Last night Broadway and Cabaret stars traveled far and wide to salute award-winning cabaret performer and Tony Award-winning producer Jamie deRoy. Jamie, was celebrating the 25th anniversary of her Multi MAC award-winning Variety Show Jamie deRoy & friends, and her “40th annual 30th Birthday” at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (899 10th Avenue at 59th Street.) Wanting to give back she designed the show for the proceeds to benefit The Actors Fund’s new program, The Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative. The program has been created to assist people working in the cabaret industry who seek help for medical needs and concerns made available through the comprehensive services and programs at The Actors Fund.
The evening stated out with video montage done to “The Boy From New York City, ” with special lyric’s done by Barry Kleinbort. Vocalists Haley Swindal and Sara Zahn sang this Manhattan Transfer’s tune as tribute to Jamie’s life
British violinist Daisy Jopling rocked the house with Vivaldi’s “Winter” and switched things up with a haunted Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
The View’s Joy Behar had the audience laughing with her sharp witted humor.
Larry Gatlin flew in and made a one night stop with his warm and honest “I’ve Done Enough Dyin’ Today.” Larry brought his humor and his play with me style with the Gatlin hit “All The Gold In California.” Having performed with Larry, I can tell you if you thought that was an act… it was not. I was just surprised the hand signals were missing.
Never having seen comedian Jay Johnson, this was treat. What a funny man, who excels as a ventriloquist and puppeteer. I loved his monkey Darwin and now have to google monkey jokes.
Robert Cuccioli who finished his run in The Rothschild blended “In My Own Lifetime” with Elvis’s “If I Can Dream” for a powerful rendition.
Michele Lee jazzed out “The Best is Yet to Come” but the New York moment came when she recreated her Tony Award winning moment from Seesaw with Cy Coleman’s “I’m Way Ahead.”
As a surprise Chairman of the Board of the Actor’s Fund, Brian Stokes Mitchell treated the audience to “What a Wonderful World” complete with out organ.
Ervin Drake was remembered by “It Was A Very Good Year” and “Jews Don’t Camp,” both done by Ms. deRoy.
The talented band consisted of Ron Abel: Piano, Musical Director and Arranger, Tom Hubbard: Bass, Rex Benincasa: Drums, Sean Harkness: Guitar, John DiPinto: Synthesizer, Don Downs: Trumpet and David Mann: Reeds.
There are moments that you spend the night in a once in a lifetime moment and thanks to Jamie, last night was one of them.
Happy Birthday Jamie, may next year be as great.