Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Salon Wrap-Up for April 28, 2019: "Reckless Love"

Mark Janas kicked the evening off by introducing our co-host, MAC Award-winner and singer/songwriter Carolyn Montgomery. She started things on a lighthearted note with a jazzy, sexy arrangement of pop singer Jessie J's hit song "Domino." Carolyn is a true professional at managing the unexpected things that arise in a live performance - such as the difficulty created given that her usual music director Jeff Cubeta was called out of town unexpectedly and Mark Janas jumped in to take a stab at the charts at the last minute.

Unfazed, she segued confidently and calmly into a wickedly delightful reminiscience to set up a creative and fresh mashup of the Cy Coleman classic "You Fascinate Me So" with the crowd-favorite standard "Unforgettable" (written by Irving Gordon). Her poise and poignance on stage made her a wonderfully warm co-host for the evening.

Carolyn brought us back in from the break with Chris Smither's "Love Me Like a Man," notably sung by Bonnie Raitt. Her suave, wistful, yearning blues cooled the evening down, setting herself up for a thoughtful, evocative rendition of k.d. lang's "Pullin' Back the Reins." Carolyn is a master at losing herself in the moment of the song and taking us with her to the horizon in her eyes as she feels her way through the nuances of her scene. She finished the night in the most reckless way: realizing she didn't need traditional love and marriage at all, in Malby and Shire's "The Bear, The Tiger, The Hamster and The Mole" from Closer Than Ever. 

Co-host Carolyn Montgomery. Photo credit
Carolyn currently hosts the new Open Mic at The Den, 340 W 40th Street, NYC on Saturday Nights at 8pm. She will also be appearing at Music at The Mansion on June 6th and will host and teach at The Retreat at Herons Landing June 12th – June 26th with Karen Mason, Jay Rogers & Lennie Watts. Carolyn leads monthly programs for the American Songbook Association as their Director of Education, bringing classic American song to public schools in all five boroughs.

Classical Corner/Salon Spotlight

Tonight the Classical Corner and Salon Spotlight were combined to feature Mark’s Students from Manhattan School of Music’s 2019 “Discover Opera!” program: Dylan Courtney, George Baolin, Jeremy Leung, Josi Petersen, Heather O’Donovan, Stephanie Foster & Tiernan Chase. Mark explained that the class read all eight Mary Poppins books, in addition to watching both the 1964 original and 2018 sequel, as well as the film Saving Mr. Banks about Walt Disney's efforts to secure the rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers. Then they created the piece, "Mary Poppera Loves the Opera," to perform for children's groups around the city.

The plot concerns Rudolf Bing (general manager of the Metropolitan Opera in 1966) attempting to convince P.L. Travers to let him turn Mary Poppins into an opera, a la Saving Mr. Banks. The students performed the majority of the piece for us, complete with a plethora of props and including numerous songs from the original Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, and multiple operas, many with parody/plot-appropriate lyrics they wrote themselves. (This Bloggette attempted to enumerate them all but was overwhelmed by how MANY songs they included!) They sang in multiple styles, accordingly, but the operatic selections were the vocal highlight. The numerous ways in which they taught important musical terms (aria, recitative, duet, trio, etc.) were charmingly woven into the plot. Also bravo to the many accents the students donned, including, among others, German, British, Russian, Cockney, and Long Island - no easy feat. Near the end, they needed a volunteer (the very game Kathleen France, and ultimately the entire crowd) to sing aloud to ultimately convince Ms. Travers, recalling one of the most endearing moments of Peter Pan. it was a truly delightful peformance.

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: Carolyn Montgomery
Tracy Sallows
Liora Michelle
Monica Salvi
Andre Vincent
Deborah Stone (Matthew Martin Ward at piano)
Marcia Roney (Matthew Martin Ward at piano)
Matthew Martin Ward (self at piano)
Emily Ellet
Classical Corner/Salon Spotlight
Co-Host: Carolyn Montgomery
Tanya Moberly
Julianna Graham (Mark Hartman at piano)
Jason Tyler Smith (Mark Hartman at piano)
Kristian Dambrino (Mark Hartman at piano)
Carolyn German (Mark Hartman at piano)
Frances O'Flynn (Matthew Martin Ward at piano)
Nancy Morgan
Bob Simonello
Ann Talman
Dr. Sue Horowitz
Joshua Bennett
Alison Nussbaum
Richard Eisenberg
Phillip Kuan
Co-Host: Carolyn Montgomery

Special thanks to our pianist for the evening, Mark Janas, and to musicians Matthew Martin Ward and Mark Hartman. Thanks also to Alison Nussbaum on lights and sound, and the ever quick-on-their-feet waitstaff (Joshua and Leo) and management at Don't Tell Mama. Also thanks to our videographer for the evening, Reuben Olvera.

Ongoing Shows:

Most Tuesdays (6pm): Peaceable Hour with Sarah RiceJanice Hall, and Mark Watson at St. Clements Church, free, see schedule for details -, 423 West 46th Street, NYC.

Wednesdays-Sundays: Adam Shapiro is performing in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish at Stage 42, 422 W 42nd St, NYC.

Saturdays (8:30pm): Carolyn Montgomery hosts Open Mic at The Den, 340 W. 40th Street, NYC, with pianist Jeff Cubeta.

Upcoming Shows:

Thursday, May 16th, 2019 (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Barb Junger direct Susanne Mack in "Where I Belong" with Musical Director Paul Greenwood at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave, NYC.

Friday, May 17th, 2019 (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Barb Junger direct Susanne Mack in "Where I Belong" with Musical Director Paul Greenwood at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave, NYC.

Friday, May 17th, 2019 (7pm): Tanya Moberly directs Stephanie Trudeau in "Chavela: Thing of Me; Songs Stories of Chavela Vargas" with David Lahm on piano and Diego Cebollero on guitar, Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, NYC.

Sunday, May 19th, 2019 (6pm): Dr. Sue Horowitz presents a reading of her original musical “SssWitch - A Bewitching Musical” at St. John's Church, 81 Christopher Street, NYC.

Thursday, May 23th, 2019 (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Barb Junger direct Susanne Mack in "Where I Belong" with Musical Director Paul Greenwood at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave, NYC.

Thursday, May 30th, 2019 (7pm): Tanya Moberly and Barb Junger direct Susanne Mack in "Where I Belong" with Musical Director Paul Greenwood at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave, NYC.

Friday, June 6th, 2019: Carolyn Montgomery performs at Music at The Mansion, Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ.

Monday, June 10th, 2019 (7pm): Nancy Morgan presents "That Was Then. This is Now." with pianist Tom DeFrancesco at Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th Street, NYC.

Thursday, July 11th, 2019: Marnie Klar will be performing at Parnell's, 350 E 53rd St, NYC.

NEXT SALON: May 5th, 2019
Next week's Salon will be on the perennielly relevant topic of "Good and Evil", featuring co-host (and award-winner) Monica Salvi and Salon Spotlight Susanne Mack. Joining us at Salon is always the "good" choice, just sayin'....

Submitted by Emily Ellet
Blogette for The Salon
Email me if I missed anything!

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