Maris Wicker and Lonny Smith at Germano’s

May 19, 2009

maris germanos

In Full Light at Germano’s

March 28, 2009

fulll light pixRon and I went up to see In Full Light at Germano’s last night, featuring Justin Ritchie, Terri Allen, and Lonny Smith.

It was really great to see the show again.  And it’s always especially nice to see a piece like this after the performers had the ability to get the show “in their skin” where they seem to be able to re-direct that bit of energy that worries about things like what song is next, what’s the patter, what will the pianist be doing, to giving a performance and connecting with the audience.  It especially showed in efforts like Terri Allen’s more focused take on Misery and Happiness and Lonny Smith’s I Could Be in Love with Someone.*

The three performers pretty much kept the same song order that they had in the two previous incarnations of the show, adding the We Can Make It (Justin) / Maybe This Time (Lonny) / Isn’t This Better (Terri) trio from And the World Goes Round as an encore.  And of course, Mary Sugar’s music direction made the venue’s upright sound like an entire Broadway pit band.

Germano’s remains a terrific venue, and Cyd Wolf who runs the cabaret series does an amazing job at making audience members welcome (and booking a pretty terrific series with local talent).  Oh, and the food is terrific.

*I’ve gotten feedback that this review seems negative about Justin by omission — he was terrific!

In Full Light at Germano’s on Friday

March 23, 2009

fulll light pixLonny Smith, Terri Allen, and Justin Ritchie reprise their terrific In Full Light show Friday night, March 27th, at Germano’s in Baltimore.  From what I understand from Lonny, the group has restructured the show a bit and also added new material.

Additional information

A VoixDeVille Saturday Night

March 1, 2009

We had a great Saturday night at VoixDeVille at the Indigo Room at the Atlas Theatre (who I’m glad to say that they have their own Web page).

We got there late (oops, I thought it started at 8:00), so sadly we missed the usually-terrific storytelling of Vijai.  However, we got a chance to see host Scott Burgess do a set on guitar, joined for one song by wife Maia DeSanti. 

Christopher Davis appeared as his alter ego the Renaissance Man, doing a really interesting performance set that combined stand-up, storytelling and juggling.  A highlight was a dramatization of Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado assisted by a youthful volunteer from the audience.  A great example of craft combining with imagination for an entertaining audience experience. 

And Karen Beriss presented her delightfully low-key, witty takes on some classic magic tricks.

In the second half, Maris Wicker and Lonny Smith presented  their show Lenny, Kurt & Harold, featuring the music of Bernstein, Weill, and Arlen (but you guessed that, didn’t you?), with music direction by Mary Sugar.  The songstack concentrated on lesser-known works of the writers, which allowed for some interesting contrasts, such as the Weill/Hughes song Lonely House paired with the Bernstein/Comden & Greene number Lonely Town.   

Here’s their song stack:

  • Tango Ballad
  • Barbara Song
  • Dissertation on the State of Bliss
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Neverland
  • Carried Away
  • Tschaikowsky
  • The Saga of Lenny
  • Lonely House
  • Lonely Town
  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself
  • One Hundred Easy Ways
  • Buds Won’t Bud
  • When the Sun Comes Out
  • Ain’t It the Truth

Lina Koutrakos and Rick Jensen at Indigo

January 18, 2009

The amazing teacher / performer Lina Koutrakos and renown music director Rick Jensen bring their Cabaret Intensive workshop to town this coming weekend.  The workshop features two public performances at Indigo at the Atlas Arts Center that promise to be incredibly entertaining events at amazing prices:

Lina Koutrakos in Concert — Saturday, January 24th, 8pm.

The NYTimes writes, “In her heated interpretations of classic torch songs sensitively accompanied on piano by Rick Jensen, Ms. Koutrakos implies that the war between Venus and Mars may have reached a stalemate. ” 

TWO FOR ONE DISCOUNT – Jan 24th  8 p.m. performance with LINA KOUTRAKOS
at The Indigo Room.  2 tickets for $20 ($10 food/drink minimum applies). Rick
Jensen, music director. Tim Schall opens the evening. Available at door, night
of show.

Participant Showcase — Sunday, January 25th, 7pm.

The terrific line-up of local talent participating in the Cabaret Intensive put on a show directed by Lina Koutrakos with music direction by Rick Jensen.  Participants scheduled to appear include Debbie Barber-Eaton, Marilyn Bennett, Christy Frye, Emily Gleichenhaus Everson, Char James-Duguid, Justin Ritchie, Lonny Smith, Christy Trapp, and Steve Spar. 

$10 available at the door. (Food/drink minimum applies).

