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2019 Asian Artists to Stream as benefit for The Actors Fund Covid 19 Relief Effort

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Asian Artists Step ForwardA Musical Concert Celebrating Love, Hope and Humor was performed live on June 6, 2019 at The Green Room 42. To help with the The Actors Fund Covid 19 Relief Effort the show will re-air and stream on T2Conline.com and Broadwayworld.com beginning Tuesday, August 4th  and will be available until October 31st.   

The original concert has been slightly edited for streaming and will now feature ‘wrap around host’, radio legend and Broadway “voice of God’ Valerie Smaldone.  As part of her introduction and remarks during and after the concert, Ms. Smaldone will be discussing The Actors Fund and encouraging donations. 

Valerie Smaldone

Step Forward Entertainment’s Asian Talents will perform songs from Broadway, the American Song Book and 1970’s pop! This unique collection of Asian talents include one of China’s biggest Musical Theatre stars, the former National Anthem singer of the Philippines; cast members who have appeared in the TV shows BillionsDaredevil, Magnum P.I. (the original), Bronx SIU and those who have appeared in such films, such Stay Away Joe (the love interest of Elvis Presley), Dementia 13 (as the murdered priest), and performed in LIVE in Avenue QSweet Charity, etc. and a 15-year old musical prodigy from Wisconsin making her NYC debut. 

The show stars Kea Chan, Marya Coburn, Pat Labez, Anthony Salvador Lewis, Justin Senense, Akoni Steinmann, Violet Vang and Xiaoqing (Mao) Zhang. On Piano, in addition to appearing as a featured soloist, is international Philippine Music Director, Bobby DeLeon. 

Robert R. Blume, the producer of both the live concert and streaming video, stated “I am thrilled to be able to stream this concert to bring to light these exciting performances, and at the same time benefit The Actors Fund, the organization which helps all of us in times of need.  I just hope we continue to create pieces of art with meaning. I feel honored and am privileged to represent these artists of Asian heritage.“

To Donate to The Actors Fund Covid 19 Relief Effort – www.actorsfund.org/stepforward

Valerie Smaldone currently has a weekly radio show and podcast on AM970, Bagels & Broadway and is a 5-time Billboard Magazine Award winner and is well known for her unprecedented success holding the #1 on-air position in the New York radio market. She has been the “Voice of God” for numerous prestigious live events including: The Kennedy Center, The Clinton Global Initiative, The Concordia Summit, The New York Emmy Awards, The Tony Preview Concert on CBS, The Drama Desk Awards,  Broadway on Broadway in Times Square, Broadway Under the Stars in Central Park, The GLAAD Media Awards, The Point Foundation, and many more.  On television, Valerie has been seen on numerous episodic television shows including Blue BloodsManifest and Tommy.  She has also been a special reporter for ABC and NBC for the Columbus Day Parade.

Broadwayworld.com called Ms. Chan “breathtaking”.  Times Square Chronicles (t2conline.com) heralded Kea as “a performer to keep your eye on”. This native Filipina most recently appeared in The Actors Fund benefit concert celebrating the music of Neil Sedaka.  She also appeared on the Amazon Prime TV series, Homicide City and, at The Green Room 42, she appeared in several concerts.  A finalist for the lead role of Kim in the recent Broadway revival of Miss Saigon, Kea had the honor of singing for the Presidents and Ambassadors of the Philippines, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.  Performing since she was 11, Kea won the Philippine Child Performer of the Year at 13.  Kea has performed in Indie Shorts, the Film Festival circuit, Bronx SIU on Amazon Prime, Las Vegas hotels, the Hudson Guild Theater, The Triad and Feinstein’s 54 Below. 

Marya Coburn was born to a Filipina mother and an American father of Scottish, German and French extraction. Under her stage name, Marya Christen, she was the first and only Philippine-born actress who worked with legends such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jon Voight, Yul Brynner, Bob Fosse, Robert Wagner, to name a few. She is a singer, actress and dancer whose work includes appearances on mainstream American television shows, movies and Broadway musical productions. Marya retired from performing a number of years ago and is now a philanthropist in private life.  She performed in this concert for fun and to celebrate her birthday with the cast.

