Monday, July 22, 2013

The Salon Wrap-up for July 21, 2013 - "Coming Home"

Singers, musicians and composers of all oeuvres came to The Salon on Sunday night to enjoy their musical "home" of sorts.  The theme was "Coming Home," and it certainly inspired us to bring in our interpretations of what "home" truly meant...and was a great excuse to sing some fantastic pieces of all genres and styles.  The classy and scintillating Co-Host of the evening was Lianne Marie Dobbs, who sashayed with a bit of Southern charm and 1940's swing throughout the evening (not to mention stellar vocals to boot).  Lianne's credits include the National Tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Goodspeed Musical's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and can be seen this coming Sunday, July 28th, at 7pm with her show "Everything Old is New Again" at the Metropolitan Room, with Bill Zeffiro at the piano.  Speaking of Mark Janas was traveling from Tennessee (holding a Church Music workshop) to his relatives in Alabama, Bill Zeffiro commanded the piano as Guest Host that evening.

Lianne and Bill brought us into the festive mood of the evening with a cute duet by Cohen and Heusen entitled "Fancy Meeting You Right Here," a song originally written for Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.   Zach Wobensmith - who will be the Salon Spotlight next week! - then sang Bernstein's "Lonely Town," a sweeping and goosepimple-inducing song.  Zach will be performing his solo debut show "Stiff Upper Lip: Songs of the Brits" at The Duplex on September 12th and 14th with Musical Director Matthew Martin Ward.  Lawrence Florek then sang Rod McKuen's "A Man Alone," a tender ballad.  Lawrence is part of the MetroStar Challenge tonight at the Metropolitan Room and hopes to make it to the next round!  Another MetroStar Challenge-r,  Sue Hodgdon, then belted out the swinging yet bittersweet "Heartbroken" by Ebb and Springer. Always one to bring in new material, Lou Iacovino sang the torch song "Since I Fell For You" and regaled us with information on the concert of "Aida" on August 24th, in which he'll play the Oldest Chorus Boy in New York City.  Then MAC and Bistro Award winner (and stunning in red), Janice Hall, sang George and Ira Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me." She just closed "Hamlet" at the Seeing Place Theater (whose members include Marnie Klar and Erin Cronican) and is looking forward to future theatrical exploits!

Music Director/Pianist Matthew Martin Ward (Guest-Host of next week's "All Pent Up"-themed Salon) then came to the microphone - not at the piano! - to sing the R Vaughn Williams and Robert Louis Stevenson song "Whither Must I Wander," a poem filled with imagery set to folksy-classical music.  Etceterette Marnie Klar, with Jeff Cubeta at the piano, sang the sunny and sweet "I'm Alright" by Phil Vassar - her show "Accidental Happiness" will return to Don't Tell Mama on July 24th at 9:30pm.  Next, composer Nicholas Levin grabbed the piano keys to accompany Adam Shapiro, who sang Levin's brand new (and comically bittersweet) piece, "I Used to Be From New York." Matthew Martin Ward returned to the stage, this time to accompany next week's "All Pent Up" Co-Host, Elizabeth Tryon, who trilled and swished her way through the flirtatious "Chacun le Sait" by Donizetti.  The next treat of the evening was the guitar and the man playing it, Sean Harkness, who brought in his beautiful original guitar-only composition "Coming Home."  Sean showed off his expert guitar mastery, and made us chuckle when he explained that he wrote this song before his Mom passed away and during a time when it was great to recharge his batteries at home...before he remember why he left in the first place.    

Victoria Rae Sook next brought in the (no this isn't a typo) song "Oklahoma?" by David Yazbek, which proved to be a rollicking exploration of the title state's people, practices, and culture.  Victoria is performing and Directed the the Midtown International Theatre Festival's show "Envoy" which will enjoy more performances on July 25th and 27th and August 4th.  Our Waiter Extraordinaire and proud Advanced BMI Lyricist David Ballard then sang a piece from his musical My Man Godfrey (music by Britt Bonney) entitled "It Must Be Wonderful," a song Lianne immediately grabbed from David for her own use.  David will present his debut solo cabaret show, Directed by Tanya Moberly, this coming Fall! Your Blogette for the evening, yours truly Sierra Rein, sang "Nothing Really Happened" from Craig Carnelia's Is There Life After High School?  I just came from my NYMF debut, singing for the developmental reading of The Gingerbread Pimp, and am looking forward to singing in "Broadway By The Letter: Act One" with Marquee Five at South Orange Performing Arts center on August 4th at 7pm. 

Salon Spotlight 

The Salon Spotlight for the evening was the 2010 MetroStar Winner and both Julie Wilson and Noel Coward Awards Winner Marissa Mulder.  With her sultry-sweet voice, immense storytelling ability, and charming ease onstage, Marissa has become one of the staples of the Cabaret scene here in New York City.   She started in the spotlight with the upbeat "It's Nice to Go Traveling," a song recorded by Frank Sinatra by Cahn and Van Heusen praising the experience of coming home above all others.  She followed that with the gorgeous and soft "But Beautiful," which will be featured in her Jimmy Van Heusen show August 15th and 18th at the Metropolitan Room.  She finished her set by informing us that Jimmy Van Heusen used to fly as a test pilot at the age of 16, all the while writing music for Paramount...the company asked him to find a "stage name" other than his birth name Edward Chester Babcock.  She then brought in the very underused verse to "Come Fly With Me," and sang the rest of the song with very tempting eagerness.

