Monday, July 10, 2017

The Salon Wrap-Up for July 9, 2017: "When I Go, I’m Going Like Elsie – Honoring The Songs Of Kander & Ebb"

Mark Janas welcomed everyone back from our 6 week break with a four-bar introduction to the song "All That Jazz." The unmistakable chords were a great introduction to the theme of the evening, "When I Go, I'm Going Like Elsie: Honoring The Songs of Kander and Ebb." Mark then played a medley of some of Kander & Ebb's most famous themes to bring on Co-Host Kathleen Stuart, who stepped up to the mic and sang "Yes" from Kander & Ebb's 70 Girls 70, showcasing her optimistic and bubbly personality and crystal-clear soprano voice. Kathleen is a sincere story-teller, and made sure to take all the moments as a strong actress with the work in front of her. There's no better way to do Kander & Ebb than with such strong acting chops!

After a costume change, Kathleen brought in the second act with "Ring Them Bells," complete with props and hats and glasses and little airplanes to tell the story. Switching to a different mode, she then performed the sweeping "First You Dream" from Steel Pier, which featured her beautiful lyric range. To close her Act II set, she sang "How Lucky Can You Get?" from the movie Funny Lady by Kander & Ebb, where she switched from materialistic joy to desperate and pointed anger. To end the evening, she jumped headlong and full of verve into one of the most famous Kander & Ebb anthems to theater, life, and friends named Elsie...."Cabaret"!

If all goes well, Kathleen will soon return to her home state of Hawaii to play Anna in The King and I. She will soon also recreate a past Bette Midler show from archive materials, to be announced soon (watch her website for news).

Kathleen Stuart

A treat of murderesses - Cell Block Tango!

One fun moment of note last night was a group number - "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, featuring Tanya Moberly, Sierra Rein, Janice Hall, Marnie Klar, Jaye Maynard, and Lauren Stanford as the six murderesses of Cook County Jail. We had fun!

Quick Wrap - Classical Corner

Jumping off the melody of "Cell Block Tango," Mark started a discussion of dissonance. After all, the audial journey between the "He" and "ing" of  "He had it coming" flips the melody into dissonance by the end of the sentence. We think of consonance (major chords) as having a positive side, and minor chords tend to play with tension using the minor second against the major, creating a harsh feeling in our ears. This harsh feeling can be found all over jazz, musical theater, as well as classical work. Classical music utilizes this same tension and emotion that Kander used (and still uses), switching between major and minor and adding dissonances to play with our expectations, hopes, and into the disappointment of tragedy and anger. 

To illustrate the classical side of things, Mark played through a Chopin Nocturne that contained a beautifully sad melody that twisted between variant dissonance in both harmony and rhythm. He showed how the lowest common rhythmic denominator began with 16th notes, but then Chopin added a 5 and 7 against the lovely waltz 3/4 beat, creating tension in the rhythmic story.

A Prelude by definition is the use of a single sense by the composer, and Chopin sought to bring harmonic and emotional dissonance to his Second Prelude, especially within the bass line. In a previous Classical Corner, Mark had illustrated how falling seconds create the concept of loss; this time, he played through Chopin's E minor Prelude as an example for the audience of how these fallings seconds can create the despair of dissonance in a truly moving way.

Salon Spotlight: Niki Sorrentino
Our Salon Spotlight was the sassy Niki Sorrentino, who did a fun trio of songs with the help of piano stylings of Jeff Cubeta. With a sweet voice that had a lovely edge to it, she started up with the peppily sarcastic journey through New York City and the perils of Times Square, "I Think of You" by Andrew Koss. Putting a twist on her "8th Grade Audition song," Niki did a jazzy version of "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden, allowing Jeff to show off his walking bass piano skills. She finally raised the roof with a hot rendition of "Filthy/Gorgeous" by the Scissor Sisters.

Niki can be seen being "Filthy Gorgeous" with Jeff Cubeta at the piano at The Metropolitan Room on July 16th at 7pm. Bring your Grindr app and have fun! 