Pat Labez was born in the Philippines and raised in Hawaii.  In addition to serving as Associate Producer on this concert, Pat has been a working actress since her debut in the original Magnum, P.I. on CBS in the 1989. Following a successful career in health and human services, she returned to acting and was recently seen in a large co-star role on the hit NBC season finale of New Amsterdam in April.  She and also a co-star on CBS-TV’s Blue Bloods that aired in January this year. Earlier acting credits include co-star roles on CBS-TV shows Island Son with Richard Chamberlain and Jake and the Fatman with William Conrad. She also did a number of local commercials, PSAs, and industrial films between Hawaii, California and Colorado.

Anthony Salvador Lewis, is a singer, actor and performer who was born to a Filipina mother and an Italian father. He spent most of his youth showing off his athletic prowess while attending the Lee Strasberg, Actor’s Institute to enhance his stage presence where he received a scholarship to attend the Singer’s Forum. He has performed Shakespeare with the American Theater of Actors.  Among the shows he has under his belt are The Two Gentlemen of VeronaThat’s Amore, Poles Apart, he was Jesus Christ in A Light to the Cross, Dracula in Dracula) and Gringo Honasan in Meldita, performing in regional and international theaters.   

He also played guest starring roles in the movie remake of Sabrina with Harrison Ford and as Howard Stern’s double in “Private Parts”.  He also played a Native American Indian on the Dave Chapelle Show.   Most recently, Anthony played  Father Matos in the remake of the Francis Ford Coppola horror classic, Dementia 13; a reporter in the first season of CBS’s Tommy and has had recurring roles in the hit series “Billions” (Season 4) as Ortiz, Daredevil and Luke Cage as the reporter Jerry.  He had a guest starring role as Utuquiel in Comedy Central’s Alternatino and Amazon Prime’s Bronx SIU as an assassin.  

Justin Senense, is an American actor/singer of Philippine heritage, most recently appeared in The Actors Fund benefit concert celebrating the music of Neil Sedaka.  He was also seen playing the lead in the award winning indie short film Howard. Some of his favorite credits include, Angel in Rent (Westchester Broadway Theatre), Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (National Tour) and Hair (Italian Tour).  He is also a director of cabaret performances and the Director of this show!

Akoni Steinmann recently received his BFA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College. Credits include Anytown: A New MusicalNew Kid (George Street Playhouse), All’s Well That Ends WellKing Lear (Hip to Hip Theatre Company) as well as Tartuffe, A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Skin of Our Teeth, and An Enemy of the People. Since he served as the MC for this Asian Artists Step Forward concert, Akoni has relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Film and Television.

Violet Vang was a 15-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin when she made her professional debut in this concert.  Prior to the pandemic, she attended high school in Wisconsin and auditioned for dramatic, musical and commercial roles in both Chicago and New York, represented in Chicago by Babes ‘N Beaus agency.

Xiaoqing (Mao) Zhang has been a leading lady in many musicals such as the Off-Broadway show The Emperor’s Nightingale; NAAP Prospect Theatre Company’s Into The Woods concert; Pan Asian Repertory Theatre’s Lost in Shanghai, and the musical An Old Day in Chinatown.  She also appeared in Jonathan Lee’s Musical, Road to Heaven; the Off-Broadway musical Eastbound concert and the Mandarin premier of shows in China such as Avenue QMama Loves Me Again and Spiral Show. She has also sung the interlude and title songs in well-known Chinese national TV shows.  Furthermore, she’s been cast in American TBS comedy show The Detour and other voice over work. As an international actress, Xiaoqing worked with famous directors, music directors and choreographers from West End, Broadway and China. Her awards include: first place in the national competition China Star, second place in The World Karaoke Championship in China region, Creative Award in BTV singing and dancing competition.

Bobby DeLeon (Music Director/Piano)
Bobby started playing piano at 4 years old and was in demand throughout Asia for many years while working as a Music Director for prominent groups or playing piano in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Qatar.  He was a favorite and personal Music Director/pianist for Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, when she would give public performances in the United States. He has conducted and music directed shows for some of the most prominent Philippine stars and performers both in the US and abroad and conducted a number of shows in major hotels in Atlantic City.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.  

