Two from the NYTimes…

December 27, 2010

Two articles today that I found noteworthy:

Could it be that melisma is dying?: “Ms. Aguilera has been one of the foremost practitioners of the overpowering, Category 5 vocal style known as melisma. The female pop stars who have dominated the charts this year rarely opt for that approach. Their ascent makes it clear that melisma has retreated, while pop, which has just wrapped up one of its best years in at least a decade, has benefited from a return to less frilly, less bombastic vocal showcases.”

A great quote from a profile of operatic soprano Marina Poplavskaya : “I’m always a victim, torn between a mad tenor and a crazy baritone,” she said. “But not only sopranos are victims. In life we all are victims.”

Merry Christmas !!!

December 25, 2010

I hope everyone is having a terrific holiday and that the spirit of the season stays with everyone all year !

Enjoy the lovely Sue Matsuki singing one of my favorite holiday songs.

The conversation we keep having…

December 16, 2010

I have to say that to me, the most telling line is “I can listen to Pandora for free from a comfortable chair.”

DC Cabaret Network Holiday Open Mic

December 12, 2010

Once again, it’s time for the DC Cabaret Network Holiday Open Mic that Ron and I have the privilege of hosting every year.  The event takes place Monday, 13 December at the Atlas Theater (1333 H st NE, Washington DC ).  Alex (Santa) Tang will be at the keys.  We’ll have holiday refreshments, and the ever-popular grab bag !

Also, we’ll be collecting for Toys for Tots, so please be generous for those whose only holiday memory may be the toy you give them!

Sign up’s at 7:30 and the singing will begin at 8:00pm.  See you there !

Master Class with Leslie Kritzer

December 9, 2010

Leslie KritzerHere’s a really, really special opportunity!  Leslie Kritzer, currently appearing in Every Tongue Confess at Arena, is doing a master class on Saturday, 18 December.  It’s a special opportunity to work with someone who has introduced songs by both Stephen Sondheim and John Bucchino on Broadway. 

Here’s the official info:


Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Sondheim on Sondheim, A Catered Affair

Currently starring in the Arena Stage production of Every Tongue Confess, will be giving a musical theater masterclass

Saturday Dec 18th from 10:30-12:30 at Arena Stage. The focus of the master class is to work on song interpretation and preparing and nailing a musical theater audition.A great experience to learn the do’s and don’ts of auditioning, and the reality of the industry.

Spots are limited, so please email to reserve a place.

SATURDAY, DEC 18TH, 10:30AM-12:30PM

Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street Southwest, Washington D.C.

And here’s a brilliant Leslie Kritzer moment.

Stephen Holden on Rufus Wainwright

December 8, 2010

The NYTimes on the versatile divo: “But the evening’s strongest numbers, in which Mr. Wainwright vigorously accompanied himself, were his own pop songs, the best of which reveal him as a melodic master.

“The Art Teacher,” a first-person short story about a woman’s lifelong passion for an instructor; “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,” Mr. Wainwright’s seriously witty comment on his tendencies toward addiction; and “Poses,” a young man’s joyfully cheeky acknowledgment of his delight in superficial things like fashion, are great modern pop songs by any standard. Performing them with a robust confidence, Mr. Wainwright was at the top of his game.”

Sunset Blvd at Signature

December 8, 2010

Sunset Blvd is up there with Merrily We Roll Along and Follies as one of my favorite musicals.  I’m totally thrilled and totally looking forward to seeing it at Signature this weekend.

Florence Lacey as Norma DesmondAlso, talk about great press! Signature landed an interview with Florence Lacey, star of Sunset, in this week’s Diva Talk column in Playbill online: ““I knew it would be fun, but it’s also very difficult. Also, on a serious note,” she adds, “it really is a very challenging, emotional place to play. Vocally, it still really suits me, even though I am of a certain age. [Laughs.] It still does really suit my voice, so it’s not that terribly difficult to sing, but the emotions of it are very challenging.””

Matt Howe’s Fabulous Cabaret Site

December 3, 2010

Matt Howe has added to his already-terrific DC cabaret calendar and now has all sorts of other goodies, including a great essay on cabaret, links to resources, and Websites of DC performers.

