Auditions Announced for the Cabaret Conference at Yale

December 28, 2009

Dear Washington DC area Yalies and Friends of the Conference,

Hope all is well. I can’t believe that it is that time of the year again – time for The International Cabaret Conference at Yale University Auditions 2010. We are looking forward to as many high quality auditionees this year, as we have in the past. I would greatly appreciate your help in locating candidates. Please forward this year’s information to anyone that you think should or might be interested in attending the Conference in the summer of 2010, not just performers that you know locally but nationally and internationally. Please include a short note about your experience at the Conference. I know that some of you have expressed interest in returning to the Conference as well. I also hope to see some of you at the auditions when I am in your area. Thank you in advance. All the best!

Love, Erv



JULY 23 – AUGUST 1, 2010

Erv Raible, Executive Director/Artistic Director, takes great pride in announcing the Eighth Annual International Cabaret Conference at Yale University. The International Cabaret Conference at Yale University is being developed in conjunction with the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theater. Several conference sessions will be held in the facilities of the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theater, including the recently opened New Theater.

Alexander C. Kafka of Washington DC’s national publication The Chronicle of Higher Education quotes Dean James Bundy of the Yale School of Drama, proclaiming the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University to be “consonant with our core work.”

The Eighth Annual International Cabaret Conference At Yale University will be held July 23 – August 1, 2010, and is an internationally focused, nine-day teaching program that offers an intensive look at the art of cabaret performance technique, and trains professionals for the live entertainment industry. The Great American Songbook will be addressed and promoted in its entirety, from its origins in the late 19th century through the classic pop standards of the 1930s and 40s to today’s international contemporary cabaret, musical theater, jazz, pop and classical music.

All classes are conducted in English. Our students have come from across the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Our prestigious 2010 faculty currently includes: Tovah Feldshuh, Jason Graae, Carol Hall, George Hall, Laurel Massé, Sally Mayes, Amanda McBroom, Sharon McNight, Erv Raible, and Julie Wilson; piano faculty includes Ron Abel, Tex Arnold, Michael Orland, Alex Rybeck and Paul Trueblood.

The conference consultants/lecturers include: Fred Voelpel (image consultant), Tex Arnold (part singing, harmonies and back-up vocals), Matt Berman (light and sound technician), George Hall (English Music Hall), David Finkle (reviewer for Back Stage, trade publication), Michael Kerker (ASCAP, Director of Musical Theater and Cabaret), Carol Hall (songs) and Pam Tate (History of Cabaret).

 The award-winning faculty, and renowned consultants, will guide thirty-six students in a collaborative process of critical refining and honing. The conference will feature classes and lectures covering cabaret performance technique, acting for singers, lyric interpretation, focus and concentration, act structure, act writing, material research, and comedic development, to musical director and director relations, arranging, orchestration, composer/lyricist relations, and image consultation. Examine the final stages of act presentation through club relations, marketing, press and public relations, to the technical language of light and sound, representation, booking, management and personal networking; with an emphasis on integration into the international live entertainment community.

Public performances allow the students to observe first-hand the performance techniques of professionals in the industry, while continuing to study those of their peers on a daily performance basis. At the Cabaret Conference Curtain Call the students will perform, demonstrating what they have accomplished in their nine days at the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University.

The Cabaret Conference is held on the historic Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut USA, renowned as one of the world’s finest educational facilities, and for its spectacular architecture, world-class museums and libraries.

Housing for the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University is in Yale’s new Swing Dormitory, and breakfast, lunch and dinner will be taken in the baronial Tudor Dining Hall of Saybrook College or the Eero Sarrinen designed Morse College dining hall.

Auditions will be held in: New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis – St. Paul, New Orleans, Seattle, Washington DC, Toronto, Canada, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Jerusalem, Israel. Audition cities subject to change. See attached.

