November 9, 2009
My head is spinning. Two more shows in the next couple of weeks to take note of and an open mic:
The Vocal Arts Society salutes “Great Songwriting Teams” — Friday, 13 November, 7:30 pm. Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center.
The show features the amazing line-up of Jason Graae (the Crown Prince of Cabaret Comedy who shows that an amazing voice can be as funny as a bad one), Mary Testa (Goddess/Legend) and Liza Forrester (Mezzo-soprano I’ve never heard of).
Signature Sings: 1995-1999, November 17 – 22, 2009
Current Cabaret Scenes cover boy Euan Morton and Natascha Diaz (so amazing in Every Little Step) perform songs from the musical productions from 1995-1999 including First Lady Suite, Cabaret, A Grand Night for Singing, Passion, The Rink, Sunday in the Park With George, Working, The Fix, A Little Night Music, Over and Over, and Tell Me on a Sunday.
DC Cabaret Network Open Mic, Monday 16 November, Sign-up 7:30, Start at 8:00pm, Warehouse Theater — Cancelled
Note this has been cancelled. Check www.dccabaretnetwork.org for possible rescheduling. The November open mic features welcomes the DCCN debut of Jonathan Tuzman. (BTW, mark your calendars: there’s also a November 30 one with Peter Darling at Stars).
September 29, 2009
The NYTimes reviews the Crown Prince of Cabaret Comedy, Jason Graae, appearing at the Metropolitan Room supported by Friends-of-This-Blog Wendy Lane Bailey and Alex Rybeck: “A vaudevillian spark plug flashing mischief, Jason Graae did a bit of everything in his show, “Magically Delicious,” at the Metropolitan Room on Saturday. Now 51 and living in Los Angeles, he is a resilient singing clown who has bounced from theater to nightclubs to television to commercials and back, compiling a résumé that serves as a storehouse of zany, lightweight shtick.”
October 10, 2008
The Kennedy Center presented an ASCAP-sponsored tribute to songwriter Cy Coleman Tuesday night. The evening was part of the center’s education outreach program and featured Michael Kerker of ASCAP and David Zippel, a Coleman collaborator, talking about Coleman and then various performers singing Coleman songs.
There were even a couple of film clips of Coleman singing his own work. My favorite of these was Coleman singing Witchcraft. I especially love the interlude that I’ve never heard before:
The information given about Coleman and his work seemed fairly basic. The most interesting moments were Zippel describing working with Coleman on City of Angels. And they didn’t even discuss the fact that Coleman killed cabaret legend Sylvia Syms*.
The performances were a mixed bag. The highlights were Billy Stritch with an impassioned version of It Amazes Me, and Lillias White reprising her showstopper from The Life: The World’s Oldest Profession. David Zippel was terrific performing I Know What I Like, a song about musicals from the point of view of an acerbic critic and he re-wrote the lyrics to You’re Nothing Without Me as a trio for Jason Graae, Lillias White and Judy Blazer. Otherwise, as tends to happen at these events, it seemed very clear what songs performers have had in their repertoires and what was specifically learned for the occasion.
Here are the songs that were performed:
- You Fascinate Me So (Jason Graae)
- Nobody Does It Like Me (Judy Blazer)
- Don’t Ask a Lady (Lillias White)
- Museum Song (Jason Graae)
- It Amazes Me (Billy Stritch)
- The World’s Oldest Profession (Lillias White)
- With Ev’ry Breath I Take (Blazer)
- You’re Nothing Without Me (Blazer, White, Graae)
- The Best Is Yet to Come (Stritch)
- I Know What I Like (David Zippel)
- Pleasure of Pain (Blazer, Graae)
- Those Hands (White)
- Hey, Look Me Over (Blazer)
- Real Live Girl (Graae)
- If They Gould See Me Now (Stritch)
- The Colors of My Life (White)
- It’s Not Where You Start (Company)
- It Started With A Dream (Company)
Chris Marlowe served as music director and Billy Stritch accompanied himself on It Amazes Me and The Best Is Yet to Come.
*OK, he didn’t really kill her. But he was int he audience when she had the heart attack onstage at the Algonquin that ended her life.
March 7, 2008
Karen Akers appears at Signature Theater next week as part of their Kander and Ebb festival presenting her show — First You Dream: The Songs of Kander & Ebb — Tuesday, 11 March – Sunday, 16 March.
The Bad News
The show is sold out. The advice for anyone wanting to catch the show from Signature publicist Suzanne Stephens is “patrons can call Signature’s Box Office in case tickets are donated back to the theater that can be resold. The box office number is 703-820-9771.”
The Hopeful News
According to Stephens, the 8 shows sold out simply as part of the season subscription package. Let’s hope that this inspires Signature to book some other high-profile performers. Wouldn’t it be great to see Karen Mason, Andrea Marcovicci, or Jason Graae in the venue?
October 1, 2007
Jason Graae is certainly today’s “Crown Prince of Cabaret.” He combines amazing musicality with one of the most amazing comic sensibilities around. Scores of cabaret artists have also benefitted from him as a master teacher at the Cabaret Conference at Yale.
On the one occasion I had to personally meet him, he mentioned that he was going to be in an opera with Frederica Von Stade. I said, “Oh, your friend Flicka?” He laughed and I saw a little light go on in his eyes. Later I heard him say to someone else, “Oh, I’m going to be doing an opera in L.A. with Frederica Von Stade, you know, my friend Flicka.” I’ve never felt so comically validated.
A great interview with him just appeared on Playbill.com .
There is an