Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 27, 2008

I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day, and that everyone indeed does have much to be thankful for!

Note to songwriters, there really aren’t any obvious Thanksgivcing songs out there except Over the River… (and no one in this household can even remember the song past the first 8 bars without going to Wikipedia).  So here’s the next best thing, John Bucchino’s song Grateful as sung by the talented Michael Vitaly Sazonov*

I always say that the Shelly Markham/Judith Viorst song,”The Sweetest of Nights,” is the perfect “occasion” song.  Here’s a version I find oddly moving.  And , as always, I wish my loyal “tens of readers” the sweetest of nights and the finest of days!

*In a video made by a friend that Ron and I are grateful to have in our lives — the lovely and not-celebrating-Thanksgiving-today-because-she’s-living-in-Toronto-with-her-husband

Those scene stealers!

August 1, 2008

Congratulations to Judy Simmons, Emily Everson, and Michael Sazonov for making the cut of Joel Marcowitz’s Fringe Festival Scene Stealers.  Joel does a great set of write-ups and interviews.

Michael Sazonov at the Arts Club & Signature

July 27, 2008


I saw busiest-cabaret-performer-in-DC, Michael Vitaly Sazonov do his show Love Songs for a Summer Night at the Arts Club of Washington last night.  This came a couple days after his last Psycho Cabaret show during the Fring Festival and before he performs his show, My Well Schooled Heart at Signature next week.

In last night’s program Sazonov offered a selection of mostly standards sung with a subtly modern edge.  He covered notions of romance fromt he heartfelt (So In Love) to the slightly sleazy (You Musn’t Kick It Around*) to the pained (Lonely House) and redemptive (Being Alive)  He made a warm room hotter with a sizzling medley (or “sandwich” in his terms) of It’s All Right With Me and Sway.  George Fulginiti-Shakar provided his usual sturdy musical support and Judy Simmons directed with her usual subtlety.

I have to admit that Sazonov’s Clark Kent glasses and porkpie hat ensemble in Psycho Cabaret had me a little worried that he was drifting from his very strong stage look, but pomaded in a white dinner jacket, last night he looked every bit the “young romantic” he advertizes himself to be.  One could easily believe that the audience who were generally “of a certain age” could view him either as a memory of their first love or an idealized version of their younger selves.

Next Thursday he does his show My Well Schooled Heart in Signatures Sizzling Summer Nights festival at 7:30pm.  In addition, next Wednesday he is combining forces with Natascha Diaz in a show as well.

Here’s the set list from last night…

  • If I Ever Say I’m Over You
  • So In Love
  • I Fall in Love Too Easily / Blame It On My Youth
  • It’s All Right With Me / Sway
  • The Gal That Got Away
  • Lonely House
  • Being Alive
  • You’ve Got Something
  • You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
  • Now and Forever
  • Day By Day
  • Grateful
  • Moon River

*Has any theater around been dying to do Pal Joey?  He would be ideal!

The Plague

May 10, 2008

I caught The Plague last night.  No, not the horrible flu-thing that’s going around, but the current show by Scena Theater at the Warehouse Theater.

The show is an adaptation of the Camus novel that everyone read in 4th year French.  It tells the story of the effects of an outbreak of plague on a small French town.  This adaptation is structured as a long narrative by the doctor treating the outbreak, with additional narrative/action by an ensemble of actors representing the town.  Directors Robert McNamara and Ellen Wilhite goose the script with a ton of theatrical effects and tight choreography of their ensemble.

The reviews in the Post and city Paper are far more tepid than this production deserves.  And neither discussed the great performances including my friend Kim Curtis’s terrifically understated and compassionate portayal of the town magistrate, and Buck O’Leary’s town priest.  I’m glad to say that DC Cabaret Network member Michael Vitaly Sazonov is stunning in the central role of the doctor.  His Tyrone Power-ish looks provide a movie-star glamor to the piece and not only does he deal wonderfully with the demands of driving the narrative, he keeps schlepping set pieces around in a fashion that’s little short of amazing.

To understand the last sentence, one really has to see this theatrical venture.  Which leads us to the inevitable observation that there is no reason to avoid this show like the plague.

Michael Vitaly Sazonov at Indigo on December 7

November 23, 2007

Michael Vitaly Sazonov 


the education of a young, modern day romantic



Directed by  Judy Simmons
Accompanied by  Alex Tang

Michael takes you by the hand as he travels on that bumpy road through Love, Loss, Lust, and Life using his extraordinary voice to passionately evoke such musical contemporaries as John Bucchino, Andrew Lippa, and Stephen Sondheim as well as reverently conjuring some of his other favorites…Cole Porter, Kurt Weill, and Sammy Cahn.   Delicately blending contemporary wit and classic charm, this is a journey that will seduce you with its daring, marvelously funny revelations.

Order tickets

December 7, 2007 at 9:00pm
Indigo at the Atlas Performing Arts Center — 1333 H Street NE Washington, DC