Sink the Belgrano ! Reviews

August 31, 2010

The reviews for my current theatrical project, Sink the Belgrano!, are starting to come in.  I’ve got to say, it’s gratifying (for once) that critics seem to be seeing the show we’re trying to put on!

Sean Easter in Culture Mob — Take any Saturday Night Live skit about a US president. Replace that president with Margaret Thatcher, and the writers of SNL with a foul-mouthed, British punk rock aesthetic hell bent on skewering war and the British ruling class. That is what Scena Theatre will treat you to for 90 minutes in Sink the Belgrano!…

Ben Demers in DC Theater Scene  

The cynical political undertones of sacrificing Argentine and British lives for control of a tiny, far-flung archipelago were clearly not lost on writer Steven Berkoff. In addressing the actions of the British political machine leading up to the conflict, Berkoff paints a scathing picture of incompetence, deceit, and cavalier disregard for human life. Each character proves him or her self despicable in a unique way, and the key players’ bizarre names, including “Maggot Scratcher”, “Pimp”, and “Nit”, augment their collective aura of depravity. The script’s surreal characterizations, inventive wordplay, and rich historical context provide the talented performers with ample opportunity to flex their dramatic and comedic muscles.

Julie LaPorte in Washington Life —  Sink the Belgrano! is a satirical look at the hazy backroom deals, contradictions, lies and cover-ups that led to the Falklands War. Written by and directed by , Sink the Belgrano! is playing at Scena Theatre through September 12.

I think this is a show worth seeing (and at 80ish minutes is mercifully short).  We have two more weeks, please come see us.  (And still keeping fingers crossed for the City Paper, Blade, and Post)

Sink the Belgrano ! Press Night

August 26, 2010

We had the press night for Sink the Belgrano !  last night.  It was great to do the show with a full house of people (perhaps for the last time).

Here’s  the press shots that I’m in…

Me with Nanna Ingvarsson and John Geoffrian

Sink the Belgrano !

August 24, 2010

I’ve been a little hectic of late since I’ve been in rehearsals for the play, Sink the Belgrano !  It’s nice to finally be in previews for the piece.

The show is a dark AGIT(ation)PROP(aganda) comedy about the Faulkland conflict and features several standout performances, the most notable being our brilliant leading lady, Nanna Ingvasson’s formidible portrayal of the steely Margaret Thatcher-based character, Maggot Scratcher. 

We’re in repertoire with the cross-dressed Importance of Being Ernest for the rest of the week and then are on a Wed – Sun schedule the next two weeks.  For more info, visit the Scena Theatre site.


Somewhere There’s Music… in Ellicott City

July 18, 2010

That’s Barry Abel, Kathy Reilly, Mary Reilly, Eileen Warner and me performing excerpts from our show Somewhere There’s Music as the pre-show for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s matinee of Hamlet.

No microphones, outdoor venue on a warm Saturday afternoon, sparse audience.  But we got to sing, so it was fun.

I have to admit being oddly out of step with my esteemed colleagues on one issue concerning the gig.  Others were complaining about being out in the hot, direct sun; I was happy that we had good lighting.

For the full show (with a real piano, amplification, and air conditioning) , see us at Germano’s in Baltimore this Saturday !

Somewhere There’s Music at Germano’s

July 12, 2010

We’re teaming up to offer an expanded, encore version of Somewhere There’s Music at the Cabaret at Germano’s in Baltimore.  I’ll be performing with the generously talented Kathy Reilly, Mary Reilly, Barry Abel and Eileen Warner on Saturday, July 24th at 8:00pm.

GERMANO’S TRATTORIA, 300 South High Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, 410.752.4515

Tickets and info

Guesting on Bob Smith’s Audio Blog

June 9, 2010

One of the great musical pleasures in the Washington area is being able to sing at Bob Smith’s thrice weekly open mics (Saturday and Tuesday at the Morrison House in Alexandria and Fridays at the Serbian Crown in Great Falls). 

On his blog page, there’s a regular round-up of who-sang-what at his recent open mic evenings.  However, these are more than a dry recitation of names and songs, but are like terrific little radio programs.  One of the highlights of each is the presentation by the host Ed Smith (Bob’s son and sound engineer) of an album. 

I was tremendously honored to appear as a guest on two of the recent posts (the 6/4 post for the Serbian Crown and the 6/5 post for the Morrison House).  I even got to discuss a CD — the re-issue of The Art of Mabel Mercer.

I always say that open mics like this are an invaluable “laboratory of cabaret.”  If you can get a roomful of people to pause their conversations and listen to you, you know that you are on to something that can really work.  (And you appreciate how much easier you have it when you’re doing a show and people have paid to come see you and actually shut up before you start to sing.)

Bob is a terrific player, knows a gajillion songs, and reads amazingly.  He is usually joined by Robert Vetter, a terrific horn and guitar player.  And Ed is a great sound engineer.  But most importantly, the entire group make a concerted effort to make everyone who sings with them sound as good as possible. And boy, do they succeed in making singers feel and sound terrific !

Be “Somewhere” This Friday and Saturday

May 16, 2010

I’ve been working with a great group of people preparing a benefit for the Corner Store on Capitol Hill next weekend.  Great cast & some really cool material !

Somewhere There’s Music

A Cabaret Celebration Benefit for The Corner Store


Barry Abel / Michael Miyazaki / Kathy Reilly / Mary Reilly / Eileen Warner

Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22 at 8 pm

Come and enjoy some great music and help support Capitol Hill’s favorite location for lifting your mind,body and spirit.

 The Corner Store, Arts In The Heart of Capitol Hill — 900 South Carolina Avenue, SE, Washington DC 20003.  $25 per person; Refreshments served

For Reservations call 202.544.5807  or e-mail:

Lina Koutrakos / Rick Jensen Workshop Concert

March 29, 2010

OK, we spent the workshop today putting the final show together.  Lina and Rick shared the process they use to assemble a show, demonstrating it on the one for the class.  Then it was the nitty-gritty of actually doing it all.  Particular congratulations to Daryl Anderson, ToniRae Brotons, Emily Everson, and Jennifer Blades who at 12:30 were informed that they were doing duets and had them ready by the 6:00pm show under the brilliant guidance of the teaching team.

For anyone interested, here’s a link to the recording I made of the concert.  (Unfortunately we were seated in front of the cafe area, so you also get the hum of the kitchen equipment.)

Here’s what people sang:

  • Hooray for Love — Jennifer Blades
  • Come In From the Rain / Why Did I Choose You ? — ToniRae Brotons / Darryl Anderson
  • I Never Say Anything / My Superman– Chris Cochrane
  • I’ll Get Up Tomorrow Morning — Christy Trapp
  • All of My Life — Darryl Anderson
  • Baby, You Can sleep While I Drive — Marianne Glass Miller
  • When I Fall In Love — Elcindor Johnson
  • It’s a Jungle Out There — Emily Everson
  • Do Right Woman, Do Right Man — Jean McMahon
  • Sleepy Man — Emily Everson & Jennifer Blades
  • Yard Sale — Michael Miyazaki
  • How Did We Come To This ? — Christy Frye
  • On the Other Side of the Tracks — ToniRae Brotons
  • Bye Bye Blackbird — Company

Last chance: Two More Shows !!!

October 22, 2009

CHAWbaret 6:

Magic to Do

Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00pm / October 23,& 24

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St SE, Washington DC

Tix & Info:

Subtle reminder…

October 14, 2009

CHAWbaret 6:

Magic to Do

Opens Friday !!!!!

Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00pm / October 16,17,23,& 24

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St SE, Washington DC

Tix & Info: