 at Birdland with Sarah Rice, Mark Janas and Janice Hall. Matthew is also doing musical direction & arrangements for a show called, “Hopelessly In Love: The Lyrics of Tom Toce” directed by Peter Napolitano - Oct 28, Nov 3 & 10 at 4pm at the Metropolitan Room. Be sure to check it out!

Parker Scott sang a rousing and powerful “The Streets of Dublin” from A Man of No Importance by Stephen Flaherty and Lynne Ahrens. Jaye Maynard was back with the hilarious and jazz infused, “I’m Hip” (made famous by Blossom Deary) which had all kinds of “hip” improv-ed which really suited Jaye’s acting chops. Jaye has a show "Bird Amongst the Blossom," a tribute to the first Blossom Dearie Songbook, on Oct 28 at 1pm at the Laurie Beechman.

Father Jeff Hamblin, The Salon’s generous sponsor, sang a rousing, “There Will be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover.” Father Hamblin acknowledged that Thanksgiving is coming up and many people don’t have a place to go to share the holiday. So, his church, Christ Church Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) has a Pre-Thanksgiving celebration that everyone is invited to. On Saturday, November 17 at 6:30pm, folks will be having a family gathering around the fireplace, and our very own Mark Janas will be playing some tunes on the piano. More details can be found here.

In honor of Barbara Cook’s birthday this week, Tyler Kent sang “Nearness of You” a Hoagy Carmichael tune. The last song of the evening was by none other than our co-host, Nina Hennessey, who sang a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, a dear friend and mentor since she was the age of 25 - “Through the Eyes of Love: The Theme from Ice Castles.” It was touching and emotional end to a wonderful night.

Special Thanks to Gil Alexandre for his help on lights and sound tonight!

Next week’s theme is “All Souls Night” - please feel free to come dressed up for Halloween! Our co-host will be the illustrious, Janice Hall.
Next week's co-host, Janice Hall!
We’ll see you then! In the meantime, if someone video recorded your performance and you’d like us to know about it, please post the link in the comments section of this blog post. Thank you!

-Erin Cronican
Blogette for The Salon
Need anything? Please email me.

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