Monday, January 28, 2013

The Salon Wrap-Up for January 27, 2013 "The Music That Makes Me Dance"

Tonight we had a lively evening with a lively theme, “The Music That Makes Me Dance.” Salon regulars and newbies gathered in the warm room on the 2nd floor of Etc Etc restaurant, looking forward to sharing the tunes that made them boogie in their chairs.

Our co-host was a quirky and inventive Amy Wolk. Amy immediately started with jokes and a smile, and we knew we were in for a fun evening. Amy has a show coming up at The Duplex – A WOLK ON THE WILD SIDE on February 17th at 7pm. We’re so thrilled to have her and her amazing music director, Steven Ray Watkins, with us tonight!

Co-host Amy Wolk!
To start the evening, Amy Wolk sang, appropriately, “The Music That Makes Me Dance” from Funny Girl. Kicking off the open mic segment, Jane Glick (in a gorgeous sparkly blouse) sang a dark and dramatic, “Hot in Here.”Jane has a show coming up at the Metropolitan Room on Tuesday, January 29 and February 19 (both shows at 7pm.) Be sure to get out to see it!

Adam Shapiro sang one of my favorite songs, “A Way Back To Then” from Title of Show. Adam’s bringing back his show, “Adam Shapiro’s Guide to the Perfect Breakup” for a final encore on January 30 at 7pm at The Duplex. And he’s offering Salon members only $7 covers! I saw the show last month and I really loved it. You won’t be disappointed! Ruth Carlin was next with “Shoes" by Ahrens & Flaherty. Ruth has a CD out entitled, “Moon Song” which you can find on CD Baby. She also has it for sale on the nights that she’s at The Salon. Congrats, Ruth!

Marnie Klar sang a haunting “Maybe I Like It This Way” from The Wild Party. Marnie has two shows coming up. One is a play, “Spin Cycle” with The Seeing Place Theater, running 8 performances March 3-12, 2013. The next is her solo cabaret, which is running for 4 performances at Don’t Tell Mama starting April 13. Be sure to get out to support live theater and cabaret. Sally Jo Hadley brought in a delightful “Lullaby of Birdland”

John Gabrowski sang the by Ray Davies tune, “Celluloid Heroes” (with Steven Ray Watkins on piano.) Steven stayed up to accompany Natasha Castillo on Martina McBride’s upbeat tune, “Happy Girl” (which makes me want to dance, too!) Natasha’s bringing back her show, “Anything But Ordinary” to The Duplex on February 2 at 7pm. There’s a MAC discount and if you’ve already seen the show and want to see to again, you’ll be comped!

Chris Barrett, accompanying himself on piano, was next with a jolly medley of songs including, “Cheek to Cheek”, “I Love To Dance” and “It Only Happens When I Dance With You.” David Ballard brought in a song that was new to him, “Sailing On” by Alan Menken and Dean Pitchford. Erin Cronican (that’s me!) gave us one of her favorite, simple songs, “What Makes Me Love Him” from The Apple Tree. You can see Erin next as Beth in The Seeing Place Theater’s production of A Lie of the Mind March 1-17, 2013 right here in Hell’s Kitchen (314 W 54th St.)

Janice Hall, tonight’s Etceterette, sang, “Golden Hair,” one of the wistful yet powerful ballads from her recent show, James Joyce’s The Dead. Janice can also be seeing in The Seeing Place Theater’s production of A Lie of the Mind March 1-17, 2013 - playing the role of Lorraine. Tickets are only $12 and no drink minimum - good theater CAN be inexpensive! After demonstrating how to speak to a pianist when setting up music to sing, Salon board member Raissa Katana Bennett gave us a warm and contemplative, “A Piece of Sky.” You can see Raissa perform in a Cabaret Cares benefit concert called, “We Lost It At The Movies” at the Laurie Beechman, February 17 at 7pm.

Classical Corner

Mark Janas lead a short and sweet Classical Corner this evening. He started by saying that classical music has always been influenced by the way people danced (for example, Tchaikovsky wrote “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” to sound like women dancing on the tips of their toes.)

He went on to say that baroque music, in particular, was meant to accompany dancing. Dance music of that time was very courtly and stately. He talked about how certain kinds of rhythms, themes and melodies would be covered by many different kinds of composers.

After a time, the waltz was developed in Austria and was distinguished by being the first dance where a man put his hand on the woman’s waist. One of the big proponents of the waltz was Johann Strauss, and Mark played a small snippet of “Blue Danube Waltz,” one of his popular waltzes that had most everyone at The Salon humming and swaying in their chairs.