Step Forward Entertainment, an entertainment production and talent management company headquartered in New York City which also represents clients in Los Angeles, Florida and other areas in the US, was founded by renowned producer / talent manager, Robert R. Blume (“Bob”).  With strong roots on Broadway as an Executive Producer of the annual Drama Desk Awards from 1999 to 2018, Mr. Blume saw the opportunity to share his experience to develop and represent talent plus Produce TV, Film and Theatre. Mr. Blume is proud to present this concert as an Actors Fund Benefit in these dire times. www.stepforwardentertainment.com

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Cabaret

My View: Happily Ever Laughter at 54 Below……Liz Callaway & Jason Graae

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At first glance they might seem like a musical and personality mismatch, but the chemistry between Liz Callaway and Jason Graae is far from problematic.  It is an enormously entertaining integration of these two artists musicianship, acting, and comedic expertise. Liz Callaway’s once in a lifetime voice and vocal dexterity doesn’t just sing in tune.  It lands in the middle of the middle of a note with a clarity that pierces your soul.  Jason, once he gets his oboe in tune (that’s a double entenndre) also possesses excellent vocal technique, and my camera, no matter how many photos I snap is incapable of capturing his enormously expressive facial movements that glide between comical and the heartfelt with such ease. His rendition of William Finn’s “What More Can I Say” brought tears.  The duets from “BABY” for which Ms Callaway was nominated for a Tony and her two songs from the animated film Anastasia (in which she starred) were highlights.  This evening’s friendship (they’ve been for forty years) was the perfect blendship, together with the masterful Alex Rybeck on the piano at 54 Below last night. The show was very appropriately titled “Happily Ever Laughter” and it has two more performances, July 5 & 6.

Speaking of friendship and blendship, my table of KT Sullivan, Eda, and Debbie Gravitte was pretty special too.

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

LIZ CALLAWAY

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

54 BELOW

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

ALEX RYBECK, LIZ CALLAWAY, JASON GRAAE

54 BELOW

JASON GRAAE & RICHARD SKIPPER

KT SULLIVAN, DEBBIE GRAVITTE, EDA SOROKOFF

HAPPILY EVER LAUGHTER

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Cabaret

Gilded Age Music at Cocktail Time 

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A rather serendipitous invitation arrived, was immediately accepted, and next thing I knew I was singing along to delightful music from the beginning of the last century.  A prestigious members-only private club nestled in that small enclave near the Great White Way was the perfect place for such an event. The hosts, George Calderaro, Founding Director of the Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project and everyone’s favorite interpreter of songs from any age, Steve Ross, were ideal as well.  

The purpose of the TPAAP Music Project is to commemorate and continue the legacy of the birthplace of American popular music on West 28th Street, the location of Tin Pan Alley. This group is responsible for having the section of that street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue designated formally as Tin Pan Alley.   

George and Steve worked almost in tandem giving illuminating background on the songs and the composers, most notably Berlin, Gershwin and Kern. The program began with “After the Ball” to which we sang along, without no encouragement needed.  It’s really a sad song, and the lyrics when focused on reveal a heartbreak that is most touching even now. These songs unintentionally spoke of an innocence and naivete that one can yearn for, wistfully perhaps, in this age so far removed from the Gilded One.   

This evening was partially a tutorial, which was most welcome judging by comments heard afterwards.  Who knew, for example, that the man who wrote “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” had never attended a baseball game? As an aside, Steve mentioned that when asked how he could write a song about Paris if he had never been there, Harold Arlen replied “I’ve never been Over the Rainbow” either”! 

The crowd in this august room showered the pair with applause and a standing ovation after we all sang “In Old New York”, where indeed we felt we were, if only for an hour. 

If you google tinpanalley.nyc, you’ll be led to the website of this association. Hope to see you at their next event!  

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Cabaret

Little Island’s The Glade Series, Free-to-the-Public Live Performances

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Little Island announced the line-up for The Glade Series, an array of free-to-the-public live performances, launching July 10. These events will take place Wednesday through Sunday for seven weeks inside the Island’s 200-seat venue. This announcement comes on the heels of the sold-out run of Twyla Tharp, T Bone Burnett, and David Mansfield’s How Long Blues, which opened Little Island’s blockbuster summer season of world premiere events.

From July 10-14, each night of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’s Tell Me More series will thoughtfully pair a musical performance with a conversation between Parks and an expert from a different field. On July 10, for an evening themed “Greens & Blues,” a set by blues legend Ruthie Foster will precede a talk between Parks and Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx. Other guests include designer Daisy Wang, who will also dress Lori-Parks, freestyle MC Corey James Gray, Columbia astronomy professor Jane Huang, harpist Brandee Younger, historian Eric Foner, and Parks’ own Psychedelic Soap Box, a post-bop jazz collective with spoken word. On Saturday July 13, Parks will invite the audience into one of her engaging Watch Me Work sessions, alongside a very special guest, before taking the stage with her band Sula & the Joyful Noise.