Indigo at the Atlas Arts Center, 1333 H St, NE, Washington DC

Two great shows this week!!! (Or, if a good man is hard to find, look in full light)

January 13, 2009
A Good Man Is Hard to Find

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

In Full Light

In Full Light


 When it rains, it pours.  Lonny Smith is involved with two shows and sends the following details:

A Good Man is Hard to Find – “an evening of cabaret about lassoing, leaving, and lamenting good men” – will play at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, and Sat., Jan 17 at 1409 Playbill Cafe at 1409 14th Street NW. Tickets are $10 – reservations can be made by email at  The show features Lonny Smith, Alicia Steffman, and Elizabeth Keyes.
In Full Light – “a humorous but honest look at our world as it falls apart in plain view” – will play at 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16 and 10 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the Playbill Cafe. Tickets are $15 – reservations may be placed by email at  The show features Lonny Smith, Terri Allen, and Justin Ritchie.
Musical direction is for both is by Mary Sugar, who recently appeared as pianist for the show, Broadway: Three Generations at the Kennedy Center.
Cabaret fans who wish to make a double feature of both shows may do so on Saturday for a discounted admission of $20.
Photos by Matt Howe. 

VoixDeVille — Past and Future

December 18, 2008

Burgess Guitar & Fork

I went to VoixDeVille at Indigo at the Atlas Theater last Saturday.  I got my cheese plate and a Diet Coke!!!!  So things are looking up service-wise.

It was great to see Terri Allen, Lonny Smith, and Justin Ritchie do their In Full Light piece.  The three are terrific performers and I loved them singing their songs.  I also love a show where Help is the second-oldest song in the line-up.  And Mary Sugar provided fabulous musical support (but what else would one expect). I feel that these terrific performers have not yet achieved their full potential with this piece, especially in terms of show structure and connective  tissue.  So it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a next edition.

The rest of the evening was more of a mixed bag than the previous time I went.  But there was a pleasantly mixed crowd, so let’s hope we see more!!!  Congratulations to Scott Burgess — host and producer — to how far you’ve gotten this so far!

Here’s the line-up for Saturday:*

martin&lewisTHE CROONER AND THE COMIC – pays tribute to America’s beloved show business duo, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Bringing this comical duet back to the stage are Eric Richardson as Dean Martin and Matt Macis as Jerry Lewis.  With their impeccable timing, world class vocals and over-the-top antics, this Martin & Lewis tribute will leave audiences caught up in this wild pair’s hijinx, begging for more!

ERIC RICHARDSON (The Crooner) –  is an actor, vocalist, celebrity impersonator and an overall master of “character” having played diverse roles ranging from Fagin in Oliver, to Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls, to that homespun lawyer, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He has appeared on stage, in film and on several TV series. His approach to any character lies in his pursuit of detail, which makes every one of his characters unique and whole.
MATT MACIS (The Clown) –  began his professional career at age 16 in Ken Davenport’s Awesome 80s Prom. At age 19, he was deemed “a genuine find” by the Washington Post for his work in Bat Boy (Landless Theatre Co., DC). Now 20, his resume includes a national tour, TV, film, and work as the “Lewis” half of the Martin & Lewis Tribute. He is also the world’s youngest working professional Michael Jackson tribute artist. GOOGLE him!

John McBride
John McBride
John is half-black, half-Italian, mixed with a little Jewish, and probably some other stuff, but he is 100% funny. At least that’s what his mom says. John’s material inspired by the stupid things his friends say, his romantic misadventures, and food he doesn’t like – has been quoted in the Washington Post. McBride was a finalist in DC Improv’s Funniest Person in DC contest 2007. He has worked with comics Ted Alexandro, DC Benny, and Tony Rock, and is a regular at the DC Improv. He co-writes the popular blog “Not Hating Just Saying,” featured on

 Don’t Miss this on-going one ring circus of quality shows featuring performers who are making a different kind of noise. Experience something you cannot get in your living rooms, on any TV set, home theater or computer. VoixDeVille the voice of the city.

DISCOUNTS!: Check out for our special December Button Discount.

The Indigo Room
Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H St NE
Box Office 202-399-7993 x2
For booking information call Scott Burgess
202-399-7993 x121
The Atlas is accessible by MetroBus, Rail and Taxi
Contact the Box Office for Tickets and More Details or


Doors: 7:30 pm
Performance: 8:00 pm
Tickets: 15.00 (buy on line at

Report: Arts on Foot

September 16, 2008

I scared the child.

It seems that the sight of a large 40-something man writhing on the floor, screaming “It Must Be Him” into a microphone will indeed frighten a 4 year old enough to make her cling to her father and start to cry.  I wish I could express greater contrition about the situation, but I’ll accept strong audience reaction to my work whereever I can get it.

