Capital Cabaret Curtain Call Open Mic — Monday, June 12

June 6, 2023

The next Capital Cabaret Open Mic will take place Monday, June 12, 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Crazy Aunt Helen’s — 713 8th Street SE, Washington DC 20003. Hope to see you there!

Midwest Cabaret Conference

June 4, 2023

Just a week to go before the Midwest Cabaret Conference! It’s a great line-up of people including DC’s own Heather Frank (who I understand is going to have a coloratura moment) and Christy Frye. Look for posts from Chicago this week!

And Chicago friends, please get tickets for this terrific show!

The New Yorker Reports on Musicians Playing Private Gigs

May 31, 2023

There’s a really interesting article in the current New Yorker about the way most top musicians, Bruce Springsteen excepted, will play private parties, where the fees for a single 30-minute set can run into the seven figures.

“At bottom, the boom in private gigs reflects two contrasting trends. One has to do with the music industry. For more than a century after sound was first captured on wax cylinders, in the eighteen-eighties, the money came mostly from selling recordings. But that business peaked in 1999, and, as CDs vanished, revenue sank by more than fifty per cent. It has recovered on digital subscriptions, but the new giants—Spotify, Apple, YouTube—pay artists only a fraction of what physical sales once delivered. “

Using Chat GPT for Song Translations

May 31, 2023

I’ve just discovered how easy it is to use the AI software Chat GPT —

I have a soft spot in my heart for Japanese “pop-idol” music of the 1980s, and Nakamori Akina sing “Shoujo-A,” which roughly translates to Jane Doe.

Here’s what I got when I looked up the lyrics of the song:

上目使いに 盗んで見ている
蒼いあなたの 視線がまぶしいわ
思わせぶりに 口びるぬらし
きっかけぐらいは こっちでつくってあげる

いわゆる普通の 17歳だわ
早熟なのは しかたないけど
似たようなこと 誰でもしているのよ

じれったい じれったい
何歳に見えても 私 誰でも
じれったい じれったい
私は私よ 関係ないわ
特別じゃない どこにもいるわ
ワ・タ・シ 少女A

頬づえついて あなたを想えば
胸の高鳴り 耳が あぁ熱いわ
鏡に向かって 微笑みつくる
黄昏れ時は 少女を大人に変える

素肌と心は ひとつじゃないのね
ルージュの口びる かすかに震えてるわ
本当は臆病 分ってほしいの あなた

じれったい じれったい
結婚するとか しないとかなら
じれったい じれったい
そんなのどうでも 関係ないわ
特別じゃない どこにもいるわ
ワ・タ・シ 少女A

じれったい じれったい
何歳に見えても 私 誰でも
じれったい じれったい
私は私よ 関係ないわ
特別じゃない どこにもいるわ
ワ・タ・シ 少女A

Chat GPT quickly provided a translation:

Stealing glances with upturned eyes,

Your blue gaze is dazzling,

 Your lips wet with alluring tease,

I’ll create the opportunity for us,

I’m just an ordinary 17-year-old,

You know too little about girls,

Being precocious is inevitable,

Similar things, everyone does them,

Restless, oh so restless,

No matter how old I seem,

I’m just anyone,

Restless, oh so restless,

I am myself, it doesn’t matter,

I’m not special,

I exist anywhere,

I, the girl A,

Resting my chin, thinking of you,

My heart pounds, my ears, oh so warm,

Smiling at the mirror,

Twilight transforms the girl into an adult,

Skin and heart are not one,

My rouge-laden lips tremble faintly,

I’m not as dry as others say,

I want you to understand my true cowardice,

Restless, oh so restless,

If it’s about getting married or not,

Restless, oh so restless,

I don’t care about such things,

I’m not special, I exist anywhere,

I, the girl A,

Restless, oh so restless,

No matter how old I seem, I’m just anyone,

Restless, oh so restless, I am myself,

it doesn’t matter,

I’m not special,

I exist anywhere,

I, the girl A.