Taking the Glade stage from July 17-21 will be “wondrous” (The New York Times) dancer Melissa Toogood, in an intimate epilogue to Pam Tanowitz’s Day for Night, playing concurrently in Little Island’s Amphitheater (The Amph).

Mx Justin Vivian Bond, downtown cabaret legend and recent recipient of the first Judy Icon Award, will play five nights from July 24-28.

The Island will host a one-of-a-kind Oyster Market, July 31-August 4, curated and overseen by New Amsterdam Market founder and culinary world all-star Robert LaValva. Alongside live oyster shucking, the market will feature local vendors selling their unique culinary creations, which pair perfectly with The Oyster Radio Hour playing simultaneously in The Amph.

Then, from August 7-11, Morgan Jay returns to Little Island for his third consecutive summer to host and curate a week of comedy, including acts by Jay Jurden, Neel Gosh, and Sarah Tollemache.

From August 14-18, linguists Ross Perlin and Daniel Kaufman, co-founders of the Endangered Language Alliance, will collaborate with Michael Leibenluft and Gung Ho Projects to create a series of performances about the past, present, and future of the world’s most linguistically diverse city. The series will be led by speakers of endangered, Indigenous, and minority languages, talking about their communities in their own words and in their own languages, alongside poetry, music, and movement, with texts based on Perlin’s Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York. A multilingual soundscape will draw on ELA’s digital language archive, with its recordings in more than one hundred languages, as well as visual elements from ELA’s digital landscape map and creative translanguaging translation strategies.

From August 21-25, Grammy Award-winning artist Cécile McLorin Salvant will lend her curatorial vision to the Glade, programming a set of performances by other musicians at the vanguard of their styles and forms, including jazz vocalist Vanisha Gould, folk artist June McDoom, multi-instrumentalist Lua Noah, pianist Sullivan Fortner, and more.

Closing out summer in the Glade, from August 28-September 1, Gio Escobar will host a series of unique, genre-bending experiences, including a bomba and a salsa night, before taking the stage with his own avant-garde collective, Standing on the Corner.

Tickets to Little Island’s summer season of performances, as well as information on free programs, are available at littleislanditickets.com.

THE GLADE SERIES / FULL PERFORMANCE CALENDAR

JULY 10-14 / SUZAN-LORI PARKS      

“Tell Me More”                                                

A series of performances and conversation curated and hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks. Each evening, conceived around a pair of ideas, will feature a musical act and a conversation between Parks and a cultural luminary.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 7:00 PM

Blues & Greens: Conversation with Suzan-Lori Parks and Majora Carter / Performance by Ruthie Foster

The Glade

Thursday, July 11, 2024, 10:00 PM

The Runway & The Street: Conversation with fashion designer Daisy Wang / Performance by MC Corey James Gray & Freestyle Monday

The Glade

Friday, July 12, 2024, 10:00 PM

Outer Space & Inner Space: Conversation with Columbia Astronomy Professor Jane Huang / Performance by Psychedelic Soap Box /

The Play Ground

Saturday, July 13, 2024, 7:00 PM

Work & Play: Watch Me Work w/ Suzan-Lori Parks & Special Guest / Performance by Suzan-Lori Parks’s Sula & the Joyful Noise

The Glade

Sunday, July 14, 2024, 7:00 PM

Past & Future: Conversation with Suzan-Lori Parks and Eric Foner / Performance by Brandee Younger

The Glade    

JULY 17-21 / MELISSA TOOGOOD

“Epilogue: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Day For Night’”                                

“Wondrous performer” (New York Times) Melissa Toogood dances an epilogue to choreographer Pam Tanowitz’s Day for Night, playing at 8:30pm each night in The Amph.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Thursday, July 18, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Friday, July 19, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Saturday, July 20, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Sunday, July 21, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade      

JULY 24-28 / JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND                                                                    

A Week of Cabaret                                                   

Wednesday, July 24, 2024, 6:30 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Thursday, July 25, 2024, 6:30 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Friday, July 26, 2024, 10:00 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Saturday, July 27, 2024, 10:00 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Sunday, July 28, 2024, 6:30 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

