Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Salon Wrap-up for December 16, 2012 "It's A Family Affair"

Love was in the air this chilly Sunday, as we welcomed our Salon family to share in the last Salon of 2012. Our theme, appropriately, was A Family Affair.

Tonight’s co-host was the amazing, Melissa Errico. Melissa has starred in seven Broadway musicals (Tony Nomination for AMOUR) and released two major solo CDs: Blue Like That (EMI) and Lullabies and Wildflowers (VMG/Universal). She performed at The Kennedy Center opposite Raul Esparza in The Sondheim Celebration's SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE and at City Center in Weill's ONE TOUCH OF VENUS. In 2010, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Play at the Drama Desk Awards for her work in the title role of George Bernard Shaw's CANDIDA. She also co-starred with Alec Baldwin in GIFT OF THE GORGON by Peter Shaffer, and reprised CAMELOT with Jeremy Irons for one-night only on Broadway at The Shubert Theater. Melissa has sung solo engagements at The Cafe Carlyle, The Algonquin's Oak Room and most recently at 54 Below. For more information:

Co-Host, Melissa Errico
To start the evening, Melissa Errico invited her father, Michael, up to the piano to play for her, which really kicked off the theme with style! She started with an uplifting and gorgeous medley of “Staring Here, Starting Now” and “Watch What Happens.”First up for the open mic portion of the evening was Elaine St George with a jazzy and fun, “I Got Rhythm” with Matthew Martin Ward on piano. Elaine is doing her final performance of her Joni Mitchell show on Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30pm at Don’t Tell Mama. I can’t wait to see it! Next was Adam Shapiro (also with Matthew Martin Ward) with the perfect “family” song, the theme from Cheers, “Where Everybody Know Your Name.” Adam’s show, “Adam Shapiro’s Guide to the Perfect Breakup” has one final performance December 30 at 4:30pm at The Duplex. I’ll be there - hope you will be too!

We were thrilled to have Phil Hall with us, who brought a long with his some 12-13 of his students! The first of the night was Dolly Ellen Friedman, in a gorgeous sparkly holiday-inspired shirt, who started off by telling us something that her father told her: “Remember honey - it’s not the steak but the sizzle.” What perfect follow up is there, then, but to sing, “Razzle Dazzle” from Chicago? None, I tell you! Phil Hall ably accompanied on piano. We were glad to welcome back Lea McKenna-Garcia to The Salon (with Bill Zeffiro at the piano), bringing with her an emotional “Friendly Star.” Bill Newhall was next with a lovely “We’ll Be Together Again.”

Richie Eisenberg brought is his original tune, “Never Too Late.” Richie just had an evening of his song in Urban Stages’ Winter Rhythms Festival, “Smile on my Face: The Songs of Richard Eisenberg.” Rumor has it that he’ll be bringing the show back for at least one more show in late January/early February. Stay tuned for more details! Joann Sicoli brought us a very festive “A Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” Barb Malley, back from her 2 month hiatus due to a hip replacement surgery, came up in colorful sunglasses and a huge smile, and sang a swinging, “I’m Hip.” She received a rousing ovation from The Salon family - we’re so glad to have you back!

Ruth Carlin wrote this haunting and song for her mother a few years ago, “Door to Door.” Ruth will be having her debut CD launch show in spring 2013 - stay tuned for more about that! Natasha Castillo came back to The Salon with a song by intimate family duo, The Carpenters - with amazing support by Steven Ray Watkins, they performed a medley of “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Close To You”, “Top of the World”, and “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down.” Natasha brought in the holiday spirit by making home baked carrot cupcakes,which were huge hit!

Robin Kradles was next with the hilarious, “Lies of Handsome Men” with Steven Ray Watkins at the piano.Your blogette (moi!) Erin Cronican, with Matthew Martin Ward on the piano, brought us the song that closed her solo cabaret - “Christmas Lullaby” by Jason Robert Brown. After her debut at Winter Rhythms, she plans to bring back the show again in early 2013. She is also about to go into rehearsals for the play “A Lie of the Mind” in the role of Beth. Stay tuned for more details about both shows!

Tonight’s Etceterette Marnie Klar, with Matthew Martin Ward on piano, brought us the rock ballad, “Glitter in the Air” originally recorded by Pink. Marnie revealed that the song will be in her new solo show, which will be directed by Tanya Moberly, music directed by Jeff Cubeta, for 4 performances in April and May 2013. We can’t wait!

