Monday, May 21, 2018

The Salon Wrap-Up for May 20th, 2018: "How Low Can You Go?"

For one being so tall, our Co-Host Ritt Henn sure knows how to get low. The theme was "How Low Can You Go?" and Bassman Ritt provided some bass notes as only a Bistro Award and MAC Award winner (who just came back from India and will go to Madison Square Garden in Vancouver and China this year!) could. Mark Janas (showing no sign of jet lag after returning from his London and Edinburgh tour with Ms. Turner) introduced Ritt to the stage, and Ritt proceeded to sing and host with his trademark wit, goofy play, and amazing bass skills. Ritt and Mark Janas, along with Sean Harkness on lead guitar, can also be seen in the coming weeks at Kathleen Turner's show "Finding My Voice" at Cafe Carlyle.

Ritt started by accompanying himself on bass as he sang his own work, the charming and romantic "Born to Hold You in My Arms," which featured his sense of humor and some musical puns. He regaled us with a story of having a "walking bass solo with a wireless rig" and actually carrying the bass outside into the sidewalk area and then back into the club - he loves being literal! For his mid-show set, Ritt explained that the theme of the evening was relates to Kathleen Turner, who can sing a half note lower than he can sing early in the morning. As he put it, "Sometimes 'low' is a note, sometimes it's a state of mind" before going into the bluesy "Helen Keller and Me," again accompanying himself on upright bass with trademark cheeky humor. He then introduced the idea of lowering one's blood pressure and started on an original tune "Zen and the Art of Waiting in Line." He had the whole audience in an introductory "OMMM," and then added some adorable whistling and fast-zen dextrous bass plunks and vocals to tell the story of how to deal with the queue-waiting-blues (we've all been there) with clever lyrics like "trade my rant for a chant...ommm" and teaching us his "Sinatra Mantra." He then switched from the upright bass to electric bass, talked about India's roadside stands called "Cool Parlours," and introduced his other and better half Beth Falcone, who took to a mic to talk about their India trip together. Apparently, their luggage didn't make it to Bangalor, so they then went shopping - she was dressed in a gorgeous red-tinged Indian garb on stage as a result. They duetted on "It Was You" in sweet harmony waltz, which melted into a hot swinging version and a kiss at the end.

Beth is music directing the Off-Broadway musical "Unexpected Joy" at the York Theater for one more week, and on the Thurs/Sat Matinees she will lord over Ritt Henn on bass in the orchestra! Information at

To end the evening, Ritt sang his MAC Award-nominated song written "Dumped," a moody, da-da-ish song full of loose notes and rhythms, which broke into a upbeat ending. It matched Ritt to a 'T', and we were all thankful to have him as Co-Host for the evening!

Ritt Henn

Salon Spotlight
The Salon Spotlight was the comedy singing duo of Cheo Bourne and Lena Moy-Borgen (with Devon Perry as "Receptionist" on piano). With Cheo's high tenor mixed with Lena's mezzo blended in nice tight harmony, they exchanged lyrics on hilariously arranged medleys. The first song though was an original song, "Office Party," which set up the whole idea for their upcoming show: a musical imagining of a 90s office party (no mention of a dead printer smashed by a baseball bat, or missing staplers, but it may show up). Next, they began some funny banter about the office's song suggestion box - lots of Celine Dion and not much Ace of Bass - but they went into "All That She Wants" by Ace of Bass anyway. They then went heavily into the 90s with "Ya Gotta Be/Wanna Be" plus a little "Bye Bye Bye" by *NSYNC. To make it really feel like it's 1997, they did a 90s Medley of songs, which included a good dose of Spice Girls to spice it up!

"Moy-Borgen and Bournes's Office Party" will take place on June 2nd, 7pm at Don't Tell Mama, with Musical Direction by Devon Perry.

Quick Wrap - Classical Corner
It's been a while since we had Classical Corner! Mark started by playing us a recording of a very famous piece, the beginning of Rossini's William Tell Overture featuring a beautiful mix of only cello and bass instrumentation, with a cello solo that goes two octaves (a huge range) in the first few bars. We associate the bass with only low notes, but there are famous piano notes in Classical repertoire that feature some real left-handed notes, like Chopin. One of Chopin's fans, Frans Lizt did Funeraia the month of Chopin's death in honor of him, and used the right handed melodies in great contrast to the fast left handed rhythm; all of these are quite a workout for the left hand. There are other pieces that use a lot of the left hand where the melody is in the left and the right hand just does backup.

Mark then asked us all to close our eyes and listen as he played a little piano selection. We all did, and listened as a gorgeous piano piece, floating and plaintive, was played. We then opened our eyes and were challenged to ask why it was a unique piece (Matthew Martin Ward was not allowed respond). It turns out Alexander Scriabin's hand was at play for Mark's Classical Corner, or at least his left one - Mark played Scriabin's Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand, Opus 9 (for left hand alone). Scriabin was a Russian boy in school who was very envious of Antone Rubenstein who had incredible technique. In fact, Alexander got tendinitis by practicing over and over to match Rubenstein's technique; so much so that he damaged his right hand so much that he had to write for the left hand only in his works for a while. Mark then went to the keys again and played the song again (his right hand lying by his side on the piano bench) so we could watch how the part is played with our eyes open, and gasps from many people in the audience were heard at this realization.

