Amanda McBroom Master Class — Sunday, 15 November

September 30, 2009

OK, I’m really psyched.

The one and only Amanda McBroom who is playing WolfTrap on Saturday, 14 November has agreed to do a master class at the Arts Club the next day.  Woo hoo !!!!

I was fortunate enough to work with her at a cabaret workshop in St. Louis, and she was one of the first Diva 5+1 interviews for this blog.  So when I saw she was playing WolfTrap I thought, “what the heck” !  So I contacted her and with a little arranging, we’ll have a master class!  And as an added bonus, her music director and frequent writing collaborator Michele Brourman will also part of the teaching team.

At this point, the available performer slots have been filled.  But there still is room as audience, and in my opinion the main benefit of these is to watch others.  Especially since when I’m up in a class situation myself, I find it really hard to both make the changes and understand them at the same time. 

One of the reasons that I’m really psyched about this is becasue Amanda McBroom is such a complete performer.  The last time McBroom played WolfTrap, Terri Allen made the really insightful observation that McBroom seamlessly does all the things — breath, transition patter, engage the audience, have a point of view on material — that we’re supposed to do as performers. 

Also, as much as I’ve been raving about her new Chanson CD, I have to say that her Rainbow & Stars live CD captures what I think is one of the most perfectly structured cabaret acts I’ve ever heard.

So as the producer for the event, I hope people will join us especially a the very reasonable audience rate.  And as a cabaret fan, I strongly urge people to see McBroom’s WolfTrap show the night before.

The official page and info.

DCCN Open Mic — September 28th

September 29, 2009

The DC Cabaret Network had their September Open Mic at Stars last night. 

It is the first time I’ve been to one there. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by changes to the venue including carpeting and drapes that really make the room seem less cavernous and cave-ish soundwise.  I also always forget how pleasant the food is and what a good selection of martini’s the bar has.

It was great to see people presenting their material, and it was also a treat to have some of the singing Stars waitstaff also contribute music to the evening.  Peter Darling was at the keys.  Here’s what people sang*:

  • Chelsea Alexander
    • My Funny Valentine
  • Terri Allen
    • Taking a Chance on Love
    • The Very Thought of You
  • Stephanie Dailey
    • Moonlight in Vermont
    • Cry Me a River
  • David McMullen
    • Nice Work if You Can Get It
    • Long Before I Knew You
  • Louise Froelich
    • Broadway Baby
    • I Got the Sun in the Morning
  • Michael Miyazaki
  • Kathy Reilly
    • It Amazes Me
    • ‘Tis Autumn
  • Mary Reilly
    • When Did I Fall in Love?
    • If Your Kisses Can’t Hold the Man You Love, Then Your Tears Won’t Bring Him Back
  • Lonny Smith
    • It Was Nice
    • Buds Won’t Bud
  • Ron Squeri
    • Sway
    • Perhaps Love
  • Maris Wicker
    • You Can’t Rush Spring
  • Michael Williams
    • Close to You

*Apologies, I didn’t get the name of the Jamie Sale lookalike from the Stars staff who perked up “Popular” from Wicked

Stephen Holden on Jason Graae

September 29, 2009

The NYTimes reviews the Crown Prince of Cabaret Comedy, Jason Graae, appearing at the Metropolitan Room supported by Friends-of-This-Blog Wendy Lane Bailey and Alex Rybeck: “A vaudevillian spark plug flashing mischief, Jason Graae did a bit of everything in his show, “Magically Delicious,” at the Metropolitan Room on Saturday. Now 51 and living in Los Angeles, he is a resilient singing clown who has bounced from theater to nightclubs to television to commercials and back, compiling a résumé that serves as a storehouse of zany, lightweight shtick.”

Stephen Holden on Mary Wilson

September 29, 2009

The NYTimes reviews the ex-Supreme, now appearing at Feinstein’s: “Other parts of the show suggested that Ms. Wilson would really like to get away from all that history to be a grander, more grown-up pop diva. The first third of her show was devoted to standards, including “Here’s to Life,” “Smile,” “Body and Soul” and “I Remember You,” taken slowly and given a heavy emotional weight. That weight was largely in the songs’ pacing since Ms. Wilson, flexing her sizable voice with its rough Tina Turner-like edges, didn’t explore the lyrics. It was enough just to supply an attitude of gravity.”

Jane Krakowski at the Kennedy Center

September 27, 2009

Jane Krakowski opens this year’s season of the Barbara Cook Spotlight series at the Kennedy Center next weekend.

Nice profile today in the Washington Post. 

And a clip from her Tony-winning turn in Nine on Broadway(which features what I think is the best musical exit in a Broadway musical ever):

Classical Barbra

September 27, 2009

The classical music reviewer of the New York Times interviews Streisand about her vocal technique: ”

But as an opera devotee and a longtime admirer of Ms. Streisand’s voice, I wanted to explore the inner workings, as she understood them, of her singing. For me her ability to shape a phrase with velvety legato and find the right expressive coloring for each note and each word is the epitome of cultured vocalism.

“Did Ms. Streisand, like an opera singer, think incessantly about breathing deeply from the diaphragm, about using the diaphragm as a natural support for her voice?”

Plus there was an article about the Village Vanguard show

And the set list

DC Cabaret Network Open Mic on Monday, 28 September

September 26, 2009

Announcement from the DC Cabaret Network

The next DC Cabaret Network Open Mic is this Monday, 28 September at Stars Bistro.  Details below. Please try to arrive by 7:45 to sign-up and review music with Peter Darling. Note the special fee. Only $5.00 this month! Affordable and fun! Come on out and support cabaret in Washington, while enjoying good food and drink.

Stars Bistro and Bar
2120 P St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
Monday, September 28, 2009
8 PM
Keyboards:  Peter Darling
Special Fee:  $5.00 only!

If the Met can do it…

September 26, 2009

Interesting profile of Peter Gelb, head of the Metropolitan Opera from this Sunday’s New York Times.  My favorite quote: “And then he presided over a dinner for high-rolling Met donors under a tent in Damrosch Park. If he was smarting over the opera’s reception, he didn’t show it. Referring to the Zeffirelli version, he said to the guests, “After 25 years we must move forward by offering new productions that will startle our imaginations and will demonstrate that our art is not locked in the past.””

Stephen Holden on Karen Akers

September 24, 2009

The NYTimes reviews the chanteuse currently appearing at the Algonquin: “Karen Akers has what used to be called perfect elocution. Whether singing or speaking, every syllable of every word from her lips is elegantly turned. This refined enunciation gives song lyrics an extra weight, because you sense every verbal nuance. And when the lyricist is Cole Porter — Ms. Akers is paying homage to him in her new cabaret show at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel — the music buried in his words becomes almost as pronounced as the actual melodies.”

Stephen Holden on Barbara Carroll

September 24, 2009

The NYTimes reviews the revered institution: “An empathetic love affair that deepens over time: that’s one way to describe the chemistry of the pianist Barbara Carroll with the music of George Gershwin. Classically schooled but with jazz roots in the bebop era, Ms. Carroll, now in her 80s, is in full possession of an impeccable technique along with a far-sighted historical perspective.”