DC Cabaret Network August Open Mic

August 16, 2011

It was a really fun night at the Atlas last night for the DC Cabaret Network August Open mic.  Not only was there the terrific Mary Sugar at the keys, but there was a great mix of new people, people I haven’t seen for a while,  and veterans singing a wide variety of material:

  • Terri Allen
    • On the Sunny Side of the Street
    • Detour Ahead
  • Emily Everson
    • Amoeba Hop
    • Both Sides Now / Here’s to Life
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Can-Can
    • Much At All
  • Joanne Schmoll
    • In the Heart of the Night
    • Night and Day
  • Lonny Smith
    • Sweet Dreams
    • Someone to Fall Back On
  • Ron Squeri
    • With Every Breath I Take
    • Kiss of Fire
  • Stephanie Daly
    • What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
    • One Note Samba
  • Pam Jackson
    • Take Me the Way I Am
    • I Don’t Remember Christmas
  • Katherine McCann
    • Someone Like You (Adele Adkins & Daniel Wilson)
    • I’m Kissing You
  • Colleen Brown
    • Taylor the Latte Boy
    • Bill
  • Sarah Jebian
    • Magic Man
    • Gravity
  • Wendy Snyder
    • Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes
    • Miss Otis Regrets

Colleen McWOW !!!!

August 4, 2011

Saturday night we saw Colleen McHugh’s incredible Prêt-à-Porter show at Signature (with Tedd Firth on keys!!!!) and I was totally blown away.  I’ll link to my Cabaret Scenes review when they post it, but I became an instant fan!

Here’s her set list:

  • C’Est magnifique
  • Let’s Misbehave
  • Can-Can
  • Do I Love You ?
  • I’m Unlucky at Gambling
  • It’s All Right With Me
  • Just One of Those Things
  • When Love Comes to Call
  • Find Me a Primitive Man
  • Night & Day
  • You Do Something to Me
  • Ca C’Est L’Amour
  • You Don’t Kow Paree
  • I Love Paris
  • True Love (Encore) 

Here’s a lagniappe from YouTube that shows the talent and humor of this amazing performer:

 


DC Cabaret Network Open Mic Report

June 21, 2011

Another fun evening at the DC Cabaret Network Open Mic.  Here’s what people sang:

  • Matt Howe
    • The Very Thought of You
    • Any Time (I Am There)
  • Eileen Warner
    • Another Mr. Right
    • It Goes Like it Goes
  • Paul Pompeo
    • 100 Years
    • Pure Imagination
  • David McMullen
    • Leaning on a Lamppost
    • Long Before I Knew You
  • Maris Wicker
    • A Sleepin’ Bee
  • Kathy Reilly
    • Vodka
    • Don’t Wait Too Long
  • Terri Allen
    • Hope Floats
    • A Foggy Day
  • Ron Squeri
    • Almost Like Being in Love
    • An American Hymn
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Dog Passages
    • Could I Leave You?

The next DCCN Open Mic is scheduled for the Atlas July 11th.  See you there !!!!


DC Cabaret Network November Open Mic

November 9, 2010

What a great night at the Atlas !  It was great to have guest Erv Raible in town and Ron Chiles on piano and Jeff Tucker on sound making every sound great !  People were daring and experimented with new material, mostly to good result. 

For me the charm moment of the night came when Eileen Warner, who has recently had foot surgery (and seems to be doing fine) hobbled up to the mike and delivered I Could Have Danced All Night with her usual fizzy effervesence. 

Here’s what people sang:

  • Terri Allen
    • Music
    • I’m Comin’ Home Again
  • Marilyn Bennett & Charlene James Duguid
    • A… You’re Adorable
    • Baby Face
  • Toni Rae Brotons
    • Tear Up the Town
    • The Next Best Thing
  • Stephanie Daley
    • Sophisticated Lady
  • Lucille Froelich
    • I Get a Kick Out of You
    • Where or When
  • Pam Jackson
    • I’m Not Afraid of Anything
    • To Sir with Love
  • Charlene James-Duguid
    • My Coloring Book
  • Marianne Glass Miller
    • Out of Love
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Comme D’Habitude
    • The Princess and the Frog
  • Paul Pompeo
    • Pure Imagination
    • Corcovado
  • Vicky Ryan
    • When October Goes
    • Broadway Baby
  • Ron Squeri
    • Leavin’ On a Jet Plane
  • Christie Trapp
    • When I Was a Boy
    • Grateful
  • Eileen Warner
    • I Could Have Danced All Night
  • Maris Wicker
    • Blue Skies

DC Cabaret Network Open Mic

October 19, 2010

Fall was in the air, Jonathan Tuzman was at the piano, Terri Allen did her usual splendiferous job as hostess, Jeff Tucker made us all sound better, and we were fortunate to hear the contributions of some new people.  

