Monday Night at 8:40

March 24, 2010

I went to the Library of Congress on Monday night to see the concert version of Life Begins at 8:40.  The original show was a 1943 revue featuyring the music of Harold Arlen and the lyrics of both Yip Harburg and Ira Gershwin, and featured both Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr. Notice the Wizard of Oz trio there.)  The featured a number of songs that have gone on to a further life, including You’re a Builder Upper, Fun to Be Fooled, and Let’s Take a Walk Around the Block, but no mega-hit.

The current concert reflects the work of scholars from the Library of Congress to reconstruct the score and the folks from PS Classics who will be recording a studio version with the assembled cast.  And what a cast they were, including stars of the recent Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow, Kate Baldwin and Christopher Fitzgerald, local boy-made-good Brad Oscar, and those delightful divas Rebecca Luker and Faith Prince. 

In the first act, the performers looked amazing, were energetic, and from what I could tell gave vocally lovely performances.  Frustratingly, there was a decision not to amplify the singers.  And with a 20+ piece orchestra onstage with them, even these first-rate performers didn’t have a chance.  I found it all so frustrating that I left at intermission (and caught the very end of the DC Cabaret Network Open Mic).

However, it does make me really look forward to the forthcoming CD !

A Catered Affair

June 4, 2008

A Catered Affair (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Okay, this new show sounds like a musicalized episode of Whose Wedding is it Anyway?  It has Tom Wapt, Faith Prince, and Harvey Fierstein giving the sort of performances that you’d pretty much expect them to give.  Similarly, the John Bucchino score will work for Bucchino fans, but I doubt it will make many new ones.

There are two songs that I can see working very well in a cabaret situation.  One White Dress is a perfect number for a woman needing a charm song about getting married.  (Actually it would be really interesting to have Sondheim’s Getting Married Today or Coleman/Field’s I Love to Cry at Weddings follow in a set.)  Don’t Ever Stop Saying “I Love You” is a pleasant love duet.





1. Partners

2. Ralph and Me

3. Married

4. Women Chatter

5. No Fuss

6. Your Children s Happiness

7. Immediate Family

8. Our Only Daughter

9. Women Chatter 2

10. One White Dress

11. Vision

12. Don t Ever Stop Saying I Love You

13. I Stayed

14. Married (reprise)

15. Coney Island

16. Don t Ever Stop Saying I Love You (reprise)

17. Coney Island (reprise)

Have Faith

April 14, 2008

The NY Times profiles cabaret (and theater) star Faith Prince, about to premier on Broadway in the John Bucchino musical, A Catered Affair.

Nelson Pressley on Faith Prince

January 30, 2008

The Virginia native lit up the Barns on Thursday.The Washington Post weighs in on Faith Prince’s recent Wolf Trap concert (featuring Alex Rybeck as music director).

“The cabaret act by the Tony-winning Prince was like a low-key homecoming (she’s from Lynchburg), familiar and chatty as she cracked wise about her showbiz career between numbers that tended toward the comic and sentimental. “

Reminder: 2 at Wolf Trap

January 23, 2008

John EatonFaith PrinceTwo cabaret greats appear this week at WolfTrap.  Faith Prince appears Thursday with the always-amazing Alex Rybeck on Thursday, 24 January.

 John Eaton brings his usual brand of suave enlightment on Saturday, January 26th.

Calendar: December 2007 – February 2008

December 13, 2007

December 2007 

  • Wednesday, 8:30pm – 12/12 December Divas (Signature Theater)
  • Thursday, 8:30pm – 12/13 December Divas (Signature Theater)
  • Friday, 7:00pm & 9:00pm  – 12/14 December Divas (Signature Theater)
  • Saturday, 7:00pm & 9:00pm – 12/15 December Divas (Signature Theater)
  • Saturday, 9:00pm, 12/15 — Holiday Classics (Atlas/INDIGO)
  • Friday, 9:00pm, 12/21 — Holiday Classics (Atlas/INDIGO)
  • Saturday, 8:30pm – 12/29  Doug Bowles and the Washington Conservatory Jazz Ensemble  32 Bars in One Night (Atlas/INDIGO)  

January 2008 

  • Sunday, 7:30pm — 1/13 Melissa Manchester (Barns of Wolf Trap)
  • Friday, 1/18 — Scott Bakula An Evening with Scott Bakula (Ford’s Theater)
  • Saturday, 6:30pm, 1/19 — Beverly Cosham (Reston Community Orchestra)
  • Thursday, 8:00pm, 1/24 — Faith Prince (Barns of Wolf Trap)
  • Saturday, 7:30pm, 1/26 — John Eaton (Barns of Wolf Trap)
  • Saturday, 7:30pm, 1/26 — Susan Werner (Birchmere)
  • Thursday, 8:00pm, 1/31 — Maureen McGovern (Barns of Wolf Trap) 

February 2008

  • Friday, 8:00pm, 2/1 — Primary Urges (Writer’s Center, Bethesda) 
  • Friday, 8:00pm, 2/1 — Michael Sazonov My Well Schooled Heart (Maggie’s Place / St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church)
  • Friday, 8:00pm, 2/1 — Maureen McGovern (Barns of Wolf Trap)
  • Saturday, 8:00pm, 2/2 — Cabaret Benefit (River Road Unitarian Church)
  • Sunday, 3:00pm, Primary Urges (Writer’s Center, Bethesda)
  • Saturday, 8:00pm, 2/9 — Beverly Cosham with the  McLean Symphony (Alden Theater)
  • Friday, 2/15 — Jennifer Blades My Funny Valentine (An Die Musik)
  • Saturday, 2/16 — Sally Martin (Corner Store)
  • Friday, 2/22 — Jennifer Blades My Funny Valentine (An Die Musik)
  • Saturday, 2/23 — Beverly Cosham (Atlas/INDIGO)
  • Saturday, 2/23, 7:30pm – Christine Lavin (Birchmere)
  • Thursday, 7:30pm, 2/28 — Diane Schuur (Birchemere)

And don’t forget Blake Place at the Flaming Pit!