To schedule an audition or for additional information contact Erv Raible, Executive Director/Artistic Director or Pam Tate, Associate Director at 212-629-2000 or visit our website:

Andrea Marcovicci Sings Johnny Mercer

December 26, 2009

Seeing Andrea Marcovicci’s tribute to Johnny Mercer at the Oak Room of the Algonquin, there was so much to appreciate about the show on so many levels.  I found the experience dizzying as well as intoxicating.

First of all, there is Marcovicci as researcher and communicator.  For the show, not only has she done her usual meticulous research on the subject of Johnny Mercer, she communicates it in a way that makes her audience feel terrifically smarter at the end of the evening.  Moreover, she shares the insights she has gleaned while working on the material in a way that provides a greater depth of understanding about Mercer’s work.

On another level, it’s fascinating to see the way Marcovicci structures an evening to provide her audience with an emotionally fulfilling experience.  See her luring the audience at the beginning with familiar, charm material.  Then watch her define the evening, and then provide a series of emotional arcs, working toward a crescendo at the end.  Note the way she slips in less-familiar material.  Similarly, it was fascinating to see how she skillfully re-purposed material from her Astaire and Marcovicci Sings Movies shows as chunks in this show.

And then, there is Marcovicci the musical interpreter.  She always has a strong point of view about her material, is totally on top of the story she is telling, and completely commits to the dramatic moment. 

An example of the way this all came together came after Marcovicci’s discussion of Johnny Mercer’s courtship of his wife Ginger.  After discussing the fact that Ginger was New York-based while Johnny was developing a Hollywood career, she then launched into a his-and-her version of P.S. I Love You and I Thought About You.  Wowie.

(Oh, and, of course, visually she is a cabaret dream.)

 And all of this is supported by the superb musicianship of her music director Shelly Markham.  Not only does Markham provide arrangements that superbly support Marcovicci’s choices and interpretations, as a pianist he is magnificently in sync with Marcovicci.  Jared Egan’s bass added a special dimension to the evening. And as a special Christmas Eve treat, at the encore Helen Marcovicci made a special guest appearance, singing the Mercer Come Rain or Come Shine and joining her daughter for It Was a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening.

  • Skylark
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • Spring, Spring, Spring
  • I’m Old Fashioned / You Were Never Lovelier
  • Out of Breath …
  • You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby / Too Marvelous for Words
  • P.S. I Love You / I Thought About You
  • That Old Black Magic
  • Accentuate the Positive
  • My Sugar is So Refined
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Whistling Away the Dark
  • Moon River / Charade
  • One for My Baby… / I Wanna Be Around / Goody, Goody
  • Dream


  • Come Rain or Come Shine (Helen Marcovicci)
  • It Was a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening (Andrea & Helen Marcovicci)

Andrea Marcovicci on Christmas Eve

December 26, 2009

I got to see Andrea Marcovicci’s amazing Johnny Mercer show at the Algonquin on Christmas Eve. The people to my right are Shelly Markham, Kate Loitz, Francesca Amari, Andrea Marcovicci, and Louisa Poster. (Ron’s missing because he’s the one who took the photo.)

The NYTimes on Yip Harburg

December 24, 2009

Interesting think-piece in the times on the lyrics of Yip Harburg: “Harburg’s heroes may dream of something that will unravel every riddle, lead them to riches or that will usher in the “Finian” promise of that great “come-and-get-it day.” But is any of that really so earnestly to be desired? What if all those ishes really did come true? Uneasiness accompanies the exuberance.”

Jennifer Blades — Re-scheduled due to snow

December 24, 2009

Desire, Despair, Deceit, and Delight – A Holiday Cabaret

Jennifer Blades, vocals, Eileen Cornett, piano

The Cabaret at Germano’s (300 High Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-752-4515)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

7:30 pm (Doors open at 6:00 for pre-show dining)

$10 cover

Reservations recommended

“Always engaging.” – Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

Just in time for the holidays, dynamic cabaret performer Jennifer Blades returns with a new show entitled, Desire, Despair, Deceit, and Delight – A Holiday Cabaret. Together with Eileen Cornett at the piano, the duo celebrates all aspects of the holidays: from the desire for that one perfect gift to the despair and deceit of loss, and ultimately, the delight of getting exactly what your heart desires. >From classics such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to the hilariously satirical Surabaya Santa, along with gems from the Great American Songbook, this show will certainly lift your spirits and put you in the mood for the holidays.

