Karen Mason Sings Better Days

November 11, 2010

Here’s that living ray-of-hope Karen Mason singing one of the great Brian Lasser songs at a recent Trevor Project benefit with the ever-amazing Christopher Denny at the piano.

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Karen Mason in Barcelona

December 19, 2009

For my money, of the 20 or so As If We Never Said Goodbyes I’ve seen or heard, Karen Mason does the best job of combining the voacal and dramatic demands of the song.  A rare clip of her doing the song in concert in Barcelona:


New Karen Mason Video

December 1, 2009

A new Karen Mason video is always a treat.  Here she is as Norma Desmond singing With One Look.


Help is on the Way Today Benefit at the Metropolitan Room

July 31, 2009

Saturday night, I got to see an amazing concert at the Metropolitan Room, a benefit for Help is on the Way, a group that assists youth with AIDS.  The concert was organized by Lina Koutrakos and Lennie Watts as part of their Summer in the City cabaret workshop.

The theme of the concert was “Broadway Our Way,” with artists interpreting songs from the Great White Way.  Highlights included Koutrakos’s interpretation of Shall We Dance as a woman debating whetehr a brief sexual encounter was worth her while, Terese Genesco rocking the room with A Lotta Living to Do, K.T. Sullivan’s addled reading of Colored Lights, and Karen Mason poignant pairing of Now I Have Everything and Married.  Moreover, Mary Foster Conklin got me to not hate Something Good and Jenna Esposito found a great audience involvement moment in Down With Love, getting the crowd to shout the “take it away” repeats.

Here’s the line-up — truly a great cabaret sampler:

  • Mary Foster Conklin
    • The Gentleman is a Dope
    • Something Good
  • Jenna Esposito
    • Old Devil Moon
    • Down With Love
  • David Gurland
    • Stay With me / Wait
  • David Gurland & Julie Rayburn
    • Bill / Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe
  • Teresa Genesco
    • A Lotta Living to Do
    • Somebody Loves Me
  • Sidney Meyer
    • I’m a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Man
  • Lina Koutrakos
    • Shall We Dance
  • Lennie Watts
    • Tomorrow
  • Karen Mason
    • Almost Like Being In Love
    • Now I Have Everything /Married
  • K.T. Sullivan
    • My Husband’s First Wife
    • Just Once / Colored Lights

MAC Winners Announced

May 19, 2009

MAC Awards were announced in NY Monday night.  Here’s a list of the winners.  Special congratulations to friends-of-this-blog Karen Mason and Karen Oberlin.


Broadway Up Close and Personal: Sheldon Harnick This Monday

April 14, 2009

The Broadway Up Close and Personal series at the Kennedy Center is doing a concert on Monday saluting the work of Sheldon Harnick, lyricist for shows including Fiddler on the Roof, The Apple Tree, and She Loves Me.

The concert features an amazing cast: Karen Mason, Ron Raines, and Kate Baldwin with music direction by Joseph Thalken.

Tix and info


Favorite CDs of 2008 — Part I

January 3, 2009

I know, I know.  The point of the New Year is to look forward, not back.  However, here are what I would consider the top cabaret CDs of 2008.  In the next post, I’ll deal with some titles that are not quite so squarely in the genre.

 

 

barbara-cook-cd1

As the always-insightful Emily Everson opines, there’s Barbara Cook, and then there’s everyone else.  Although this is far from being her best CD, she continues to be the towering presence in contemporary cabaret work.  And the good news is that Lee Musiker is getting some style and inventiveness back into her arrangements.  Who ever knew that “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” could be a portrait of a stalker?

nancy-lamott-cd

Any available new Nancy LaMott tracks have to be a “must have.”  The material assembled here shows a wide range of LaMott performances.  Time to feel thrilled all over again.

patti-lupone-cd

This CD reconstructed LuPone’s Les Mouches act from the late 70’s from a box of cassettes of various performances.  The CD has an amazingly “live” feel and shows an exciting personality at a critical point in her career.

karen-mason-cd

Probably the CD I’ve listened to the most this year, this recording is what every cabaret artist should aspire to.  It has amazing vocals ranging from warm, to sassy, to embracing, to heartbreaking.  The arrangements show Chris Denny’s combination of flawless taste and understanding of Mason’s gifts.  The material includes fresh takes on familiar material as well as a new Paul Rolnick number.

Haunted Heart

I really agonized over including this, because I don’t want it to seem too much like “one for the home team.”  But I have to add it because I think  it’s a terrific CD.  The song selection has variety and the CD contains songs people really love!  I especially think the medley of Blackberry Winter and Autumn is inspired.  Rick Jensen contributed stunning arrangements and beautiful piano work.  And, of course, Ron’s vocals are great!

So did I miss your favorite cabaret CD of the year????