To complete Classical Corner, Mark thought he’d demonstrate what he was talking about in true Classical Corner style - by taking a theme suggested by the audience and improvising a waltz with it. Richie Eisenberg suggested, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and Mark ran with it, adding in “With A Song In My Heart” woven throughout. It was wonderful to hear, and the Salon family loved it. :)

Salon Spotlight

We were thrilled to have as our Salon Spotlight the gregarious and talented, Eric Michael Gillett. Luck was on our side, as we got to be a part of his trying out 3 numbers from the show (which he said were dedicated to Lorenz Hart himself):

1) “The Heart Is Quicker Than The Eye”

2) “You Mustn’t Kick It Around”

3) A medley which included “Falling in Love With Love”, “Blue Moon” and “Funny Valentine” (among others.)

All tunes had depth, were well connected to a personal story, and were impeccably sung. And Don Rebic on keys was no slouch himself. :) We’re so lucky to have had them “practice” their songs before hitting their upcoming gig - 54 BELOW with Eric’s show, “Careless Rhapsody: The Lyrics of Lorenz Hart” - February 4 (7pm), Feb 7 (9:30pm), Feb 26 (7pm) & Feb 27 (7pm).

Second Act

Amy Wolk kicked off the second set with an amazing medley of huge Broadway show tunes which made most of us itch to get up a move to the music, for sure. For her second number, she sang a lovely and fun, “Do You Wanna Dance.” She finished her set with a clever and hilarious grammar lesson for all of the lyricists out there. As I listened, I started to get a bit worried about Amy looking at the writing mistakes in this blog! :)

Salon producer, Tanya Moberly sang, “He Plays The Violin” from 1776. Tanya is bringing back her show, “Tanya Lorraine Moberly sings Barbra Joan Streisand, with Steven Ray Watkins” at Don’t Tell Mama - one last show February 1 (7pm). There are discounts for Salon members - be sure to make reservations in advance! Richie Eisenberg brought in a brand new song - “Dancing” which was inspired by Cole Porter. Richie is doing an encore performance of “Smile On My Face: The Songs of Richard Eisenberg” - which was named, “Most Delightful Performance by a Group in a Revue” by Stephen Hanks of Broadway World! You can see this last performance at Don’t Tell Mama on February 7 at 7:30pm starring Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman, and Adam Shapiro, with music direction by Barry Levitt on piano and direction by Peter Napolitano.

Joann Sicoli gave us a little movement along with her song when she sang, “Dancing in the Streets.” Fun fact: Joann said she was one of the original Go Go Girls at the Peppermint Lounge! Zach Wobensmith sang a lovely Jerry Herman medley of “As Simple As That” and “Marianne.” Barb Malley got us all clapping along with her rendition of “In The Mood” from her pats cabaret show show, “I Remember Brooklyn.” Barb as a new show coming up in April called, “Out Of Order” - I can’t wait to learn more!

Susan Hodgdon told us a story about this about this cute boy she had a crush on - and at a school dance he asked her to dance when THIS song came up - “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Neil Sedaka. Bill Zeffiro did a great job swinging on the keys! Susan is bringing back her show. “On The Bumpy Road to Love” for one more performance, February 1 at 7pm at Don’t Tell Mama. She’s giving tickets away - just mention The Salon at the door!

Our sound and light guru, Tommy Shull, was next at the piano singing & playing the dreamy, “Across The Universe.” He revealed to us that he would be directing a feature film sometime in 2013, and it’s possible he’ll have a pretty big name actor on the roster! I hope he’ll keep us updated. :) Matthew Martin Ward opened the lid of the piano and introduced the concept of a Baroque gavotte, which is normally in played “in 2” but this piece is a dance in 6/8, which means it’s in 2 and in 3, at the same time. He then followed up with an example, Ravel’s “Tombeau de Couperin.”

Steven Ray Watkins came back to the piano and welcomed up Mica to sing a gorgeous version of “Landslide.” Jack DiMonte sang, “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” from White Christmas - Matthew Martin Ward joined him at the piano and played from memory. How talented is our Salon family?! :) Bill Zeffiro replaced Matthew at the keys and invited Ellen Bullinger to the stage to sing Irving Berlin’s “I’m in Heaven.” It’s always a pleasure to have this lovely jazz singer with us- welcome back, Ellen!

Bill Zeffiro stayed at the… mic? Yes, he stood before the mic! Mark Janas replaced Bill at the keys and Bill went to the mic and sang his mother’s favorite song, “Nina” (Noel Coward’s parody of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine.”) I love seeing him act his songs - more of this, please! You can see Bill on Tuesday nights at La Mediterranee on 2nd Avenue between 50th and 51st. It’s a really awesome time - you can just stop by and bring some music to sing a long with him!

The final song of the evening was sung by our lovely co-host, Amy Wolk - “Sing Happy.”

as Salon members fill up on cheese puffs, pizza and beer while they’re watching the Super Bowl

We will return February 10 with the optional theme “It Takes Two.” Bring in your duet, two step, or song about partnerships, or bring in something off theme. Just about everything s welcome at The Salon.

Our co-host will be Stone & Stone. Salon Spotlight will be Rosemary Loar.

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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