July 31-August 4 / NEW AMSTERDAM OYSTER MARKET

A week of food. Curated by Roberta LaValva & the New Amsterdam Market

Food & Beverage available for purchase*

AUGUST 7-11 / MORGAN JAY & FRIENDS                                                                        

A Week of Comedy

Wednesday, August 7, 2024, 7PM

Morgan Jay, Usama Siddique, Isa Medina, Daniel Bridgegadd

The Glade

Thursday, August 8, 2024, 7PM

Morgan Jay, Sean Donnelly, Tatiana Frank, Myq Kaplan

The Glade

Friday, August 9, 2024, 10:00 PM

Morgan Jay, Sahib Singh, Shane Torres, Jordan Jensen

The Glade

Saturday, August 10, 2024, 7:00 PM

Morgan Jay, Jay Jurden, Carmen Lynch, Neel Gosh

The Glade    

Sunday, August 11, 2024, 7:00 PM

Morgan Jay, Sarah Tollemache, Leclerc Andrew, Erin Jackson

The Glade    

AUGUST 14-18 / ENDANGERED LANGUAGE ALLIANCE

“Language City”                                                      

A series of performances about the past, present, and future of the world’s most linguistically diverse city. The series will be led by speakers of endangered, Indigenous, and minority languages speaking about their communities in their own words and in their own languages, alongside poetry, music, and movement, with texts based on Perlin’s Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York. A multilingual soundscape will draw on ELA’s digital language archive, with its recordings in over a hundred languages, as well as visual elements from ELA’s digital landscape map and creative translanguaging translation strategies.

Conceived by Ross Perlin, Daniel Kaufman, Michael Leibenluft, the Endangered Language Alliance, and Gung Ho Projects. Directed by Michael Leibenluft.

Wednesday, August 14, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade

Thursday, August 15, 2024, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade

Friday, August 16, 2024, 10:00 PM

Language City

The Glade

Saturday, August 17, 2024, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade

Sunday, August 18, 2024, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade    

AUGUST 21-25 / CURATED BY CECILE MCLORIN SALVANT

A Week of Celebrated Jazz and Folk Artists

Wednesday, August 21, 2024, 8:30PM

Vanisha Gould (ASL Interpreted)

The Glade

Thursday, August 22, 2024, 8:30-9:30PM

June McDoom

The Glade

Friday, August 23, 2024, 10:00 PM

Lua Noah

The Glade

Saturday, August 24, 2024, 8:30PM

Sullivan Fortner

The Glade

Sunday, August 25, 2024, 8:30PM

TBA

The Glade    

AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 1 / CURATED BY GIO ESCOBAR        

A Week of Music and Performance Art

Wednesday, August 28, 2024, 7PM

The Glade

Thursday, August 29, 2024, 7PM

The Glade

Friday, August 30, 2024, 10:00 PM

TBD

Saturday, August 31, 202, 7PM

The Glade

Sunday, September 1, 2024, 7PM

The Glade    

After the conclusion of these public performances in September, The Glade will become New York’s newest outdoor cocktail lounge, complete with a bar designed by Green River Project and a menu of beer, wine, cocktails and mocktails that can be consumed in The Glade or enjoyed anywhere on Little Island. This is just one of the multiple food and beverage venues in the park, throughout the summer.

Little Island’s first annual, four-month-long summer season of world premieres, which kicked off on June 1, features a total of nine newly commissioned pieces. Little Island’s new arts program moves towards the future with a commitment to a multi-year roster of original work, all commissioned by and developed at Little Island. Bookended by the premiere of choreographer Twyla Tharp’s newest work How Long Blues and a 90-minute remix of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in which outré opera diva Anthony Roth Costanzo sings every leading role, the season offers premieres of varying scales across all areas of performance – including music, dance, theater, opera, comedy, jazz, pop, and funk, all outdoors and directly sited on the Hudson River at 14th Street in New York City. The Amph, the park’s 700-seat amphitheater, will house larger scale performances at a $25 ticket price, while The Glade, the park’s 200-seat venue, will be home to more intimate works, all of which will be completely free to the public.

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Cabaret

My View: Jamie deRoy & Her Friends….Who’s Like Them….Damm few

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There wasn’t a sign on the door that said “ Private Party…you have to know Jamie deRoy to get in”, but it seemed that way last night as all the tables in Birdland were filled with Jamie’s friends. They came for another edition of her long running (34 years) variety show.  Jamie as usual hosted the evening and presented a talented line up of performer friends which included: Jason Graae, Jason Henderson, Cory Kahaney, MOIPEI, A.J. Shively, and Jim Vallance & Catherine Porter. The evening, which benefited the Entertainment Community Fund, was directed by Barry Kleinbort with musical direction by Ron Abel.