Here’s what people sang:

  • Terri Allen
    • Music
    • Ship in a Bottle
  • Tanya Bogoseovsky
    • Memory of a Waltz
    • La Vie en Rose
  • Toni Rae Brotons
    • Everything I Know
    • Glitter in the Air
  • Stephanie Daley
    • How Long Has This Been Going On?
    • A Cockeyed Optimist
  • Lucille Froelich
    • The Boston Beguine
    • They Can’t Take That Away From Me
  • Matt Howe
    • Black Coffee
    • If You Go Away
  • Pam Jackson
    • Material Girl
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • The Dinner Party
    • Much at All
  • Kathy Reilly
    • Moonlight
    • ‘Tis Autumn
  • Ron Squeri
    • Strange Sensation
    • The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing
  • Arvis Tucker
    • The Nearness of You
    • Mood Indigo
  • Sarah Wilson
    • Hallelujah
    • If I Loved You

A New York State of …

September 19, 2010

We just got back from a rather hectic trip to New York…

Promises, Promises – Saw a matinee of the revival of Promises, Promises.  I’ve gotta say, I sat there during the show and pondered the alchemical nature of the theater.  Because when Kristen Chenoweth is there on stage belting out top-flight Bacharach material in a fabulous costume in fabulous surroundings, you would think it should be bliss.  And yest, and yet things somehow fall short.  I personally thought that Sean Hayes was terrific and I totally bought him in the role (although Ron thought it still felt like Jack from Will and Grace was in the musical).  But a 30/40-something bootlicker on the corporate ladder somehow seems a pathetic character to build a show around.  Similarly, it’s hard to buy Kristen Chenoweth in the victim role.  And Rob Marshall’s choreography does nothing to make one forget Michael Bennett, particularly on the iconic Turkey Lurkey Time.  Katie Finneran was a breath of fresh air at the beginning of Act II, but it does bear remembering that that role always gets the good reviews; Marian Mercer won a Tony for it in the original and Christine Baranski had success with it in the Encores staging.

Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge at the Iguana – Richard Skipper (out of Carol Channing garb) and Carol Lorge host a weekly MAC-nominated variety show at the Iguana on Wednesday nights.  I managed to catch the last of the show.  When I did I saw some really appealing talent up there – such a bargain for the $10 cover!   I have to say, it’s the first time I saw Skipper perform as himself, and he’s truly a delight that makes me look forward to the next time I get to see a full Richard Skipper show !

 On a bitchier note, an obviously talented woman got up to sing Send in the Clowns, but was a bit approximate with the lyrics – “Isn’t it rich, aren’t we a pair?” It occurred to me “Catch the missed Sondheim lyric” would make a good drinking game – until I nearly got sloshed on her song alone.

 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – I had a fascinating time appearing as a contestant on the show.  And I’m contractually obligated not to give any more info until the show is on, tentatively, October 28th

Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein at Feinstein’s – Wow.  Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein up-close-and-personal !  I think that not having to carry the full show helped Barbara Cook seem the most relaxed I’d seen her in ages, with the proceedings becoming soufflé-light thanks to the impishness of Feinstein.  Although the show didn’t have a theme, there were some nice song pairings, especially Ever After by Feinstein followed by Where Do You Start from Cook, and Feinstein’s Without a Song followed by Here’s to Life by Cook.  John Oddo and band (including the great Jay Leonhart on bass) provided nifty musical support.  As an encore, the team did a version of Shine On, Harvest Moon that took a journey from Art Song to Dixieland to Revival Meeting to Community Sing – and is there any better way to express the gamut of cabaret?  (OK – here’s a trivia challenge for all you Barbara Cook fans – what Broadway show featured Barbara Cook singing a solo version of Shine On, Harvest Moon ?  I’ll send a prize to the first person who posts the correct answer in the comments.)

A note about Feinstein’s at the Regency … I have to say that I love the pricing policy.  It may seem silly that for a room that small that they have three different price levels, but at least it acknowledges that there really are significantly better seats in the venue.  Also, my advice for anyone going is to get there early for dinner so you have a choice of available seating.


DCCN Open Mic — September 13, 2010

September 14, 2010

Terri Allen declared that the theme of the September DC Cabaret Network Open Mic would be “experimentation” and I’m pleased to report that the assembled did a terrific job of joining in the spirit of cabaret exploration.  And, of course, this was all aided and abetted by the terrific Ron Chiles at the keys.

