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: http://www.chaw.org 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.

Maris Wicker and Lonny Smith at Indigo

February 21, 2009
Lonny Smith writes:
On Feb. 28, Maris Wicker, Mary Sugar, and I will be performing our new show “Lenny*, Kurt, and Harold” – an evening of music by Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Weill, and Harold Arlen. If you don’t know their music, the show will be a great introduction to these three greats of the American Songbook, and you will probably recognize at least a song or two. If you are familiar with their work, we hope to present their music with a fresh and contemporary perspective.
We will be performing as the main act in the Indigo Room’s Voix de Ville series, Scott Burgess’ celebration of the wide variety of D.C.-area entertainers. You get our show, plus about an hour of other entertainment for a recession-friendly $15, plus a $10 food/drink minimum – available at the door or at http://atlasarts.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=176077. The evening begins at 8 p.m., and the Indigo is located at 1333 H Street NE, up on the mezzanine level. Hope to see you there!
*Some people have thought that this is a typo, but it refers to “‘Lenny’ Bernstein” not “‘Lonny’ Smith”

Stephen Holden on Sutton Foster

February 21, 2009

The NYTimes on today’s top theatrical leading lady: “A barefoot country girl cradling a puppy and gazing blissfully into the blue sky, a sleeping princess in a moonlit bower who dreams of being kissed awake by Prince Charming: the corniest storybook mythology attaches itself to Sutton Foster as magically as dew appears on a spring flower and revives for a moment your silliest childhood fantasies of eternal innocence and happily ever after.”

Joe Peck at Germano’s

February 21, 2009

germanos-22We went up to see Joe Peck do his Sinatra and Styne show at the Cabaret at Germano’s in Baltimore last night.  Ron and I drove up with Matt Howe in tow, picked up Richard Evans in Columbia, and were fortunate to be joined by Christie Trapp at the restaurant. (Intrepid travelers minus Matt pictured below)

Having previously seen the show in the sizable Prince Theater, it was nice to see Joe do it in an intimate space.  Joe sounded great and conveyed his usual personable, genial stage presence.

The show’s concept is to present material from the intersection of the work of Jule Styne and Frank Sinatra.  It’s a VERY specific set of material and presents the problem that the performer has only so many songs that the audience is familiar and comfortable with.  So the deployment of them felt a little bit like a crossword puzzle.  But Joe did a great job of making the concept accessible, opening up selections where possible.

It’s great to see the Cabaret at Germano’s seeming to have success.  I always say that cabaret should have the feeling of singing in someone’s living room, and the space provides a very comfortable intimacy.  The food is great, and although there is a designated cabaret dinner menu, the staff has been flexibile about letting patrons order off the regular menu.  Cyd Wolf is a gracious hostess in the room.  Congrats again!  And check out their upcoming shows (click on “Calendar”).

germanos-11 (Photos courtesy of Matt Howe)

Come See the DC Cabaret Network Member Showcase

February 20, 2009

I’m very happy to let everyone know that I’ll be participating in the next DC Cabaret Network Member’s Showcase, Sunday, March 1, at the Arts Club of Washington DC.  (Official info below)

Judy Simmons will be directing, and Alex Tang will be music directing.   Here’s the line-up of performers:

  • Debbie Barber-Eaton
  • Davey Brown
  • Emily Everson Gleichenhaus
  • Rachael Goldman (singing Nicolas Zill compositions)
  • Charlene James-Duguid
  • Andrea Klores
  • Michael Miyazaki
  • Byron Murray
  • Mary Reilly
  • Ron Squeri
  • Sarah Thomas
  • Eileen Warner

It should be a fun night with something for everyone!

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. Wine and sodas will be available for a small fee.  Reservations are highly recommended and should be sent to: (please include your name, phone number and address) info@dccabaretnetwork.org  $10 for non-members and $5 for members (cash only)