Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Salon Wrap-up for July 7, 2013 "The Great White Way – Songs of Broadway"

The Great White Way was calling singers and composers back within its realm Sunday, as multiple MAC-Award winning Mark Janas' The Salon welcomed guests back to Etcetera Etcetera Restaurant for yet another evening of music, laughter, high notes, and quite a number of swingin' tunes.  Sunday was also my first day back after a long hiatus away with Disney Cruise Line, so it was encouraging that the theme of Broadway would lure me down to the Times Square area once again.  And once again, The Salon did not disappoint - it continues to be a safe place of discovery, polished craftsmanship, humor, learning, and expression.  On the other hand, I was amazed how some of the "regulars" who performed that night showed a gorgeous amount of growth since last year - obvious signs to me that The Salon leads to creative integrity and maturation.

Lee Roy Reams
First Set:

After Mark Janas welcomed everyone back to The Salon - and after plugging Cabaret Scenes' lovely writeup of the Salon in the July/August 2013 edition by Rob Lester (see page 49) - he introduced co-host Lee Roy Reams to the stage.  Go click on his name there (I'll wait) and read his list of Broadway roles; it was no wonder that Mark said that rehearsing with him was like "taking a course in musical theater history" from the point of view of someone who lived it...'cause Lee has!  Throughout the evening, Lee was a gracious and funny host who was able to insert his own anecdotes of performing in this show or that.  He opened the evening with Jerry Herman's "It's Today," a peppy and "live life positive" classic Broadway tune, as only Herman can write them.  He then introduced Natasha Castillo, who sung the moody, smooth "Easy As Life" from Elton John's Aida.

Lou Iacovino came with his trademark gusto, singing "What A Difference a Day Makes" and exclaiming excitement about the chance to stay alive 'til his next Birthday (his last was a few days ago!). Lou is also excited to be singing in a concert version of the opera "Aida" for a church benefit in Little Italy. MAC and Billboard Award-winner Bobbie Horowitz was next, singing her hilarious hunger-inducing lyrics to a Spector melody entitled "Boiled Chicken." On October 14th, she will host the Metropolitan Room's "Great Songwriter" show and will perform at the Unity Cabaret matinee on September 12th. Ruth Carlin, along with Paul Greenwood at the piano, then sang "Irving" from The Broadway Revue of 1949, a sweet old-fashioned ballad with a funny tweak to it. Ruth recently launched her new CD, Moonsong, with two live performances and will bring back her show in the Fall. Then, six time MAC...nominee (love ya Nick!) Nicholas Levin brought in why he brings about attention with his scathing and sometimes dirty lyrics to a Cole Porter tune from Kiss Me Kate, "Brush Up Your Mamet," which bemoaned the constant changing nature of Broadway. Grande Dame Dana (rhymes with banana) Lorge then graced the stage with some hilarious patter into "Is There a Straight Man in the House?" She hosted Wednesday July 10th at The Metropolitan Room and hadThe Ink Spots (including an original member!) plus Tony Middleton as special guests. Richard Skipper then grabbed the audience by psyching us out with the seeming lead-in to "Before The Parade Passes By," only to slide right into "Broadway Baby" from Sondheim's Follies. Richard made his way through the crowd mic-less, wooing and belting, and afterwards recommended the "Screw You Revue" at The Duplex August 2nd at 9:30pm.

Ronnie Giles, slick in a Sinatra-style black hat, brought in a swinging version of "Where or When" from Babes in Arms; he'll be performing in "Something Jazz" with Maria Ottavia and friends at the Metropolitan room, and is also going to be the "token straight" performing at the Bronx Gay Pride.  Maureen Taylor next sang one of the most glorious of classic Broadway songs, "And This Is My Beloved" from KismetBob Diamond then sang a hauntingly joyous rendition of "What More Can I Say?" from Falsettos, a show he said he used to be afraid to tell people that he was going to see when it first arrived.  Bob is a 2013 MAC nominee working on a February show or perhaps a revival of one of his earlier hit shows.  Our wonderful and excited-that-Salon-has-restarted waiter, David Ballard, then stood with lyric sheet in hand and a cappella sang "Give Me New York," a song he wrote himself just three days before!  David is a member of the Advanced Class of BMI and is going to have a debut cabaret at Don't Tell Mama late September and early October.  He is one of these "leaps and bounds" of growth people I wrote about earlier, folks! 

