Barb Jungr

April 30, 2008

Bare Again

I finally got a Barb Jungr CD after hearing so much about her in recent months.  This is an CD from the late ’90s, so I don’t know if it reflects her current work.  I thought it was OK.  Sing songs slow.  Have a rock growl.  Communicate what you’re singing about.  The vibe is younger, non-medicated Marianne Faithful.

But for cabaret, I guess you have to see it live.

1 King of the Road
2 Waterloo Sunset
3 Where Are You Now?
4 Au Depart
5 Me and Bobby McGee
6 What Lovers Do
7 Les Amants D’Un Jour
8 Waht a Waste
9 My Father
10 Sons Of
11 Suzanne
12 Dancers to the Dawn
13 Mother Tongue
14 Just for Today
15 Song for Dan
Advertisements

Feature Article about Andrea Marcovicci

April 30, 2008

Great feature article about Andrea Marcovicci in the L.A. Times:”I’ve been performing cabaret for 22 years, and I gradually began to enjoy the research aspect of my work as much as the actual performance,” said Marcovicci, 59, during a recent visit to New York. “I have a library at home which is filled with books and recordings, and it’s getting larger. It finally took over my garage, and a big part of this is me wanting to have more authority and knowledge — to inform people at the same time I entertain them.”


The Kerrigan-Lowdermilk Songbook

April 28, 2008

In my review of Josh Young’s CD, I noted with interest that one of the highlights of the CD, Run Away with Me.

So it made me curious about the song.  It seems it was written by the team of Kate Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, who seem to be emerging musical theater writers of some talent.  Being 21st century composers, they have a page on their Website with mp3 demos of their songs and the ability to order sheet music and transpositions of their music.

And of course, they also show performances of their material on YouTube.  Here’s Josh Young doing Run Away With Me.


I Liked It — “Hot” !

April 26, 2008

I got to see the new City in a Swamp outing, Some Make It Hot.  The show is sort of a satirical musical eco-murder mystery.  There are amusing musical attacks by lyricist/auteur Nick Zill and composer Howard Bennett aimed at the DC homicide department, dating in Washington, and personal methane production among many, many targets.  The evening is imbued with City in a Swamp’s signature slapdash cheer.

The show features terrific performances by Jerry Browning, Rachael Goldman, Doug Smith, Michael Bruno and Mary Jane Bruno.  Barbara Twigg holds things together with her music direction and the ever-Puckish Stan Ismart not only provides great work on drum, but interactive sound effects with the audience.  And that amazing cabaret genius** Ron Squeri provides terrific lighting effects.

The show was the first time I’d been to the Sitar Arts Center, in the area of Adams Morgan where Kalorama runs between 18th & 16th Streets*.  It’s amazing the urban makeover the area has undergone (including a new Harris Teeter).  And the venue is an amazing 80-90 seat space with great sitelines and acoustics.  A venue cabaret performers should certainly investigate!

Regular performances start Saturday, April 26 and run through May 11.

Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM; Sundays at 3 PM.

Sitar Arts Center, 1700 Kalorama Rd., NW, Washington, DC
Parking available across the street ($5 fee).

All tckets are $25; student and group discounts are available.

For information, call 202-364-8644

Order tickets online at www.cityinaswamp.com.

 

Regular performances start Saturday, April 26 and run through May 11.

Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM; Sundays at 3 PM.

Sitar Arts Center, 1700 Kalorama Rd., NW, Washington, DC
Parking available across the street ($5 fee).

All tckets are $25; student and group discounts are available.

For information, call 202-364-8644

Order tickets online at www.cityinaswamp.com.

*OK, I couldhave said 17th and Kalorama, but that doesn’t quite place it for me the same way.  **I can’t ignore my partner’s contributions to the cause 


“Talk Back” to Stephen Schwartz

April 25, 2008

MetroStage, home of the current Stephen Schwartz Project, will be hosting a “talk back” session with Schwartz after tomorrow’s matinee.  Additional information (also features some great video clips from the show).