A show tends to be well received when an audience is mainly comprised of friends. However, even an audience of strangers would have become Jamie’s friends after watching this outstanding cast creating a highly enjoyable evening of music and humor.  As the song says.. “ya’ got to have friends”, and to answer the question asked by the many friends who couldn’t snag a ticket…yes, Jamie sang “Jews Don’t Camp”.

Check out the show photos and the Cast Party

JAMIE deROY

A.J.SHIVELY

JASON HENDERSON

CORY KAHANEY

CATHERINE PORTER & JIM VALLANCE

CATHERINE PORTER

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

RON ABEL, music director

RON ABEL

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Cabaret

Tony Award® nominee A.J. Shively Joins Jamie deRoy & friends A Benefit For The Entertainment Community Fund

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Today, producer Jamie deRoy announced that Tony Award® nominee A.J. Shively (Paradise Square) and Jason Henderson have been added to Jamie deRoy & friends on Monday, July 1 at 7:00PM at Birdland (315 W 44th Street, New York City 10036). Other special guests are Jason Graae, Cory Kahaney, MOIPEI, Jim Vallance and Catherine Porter. This performance will be livestreamed HERE.

A frequent presence on the New York cabaret scene, Jamie deRoy has produced Jamie deRoy & friends for more than 34 years. For the last decade, Jamie deRoy & friendshas benefitted the Entertainment Community Fund.

In a statement, Ms. deRoy said, “I initially started the ‘Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative’ to advocate for cabaret performers to receive benefits from the Entertainment Community Fund. Producing benefits for the Fund has since been one of the cornerstones of my producing career. I’m thrilled to continue that proud tradition next month with this wonderful line-up of talent.”

The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing.

Jamie deRoy & friends will be directed by Barry Kleinbort with musical direction by Ron Abel and Tom Hubbard on Bass.

Reservations are open at 212-581-3080 or www.BirdlandJazz.com. Tickets are $100 VIP/$50 General Seating. $20 food/drink minimum.

Jamie deRoy started producing theater by accident…which has led to 12 Tony® Awards and credits on 150+ Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including, in recent seasons, Stereophonic, Merrily We Roll Along, The Who’s Tommy, Spamalot, Gutenberg The MusicalParade, Good Night Oscar, Leopoldstadt, and The Play That Goes Wrong. Additional awards include nine MAC® Awards, 12 Drama Desk® Awards, four Audience Choice® Awards, 13 Drama League® Awards, three GLAAD® Awards, four Back Stage Bistro® Awards, numerous Telly® Awards and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement® Award. She has been honored by Theatre Works/USA, Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement, Primary Stages, the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Award, and The York Theatre Founder’s Award. She was inducted into the MJHI Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Jamie’s television producing credits include “Jamie deRoy & friends,” “CityArts: The Biggest Little Operas in Town” (Emmy® nomination), and “Where Do Musicals Come From?” Films include the documentaries Broadway: The Golden AgeBroadway: Beyond the Golden Age and Left Alone Rhapsody.

A.J. Shively Broadway: Paradise Square (Tony, OCC, Chita Rivera noms.); Bright Star (Drama Desk nom.); La Cage Aux Folles. Nat’l Tour: Bright StarThe Sound of Music. Off-Broadway/New York: Titanic (Encores); Philadelphia, Here I Come (Theatre World Award, Drama Desk, Lortel noms.), Brigadoon (Irish Rep); A Man Of No Importance (Lortel award, OCC nom.; CSC); February House (The Public); The Suitcase Under The Bed (Mint); Unlock’d (Prospect); …Guide To A Successful Marriage (Cherry Lane); Things To Ruin (Second Stage); Little Airplanes Of The Heart (EST); ReWrite (Urban Stages). Regional: Boston Pops; Berkeley Rep; Kennedy Center; CTG; Old Globe; PCLO. TV/Film: “Julia” (HBO Max); “Bull” (CBS); “Hunters” (Amazon Prime); “Homeland” (Showtime); “Madam Secretary” (CBS); “The Blacklist” (NBC); “Younger” (TV Land); Other People’s Bodies(upcoming); Nobody Walks In LAFrom NowhereSyrupHairBrained. Training: University of Michigan; RADA.