Then I, Sierra Rein, sang "By Strauss" by George and Ira Gershwin (recently from the show Nice Work if You Can Get It" and plugged my return to Marquee Five at SOPAC on August 4th at 7pm...and that Marquee Five will make an appearance at the June 14th Salon with Julie Reyburn as co-host.  Sarah Rice, perfectly prepared with prop cigarette case in hand, beautifully sang "Love's Cigarette" by Harold Fraser-Simson, Haray Graham and Adrian Ross.  She will be performing at the MAC, Bistro, and Theatre World Awards as well as "Sondheim Unplugged" at 54 Below on July 30th. 

We next had Classical Corner with Mark Janas (oh how I missed it!) with the glorious MSM student Maria Fernanda Brea, who often graces the opera open mic at Ido Sushi where Mark first heard her amazing soprano voice.  She is young, beautiful, and with a wonderful rich voice with range and superb articulation - a true Opera singer on her way to make waves in the Opera world.  Her next public performance will be "L'elisier D'amore (The Elixir of Love)" July 12th at the Kaye Theater Playhouse.  She first sang Giacchomo Rossini and Carlo Pepoli's "L'Invito (An Invitation)", which is in a Spanish musical form of a was a very persistent call for love, and with Maria's raised eyebrows it got very persuasive.  She then switched moods to sing the plaintive "Ah non credea mirarti" from Vincenzo Bellini and Felice Thomani's La Sonambula, with bottomless emotion surging through her voice.  And finally, to show the fireworks that she can really set off, she sang "Ah non giunge" from the same opera, a joyous finale solos with impressive high notes and almost limitless vocal runs.  She left us at the end of the first act with the sound of her voice pleasantly bouncing in our ears.

Second Set:

After the break, Lee Roy Reams grabbed the performer's mic again to sing the Sondheim piece "Pretty Women" from The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.  He then softly segued into a story about Irving Berlin's love for his wife, and the number of beautiful songs written with her in mind, of which he sung a medley of "All Alone," "What'll I Do?", " Remember" and "Always."  The then roused up the audience with a fantastic medley of Hello, Dolly! songs (he played Cornelius Hackle in the first revival on Broadway in 1978!).  With "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," "It Only Takes a Moment," and "Before The Parade Passes By," you couldn't get a more upbeat reaction from the crowd!  Lee Roy will be seen at 54 Below on November 10th, so if you want to catch even more of his Broadway songs and memories, go see it!

Producer Tanya Moberly then sang "West End Avenue" (which crosses Broadway at 107th Street by the Way) from The Magic Show.  She has a list of work coming up, including the Director of both Marnie Klar's show July 16th and 24th and David Ballard's September 24th and 25th, October 11th and 12th at Don't Tell Mama, and will be performing at the Concert For City Greens August 7th and September 11th...and is working on a new show!  Annie LeBeaux grabbed the 88's to sing from Is There Life After High School?, the song "The Things I Learned in High School."  She'll be seen at the Key Largo Anglers Club, a consistent gig that is always pulling her away from us. Angela Leon, along with Bill Zeffiro at the piano, sang Sammy Kahn's "All The Way."  Angela is completing her CD in the Fall and is part of the 2013 MetroStar Competition on July 22nd.  With her low, rich voice we wish her well!

Another "woah leaps and bounds" singer I saw that night was Lea McKenna Garcia who, with Bill Zeffiro playing the keys, sang "Night Song" from Golden Boy.  She was haunting and bittersweet and took care to tell that song's story extremely well, with vocals to match.  Lea is also part of the 2013 MetroStar Competition, so catch her July 15th.  Bill Zeffiro stayed at the piano and sang Noel Coward's biting "Why Must The Show Go On?" of course referring to the Great White Way he loved and hated so well.  Bill continues his stint at La Mediterranee each Tuesday night from 9-11:30pm.  We then got a big heaping two-fer, with Richie Eisenberg and Adam Shapiro performing Eisenberg's "Good Old American Hamburger."  Adam Shapiro then stayed on stage to lay his guts out on the floor with "And I Am Telling You" - yes, THAT one from Dreamgirls - it was awesome.  Adam will next be seen at the Fringe show Barcode The Musical, is currently filming the big-screen adaptation of The Normal Heart (yes, he's a movie star now), and provides video promo services for anyone interested in putting a reel together!

Kevin McMullan brought in the title song to Kiss of the Spider Woman, and educated us that when he saw the original workshop (when Chita Rivera was not even part of the picture), the song was sung by a man in a Matador outfit!  We next heard from Kathryn Allyn, who has a unique show entitled "Victory Disc," a journey through songs recorded during the musicians strike of 1943 (which I had never heard of) - she sang "That Old Black Magic," a song written by Arlen/Mercer for the musical movie Star Spangled Rhythm, originally only produced for use by the military.  Her show will be at Stage 72 on July 25th and August 1st.  Barb Malley next sang Sondheim's "Who's That Woman?" from Follies; she's working in commercials, has taken and recommends Lennie Watts' Arrangement Experience class, and has four shows of "Out of Order" to perform in the next months, starting on July 23rd.  We then heard Lawrence Florek sing the upbeat "Take Me To The Church On Time" from My Fair Lady, and was excited to announce that he is one of the few males in the 2013 MetroStar Challenge, and he has a "Mafia"-themed show in development.  Bill Zeffiro grabbed the piano to play for Susan Hodgdon, who sweetly sang the Harburg-Arlen song "Little Drops of Rain," as sung by Judy Garland in Gay Purree.  She is also part of the 2013 MetroStar challenge and will present a Judy Garland show in late Fall.  Zach Wobensmith then took the complex "When the Air Sings of Summer" by Giancarlo Menotti (who's Birthday it was!) and sang it in his honor simply for us - the song is from a radio opera,  The Old Man and the Thief.  Zach is bringing his debut cabaret show "Stiff Upper Lip: Songs of the Brits" to The Duplex on September 12th and 14th each at 7pm, with Salon favorite Matthew Martin Ward at the piano.   Jaye Maynard next fiercefully but honestly sang "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl and exclaimed "Welcome back to The Salon!" to high applause.  Her Blossom Dearie show will be brought to Sterling's Upstairs, Los Angeles, in September, and will teach a "Cabaret as the Bi-coastal Biz" class, for anyone interested in making this career more than just an East coast or West coast thing.

After the thank-you's, our wonderful co-host Lee Roy Reams had just one more song to sing to complete the evening, and did so by performing Jerry Herman's "The Best of Times is Now," bringing the audience to a joyful conclusion of a wonderful evening back!

And speaking of conviviality...

Salon continues on with Sunday, July 14th from 7-10:30PM! (Sign-Up Begins at 6:15.)

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

Our Co-Host will be 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: /

Julie Reyburn
Our Salon Spotlight will feature Julie Reyburn, Marquee Five (Julie Reyburn, Mick Bleyer, Adam West Hemming, Vanessa Parvin and Sierra Rein) and Steve Schachlin celebrating Father Jeffrey Hamblin’s 60th Birthday!

Marquee Five: Julie, Mick, Vanessa, Adam & Sierra
-Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Please email me with corrections

No comments:

Post a Comment