At the DC Cabaret Network concert at the Warehouse Theater Saturday afternoon there were a lot of terrific performances* all with the terific support of Mary Sugar at the keys:

  • The Tale of the Oyster — David McMullin
  • We Can Be Kind — David McMullen
  • I’ll Remember April — Kathy Reilly
  • Yellow Days — Kathy Reilly
  • Sway — Ron Squeri
  • One More Walk Around the Garden — Ron Squeri
  • A Wonderful Guy — Joanne Schmoll
  • Lazy Afternoon — Joanne Schmoll
  • I Had a Dream About You — Michael Miyazaki
  • It Must Be Him — Michael Miyazaki
  • There Will Be a Miracle — Emily Lethea Everson
  • I Want Them Bald — Emily Lethea Everson
  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find — Lonny Smith, Alicia Steffman, Elizabeth Keyes
  • 100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man — Elizabeth Keyes
  • Lonely Town — Lonny Smith
  • You Go To My Head — Alicia Steffman
  • Marry the Man Today — Alicia Steffman and Elizabeth Keyes
  • From Time to Time — Terri Allen
  • What the World Needs Now — Terri Allen

*although none inspired the strong reaction from the 4 year old that mine did.

Photos — Top Row — Terri Allen; Ron Squeri; Elizabeth Keyes, Alicia Steffman & Lonny Smith

Bottom Row — Kathy Reilly; David McMullen; Mary Sugar

(Click on picture for larger version)

Going Psycho (Cabaret)

July 19, 2008

I finally caught Psycho Cabaret, the DC Cabaret Network entry in this year’s Fringe Festival.  What a terrific show!  From the moment Chris Cochran, Lonny Smith and Michael Sazonov launch into Stress at the top of the show to the time that the company concludes with As We Stumble Along, the show is 55 minutes of delights.  They’re too numerous to list here, but special favorites include Emily Everson’s take on Don’t Touch Me (from Young Frankenstein), Lonny Smith’s Run Away with Me, Judy Simmon’s Another Winter in a Summer Town (from Grey Gardens), and Terri Allen’s Saturday Night.  I always love Michael Sazonov’s work — his What Is It About Her? was up to his usual standard of excellence; and even though I didn’t quite buy The Lies of Handsome Men told from a heterosexual male perspective, it’s thrilling to watch an artist make fascinating, bold, risky choices.  Also, Jeff Tucker was doing an amazing job mixing sound throughout the show.

I do have to take whoever is doing the marketing for this show to task.  The communications I’ve seen from the DC Cabaret Network have a “please support us” / floss your teeth rationale as the argument why people should see this show.  And I think that does a disservice to the people performing.  People should see this show because it’s a terrific show!

The songs…

  • Stress  — Ensemble
  • Don’t Touch Me — Emily Everson
  • You Wnna Be My Friend — Arlene Hill
  • Twisted — Terri Allen
  • What Is It About Her? — Michael Sazonov
  • I’m Not My Mother  — Chris Cochrane
  • Run Away With me — Lonny Smith
  • Another Winter in a Summer Town — Judy Simmons
  • Sweet Dreams — George Fulginiti-Shkar
  • Shattered Illusions — Ensemble
  • Lies of Handsome Men — Michael Sazonov
  • I Don’t Remember Christmas — Chris Cochrane
  • Would You Let Me — Roy Zimmerman
  • What Am I Doin’? — Lonny Smith
  • Saturday Night — Terri Allen
  • Ghost of a Chance — Arlene Hill
  • The Best Thing to Happen to Me — Judy Simmons
  • As We Stumble Along — Ensemble

Cabaret Heaven at Artomatic

May 19, 2008

I was very fortunate to be part of a terrific group show at Artomatic, Friday night and tonight.

Thank you to all the great folks who came out to see us — it was great having you there!  And it was great to be singing with the terrific Reenie Codelka at the keys.

Artomatic has really done a terrific job !  In addition to 10 floors of a huge variety of visual arts, there’s a whole schedule of performances also taking place.  The building is a block from the NY Avenue Metro station on the red line and there is ample parking close by.  And best of all, it’s all free!

Here’s the line-up of what people sang:

  • Terri Allen
    • Music
    • Ordinary Miracle
    • You’ve Got a Friend
  • Emily Everson
    • Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise
    • Surprise Me
    • Let’s Talk Dirty to the Animals
  • Michael Miyazaki
    • Let’s Do It
    • The French Song
    • The Sweetest of Nights
  • Justin Ritchie
    • I’d Rather Be Sailing
    • Someone to Fall Back On
  • Lonny Smith
    • I Could Be In Love With Somebody Like You
    • When the Earth Stopped Turning
    • The Song Remembers When
  • Ron Squeri
    • Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat
    • Sway
    • Strange Sensation
  • Christy Trapp
    • New Words
    • Please Make a Decision
    • The Spark of Creation

(Pictured l-r Christy Trapp, Terri Allen & Emily Everson — I’m finally using the camera Ron got me for Christmas and appreciating Matt Howe’s terrific photographic talent even more! )