It’s interesting that it translated “Shoujo A” as “the girl A” and did not get the “Jane Doe” idiom, which is a warning about the accuracy of the rest.

If one wanted to perform the song, it can also provide a romanization of the Japanese characters:

Ue-me-tsukai ni nusunde miteiru

Aoi anata no shisen ga mabushii wa

Omowaseburi ni kuchibiru nurashi

Kikkake gurai wa kocchi de tsukutte ageru

Iwayuru futsuu no 17-sai da wa

Onnanoko no koto shiranai sugiru no anata

Hayasuku na no wa shikata nai kedo

Nita you na koto dare demo shiteiru no yo

Jirettai jirettai

Nan-sai ni miete mo watashi dare demo

Jirettai jirettai

Watashi wa watashi yo kankei nai wa

Tokubetsu ja nai doko ni mo iru wa

Wa-ta-shi shoujo A

Hoozue tsuite anata o omoeba

Mune no takanari mimi ga aa atsui wa

Kagami ni mukatte hohoemi tsukuru

Tasogare toki wa shoujo o otona ni kaeru

Hadaka to kokoro wa hitotsu ja nai no ne

Ruujyu no kuchibiru kasuka ni furueteru wa

Hito ga iu hodo dorai ja nai no

Hontou wa okubyou wakatte hoshii no anata

Jirettai jirettai

Kekkon suru toka shinai toka nara

Jirettai jirettai

Sonna no dou demo kankei nai wa

Tokubetsu ja nai doko ni mo iru wa

Wa-ta-shi shoujo A Jirettai jirettai

Nan-sai ni miete mo watashi dare demo

Jirettai jirettai

Watashi wa watashi yo kankei nai wa

Tokubetsu ja nai doko ni mo iru wa

Wa-ta-shi shoujo A

Chat GPT as my personal publicist…

May 29, 2023

OK, I bit the bullet and put the prompt “200 words on Michael Miyazaki as performer.” Here’s what came out:

Michael Miyazaki: A Captivating Performer

Michael Miyazaki is a performer who captivates audiences with his magnetic stage presence and versatile talent. Whether he’s singing, dancing, or acting, Miyazaki has an innate ability to command attention and engage his viewers in a captivating and memorable experience.

As a singer, Miyazaki’s vocal prowess is evident in his rich and expressive voice. He possesses a wide vocal range, allowing him to effortlessly transition between different musical genres and styles. Whether he’s belting out a show-stopping Broadway number or crooning a tender ballad, Miyazaki’s vocals are filled with emotion and authenticity, drawing his audience into the story he’s telling through song.

Miyazaki’s talent extends beyond his vocal abilities. As a dancer, he exhibits a remarkable combination of precision, grace, and athleticism. His movements are fluid and dynamic, enhancing the storytelling and adding an extra layer of visual excitement to his performances. Whether it’s a complex choreographed routine or a simple gesture, Miyazaki’s command of his body and the stage is undeniable.

In addition to his singing and dancing talents, Miyazaki is a skilled actor. He possesses the ability to fully embody the characters he portrays, bringing depth, nuance, and authenticity to his performances. His emotional range and ability to connect with his fellow actors create compelling and believable portrayals that resonate with audiences.

Overall, Michael Miyazaki is a performer who effortlessly combines vocal prowess, dance ability, and acting skills to create captivating performances. His stage presence, versatility, and ability to connect with his audience make him a truly memorable artist. Whether on stage or screen, Miyazaki’s talent shines through, leaving a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to witness his captivating performances.

While I’m flattered with the rest and would love to believe its truth, I have no idea why it thinks I can dance!

Chat GPT as a Patter Tool

May 29, 2023

I’ve just discovered how easy it is to use the AI software Chat GPT —

I put in the following request:

write a 50 word cabaret patter leading into the song “But Beautiful” with a joke about love and pizza

Here’s what I got back:

Ladies and gentlemen, love is a lot like pizza. You can have it delivered right to your doorstep, savor every bite, and get lost in its cheesy goodness. But just like pizza, love can also leave you feeling stuffed, craving more, or regretting that extra slice. Speaking of love, let’s dive into a song that beautifully captures its complexities: ‘But Beautiful’.