Tonight’s Salon Spotlight featured Jim Speake and Kim Grogg, with Steven Ray Watkins. They kicked off their set with, “A Wink and a Smile.” They then did a charming duo version of the jazz-inspired Disney song, “When I See An Elephant Fly” from Dumbo. They finished out the first half of the evening with a 3 Minute Version of the movie musical, “White Christmas” (you had to see it to believe it!)

Second Act

Our beautiful, talented and personable co-host, Melissa Errico, started her 3-song set with an emotional yet simple, “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” by Michel Legrand. Melissa then gave us a glimpse into her past by singing “The Boy Next Door” from Meet me in St Louis - a song she has been singing since the 6th grade (she revealed that her father used to play this song for her at her auditions.) She closed by commenting on the crazy events of the past few days in Newtown, remarking that she’s the mother of 3 young girls and helps to head up a mother’s group in downtown Manhattan. She revealed that no one really knows what’s going to happen as they send their kids to school tomorrow morning. She then gave us a somber and beautiful, “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd. To see a consummate performer, and a mother, sing this song from such a personal place was haunting. “Pray for peace.”

Tanya Moberly, Salon producer, sang this song from her Barbra Streisand show, “Mother” (written by John Lennon.) Tanya is bringing back her show, “Barbra Joan Streisand with Steven Ray Watkins” at Don’t Tell Mama - January 26 (5pm) and February 1 (7pm). There are discounts for Salon members - be sure to make reservations in advance! (I made mine for January 26!) Jamie Salzano gave us a charming, “Not This Christmas” written by Karen Mason and Brian Lasser. Kristoffer Lowe sang a pitch perfect, “Skylark.”

David Ballard, our trust server, sang the hilarious, “Way Ahead Of My Time” by local composer & lyricist, Peter Mills.David is currently a lyricist in the 2nd year of the BMI workshop - we’re so excited about the music he’ll be premiering for us in the weeks to come! Alyson Reim brought Phil Hall to the piano to play with her on the song, “I Cant Make You Love Me” (originally recorded by Bonnie Raitt.) Phil stayed at the piano as Diana Silva came to the mic, to sing their original tune, “Fado Blue.” Mary Lou Barber sang a little medley of “Buddy’s Eyes” and “Let It Snow” with Phil still at the keys. Mary Lou has her Johnny Mercer review show coming up on January & April 2013 - we hope she’ll be back to promote it!

Linda Sue Moshier sang, “River” by Joni Mitchell with a similar silky sweetness to her voice. Becca Yure wrote the wistful, “Jacqueline” for a woman she had met in France who became her family, whom she aspires to be. Christine Pedi, a special guest of Matthew Martin Ward, came in with a theory of what it would be like if there were Christmas Specials by Cher, Joan Rivers, Judy Garland (demonstrated by her always spot on impressions.) She then went into the holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride.” She and Matthew have a show called, “There’s No Business like Snow Business” at the Laurie Beechman December 17 & 18 at 10:30pm.

Mathew Martin Ward played for us the “Homage to Hymnal 1940”, started in Advent and then invited the audience to call out traditional carols, and he would play some variation of them (starting with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” then others.) Bill Zeffiro sang “What The Hell It’s Christmas.” He said that he wrote the song 4 years ago and has sung it with 3 other singers, but tonight he did the solo version. Erin Hill and her Psychodelic Harp brought us the gorgeous, original tune, “Silver Feet” with Melissa Errico on backups. Erin’s album has hit #1 on the world chart - we were in the presence of such greatness tonight!)

For Classical Corner, Mark Janas invited up Michael Errico, Melissa’s father, to the stage to play Debussy’s “La Plus Que Lente.” Next, he invited up Amy on cello and Ed on clarinet to play alongside the Mark in the “Clarinet trio in B Flat”, in honor of Beethoven’s 200th birthday. It was a gorgeous performance - I cannot believe we were so lucky to be able to share in it!

Chris Wade brought in 6 singers from his song cycle, “29 LIVES” who sang 3 tunes tune from their show. The show is being workshopped in an ongoing public series downstairs at the Huron Club in 2013. Check Chris out on Facebook for more details! And to finish out the evening, Melissa Errico lead the audience in a group version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

There is NO SALON December 23 & 30, 2012 (Happy Holidays!) We return January 6 with the theme, “Songs That Raised Me” with your co-host, Stephanie D’Abruzzo. Bring in any song that you remember from childhood, or about growing up. Of course, you can also bring in anything off-theme. We’ll see you then!
Our Jan 6 co-host, Stephanie D'Abruzzo!
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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