Jason Henderson. This season for his cabaret show, ‘Getting To Noël You’ – created together with Director Barry Kleinbort and Musical Director Christopher Denny, cabaret performer Jason Henderson received the 2024 Bistro Award – Musical Comedy Performer and was nominated 2024 Male Vocalist at the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) Awards. In May the show opened the 2024 Long Beach Cabaret Festival. In New York City, over multiple repeat performances at cabaret institution ‘Don’t Tell Mama’, critics have been unanimous in their praise –  the show was listed in the ‘Top 10 Cabaret Shows of 2023’ by Times Square Chronicles. Jason holds a Master of Music (awarded with distinction) in Contemporary Voice – University of Otago, is a former member of the New Zealand Opera Chorus (2012-2016), and an alumna of five New Zealand Singing Schools, and the St. Louis Cabaret Conference. Jason is proud to be a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre – a member of the extraordinary class of ’23.

Jason Graae has been featured on and Off-Broadway in A Grand Night For Singing, Falsettos, Stardust, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, Forever Plaid, Snoopy!, Olympus on My Mind, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Drama Desk® Nomination) and more. He played Houdini in the LA company of Ragtime and recently was The Wiz in the National tour of Wicked. With LA, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Michigan, and Washington National Opera companies he has played Njegus in the Merry Widow, Frosch in Die Fledermaus, and Offenbach in The Grand Duchess. His many TV credits include “Rude Awakening”, “6 Feet Under”, “Friends”, “Frasier”, “Dukes of Hazzard”, “Sabrina”, many cartoons and for 5 years was the voice of Lucky for Lucky Charms Cereal. He has recorded over 75 CDs. Thank you and goodnight.

Cory Kahaney has appeared on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert and David Letterman. Other television appearances include “CONAN”, “This Week at the Comedy Cellar” and “The View”. Cory was a grand finalist in NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and a semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent”. She has had comedy specials on Comedy Central, HBO and her new special premieres on Amazon Prime in August.

MOIPEI (Mary, Maggy and Marta Moipei) are identical triplets from Nairobi, Kenya and currently reside in the U.S. Recent Performances include: The Kennedy Center, 54 Below, Birdland, Merkin Hall, Amarillo Opera, and the Indianapolis Symphony. They have been performing their 2-act multi-media concert, an eclectic mix of their own arrangements of Broadway tunes, jazz hits, spirituals, and Kenyan folk songs at PACs throughout the country. They were voted as “Best Vocal Group” for BroadwayWorld.com 2023 Cabaret Awards. At the age of 12, were appointed Kenya’s first ever UNICEF Child Ambassadors. They were awarded the Head of State Commendation (HSC), by the President of Kenya, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Music Industry and the Nation. Their album “In the Land of the Lion,” won the 2011 Best of Africa category, at the prestigious South Africa Broadcasting Corporation Awards® (SABC). “Their enchantment, either as singers or as people will bewitch all who see and hear them.” Stephen Mosher @MOIPEI.

Catherine Porter’s varied career has taken her around the globe. She sang opposite Michael Crawford in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, touring the US, UK, Japan and Australia.  She rocked stadiums world-wide as a member of Queen guitarist Brian May’s band, opening for Guns-N-Roses. She’s starred in numerous shows in London’s West End, most notably Sunset Boulevard, which took her to Australia where she originated the role of Betty Schaefer opposite Hugh Jackman. She has sung with the likes of Chaka Khan, Mel B, Kiki Dee and most recently, Norbert Leo Butz. Catherine made her Broadway debut standing by for the role of Diana in the Tony Award®-winning musical, Next to Normal. She’s a songwriter and, most importantly, mother to Ruby, for whom her 2009 album, Gems for Ruby was created. Instagram: cathporter1.

Jim Vallance saw The Beatles on television at age eleven, it was a life-altering moment. Swept up and inspired by the “British Invasion” he begged his parents for a guitar or a drum kit. He got both! As a musician, producer, and songwriter Jim has collaborated with artists as diverse as Aerosmith, Heart, Tina Turner, Michael Bublé and Ozzy Osbourne, to name a few. Pretty Woman: The Musical, which he co-composed with Bryan Adams, has delighted audiences in New York, London and internationally.

The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. Since 1882, the Fund has sought to ensure stability, encourage resiliency and be a safety net for those who shape our country’s cultural vibrancy. Learn more at entertainmentcommunity.org.

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