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: Ritt Henn
Ira Lee Collings
Deborah Stone
Lou Iacovino
Madelaine Warren
Mimi Lyons  - New Haven June 1 benefit
Jeff Michael (self on piano)
Frances O'Flynne (with Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Sally Darling (with Matthew Martin Ward on piano)
Matthew Martin Ward (self on piano and Ritt Henn on bass)
David Ballard
Sierra Rein
Kathleen France (with Ritt Henn on bass)
Salon Spotlight: Cheo Bourne and Lena Moy-Borgen (with Devon Perry on piano)
Classical Corner
Co-Host: Ritt Henn and Beth Malone (with Ritt Henn on bass)
Tanya Moberly (with Ritt Henn on bass)
Ruperta Nelson
Angela Leone (with Bill Zeffiro)
Bill Zeffiro (self on piano)
Dawn Derow (with Bill Zeffiro on piano and Ritt Henn on bass)
Richie Eisenberg (self on piano)
Freddy Freeman (self on piano)
Barbara Malley
Adam Shapiro
Co-Host: Ritt Henn

Special thanks to tonight's musicians: Devon Perry, Matthew Martin Ward, Mark Janas, Ritt Henn, Richie Eisenberg, Freddy Freeman and Jeff Michael, and our videographer Jose Peña. Also thanks to David Ballard on lights and sound, the amazing waitstaff and management at Etcetera Etcetera.

Performances coming up by guests of this evening's Salon:

Ongoing Shows

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

Every Tuesday (6pm-7pm): "Peaceable Hour - Music to soothe the spirit and restore the heart" with Sarah Rice, Mark Watson, and Janice Hall. FREE at Saint Clements Church and Chapel, 423 West 46th Street, NYC.

Upcoming Shows

Friday, May 25, 2018 (7pm): Sally Darling and others will be a part of Ricky Ritzel's Broadway with "A Little Night Music," at Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th Street, NYC.

Sunday, May 27, 2018 (9:30pm): Adam Shapiro will be presenting music as part of composer showcase "The Music of Jeff Thomson and Jeremy Desmond," at 54 Below, NYC.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 (7pm): Parnell's Thursday Night Spotlight Encore Performance featuring Lou Iacovino (and open mic performers) with Bill Zeffiro as Music Director, no cover/$25 minimum, 7pm-10pm, at Parnell's 350 East 53rd Street @ First Avenue, NYC.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 (7pm): Hostess with the Mostest Bobbie Horowitz celebrates her birthday while hosting the latest installment of her series, with Musical Director Matthew Martin Ward and including Marnie Klar, in "It's Just a Number," at Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th Street, NYC.

Saturday, June 2, 2018 (7pm): "Moy-Borgen and Bournes's Office Party" with Musical Direction by Devon Perry at Don't Tell Mama 345 W 46th Street, NYC.

Thursday, June 14 - Sunday, June 24, 2018: 5 performances of "Dan Ruth: A Life Behind Bars," directed by Tanya Moberly, will be at the Lounge Theater in 6201 Santa Monica Blvd, LA.

Friday, June 15, 2018 (7pm): Marquee Five in "Marquee Five Sings Sondheim" at the Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 West 42nd St, NYC.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (7:30pm): "The Dawn, Sean, and Don Show: Off The Menu" with Dawn Derow, Sean Harkness, and Don Kelly at Carroll Place, 157 Bleecker Street, NYC.

Thursday, June 21, 2018 (7pm): Tanya Moberly directs Kendra Cunningham in "This Could Be You" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 (1pm): Matthew Martin Ward will be a part of "Richard Skipper Celebrates" at the Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 West 42nd St, NYC.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 (4pm): Sally Darling will be a part of "Together Again" at Don't Tell Mama, 345 West 46th Street, NYC.

Monday, June 25, 2018 (7pm): Sally Darling brings back her show "Sally Darling Sings Beatrice Lillie" with Matthew Martin Ward to Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th Street, NYC.

Friday, June 29, 2018 (7pm): Tanya Moberly featured at Ricky Ritzel's Broadway at Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th Street, NYC.

Wednesday, July 4-August 26, 2018 (various times): Adam Shapiro will be part of the cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" (in Yiddish), directed by Joel Grey, at The National Yiddish Theater, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park, NYC.

Sunday, July 29, 2018 (4pm): Angela Leone revamps her CD release show at Don't Tell Mama, 345 W 46th Street, NYC.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018: Deborah Stone in "Siren Song" with Daryl Kojak at Pangea, 178 2nd Avenue, NYC.

NEXT SALON! - Sunday, July 8th, 2018:
No Salon between May 27, 2018 – July 1, 2018
Our next Salon is not too long from now and at the same place it's always been, but the theme is going to be "Long Ago And Far Away" with Co-Host Kim David Smith. Our Salon Spotlight will be Bruce Clough. Have a great break!
- Sierra Rein
Blogette for The Salon
Email me

No comments:

Post a Comment