Or how about:

write 50 words of patter introducing the song “Muskrat Love” about how the song may seem stupid today but was beloved in its time

And here’s what I got:

Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for a blast from the past! Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Muskrat Love? Seriously?’ But let me tell you, back in its day, this quirky little tune had folks singing along and falling head over heels for those muskrats. So, let’s hop into our musical time machine and enjoy a nostalgic ride with ‘Muskrat Love’!

Kinda not a bad first draft.

This must now be a real challenge for teachers evaluating written assignments.

I am reminded of my eighth grade science class in the mid-1970s. We spent at least three weeks of classes learning how to use a slide rule at a time when it was obvious that electronic calculators were the future. So, we were being taught a tool and not numeracy. It seems to me that Chat GPT now is like the calculators of the mid-1970s. It’s not a fully formed tool, but clearly the future. There is no reason now to know how to manually find the square root of 207,936. But when given the answer of 456 one should have a sense of whether that’s accurate or know how to check it. Similarly, I suspect this a tool that is only going to develop and become more prevalent. And with any luck, it will increase the higher goals of literacy and communication by making people spend less time on mechanics.

Why do you need me when there’s Chat GPT?

May 28, 2023

I put the following command into Chat GPT: “write a 300 word blog post about the singer Marion Harris with links to YouTube.” Here’s what I got within 30 seconds:

Title: Marion Harris: The Voice That Defined an Era

Introduction (50 words): In the early 20th century, amidst the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties, one name stood out among the crowd of talented singers—Marion Harris. With her powerful voice, emotive performances, and trailblazing spirit, Harris left an indelible mark on the music industry. Join us as we delve into the captivating journey of this extraordinary songstress.

Body (200 words): Marion Harris, born Mary Ellen Harrison in 1896, rose to fame during the dawn of recorded music. Her velvety voice possessed a unique quality that effortlessly conveyed a wide range of emotions. She was renowned for her interpretations of popular songs of the time, captivating audiences with her ability to capture the essence of a song’s narrative.

Harris was a true pioneer, breaking barriers for female artists in an industry predominantly dominated by men. She fearlessly embraced provocative themes and delivered them with unparalleled sincerity. Her interpretations of love, heartbreak, and longing resonated deeply with audiences and set the stage for future generations of singers.

One of Marion Harris’ notable hits was “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” a recording that epitomized her exceptional vocal talent and magnetic stage presence. Her rendition of this timeless classic remains a testament to her ability to breathe life into each lyric and captivate listeners. To experience the magic of Marion Harris, watch her mesmerizing performance of “I Ain’t Got Nobody” on YouTube [insert link].

Another iconic recording that showcases Harris’ vocal prowess is “After You’ve Gone.” Her soulful rendition of this jazz standard continues to inspire and influence artists to this day. Witness the raw energy and emotional depth of Marion Harris in her captivating performance of “After You’ve Gone” on YouTube [insert link].

Conclusion (50 words): Marion Harris blazed a trail for future generations of singers with her exceptional talent and unwavering dedication. Her powerful voice and ability to connect with audiences on a profound level cemented her status as a true music legend. Through her recordings, Marion Harris continues to leave an enduring legacy that resonates with music lovers across generations.

[Note: Please insert relevant YouTube links for “I Ain’t Got Nobody” and “After You’ve Gone” to complete the blog post.]

Very Crowded Disney Cell Blocks

May 21, 2023

Marilyn Maye Tells Us About Life

May 19, 2023

Fifty Years of Tovah Feldshuh

May 18, 2023

Stage and cabaret star Tovah Feldshuh celebrated her fiftieth anniversary on Broadway at a recent performance of Funny Girl. Playbill has a lovely video of her curtain speech.

Feldshuh starred in Sarava, one of the most controversial musicals of the 1970 due to the fact that the producers kept the show in previews because they feared negative reviews. But Feldshuh’s performance was considered the highlight of the show: