CHAWbaret 5: Road Trip

February 28, 2009

I just go back from seeing the latest edition of CHAWbaret.  The theme of this particular outing concerns journeys, whether in a physical or an emotional sense.  And I thought that the performers dis a particularly good job of either picking songs for the theme or using patter to shoehorn their selections into the theme. 

Highlights include Matt Howe in a well-crafted Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking; Dean Reichard’s feisty Wherever He Ain’t; Lynne Barstow’s wry flight attendant welcoming people to the second act; Barbara Papendorp’s space-age Fly Me to the Moon; and Elise Logeman alternately sassy on No Man is Worth It and touching on Let Him Fly. 

And with five editions of the show, I think it’s terrific that producer Dean Reichard has done so much to give so many people the opportunity to perform.

There are three more shows.

Here’s the song stack: 

  • Pure Imagination (Dean Reichard)
  • Here I Am (Dean Reichard)
  • Sous le Ciel de Paris (Barbara Pappendorp)
  • Gay Paree (Daryl Anderson)
  • From Russia With Love (Daryl Anderson)
  • (I’ll See You in) C-U-B-A (Barbara Pappendorp)
  • Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking (Matt Howe)
  • I Happen to Like New York (Matt Howe)
  • NYC (Company)
  • Why Do the Wrong People Travel (Lynne Barstow)
  • The Lady Down the Hall (Rick Mauery)
  • Last One Picked (Rick Maurey)
  • No Man Is Worth It (Elise Logemann)
  • Let Him Fly (Elise Logemann)
  • I Will Wait For You (Steve Spar)
  • A Nightengale Sang in Berkely Square (Steve Spar)
  • Wherever He Ain’t (Dein Reichard)
  • Fly Me to the Moon (Barbara Pappendorp)
  • Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home (Daryl Anderson)
  • I’ll Be Seeing You (Company)

Music Direction by Amy Conley

See something this weekend!!!

February 27, 2009

We’re fortunate to have a bunch of cabaret options playing this weekend.  Some reminders:

Joan Morris & William Bolcom

February 27, 2009

I saw the legendary Joan Morris and William Bolcom at Strathmore tonight.  Fortunately the concert was in the  concert room at the Mansion rather than in the main theater, so we were really treated to an intimate cabaret recital.

I’ll link to my official Cabaret Scenes review when they post it, but some thoughts:

  • The amazing thing about Joan Morris is the clarity and deceptive simplicity she brings to her work.  All her years of experience have allowed her to know what is good, effective material for her; know what story she wants to tell with it; then trust the material; and perform the song.  Even though her voice is no longer the crystalline soprano of her ’80s recordings, she knows exactly what it can and can’t do and sings in appropriate keys.  And Bolcom’s accompaniment is non-pareil both in his sensitivity to the material and his sensitivity to his wife.
  • They did a second verse to I Love a Piano that I’ve never heard before.
  • There was a moment in the Rodgers & Hart song Too Good for the Average Man where Morris forgot the lyric for the upcoming verse.  She took the time for a quick discussion with Bolcom (who played the show without much discernable sheet music) to remember what the next verse was and then put the incident behind her, returning to the song with full gusto.  It  was absolutely textbook — the way most of us wish we could handle a similar situation*. 
  • The first encore was, of course, Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise.  Bolcom gave a terrific bit of backstory, saying that the main inspiration for actually writing the song came from taking his mother to lunch in Portland, Oregon, in 1971.  Emily Everson was my date for the concert, and as someone who performs the song herself, was thrilled to ehar it from the source.  Although I am annoyed with myself that I didn’t have the foresight to suggest that she bring a copy of the sheet for Bolcom to sign.
  • When doing Here’s That Rainy Day, they simply did the song once-through.  She told her story, made her point, and was willing to move on.  I loved that!

