Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Salon Wrap-up for July 14, 2013 "Celebration!"

After a roaring return last week, tonight’s full house proved that The Salon is back in full swing and better than ever! And what better way to celebrate than to erect the night’s theme, “Celebration!” Not only is this one of the hottest summers, we’re also celebrating Father Hamblin’s 60th Birthday! Father Hamblin is one of The Salon’s fearless sponsors, and we’re so thrilled to be honoring him tonight.

Our Co-Host was the 4-Time MAC, 2-Time Bistro, Nightlife and Julie Wilson Award Winner Julie Reyburn! Julie will be appearing with MAC Award Winning Vocal Group MARQUEE FIVE on Sunday, August 4th at 7:00pm at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). For more information: /

To start the show, Julie sang a rousing rendition of “Celebration” by Jones & Schmidt, with Founder and Host, Mark Janas, on backing vocals and piano.

Our Co-Host, Julie Reyburn
To start off the open mic portion of the evening, we had the award-winning Elaine St George who sang a lilting, “Don’t Fence Me In.” Elaine teased us by saying that this song may just be in her next cabaret show - I sure hope so! Up next was the MAC Award winning, Adam Shapiro, with “a song about an uninvited party guest” - “Don’t Bring Lulu.” Don’t Bring Lulu? You can see him next in the Fringe show, “Barcode: The Musical.” He’s also just finished shooting HBO’s “The Normal Heart” - I cannot wait for the premiere of these two amazing projects! Kevin McMullan, clad in a signature hat, bounded to the stage with the charming “She Had To Go And Lose It At The Astor.” Kevin will be headed back in India in September for 6 months, and is writing a book talking about his adventures. After reading his amazing blog, I can assure you that this will be a book you won’t want to miss.

Mark Levy, in a “semi-classical corner,” told us all about the British War College’s humble transition to a liberal arts college, via Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General.” With encouragement by Mark Janas at the piano, the entire audience participated in the call-and-response at the end of each chorus. It was delightful! Mark is also looking forward to a celebration - he has his 78th birthday next week! Stephanie Zagorin was next with a very lovely version of “La Vie En Rose”, in honor of another celebration - Bastille Day! Charlotte Patton brought Barry Levitt with her to the stage, and he accompanied her on a sultry and swinging medley of “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and “Peel Me a Grape.” Charlotte is bringing back her show, “Looking for Love in the 21st Century” for two more special performances at The Duplex: Saturday, July 20 (7pm) and Thursday, August 15 (7pm.) Barry Levitt stayed at the piano as Lou Iacovino gave us, “One For My Baby”. Lou tells us he’s doing a benefit performance of Verdi’s Aida at a church in Little Italy on August 24. How wonderful!

Susan Jeffries, gorgeous in black, partnered with Barry Levitt on a deep and soulful “Paris Is A Lonely Town.” Not only was this Susan’s first time at The Salon, but even though she’s a professional actor she admitted has never sung in front of a crowd before! It was just lovely, and we’re thrilled that she felt safe enough with us to try it out. Welcome. Susan! Next up was one of our veteran Susans, Susan Hodgdon, who asked Bill Zeffiro to join her at the keys, for “Heartbroken.” Susan is working on a new show with Bill, shooting for dates in the late fall. Can’t wait to hear about it! Marissa Mulder (who was just named by as one of the 20 Best & Favorite Show of 2013 AND won the Noel Coward Award!) sang a simple and gorgeous, “You Are There,” beautifully accompanied by Bill Zeffiro. Marissa is doing her Tom Waits show tomorrow night at 9:30pm at Joe’s Pub. She’s also bringing back her Jimmy Van Heusen show at the Metropolitan Room in August and October. Check out their website for full details. In a fun and classic duet, Sally Darling and Matthew Martin Ward traded fast-paced barbs and innuendos with a medley of classics like, “Crazy” and “Never Swat a Fly.” Sally revealed that she is a successful audio book narrator - so many hidden talents in this room!

In his first visit to The Salon, Matt Scharfglass came up with his guitar and asked Marnie Klar to join him on vocals, wowing the crowd with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” What an auspicious start - welcome, Matt! You can see Matt in all kinds of shows around town, not the least of which is Marnie’s solo show, “Accidental Happiness” (which I am also singing in!) You can see that show this Tuesday, July 16 at 7pm and next Wednesday, July 24 at 9:30pm, both at Don’t Tell Mama. Speaking of, yours truly Erin Cronican came up next with a song about the celebration of new romance, “I Will Be Loved Tonight” from the Off-Broadway hit, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. I just finished a run of two shows in rep - Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (co-directing and playing Ophelia.) Next up, I have two musical projects that I’m developing and I’m also bringing back my Winter Rhythms solo show for a set of public performances in the fall! Stay tuned for that. In honor of Bastille Day, MAC and Bistro Award winning Janice Hall (accompanied by pianist and songwriter, Nick Levin) sang Nick’s amazing and hilarious, “The Night They Bathed in Paree.” Janice also just finished Hamlet/R&G and is now contemplating her next set of projects. Let us know ASAP, Miss Janice!