Here’s what people sang:

  • Terri Allen
    • Taking a Chance on Love
    • Make Me Rainbows
  • Charlene James-Duguid & Marilyn Bennett
    • Sisters / C’mon a My House
    • I’ve Got a Loverly Bunch of Coconuts / Three Little Fishies 
  • Scott Kennison
    • Somewhere That’s Green
    • But Not for Me 
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Here’s to Life
    • Laura / My Sugar Is So Refined
  • Aaron Reader
    • Once Upon a Time
  • Mary Reilly
    • You’ll Never Know
    • Listen to My Heart
  • Ron Squeri
    • The Song Remembers When
    • An American Hym
  • Christy Trapp
    • I’m Not Afraid
    • When I Was a Boy
  •  Maris Wicker
    • A Quiet Thing

Act III Thursday Night

July 31, 2010

It was great being at HR-57 Thursday night to see Brandon Cutrell bring his After Party to DC from NY (although billed as Act III for contractual purposes) !  The whole package was there — Brandon’s outrageous hosting and phenomenal singing, Ray Fellman’s amazing work on the piano, a host of talented house performers, interesting drop-ins, and a boisterous crowd.

The biggest congratulations go to producer Chase Maggiano for corralling 50+ people to a Thursday night event that started after 10pm !  And they drank and seemed to be having a great time.

Brandon Cutrell brings an edgy, audience-focused energy to his duties as emcee.  He has developed a fascinatingly uninhibited, spritely persona.  He occasionally veered into territory that made even this audience uncomfortable; but I can’t say that any of his New York audience are more comfortable with some of the material, just more used to it.

A lot of amazing singing.  Ellen Harvey from the tour of Mary Poppins astounded with Sensitive Song (see below) and With One Look and there were appearances from Avenue Q cast members and Will Gartshore.  And all was supported by that great, incomparable Ray Fellman on piano.

Congratulations again to Chase Maggiano — and I’m looking forward to his further producing ventures!


A Whole Lotta Night Music

July 28, 2010

Since I had a very slim window of time between projects, Ron and I took a jaunt to NY to see A Little Night Music on Sunday.  All I have to say is what a difference a star can make !  What was previously a good-ish show now has the feeling of an event.

I seemed to have liked Catherine Zeta-Jones’s performance as Desiree more than most.  Perhaps it was just because I was staggered by the sheer unexpected luminosity of her presence, and the way it also seemed to eclipse anyone on stage with her.  Although lovely (absolutely lovely), Bernadette Peters doesn’t have Zeta-Jones’s ravishing looks in the role, but she is simply such an icon that looks don’t matter.  You are automatically riveted by her on stage.  It’s amazing the mileage she can get out of the simplest phrase, and the degree of complexity she can portray in a character.  Even those wild Titian tresses of hers gave a compellingly complicated performance (and served as a great sight gag in the rooming house scene).  And Peters was the first Desiree I’ve ever seen to color the letter portions of The Glamorous Life with her feelings for the people she was writing to.

Interestingly, Peters is also much better at sharing focus with her fellow players.  Perhaps the advantage of 9 months head start, but the rest of the cast was giving really well-etched performances.  Alexander Hanson is a much sexier (and randier) Frederick than I remembered and Romona Mallory’s Anne seems to have added a degree of madness to her portrayal.  When I first saw this production, Erin Davie’s portrayal of Charlotte made me take it off the mental list I’ve had of actor-proof roles; somehow, she was much more winning this time around.

And then there’s Elaine Stritch.  Her performance was like the icing on the meatloaf.  Every scintilla of theatrical intelligence told me that she was “working” far too hard in the role and every theater-loving portion of my emotion was in heaven that she was.  From her first entrance when she was dealing with her solitaire game in exasperation to her final curtain call, she made every moment that she was on-stage count.  There was often gratitude that she managed to make it all the way to the end of a line.  And there were moments in Liaisons when she was at least a full measure behind the music.  (And I’m told it was amazing to watch conductor Rob Bowman on the monitor during the number.)  And most importantly, Stritch and Peters are both of the let’s-milk-this-for-all-it’s-worth school of performance, making them quite convincing as mother and daughter. 

(Oh, and great article in the Times on women who’ve played Mme. Armfeldt.  And great promo clip on Broadway.com — didn’t notice when we saw the show, but bless Bernadette for negotiating You Must Meet My Wife in a key that’s obviously his and not hers.)

One proviso — I saw Peters both at the beginning of her run in Into the Woods where she was totally engaged, and at the end when she looked really, really bored.  I’d suggest catching the show sooner than later.


DC Cabaret Network June Open Mic

June 22, 2010

It was great to see everyone at a very intimate Open Mic last night presided over by the always-amazing Mary Sugar:

  • Terri Allen
    • Music
    • Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow ?
  • Marianne Glass Miller
    • I’m Get to Show You the Ocean
    • Home to Myself
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Meadowlark
    • The Dinner Party
    • The Princess and the Frog
  • Joe Peck
    • A World of My Own
    • Going Through the Motions
    • A Hole in My Pocket
  • Kathy Reilly
    • Live for Life
    • Make Me Rainbows
    • Yellow Days
  • Ron Squeri
    • Sister Clarissa
    • Annie’s Song
    • Leavin’ On a Jet Plane