Here’s their song stack:

  • Act I
    • I Love a Piano
    • Under the Bamboo Tree
    • Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
    • I Am Yours
    • Tale of the Oyster
    • A Ship Without a Sail
    • I’ve Giot Beginner’s Luck
    • Here’s That Rainy Day
    • Brother, Can You Spare a Dime
    • Swinging on a Star
    • Makin’ Whoopee
  • Act II
    • Wall Street Rag (piano solo)
    • Capricious Harlem (or Cappricio Harlem?) (Piano solo)
    • Repeal the Blues
    • Nobody Makes a Pass at Me
    • Too Good for the Average Man
    • The Folks Who Live on the Hill
    • Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots
    • Song of Black Max
    • Minicabs
    • Let’s Face the Music and Dance
    • Our Love Is Here to Stay
    • Jeepers Creepers
    • Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise (encore)
    • Threepenny Things (Second encore)

*Do you read this blog, Karen Akers?

Showcase Rehearsal

February 25, 2009

I had a rehearsal last night for the DC Cabaret Network showcase on Sunday at the Arts Club with Alex Tang and Judy Simmons.

I think all veteran performers have their own tricks and secrets for working with a music director and stage director in these situations.  Click here for mine.

And here’s the secret behind the secret.

Before the rehearsal, I prepped with Mary Sugar to put my thoughts together about how I want to do the songs I chose.  After we got through with At Long Last Love (bell tone before the intro, two verses cutting the “love” at the end of the verses, modulation into the third verse, tag after the third verse, “three and out” at the end), I said to her, “Well, you must go through this a  lot.”  Her  response was, “You know, most people just want to  sing things the way they’re written.”   So much said  in one little statement.

In my Helen Hayes round-up column, I forgot to congratulate Judy Simmons on being Helen Hayes nominated for Goodnight, Moon.  When we were discussing the Helens, I couldn’t help but pass along the bit of gossip that a local performer, directing a recent project, several times during the process was heard to say, “You know, I was nominated for a Helen Hayes award!”  Mercifully, I wasn’t there, because it would have been too tempting to use the Ann Hampton Callaway line from  Sibling Revelry, “Who won that year?”

Anyway, it’s shaping up to be a great show.  Ron’s two songs are looking good.  Mary Reilly who had the rehearsal slot before Ron and me sounded wonderful and Emily Everson is planning two songs I love.

Here’s ticket info:

The DC Cabaret Network is delighted to present the fourth DC CABARET NETWORK MEMBERS ONLY SHOWCASE.  Please join us for a wonderful evening of Cabaret featuring our own DC Cabaret Network Members on Sunday, March 1st at 8:00pm at The Arts Club located at 2017 I Street, NW.  These talented Cabaret performers will be accompanied by the extraordinary Musical Director Alex Tang and directed by Judy Simmons.  Wine and sodas will be available for a small fee (cash only bar).
Reservations are highly recommended and should be sent to:  (please include your name, phone number and address)
$10 for non-members and $5 for members (cash only)

A clarification from Joe Peck…

February 25, 2009

I didn’t mean to disparage the fine work that the outstanding staff at The Indigo Room do in my

explanatory note following my 2/13 performance of “Alone Again, Naturally” at their fine establishment.

I chose my words poorly.

I was making fun of myself — I’m very white and very bald.  And I didn’t have a camera that could adquately

handle the professional stage lighting used by The Indigo Room.  Thus, I glow albino — which to some may

be an improvement over my usual appearance.  At a minimum, it makes the videos striking.  Hopefully,

those who watch and listen will also enjoy the singing, the excellent keyboard work and the great songs we

chose to highlight in our show.  Again, I appreciate all the great work the staff at the Indigo Room do and

their commitment to making their room available for cabaret performers and artists of all stripes to present

excellent entertainment in a beautiful and intimate setting.

Gypsy of the Year 2008

February 25, 2009

I finally got the DVD for the 2008 Gypsy of the Year (order info here).

One of two large Broadway events for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the show is a culmination of winter-season fundraising by Broadway casts, with the companies of different shows doing presentations.  They range from the satiric to the showbizzy to the inspirational.

As always, when you have a variety of contributors, these things are always hit and miss.  But this show had some great hits.  Seth Rudedsky of Broadway Chatterbox fame hosts and is amazing doing his schtick of deconstructing fabulous cast album moments.  The Naked Boys Singing group has a terrific song that I think would be perfect for a local performer (are you reading this DMc?).  And as a going away present, the cast of Hairspray presents five Mama Mortons doing a bit of competitive singing.