The total experience of an evening at the Cabaret at Germano’s – a wonderful performance in an intimate space by great entertainers, fine food, the most attentive wait staff in town, in the heart of Baltimore’s own Little Italy, a vibrant urban neighborhood – is a unique reflection of what is best about Baltimore.

Mary Foster Conklin — Chill Renegade

December 22, 2009

The Renegade Cabaret folks were at it again, particularly the leopard-coated, friend-of-this-blog Mary Foster Conklin.

How to get that Andrea Marcovicci look…

December 22, 2009

A recommendation from Andrea Marcovicci:

hello dear friends,
        All of my recent pictures for acting and singing are the work of Daniel Reichert and I’m absolutely thrilled with them! Because he’s an actor himself he has a way of making you incredibly comfortable while bringing out your real true self. And of course you’ll look FABULOUS and he knows all the latest techniques to touch up whatever your needs are. You couldn’t have a better photo shoot! You can see more of his work here:
love, andrea

ps. if you don’t need photos right now, but you know someone who does . . please pass this on for this rare opportunity while dan is in town!

Signature Adds a Singing Santas Performance Tonight

December 21, 2009

Signature Theatre has added a special performance of the Swingin’ Santas on Monday, December 21 at 8pm. Don’t miss your last chance to celebrate the holidays with some of Signature’s favorite men who will be singing of chestnuts, holly and holiday cheer.

Swingin’ Santas – the latest version of Signature’s popular holiday cabaret series – features James Gardiner (Les Miz, Kiss of the Spider Woman and the book writer for Glory Days), Stephen Gregory Smith (Les Miz and Helen Hayes Winner for 110 in the Shade), Michael Barry (Signature’s Sizzlin’ Summer Cabaret with Peter Lerman), and Zachary Prince (National Tour of Jersey Boys).

Featuring classic holiday songs like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Silver Bells and The Christmas Song, as well as newer holiday songs written by Harry Connick, Jr., and Signature’s own Peter Lerman, this is the perfect way to welcome the holiday season.

Every cabaret is presented in Signature style with a mix of table and traditional seating, and with food and drinks that can purchased from Ali’s Bar to create a lively night-club atmosphere.

Tickets to this popular holiday event go quickly so buy yours today!

Swingin’ Santas: A Holiday Cabaret
ADDED PERFORMANCE – December 21, 2009, 8pm

Call the Signature Box Office starting 9 a.m. Monday morning at 703-820-9771 to get your tickets!

Michael Feinstein on Jewish Christmas Songs

December 20, 2009

Op-Ed piece in the NYTimes by Michael Feinstein on reactions to Christmas songs by Jewish songwriters: ”

In my holiday shows, I’m always looking for novel expressions of the season, and when I introduce a new song I don’t usually think about the religion of its creator. That said, I’m always pleased to discover a surprising juxtaposition. It doesn’t take Freud to figure out that the sugarplums, holly and mistletoe all tap into a sense of comfort, longing, security and peace that so many fervently desire; that we all wish the clichés were true. As Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists and everything in between, we are all more alike than we are different. That’s something to celebrate.”

BTW, here’s the Times review of his holiday show.

Christmas with Sue Matsuki

December 19, 2009

One of my favorite singers with one of my favorite Christmas songs…

Follow the links to some other great holiday songs from Sue.

No major new Cabaret holiday CDs this year, so a good idea to remind everyone of Sue Matsuki’s & Edd Clark’s terrific holiday CD from last year.