Classical Corner

In speaking about our special and generous friend, Father Jeff Hamblin, Mark Janas reminded us that not only does Father Hamblin lead at Christ Church Bay Ridge, but he also is a psychiatrist and counsels youths through his work at Kings County Hospital. In his “off time” (if there is such a thing) he helps artists and groups like The Salon to bring music to the people. Mark said, “I wanted to put something together for Father Hamblin’s birthday. When I think of the depth I feel for this composer and his music, I looked a piece that would be perfect for tonight, and found it.” He then introduced the wonderful violinist, Nicholas Perry, and they together played a haunting and gorgeous, “Brahms Sonata in G Major” the 134 year old piece for violin and piano composed during the summers of 1978 & 1979 (and was performed for the first time November 1879 in Bonn, Germany.) This sonata consists of 3 movements and is nicknamed “The Rain” because the middle section of the second movement has the rhythm of a rain motif - which Mark told us is often adapted to a funeral march (who knew?) The audience was on the edge of its seat as these two virtuoso musicians played through this gorgeous music.

Salon Spotlight

We continued the celebration with tonight’s Salon Spotlight, with special guests Julie Reyburn, MARQUEE FIVE (Julie Reyburn, Mick Bleyer, Adam West Hemming, Vanessa Parvin and Sierra Rein) and Steve Schachlin.

For the first song of the set, Steve Schachlin started by singing & playing a song that he wrote which commemorates Father Hamblin’s arrival to Christ Church Bay Ridge - “Fill It With Music” (which included a sing along!) Next, Julie Reyburn came to the stage to thank Father Jeff for not only being so giving his time, but also his resources for artists to do what they love. She acknowledged him for helping her to produce her very first CD, and sang one of the tracks from the album, “When I Was A Boy.” Last up, singing one of Father Jeff’s favorite songs was Marquee Five, a fabulous group of 5 artists that Father Jeff has nurtured and supported. They took on a stunning mashup of “Hallelujah” and “Bird on a Wire” called “The Irreverent Leonard Cohen.”

With that, our trusty server David Ballard brought out a beautiful cake for the room to share while we took our intermission break!

Second Set

Tonight’s hot mama (ehem…co-host) Julie Reyburn welcomed our guests back from a rousing 3-song set. Her first song was a snap-inducing, “The Song Is You.” You can see Julie in two shows at 54 Below - July 28 she’ll be in “Sondheim Unplugged” and during the month of August they’re bringing back their Joni Mitchell show. You definitely should get out to see them. Next, Julie invited back her team from Marquee Five (Julie ReyburnMick BleyerAdam West HemmingVanessa Parvin and Sierra Rein) and started with an amazing Jerry Herman medley, including “Wherever He Ain’t/When Mabel Comes In The Room” (Mack and Mabel) and “Bosom Buddies” (Mame), among others. They finished their set with an emotional and moving arrangement of “Still Hurting” from Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. You can see Marquee Five in “Broadway by the Letter, Act One” at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Sunday August 4 at 7pm (right off the train station!) Tickets are only $20 - one of the cheapest tickets to see this amazing group.

Marquee Five, with (from left) Julie, Mick, Vanessa, Adam and Sierra.
Producer Tanya Moberly sang a gorgeous and touching, “A Quiet Thing” from Flora the Red Menace. Not only is she directing Marnie Klar’s current show (recently extended at Don’t Tell Mama, see above for details), she’s also directing David Ballard’s solo show in the fall AND is putting together he next solo show celebrating some of New York’s best composers. More details coming soon! Barb Malley was next with a song chosen specifically for Father Hamblin’s birthday, “It’s A Good Day / Great Getting Up Day” (and she sang it directly to him!) Barb has been asked to bring back her show, “Out of Order”, once a month at Don’t Tell Mama. July 23 is the next show - be sure to get out to see it. Richie Eisenberg, on vocals, led a jam session on one of his original pieces with Mark Janas on piano and Nicholas Perry improvising on violin - “Color Blind Blues.” This song sounded like the perfect accompaniment for a Woody Allen movie!

