On hiatus…

OK, when I opened the Washington Post this morning and saw the review of Sutton Foster’s show at the Kennedy Center that was totally off my radar, I realized how inattentive I’ve been to this blog. 

In explanation, I really have been busy with my new job and I’ve been planning Ron & my wedding which is happening next month.  So I’m going to make official what my loyal readers have suspected, that I’ll be taking a break from doing this blog until April.

It’s comforting to know that I leave you in good information hands, with Matt Howe’s terrific cabaret site and the DC Cabaret Network blog and Web site.

Here are brief versions of things I’ve been meaning to do longer items on:

Please also keep checking the Cabaret at Germano’s Calendar.  Some great acts are scheduled, including Lonny Smith, Paul Pompeo, Marianne Glass Miller and Eileen Warner doing their Cabaret About Nothing as well as the ever-dependable Gary Rubin and Guss Moss not to mention some fascinating-sounding programs.

I had mixed feelings about Sunset Blvd at Signature.  Although I loved the staging, I had quibbles with Florence Lacey’s portrayal of Norma Desmond.  And part of me wonders if the problem came from her singing the role too easily.  Could it be that watching a performer struggle and triumph with material (e.g. Elaine Stritch in Night Music) is more interesting than watching someone apparantly coast through difficulties?

Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and AnecdotesSpeaking of Mr. Sondheim, Finishing the Hat is a must read for any singer, actor, or writer.  Although Sondheim has insightful and cutting analyses of many Golden Age songwriters (fascinating observation: Ira Gershwin tries to be as brilliant with his lyrics as George is with the music and fails) his most biting analysis is saved for his own work.  However, he offers many structural notions about theater writing and how they subsequently shape performances that make it a must-read for performers also.

Two more really fun books: A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers by Will Friedwald is an amazing reference volume with highly-insightful essays on a large number of performers.   Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit and the Biggest Flop of the Season – 1959 to 2009 is a fun, dishy look at fifty years of Broadway musicals.

I saw Andrea Marcovicci do her torch song show at the Oak Room.  If you ever have a chance to see her in this venue, you’ll really get the essence of pure cabaret.  She is an exquisite storyteller and makes everyone feel that she’s singing only for you in her living room.  Shelly Markham’s accompaniment is genius for his ability to know how to fit into Marcovicci’s musical needs.  And the show she did was a triumph of structure, especially given the great humor she  managed to conveyin what could be a realy downer topic.

Sad news on the passing of Margaret Whiting.  What was missing from the coverage I saw was her great contribution and support of the contemporary cabaret scene, including the teaching she did for the O’Neil cabaret program and her constant presence on the scene in New York.

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6 Responses to On hiatus…

  1. Dear Michael! I’m going to really MISS your daily contributions to the world of “cabaretana” and excitedly look forward to your return to the blog-world. LOVE YOU!

  2. chicksinger says:

    I will miss you so much and how ever will I stay up-to-date?! BUT, I am SO happy for you on the work front and the personal front! Love to you and thanks for the other helpful blogs and REALLY hope I get to see you guys THIS year!! 🙂 ❤

  3. Terri Allen says:

    Michael,
    Whew! Really???? I’m hoping you’ll be able to get back to the blog before April. I’ll forgive you if you can’t. We all count on your blog . . . to let us know what is going on in our town . . . and in the world of cabaret. Maybe something will catch your eye and you’ll be forced to write. Looking forward to reading your next post!
    Terri

  4. Marianne says:

    Thanks for the nice shout-out, Michael. Reading your blog is a part of my morning routine and I will miss it. But, I look forward to spring: forsythia, crocuses, and more Miyazaki Cabaret Update!

  5. Jilly says:

    I look forward to April as well and will miss my daily Michael! Enjoy your hiatus, dear Michael!

    Now to go hunt down that Sutton Foster review…! And Finishing the Hat sounds amazing to me–I got it for my brother for xmas and hope to borrow it soon!
    🙂

  6. Dorie says:

    I will miss your blog postings, but want you to go off on your honeymoon guilt-free. Best wishes to you and Ron!

    PS: Don’t Follies tix go on sale this weekend?

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