Here’s a bit of Schwartz trivia — he was the only composer in the 70’s to have 3 shows running on Broadway at the same time (Pippin, Godspell, The Magic Show).  That early Seventies Sondheim trio of Follies, Company, and Night Music never ran simultaneously, and together logged fewer performances than Pippin (1828 vs 1944).   


The AMAZING Karen Mason

April 24, 2008

Right Here / Right NowKaren Mason’s new CD, Right Here, Right Now is easily the best cabaret CD I’ve heard in 2008, if not farther back.*  Mason is an incredibly talented performer with an amazing instrument and a large “toolbox” of technique that support her artistic endeavors. 

The CD is a mixture of songs she has been performing for a while and never recorded as well as new material.  It features two terrific songs written by her very talented husband Paul Rolnick, Like the Heavens Hold the Stars and the title song.  Rolnick is also one of the top recording engineers in New York, and the sound quality on the CD, especially given Mason’s rangy voice and tendency toward extreme dynamic effects, shows another side of his talents.

Highlights of this CD include a passionate medley of Help and Being Alive; a reading of Hurry! It’s Lovely Here totally infused with joy; and a rousing Get Happy, including the rarely-heard intro. When reading the track list, I was frankly puzzled by the selection of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, but this trip veering into “lounge” is utterly charming and committed.

One rarely hears a CD with this consistent level of quality; there are no weak links in the song selections.  And much of this is due to the high level of talent in “team Mason” — amazing concepts by Barry Kleinbort supported by arrangements and piano work by the extraordinary Christopher Denny.  His solo piano on “As If We Never Said Goodby” makes one wonder why Lord Lloyd Webber felt the need for a whole orchestra for his show.

And speaking of Sunset Blvd, that track is a somewhat interesting historic document. Mason was the principal standby for Norma Desmond for most of the Broadway run of Sunset Blvd.  And she has been the only major Broadway, London, tour, German, or Australian Norma not to record some portion of the role.  (Danielle Ziegler, Helen Schneider’s replacement in Frankfurt has her own CD of Sunset highlights for heaven’s sake!) So this is a must-have recording for Andrew Lloyd Webber completists.  By the way, (my partner) Ron got choked up when he first heard this version. 

One of the things I like most most about Team Mason’s work is the thought they put in her arrangements.  Of course, they totally fit Mason and balance her artistic goals with her specific talents.  However while nothing is totally outrageous, they are distinct and often take an original approach to the material.  It would be very clear if another performer was trying to sing the Mason version of a song, the way it is very obvious when an accompanist became Wally Harper-esque for any singer but Barbara Cook.  And even Cook’s arrangements, while lovely, have certainly been amazingly bland post-Harper — if you disagree, just compare their versions of Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here!**

Here’s the track list:

1. All That Jazz
2. Secret Love
3. Like The Heavens Hold The Stars
4. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
5. Help/Being Alive
6. Hurry! It’s Lovely Here
7. Make Someone Happy
8. Right Here, Right Now
9. Get Happy
10. As If We Never Said Goodbye
11. Everything Old Is New Again
12. Look For The Silver Lining

* Ron’s amazing CD, Haunted Heart doesn’t count.

**  OK, one criticism of the CD — the case lists Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here! as “Hurry! It’s Lovely Here”


City in a Swamp Returns!!!*

April 23, 2008

City in a Swamp takes on a festering planet with its new show

SOME MAKE IT HOT

Politicians, lobbyists & activists are all fair game in this locally-grown, organically-produced eco-mystery musical!

With cast members Jerry Browning, Rachael Goldman, Michael Bruno, Mary Jean Bruno and Doug Smith, accompanied by Barbara Twigg on piano and Stan Ismart on percussion.

 

Music by Howard Bennett; book & lyrics by Nicholas Zill

Preview performance Friday, April 25 at 8 PM; tickets $15 ($10 for students with ID)

Regular performances start Saturday, April 26 and run through May 11.

Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM; Sundays at 3 PM.

Sitar Arts Center, 1700 Kalorama Rd., NW, Washington, DC
Parking available across the street ($5 fee).

All tckets are $25; student and group discounts are available.

For information, call 202-364-8644

Order tickets online at www.cityinaswamp.com.

*Your favorite blogger isn’t in this edition — but see it anyway!!!