Brenda Braxton and Bebe Neuwirth at The Green Room 42
The Green Room 42 – the intimate concert venue dubbed Broadway’s “off-night hotspot” by The New York Times – will present Grammy Award-winner and Tony Award-nominated Broadway veteran Brenda Braxton in the premiere edition of her live music and talk show “Stars Tonight!” on Monday, March 6 at 7:00 PM.
The evening, which combines a touch of Johnny Carson with songs, comedy, and interviews, will welcome Emmy and Tony Award-winner Bebe Neuwirth as the first special guest. The audience gets a close up and personal evening with their favorite Broadway and television stars as Ms. Braxton weaves stories of her years on Broadway in musicals such as Smokey Joe’s Café, Dreamgirls, Legs Diamond, Jelly’s Last Jam, and Cats. The show, which features musical director Tracy Stark on piano, Skip Ward on bass, David Silliman on drums, and Andrew Gutauskas on saxophone, is co-hosted by Allison Williams Foster.
Brenda Braxton is a native New Yorker and a graduate of the High School for the Performing Arts. She was featured on Broadway in Smokey Joe’s Café, where she was nominated for a Tony Award and the recipient of the NAACP Theater Award, Chicago’s Jefferson Award and Grammy Award for Best Cast Album. In 2003 she joined the Broadway cast of Chicago in the starring role of Velma Kelly, opposite Bebe Neuwirth, Rita Wilson and Usher. A few of her other Broadway credits include Jelly’s Last Jam, Cats, Legs Diamond, and the original production of Dreamgirls. Her TV credits include “Nurse Jackie,” “Smash” and, most recently, law partner Madeline on “The Good Fight.”
She founded the not-for-profit organization Leading Ladies Just for Teens (LLJFT), which leads seminars geared toward empowering young girls. For her work with LLJFT, she received the Dr. Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” Award from New York’s Governor Pataki, the Josephine Baker Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and the Community Service Award given by the National Association of Negro Business Women. Her first book, The Little Black Book of Backstage Etiquette, helps new artists navigate through their life behind the scenes in theater.
Brenda Braxton will host “Stars Tonight!” at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel) on Monday, March 6 at 7:00 PM. The cover charge ranges from $25-$45. A livestream option is available for $20. There is no food or beverage minimum. For tickets, please visit www.TheGreenRoom42.com.
Storm Large Brings The Sexual Heat Along With Powerhouse Vocals To 54 Below
Doris Day’s “Que Sera, Que Sera, takes on a hint of sexual subversive overtone as flower child Storm Large makes her way through the audience at 54 Below handing out possies.
If you do not know who Storm Large is, she is a musician, actor, playwright and author, who shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova. Large currently performs nationally with her own band, and tours internationally with the Portland-based band Pink Martini. Large also appeared on America’s Got Talent on June 14, 2021, performing a cover of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” which is when I became obsessed.
Large is raw, real, human, and oh so female, and her new show has her explaining her life and how she empathize with all of us during being locked down. Her take on Jay Livingston and Ray Evans “Crazy Train” took on a deeper and more profound epiphany.
Lauper’s and Large’s ode to self-gratification, brought back the 80’s “She Bop“. Large talks between the numbers and we learn how Ms. Large dealt with not performing, in Prince’s “Nothing Compares To You“.
You will never think of Grease’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You” in the same way again after the “Carrie: version Storm maps out. You definitely get a glimpse of the demons that she battles or rather plays with.
Connecting so strongly to lyric and having a range that is unbelievable, Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Shovels & Rope’s “After The Storm” and The Kinks “Strangers” told of heartbreak, longing, loss as Storm played the drums and ukulele. She is multi-talented and it is mind boggling how she is not more nationally and internationally beloved.
A lot of the audience knew Storm’s “8 Mile Wide” from her hit one-woman show Crazy Enough. This song is a female empowerment ode of being who she is and she does not apologize. Despite the song being about her anatomy, this was her father’s favorite song. She sang it to him before he died.
The Hollies “Air That I Breathe” and a song by Storm and her amazing musical director James Beaton, “Angels in The Gas Station” were dedicated to her father. Beaton is also who does Storm’s arrangements including the fabulous “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, that sadly she did not grace us with,
Playing in her band are musicians that are all stellar in the own rights with Matt Brown on Bass, Scott Weddle on Guitar and Greg Uklund on Drums.
You can catch Storm Large: Loving Storm, tonight at 54 Below and I highly recommend you do. If you have never experienced this super nova you will be glad you did.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: New York Pops and Marvelous Marilyn Maye
“The astonishing Marilyn Maye sings with the magnificent New York Pops led by Maestro Steve Reineke this Friday evening, March 24th at Carnegie Hall. They are remarkable talents and remarkable people.
Cabaret legend Marilyn Maye takes the stage with The New York Pops for a program of standards and musical theater classics that make clear why she’s been celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz singers for more than 50 years. Hear favorites by composers who include Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Loesser, and Sondheim, as well as Maye’s special version of “Too Late Now,” which was selected by the Smithsonian Institution for its permanent collection of 20th-century recordings.
My View: The Only Thing Missing Was A Latte ( with extra foam) Marcy & Zina Party at 54 Below
The only thing missing at last night’s party for Marcy and Zina was a Latte choice in the beverage section on the menu at 54 Below (with extra foam). The show, titled Make Your Own Party: The Songs of Goldrich and Heisler was conceived by Scott Coulter and performed by a cast of five. It celebrated over three decades of quirky, heartfelt and utterly contemporary romantic comedy songs written by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich.
From “Taylor the Latte Boy” to under appreciated altos we were introduced to the cast of characters that inspired these inseparable, irreverent friends to write over three hundred and counting musical love letters to the city, the theatre, and the people who make them sing. The evening was filled with the heart felt stories that these two award winning women have created and was performed by a first rate cast of Broadway super singers. The lyrics, the music, the luscious harmonies…it was the best party of music I’ve ever been invited to.
The Performers: Jill Abramowitz, Cole Burden, Alex Getlin, Joe Kinosian, Kelli Rabke, and Austin Rivers.
Joe Kinosian,piano, Matt Scharfglass, bass
Marcy & Zina have been performing and writing together since 1992. Their critically acclaimed romantic comedy songs have been featured in venues across the world, recorded by artists across many genres, and appear in numerous folios and collected works. Their Off-Broadway musical Dear Edwina earned them a Drama Desk nomination, and other works have been produced by regional powerhouses such as Paper Mill playhouse, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Goodspeed, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Their shows include Ever After, JUnie B Jones, and The Great American Musical, based on the bestselling book by auther/director Julie Andrews.
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