Great interview in Playbill Online with one of the more singular talents out there: “My problem is, though, I cannot put together, and nor can Michael – Michael and I have worked together for years, and we’re very good at working together – we cannot seem to put together a really commercial show. [Laughs.] Our shows are always really left of center, with a lot of material people don’t know and new stuff and concepts that are not your usual “cabaret acts,” ’cause we’re not really into that. Jason Graae is a dear friend of mine, and I was talking to him yesterday, and he was like, “Can you please put a show together that has standards in it?” [Laughs.] And I was just like, “I just can’t! I just seem to not [be able] to. It doesn’t call to me.” But we are doing the brand-new show July 12, and I’m excited about it. It’s kind of wonderful, actually.”
My head is spinning. Two more shows in the next couple of weeks to take note of and an open mic:
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).
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.
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).
“As Ms. Testa and Ms. Fraser, joined late on Monday by Annie Golden, performed the show’s 15 numbers, a mood of joshing sisterhood prevailed. Ms. Testa, with her mostly untapped reserves of Ethel Merman brassiness, and Ms. Fraser, whose voice is light and idiosyncratic, may be a harmonic mismatch, but in their patter they displayed the comfort of a seasoned comic team amusing its friends.”
The Gypsy of the Year show is one of the major annual fundraisers for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. Theatrical companies cap off a holiday season of fundraising with (of course) a show, with sketches celebrating the season.
The 2007 show is now available on DVD. The opening of the show is amazing — a tribute to the 50th anniversary of West Side Story featuring performances by many of the original company*. Although there are a number of charming sketches and performances (especially Seth Rudetsky and the cast of The Ritz illustrating gypsy lore), the real highlight is the hilariously competitive and raunchy emceeing of Mary Testa, Jackie Hoffman, and Bob Sagat.
is now available on