Get to it at

(Yes, I really need to update my blogroll)

Stephen Holden on David Campbell

December 2, 2010

The NYTimes on the return of the no-longer-a-kid-Australian-wunderkind: ”

Now Mr. Campbell is back, at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, where he opened a five-night engagement on Sunday evening. At 37, he is a garrulous, sock-it-to-’em entertainer: a kind of music-hall cowboy executing the vocal equivalent of flashy rodeo feats as he dashes from one style to another. An unusually physical performer, Mr. Campbell, who is backed by a pop quartet, illustrates songs with broad, decisive gestures that suggest an entertainer still bent on world conquest.”

Luke Grooms at Germano’s

December 2, 2010

   Luke GroomsA message from the whirling dervish of cabaret booking, Cyd Wolfe at Germano’s in Baltimore: “Next Wednesday, December 8th, Luke Grooms will be performing his cabaret, “Put Your Junk in Your Trunk.”  We booked the show rather late and did not have enough time to get his show listed but you may have seen the review in this month’s Cabaret Scenes.  He’ s terrific and a sweetheart.  I would appreciate it if you would mention the show in your blog and help us to get the word out at this late date.”

Tickets and info

Luke Grooms
Newport, Tennessee born Luke Grooms, is quickly earning a name for himself around the country as an up-and-coming leading tenor. Luke’s training includes a B.A. in Music from Emory and Henry College, and a M.M. in Voice from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has been a part of some of the most prestigious opera training programs in the country, including Glimmerglass Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Opera North. Mr. Grooms is the recipient of an encouragement award from The Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition, as well as an encouragement from the West Tennessee Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and recieved an award from the Orpheun international vocal competition 
In 2006 Luke recorded his first professional recording, of Thomas Pasatieri’s opera Signor Deluso, with The Opera Company of Brooklyn on Albany Records, singing the tenor lead of Léon. Of his performance in the recording Opera News said, “…Luke J. Grooms shows sweet toned promise as the earnest lover, Léon.”

In recent years Mr. Grooms joined the Metropolitan Opera Roster for their production of Prokofiev’s The Gambler. He also made his Carnegie Hall debut as Fante in Opera Orchestra of New York’s concert of Verdi’s I Due Foscari, and has also covered the roles of Barbagio (I Due Foscari) and Elvino (La Sonnambula), and Bomelii in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, all with Opera Orchestra of New York. Some of his other career highlights include Tonio in La fille du Regiment, Rodolfo, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Riccardo Percy in Anna Bolena, Tebaldo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi, and Lindoro in L’italiana in Algieri.

Luke is equally at home in musical theater and cabaret. He performed in the New York premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera, at Carnegie Hall, singing the dual roles of Dwight and God. Luke reprised these roles in the New England premiere of the work with Boston’s Speakeasy Stage Company in May of 2009. He recently performed in a reading of a new musical, Going Hollywood, directed by Jerry Mitchell and staring Christine Ebersole and Richard Kind. Luke has been a featured cabaret performer in Manhattan several times, and even ventured out to Fire Island as a special guest star at the Grove Hotel. He recently made his L.A. Cabaret debut at Hollywood’s Gardenia Lounge, which Cabaret Scenes Magazine praised, saying “Luke Grooms holds an audience with the power of his voice and the gentleness of his personality. Adjusting his voice to a cabaret setting, Grooms uses his opera-trained tenor as a baseline from which to let his voice soar to dramatic heights, with a consistently powerful delivery, a variety of emotions and excellent enunciation.”

Recent opera engagements include the role of Senator Biden in a new work, titled Anita and Clarence based on the sexual harassment hearing of Judge Clarence Thomas, Little Bat in Susannah with Opera Company of Brooklyn, Des Grieux in Manon with Opera in the Heights, in Houston, Texas, Gaston in the New York premiere of Weber/Mahler’s Die Drei Pintos, and Nemorino with Chesapeake Concert Opera. In March, Luke will join the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, in the role of Piangi. The tour will take Luke around the country and will end in Los Angeles in October 2010. He will also sing The Duke in Rigoletto with St. Petersburg Opera Company. He was recently nominated for an Elliot Norton award for his work in Jerry Springer at Speakeasy Stage Company.