Bobbie Horowitz was next with her charming, original tune, “Never A Freshman Again.” She’s teaching a 2 hour workshop on color style for performers - for only $80 (rate low this time only.) She’s also going to be in Dana Lorge’s variety show in October 14 and she’s putting together a show at the Metropolitan Room honoring different songwriters. Stay tuned for more info! David Ballard, our server who flawlessly handled this HUGE sold out crowd tonight, sang one of the songs from his original musical adaptation of the film, “My Man Godfrey” (which he’s developing through the BMI Workshop.) The song is entitled, “I Matter.” He’ll be giving us details on his solo cabaret debut as soon as he has them. Janet Mandel came to the stage with the impressive aria “Un Bel Di” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. She told us about a wonderful organization that supports helping young men get off of the streets by providing nice, clean clothes for them to wear - 100 Suits for 100 Men. She says they often have events where she donates her time as a singer - brava, Janet!

Lynda D’Amour was next (fresh in from Boston, with Barry Levitt on keys) with a swinging medley of “On The Street Where You Live” and “Green Dolphin Street.” Lynda has a show coming up at Don’t Tell Mama - “The Hungry Years”, playing Sundays July 28, August 11 and 25th (all at 4pm, so you’ll be out in time for Salon!) Next, the dynamic trio, Jeff Cubeta (piano), Matt Scharfglass (guitar) and Marnie Klar (vocals) came to the stage to perform a song from Marnie's show, “Accidental Happiness” - the song entitled, “Glitter in the Air.” Aside from Marnie’s show, you can see Jeff doing his own show(!!) at Don’t Tell Mama on September 6, 7, 8 & 10. You can also see him at 54 Below (with Eric Michael Gillett) on August 1. Jeff Cubeta then stayed at the piano to play & sing one of his original tunes, “Remedy.” Speaking of the 54 Below gig, Eric Michael Gillett next joined Jeff on the stage, singing an beautiful “Angel” also written by Jeff Cubeta. See EMG as he returns to 54 Below on August 1!

Angela Leone was next with Bill Zeffiro on keys, singing a warm and lovely, “We’ll Be Together Again.” Not only is she producing a CD (coming out in the fall) but she’s competing in the MetroStar competition - get out there and vote for her! Bill stayed at the piano and brought up Lea McKenna Garcia, who sang a song about “celebrating too late” - “Last Night When We Were Young.” She told us a fun story about a huge celebration she had that day (ok, maybe not huge but kind of teenage-like!) - when she ran into Bria D’Arcy James on the street. I'm always stunned when I see artists I admire, so I can understand her glee. :) Rosemary Loar brought us “Between the A Train and the Rainbow” a song that she wrote for her show “When Harry Met The Duke” (ably accompanied by Barry Levitt.) It was incredible! Oh, and PS: Rosemary Loar was also just named by as one of the 20 Best & Favorite Show of 2013. Brava, Rosemary! Amy Beth Williams, with her beautiful soprano tones, gave us, “On My Way To You.”

Lisa Yaeger came to the stage with a beautifully told story song, “Amanda Sang.” Lisa is also competing in MetroStar - get out there and support these fabulous singers! Steve “The Whistler” Herbst came up and whistled a flawless “You Do Something To Me” followed by several verses with his lovely baritone voice. Not to mention Mark Janas improvising on piano - amazing talent in this room tonight! Bill Zeffiro finally came up to the piano to sing his own tune - “As Long As We’re Loaded.” As we barrel toward the end of a long, jolly evening it seems appropriate that he asked the audience to sing along. Every Tuesday you can visit Bill at La Mediterranea on 2nd Avenue 50th & 51st. You can see him as music director for Marissa Mulder’s Jimmy Van Heusen show on August 13 & 18 at the Metropolitan Room, as well as Lianne Marie Dobbs’ show “Everything Old Is New Again” at the Metropolitan Room on July 28 at 7pm. Matthew Martin Ward told us that he decided about a day ago to actually learn the song, “Here’s To Us” - and then he fed us the lyrics in bulk so that we could sing along! By this time of night we seemed like chums in an old pub, singing drinking songs.

Birthday boy, Father Jeff Hamblin, came up to the mic to address his adoring fans. He talked about how he used to sing to his boys when they were falling asleep. He then shared with us one of his favorite lullabies, “The White Cliffs of Dover.” And to close out this evening rich with love, acceptance and music, Julie Reyburn sang a tearful and heartfelt, “When You Wish Upon A Star” medley punctuated with segments of The Velveteen Rabbit. Not a dry eye in the house…

And speaking of houses…

Salon continues on with Sunday, July 21st from 7-10:30PM! (Sign-Up Begins at 6:15.)

The optional theme for the evening is “Coming Home.” Remember, any material, on or off theme, is always welcome at Salon.

Our Co-Host will be actress/singer Lianne Marie Dobbs, with Guest Host, multiple MAC Award winning songwriter Bill Zeffiro! Lianne will be appearing in an encore presentation of her rave show, “Everything Old Is New Again” July 28 at 7pm at the Metropolitan Room. For more information:
Next week's Co-Host, Lianne Marie Dobbs
- Erin Cronican
Blogette for The Salon
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