The Callaways are Coming !!!!!

October 31, 2011

Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, and Alex Rybeck will be conducting a vocal master class in Washington DC.  The session will offer a chance for singers to present material and receive feedback from the team.  Non-performing audience slots are also available.

Participant slot — $125* / Audience slot — $40

Monday, 14 November 2011

More information

Registration: 11:30am / Class: Noon – 2:30pm.

Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I St NW, Washington DC

For additional information or to register, please contact Michael Miyazaki at

*Currently all available participant slots have been filled; a wait list for cancellations is currently available.

Catching Up…

October 29, 2011

Some recent news stories…

Amanda McBroom Review in the Times

“…Jacques Brel’s “Carousel,” a song Ms. McBroom has sung for years, became an accelerating merry-go-round into madness in which the narrator metamorphoses from an angel into a demonic witch. Singing “The Portrait,” a sad autobiographical song about her mother, Ms. McBroom regressed into a little girl, extending her arms to the audience as she pleaded “Mama,” her face contorted in panic. Even “The Rose,”which is usually interpreted as an inspirational song of hope, was infused with despair and anxiety, its promised springtime a long way off.

““Strange Days” is a leap for Ms. McBroom, who conveyed the concentrated intensity of a Method actor determined to go to the depths. Arriving just in time for Halloween, it might be described as Ms. McBroom’s personal spook show. ”

A Look at Hugh Jackman on Broadway

The always-pointed Michael Riedel provides some inside-insight on the star’s Broadway appearance.


Jeff Blumenkrantz Wins the Fred Ebb Songwriting Award

Congratulation to the friend-of-this-blog named recipient of the seventh annual Fred Ebb Award, an honor for rising
musical theatre songwriters.

The Republic is Safe for Another Day…

October 29, 2011

I’m currently on a jaunt to the West Coast.

When I checked in to the DC / Phoenix portion of my flight yesterday I have to admit I was disappointed I didn’t score an upgrade to first class.  Until…  I noticed that John McCain was on the flight,evidently travelling home to Arizona by himself.  The thought of being sat next to him for four hours would have been a little overwhelming.  I mean, everybody on the flight owed him a debt, because there would be no DCA/West Coast flights if it weren’t for legislation he rammed through totally going against the plans of the regional airport authority so he (and we) could have the convenience of a direct flight home to Phoenix without going via Dulles or BWI.  But then the conversation might have gotten more pointed and I would probably have been met by the Secret Service in Phoenix.

So the moral — things work out.

Can Mary Foster Conklin do any wrong?

October 26, 2011

Not from what I can tell from these two videos!

Stephen Holden on Audra MacDonald

October 25, 2011

Is it just me or is there just something incredibly New York-centric about someone chastising a performer for making a (presumably) hefty paycheck on a TV series?

The whole review is worth reading.

Stephen Holden on the Cabaret Convention

October 23, 2011

A review of the opening night of the NY Cabaret Convention.  I have to admit I love the description of Andrea Marcovicci:  “For that audience Andrea Marcovicci, the host of the Thursday show, is queen of the realm. Discharging her royal duties, Ms. Marcovicci, who is about to celebrate her 25th anniversary at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, exhibited the regal glamour of a great Hollywood hostess of the studio era. ”

That’s the never-aging Barbara Carrol at left.

DC Cabaret Network Open Mic — Monday 10 October

October 10, 2011

The October DCCN Open Mic is Monday night at the Atlas Theater, 1333 H St NE, Washington DC.  Sign up is at 7:30 with singing at 8:00.  Johnathan Tuzman will be at the keys.

Stephen Holden on Betty Buckley

October 7, 2011

The NYTimes reviews the always-exciting Betty Lynn Buckley: “Ms. Buckley has never been in better voice, and her trio — Christian Jacob on piano, Peter Barshay on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums — has found a comfortable balance between her two, sometimes conflicting, aspects. One is an imperious Broadway diva, the other a quasi-jazz experimentalist, who, with her longtime musical sidekick, the pianist Kenny Werner, deconstructs songs from all over the place with the bold, occasionally reckless zeal of an explorer on the high seas without a compass.”

Audra McDonald at the Kennedy Center

October 5, 2011

Sitting through Audra McDonald’s show at the Kennedy Center last night, I really tried to parse what makes her the phenom that she is. Certainly she has a sound. Her pitches are accurate. She’s a passionate storyteller. She tends to have very good taste in material. And she has musical technique for days and days and days.

However, after a while I gave up and enjoyed the show. Really enjoyed the show. For anyone knowing McDonald’s body of work, the song list below pretty much tells the story. I will say that she had an openness with the audience that was lovely. And even though her patter was occasionally scattered, it was certainly spontaneous which I far prefer to pitch-perfect and canned.

Two things that the song list don’t tell you are that she accompanied herself at the piano on the Adam Guettel piece. Afterward, she explained that she had been inspired to do so by her late father who had expressed a desire that she play the piano in concert more. Also, the most emotional moment of the concert was the song, I’ll Be Here by Adam Gwon (composed of The Boy Detective Fails at Signature). It tells the story of a romance interrupted by 9/11. Sadly there is no YouTube version of McDonald singing the song. And when I saw the other (very competent) versions, they just didn’t hold up. And still my query from the first paragraph.

I have to admit that the objective observer in me sensed that McDonald didn’t seem to have an outside director for the show. I felt that there were a few opportunities missed in terms of staging and a few questions about song choice and line-up that could have been explored. Music director Andy Einhorn understands McDonald’s needs and artistic goals and support both brilliantly along with drummer Gene Lewin and Mark Vanderpoel. That said, Einhorn doesn’t necessarily provide any distinctive musical takes or insights with his arrangements. (i.e. It would be tough to accuse someone of singing Audra McDonald’s version of any song.) These quibbles notwithstanding, I have to admit that if the show were any more amazing I don’t know if I could have survived.

  • When Did I Fall in Love?
  • Stars and the Moon
  • It Might as Well Be Spring / Hurry, It’s Lovely Here
  • My Buddy
  • I Double Dare You
  • Moonshine Lullaby
  • Moments in the Woods
  • He Loves and She Loves
  • We Sail Upon the Water*
  • Dear Friend
  • Whose Angry Little Man? /Baby Mine
  • I Could Have Danced All Night**
  • Go Back Home
  • I Can’t Stop Talking About Him
  • I’ll Be Here
  • Make Someone Happy
  • Ain’t It the Truth
  • Somedays

*Guessing at this title. The song is by Adam Guettel  **I don’t actually remember where in the show this came.

Linda Eder at Strathmore

October 5, 2011

It’s a big diva week here in town.  Not only was Audra McDonald at the Kennedy Center Tuesdday night, Linda Eder appears at Strathmore on Thursday.