Zeffiro's Corner

It was then time for Zeffiro’s Corner!  Bill Zeffiro is a songwriter and composer of Musicals and stand-alone numbers, filled with the classic grace, modern wit and a wry feel-good mode (even when he's self-depricating).  He started out his corner celebration by singing two of his compositions, the first being the hilarious "Lower Your Expectations," perfect for any man looking for a comedy song.  He then switched moods to sing his introspective "I Still Got New York," which will be featured in Lianne's show.  This song, about the consistent timelessness of his Home city, is Bill's favorite and "means more every time I sing it," as he stated.  To complete Bill's set, he invited me, Sierra Rein, to sing the title song to his NYMF-celebrated musical The Road to Ruin, which was a hell of a lot of fun to sing!

Second Set

Our beautiful and gorgeously-voiced Co-Host, Lianne Marie Dobbs, then got a chance to really strut her stuff in a short set featuring songs from her show "Everything Old is New Again."  She began by showing off her sassy side with the honky-tonk country song "Home Lovin' Man."  She then told us about the two CD's she stole borrowed from friend-in-the-audience Nathan (more on him later), Barbara Streisand's first-recorded albums, which Lianne then used as inspiration for years.  From one of those CDs, she sang the heartfelt "Have I Stayed Too Long At the Fair."  She finished her co-hosting set by bringing the wistful Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II song "The Folks Who Live on the Hill."  So, please check her show out this coming Sunday, which will feature Bill Zeffiro and his music on the piano!

Producer Tanya Moberly hopped to the mic, eager to sing the extremely appropriate Carole King song "Home Again."  In addition to directing David Ballard's upcoming debut, Tanya is Director of Marnie Klar's "Accidental Happiness," will perform in the next Concert for City Greens Concerts on August 7th and September 11th, and will introduce a new show come November she's not busy at all.  Next up was Bobbie Horowitz, who performed her song (lyrics by her and Spector, with music by Ben Martini) "Planning a Vacation," another rousing love letter to New York.  Bobbie will next be seen in a "Great Songwriters Up Close" show at the Metropolitan Room on October 14th (featuring music by Irving Drake and John Meyer), at a Unity Cabaret matinee on September 21st, and at Dana Lorge's variety show on October 7th at the Metropolitan Room.    Simone Streeter next sang the uber-sweet title song "Alfie" by Bacharach and David, comically introduced as the perfect reflection of the conversation one may have in one's head...when one should just say "Screw you, Alfie."   Remember the mention of Nathan Peterman?  A castmate of Lianne's from long ago, Nathan sang the hot number "Reefer Man" in an expressive and lovely tenor voice.  Richard Eisenberg then dedicated his original song "I Will Still Love You" to Tanya Moberly, for as he said "Family is having common DNA...we all share the love of music as our common DNA here at The Salon...and Tanya with her love and support and care is our Mama!" Adam Shapiro then sang another love song to New York, the Cole Porter piece "Take Me Back to Manhattan."  Adam won the 2013 MAC Award as Musical Comedy Performer and is just beginning rehearsals for NYMF's Barcode: The Musical.  He also provides Cabaret promo video services for those looking for more online exposure.

To complete the end of the evening, we brought some brand new faces along with some familiar ones.  One consistent face at Salon, that belonging to Barb Malley, came up to the microphone to sing "Up On The Roof," which reflected her attitude about the New York crowds at home.  Her show, "Out of Order" will have a final show tomorrow night, Tuesday the 23rd, at Don't Tell Mama. MAC nominee Joey Infante, who sang with Mike McDonald at the piano, performed the lovely ballad "I Wish You Love," and we were happy to hear he's working on a new show for the Fall. Mike McDonald stayed at the piano and, in a turn of events (for me) sang his own composition, the fun "Wearin' My Shoes."  Next up was Angela Leone singing "We'll Be Together Again" by Lane and Fischer.  She is currently completing the second half of her CD and can be seen in the 2013 MetroStar competition tonight!   Moriah Angeline then stepped to the mic to honestly and beautifully sing "Midnight Train to Georgia," expressing that home can become anywhere you follow your love to.  Moriah was last seen as Sophie in Mama Mia in Las Vegas and her show "Hopeful Romantic" at The Duplex; she is currently working on "Cabaret #2," as she puts it. Jamie Salzano then sang Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home," a simple and lovely country ballad from the movie Michael.  Jamie will perform her debut solo show - quirkily titled "Stardust and Other Sparkly Things" - at The Metropolitan Room on Saturday, November 9th.  To close out our show, singer-actress Heather Klobukowski (to pronounce, she explained, think "you club a cow and then you ski away") sang Gershwin's "I've Got a Crush on You."  When not auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, Heather is a model and a dancer throughout New York and other venues.  Bringing it back to the beginning, our wonderful Co-Host Lianne Marie Dobbs sang "Gypsy In My Soul" with a powerful belt and seamless transitions between moments.


July 28th, 2013 the theme will be "All Pent Up," so bring your music about those longing, claustrophobic or emotionally stifled feelings - or maybe about those moments when containment failed you!  With Guest Host Matthew Martin Ward, Co-Host Elizabeth Tryon, and Salon Spotlight Zach Wobensmith, it will prove to be an explosive evening!

'Til next time...keep singing!

-Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Please email me if I got anything wrong

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