However, the most special moment of the show is when those great [title of show] folks do a presentation that manages to be satiric, showbizzy, and inspirational all at once.  I hope that life presents the chance for these five gifted performers to become a sort of 21st century Manhattan Transfer or a Broadway Kronos, being given the chance to develop new works from their very special point of view.

Stephen Holden on the David Zippel Concert

February 25, 2009

The NYTimes weighs in on the recent tribute to the work of David Zippel: “The very title of its newest show, “It Started With a Dream: David Zippel — Lyrics He Wrote, Lyrics He Wishes He Wrote,” distills the quandary facing the 92nd Street Y’s long-running Lyrics and Lyricists series. On and off Broadway, there may be enough talented younger songwriters to fill up a season of programs. But for the longtime subscribers making nostalgic pilgrimages to the shrines of the old masters, today’s descendants of the great tradition, no matter how talented, tend to be viewed with a suspicion that borders on indifference. “

A Russian Cabaret

February 23, 2009


Last Monday night I went to see  featuring Katherine McCann, Barbara Pappendorp, and Andrew Wassenich.

The 7- minutes was more a theatre piece than a cabaret, per se, but I know these lines get blurry.  There were a lot of Russian inspired songs and readings of what I took as Russian poetry.  There seemed to be a sort of plot with Andrew and Barbara as correspondents  in love and Katherine as some sort of outside yearning soul.

It was really refreshing to hear a lot of material that one doesn’t generally get to hear in a cabaret theatrical setting.  The muddiness of my comprehension of the evening above reflects the fact that the piece could probably have used a stronger outside eye to organize things for the audience.  Barbara and Katherine both had strong moments in the piece (with Katherine even singing in what sounded like convincing Russian!).  And James Fitzpatrick was his usual solid self on the keyboard.

Here’s the song line-up:

THOSE WERE THE DAYS, MY FRIEND — Music and lyrics by Gene Raskin, based on the Russian song Dorogoi dlinnoyu by Boris Fomin and poem by Konstantin Podravski

STROLLING HOME — Music by Viktor Zakharov, English lyrics by Jerry Silverman

WITHOUT LOVE (WHAT IS A WOMAN) — Music and lyrics by Cole Porter

MY HEART — Music by Isaak Dunayevsky, English lyrics by Jerry Silverman

DARK EYES — Music by Florian Hermann, Poem by Yevhen Hrebinka

IT WAS IN THE EARLY SPRING — Music by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Poem by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy

SILENTLY –Music by Eduard Kolmanovsky, English lyrics by Jerry Silverman

MOSCOW NIGHTS — Music by Vasily Solovyov-Sedoy, English lyrics by Jerry Silverman

DOSVEDANYA, MIO BAMBINO — Music and lyrics by Pink Martini

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE — Music and lyrics by Lionel Bart

Joan Morris & William Bolcom at Strathmore

February 23, 2009

joan-morrisThe legendary Joan Morris and William Bolcom appear at Strathmore this Thursday, 26 February, at 7:30pm.

The duo have appeared at major venues through the years; most notably they were a mainstay when the Waldorf-Astoria had its Peacock Alley venue.  Toothbrush Time and Lime Jello Marshmallow  Cottage Cheese Surprise are both songs heard in cabaretland written for Morris by Bolcom.

CHAWbaret Hits the Road (but stays at CHAW)

February 22, 2009


They’re baaaack!

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) and the GLBT Arts Consortium are presenting “CHAWbaret 5: Road Trip!” an evening of pop songs, standards, and show tunes that will take you on a trip around the world and back!

The current cast is (left to right in photo): Amy Conley (Musical Director), Lynne Barstow, Daryl Anderson, Barbara Papendorp, Dean Reichard, Elise Logemann, Rick Mauery, Matt Howe, Andrew Harmon, and Steve Spar (not pictured).

“Road Trip!” will be performed on Friday, February 27, Saturday, February 28, Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at 8:00 PM at CHAW, 545 7th Street SE (Eastern Market, blue line).

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, available at: or 202-547-6839. (Advance purchase is strongly encouraged for this popular program). Doors open at 7:30pm. Refreshments will be available. Proceeds from the performances benefit CHAW’s and the GLBT Arts Consortium’s missions of building community through the arts.