Primary Urges — We’re baaaack!

January 31, 2008


We’ve been rehearsing the Super Tuesday weekend remount of Primary Urges and I have to say I think we’re looking good!

We’ve got new material, an added cast member (the lovely Nkenjika Ofodile joins me, Michael Bruno, Mary Jane Bruno, Rachael Goldman, Doug Smith, and Marilyn Bennett).  So come by for some laughs that are even funnier than CNN!!!

Friday, 1 February, 8:00pm / Sunday, 2 February, 3:00pm

The Writer’s Center, Bethesda.

Click here for more info or to order tix or get directions

Wake Me When They Do Nell Carter…

January 31, 2008

Tina Fabrique in Arena's On-target article by Nelson Pressley in Sunday’s Post about the explosion of bio-musicals about African-American female singers in town.

Michael Sazonov this Friday

January 30, 2008

Michael Sazonov reprises his show, “My Well Schooled Heart” this Friday, 1 February.

‘My Well Schooled Heart’ is a cabaret-style, one-man show exploring the education of a young, modern day romantic.   
It’s this Friday, February First at 8 pm
Are twenty dollars and include your first beverage and hors d’oeuvres and a great seat in an intimate setting.  Tickets are only sold at the door starting at 7:15 on the night of the performance.   
Maggie’s Place and St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church is located at 1820 Connecticut Ave NW (about seven blocks north of Dupont Circle). 
For more information, or call 202/363.1830.

Nelson Pressley on Faith Prince

January 30, 2008

The Virginia native lit up the Barns on Thursday.The Washington Post weighs in on Faith Prince’s recent Wolf Trap concert (featuring Alex Rybeck as music director).

“The cabaret act by the Tony-winning Prince was like a low-key homecoming (she’s from Lynchburg), familiar and chatty as she cracked wise about her showbiz career between numbers that tended toward the comic and sentimental. “

Report: DC Cabaret Network January Open Mic

January 29, 2008

A terific night at the DC Cabaret Network Open Mic !!! 


The room was packed with terrific singers — both regulars and spectacular new talent.  And the most spectacular new talent was the wonderful music director Mary Sugar who made everyone sound terrific. 


The other star of the evening was David Friedman, with four different singers doing his songs.  Here’s what everyone sang:

  • Terri Allen
    • Ordinary Miracles (Stewart / Ballard)
  • Adele Russell
    • Listen to My Heart (Friedman)
    • Cry Me a River (Hamilton)
  • Chris Cochran
    • He Comes Home Tired (Friedman)
  • David McMullen
    • Leaning on a Lamppost (Gay/Furber & Rose)
    • Sometimes a Day Goes By (Kander/Ebb)
  • Davey Brown
    • What Do You Do with a BA in English? (Marx/Lopez)
    • I Wish I Could Go Back to College (Marx/Lopez)
    • The More You Ruv Someone (Marx/Lopez)
  • Eileen Warner
    • He Wasn’t You
  • Emily Everson
    • Sleepy Man (Waldman)
    • Bar Mitzvah Shiksah Mamma (Raible / Tate)
  • George Fulginiti-Shakar
    • The People that You Never Get to Love (Holmes)
  • Holly Bingham
    • Putting It Together (Sondheim)
    • My Simple Christmas Wish (Friedman)
  • Katherine McCann
    • The Greatest Performance of My Life
    • Darkest Before the Dawn
  • Kathy Reilly
    • A Trip to the Library (Bock/Harnick)
  • Lonny Smith
    • Larger than Life (Ahrens/Flaherty)
    • Someone to Fall Back On (Brown)
  • Mary Reilly
    • I Have Dreamed (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
    • What I Was Dreamin’ Of (Friedman)
  • Matt Howe
    • Summer Me, Winter Me (LeGrand/Bergman & Bergman)
    • Imagination
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Meadowlark (Schwartz)
    • Thanks for the Memory (Robin/Whiting)
  • Sally Martin
    • Ship in a Bottle (McBroome)
    • Warm All Over (Loesser)
  • Byron Murray 
    • This Is New
    • Our Language of Love

Stephen Holden on Kelli O’Hara

January 29, 2008

Surprisingly ambivilent review from the NY Times on Kelli O’Hara, the spectacular star of Light in the Piazza and Pajama Game: “So much talent, so many tough decisions. For Ms. O’Hara choosing the right path will not be easy.”

Ron Squeri — “Haunted Heart” at the Duplex

January 28, 2008

OK, I’m prejudiced, but Ron’s show Haunted Heart at the Duplex tonight was a spectacular success.  I thought he sounded terrific, had a great selection of material, and a nice flow to the show.  Lina Koutrakos did a terrific job directing, paring some of the dialogue and getting the flow working.  Thomas Honeck did amazing work with the lighting — creating a roller disco at one point (take that Xanadu!). 

And David Gaines did yoeman work music directing.  For those of you who don’t know, Rick Jensen who did the arrangements for Ron’s CD had emergency surgery last week, and was unable to play the show as scheduled.  So David Gaines filled in at the last minute, and he and Ron did the show on 2 rehearsals — and sounded amazing!

A special thanks to everyone who came to the show!!!  It was so great to see so many people invest in Ron, coming from DC, New York, New Jersey, and points beyond. (DC cabaret artists extraordinaire Kathy Reilly and Emily Everson at left)

Thanks so much to Matt Howe for the photos!!!

Road Report: Xanadu

January 27, 2008

I just saw the Broadway version of Xanadu last night.

The show is pure piffle.  That said, there is something Zen-like in the purity of its piffle.

The show adapts the ’80’s movie of the same name, fully acknowledging the awfulness of its source material.  However it uses the plot elements of the movie, the song elements of the movie, and a meta-awareness of our current reaction to elements in the movie — roller disco, Olivia Newton-John, retro pop — for smart camp send-up.  And this really is smart piffle.  The plot concerns an invasion by the 9 muses into Soutehern California to inspire a sidewalk muralist*.  In the process the head muse Clio decides … well it’s too much to go in here, but it all kind of works.

The whole affair is bolstered by perfectly-tuned performances by an amazing ensemble cast.  Cheyenne Jackson is pitch perfect as a vacant-but-inspired beach hunk/artist.  Kelly Butler is savvy and engaging as the head muse — and it is stunning how she can get around in either shoes, two skates or one skate. Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman are superb as the sister muses who provide both dramatic tension and comic relief.

The very self-aware show at one point refers to itself as “children’s theater for 40 year old gay people.”  It does that very well in a slick, snappy 90 minutes.  However, if one thinks that the theatre should always aspire to higher things, I hear that August: Osage County is absolutely brilliant.

*Nobody I know has remarked on the fact that the leading men of 2 current Broadway musicals (Xanadu, Mary Poppins)are sidewalk chalk muralists who are in love with mystical females. 

Playbill Online News — Nancy LaMott and Musical Gender Reversal

January 26, 2008

Friday’s Playbill Online had an interesting note on the new forthcoming Nancy LaMott collection*.

Also, an interesting survey of singers, asking what song written for the opposite gender peformers most want to perform.  Evidently every woman in musical theater wants to sing Soliloquy. 

* I always picture Nancy LaMott envying the posthumous career of Eva Cassidy, much the way Sal Mineo and Jean Seberg must envy the careers of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.

Stephen Holden on Deborah Voigt

January 26, 2008

Seems everyone is going to the cabaret!

The NYTimes weighs in on Voigt’s recent foray into the American Popular Songbook.