Nikki Sorrentino
Roster of performers for the evening (in order of appearance):
Click link to visit the performer’s website or other links, when available.
All piano accompaniment by Mark Janas unless otherwise noted.

Co-host: Kathleen Stuart
Bobbie Horowitz 
Barb Malley
Jerome Weinstein
David Auxier-Loyola
Suzanne Sorrentino
Monica Salvi
Eshaka Varshney
Annie Lebeaux (self on piano)
David Ballard
Sierra Rein
Zach Wobensmith
Lucille Carr-Kaffashan (with Jeff Cubeta on piano)
Salon Spotlight: Niki Sorrentino (with Jeff Cubeta at the piano)
The Six Merry Murderesses of Cook County: Jaye Maynard, Sierra Rein, Tanya Moberly, Janice Hall, Marnie Klar, and Lauren Stanford
Classical Corner: Mark Janas
Co-host: Kathleen Stuart
Tanya Moberly 
Becca Kidwell
Janice Hall (with Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Marnie Klar
Anne Kittredge
Jeff Cubeta (self on piano)
Angela Leone (with Bill Zeffiro on piano)
Bill Zeffiro (self on piano)
Sally Darling (with Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Matthew Martin Ward (self on piano)
Steve Bustamante (self on guitar)
Richard Eisenberg
Jen Bradley
Co-host: Kathleen Stuart

Special thanks to tonight’s musicians: Mark Janas, Jeff Cubeta, Steve Bustamante, Bill Zeffiro, and Matthew Martin Ward.

Thank you to Steve Bustamante for offering his videography services, to Gil Alexandre on lights and sound, and to David Ballard and our amazing waitstaff!

Ongoing Shows: 

Monday nights (7pm): Opera Open Mic at Shanghai Mong with Mark Janas and Matthew Martin Ward, 30 West 32nd Street, NYC. 

Monday and Wednesday nights (8pm): Bill Zeffiro performs weekly at La Rivista, 313 West 46th St, NYC.

This summer: Tanya Moberly is judging Mama's Next Big Act at Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, NYC, and a few of our regular Salon members are competing!

Upcoming Shows:

Sunday, July 16th (7pm): Niki Sorrentino in "Filthy Gorgeous" with Jeff Cubeta at the piano at The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, NYC.

Sunday, July 16th (8pm): Matthew Martin Ward plays piano for Christine Pedi in "Great Dames" at Barrington Stage Company (Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center), 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MASS.

Sunday, July 17th (8pm): Matthew Martin Ward plays piano for Christine Pedi in "Great Dames" at Barrington Stage Company (Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center), 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MASS.

Saturday, July 29th (4pm): Anne Kittredge in "It's About Time" with music director Wendy Cavett at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Thursday, August 3rd (7pm): Angela Leone, with Bill Zeffiro at the piano, in "Under the August Moon" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, September 15th (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Sean Harkness at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Monday, September 18th (7pm): Bobbie Horowitz's "It's Just a Number" at The Metropolitan Room, honoring Meg Flather, Ben Frank Dain, John Krapowski, 34 West 22nd Street, NYC.

Saturday, September 23rd (4pm): Becca Kidwell brings back her show "A Song & It's Girl" to Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC. 

Saturday, September 23rd: Steve Bustamante will perform his own show at Don't Tell  Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, October 6th (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Ritt Henn at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, October 7th (4pm): Monica Salvi will bring all her "Mad Women in My Attic" as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival in Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, NYC.

Friday, October 27th (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Ian Herman at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, November 17th (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Mark Janas at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, December 8th (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Steven Ray Watkins at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, December 29th (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Sean Harkness at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

NEXT SALON! Sunday, July 16th, Co-Host Robin Kradles will bring wit and undoubtedly some faboo makeup tips on the Theme of "The Opposite Sex." We will also have on Salon Spotlight the lovely Lina Koutrakos. See you there!

-Sierra Rein
Blogger for The Salon
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