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Music News: Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch, Sydney Myer, Holiday Series at The Lucille Lortel and Maxine Linehan



Birdland, 315 West 44th Street will present the 12th Annual A Swinging Birdland Christmas” – starring vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch – for five performances from December 21 to 25 at 5:30 PM. In the tradition of beloved seasonal television specials, Blackhurst, Caruso and Stritch perform swinging arrangements of “The Christmas Waltz,” Kay Thompson’s “The Holiday Season,” “Sleigh Ride,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Snow,” and “It Happened In Sun Valley,” among other favorites. This year they will include a special tribute to the late Freddy Cole, the celebrated jazz/pop singer and pianist – and cherished member of the Birdland family – who passed away last year.  In addition to the trio of singers and Stritch on piano, the show features Steve Doyle on bass, and Daniel Glass on drums.

The trio released the hit album Christmas at Birdland with Club44 Records in 2019, which featured guest arists Donny Osmond on vocals and Dave Koz on saxophone. The recording – hailed as “a tasty confection of a disc, loaded with joy, wit, and plenty of sass” by New York Arts Review – debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz Chart and hit #7 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. Drawing on their individual strengths, the production team of Billy Stritch and Wayne Haun bring the best of New York and Nashville together in this landmark recording full of musicality and versatility, familiarity and fun.

Sydney Myer Photo by Magda Katz

At the tippy top of Pangea’s holiday tree is none other than the beloved cabaret star Sidney Myer, who headlines Pangea’s New Year’s Eve festivities in back-to-back shows at 8pm and 10:30pm in Pangea’s ultra-romantic Cabaret Room on Friday December 31. Currently basking in the glow of an SRO extended engagement (which ran from November 8 to 29), Myer will be joined by Tracy Stark on piano and the singer-comedienne Gretchen Reinhagen who serves as the evening’s emcee. Tickets to both shows are just $50, and food and drink are à-la-carte with a $75 minimum. Capacity in the jewel-box Cabaret Room is limited so early ticket purchase is highly recommended.   For tickets visit In his Broadwayworld review of “Sidney’s Back at Pangea,” Bobby Patrick recently called Sidney “effusively lovable,” adding, “when Sidney performs there is magic in the air (…) [he] brings a one-of-a-kind electricity to the room.”  And like the champagne glasses in this affordable, à-la-carte evening, Sidney is “a study in how to fill the room with a performance without ever over-filling it.” Between shows the multi award-winning Reinhagen and the multi award-winning Stark will hold court in the Front Lounge to keep the festivities buoyant.  Reinhagen also takes the reins after Sidney’s 10:30p show, with a 20-minute set for the countdown and to propel us into 2022. 

The Lucille Lortel Theatre is proud to announce its new holiday performance series, Tinsel: A Global Holiday Celebration. Running from December 6-31, live performances will be held at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, showcasing effervescent live music, performance, and dance with leading artists from around the globe. 

Tinsel: A Global Holiday Celebration is New York City’s holiday event of the season. The Lucille Lortel Theatre is excited to welcome audiences into a space full of joy and celebration, where the lights are bright and the tunes are spirited. Throughout the month of December, there will be a variety of unique productions featuring artists with roots from Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India, and around the world. These phenomenal artists will share with you their holiday traditions and spotlight the diverse ways people celebrate around the world.

A highlight this season is the 12-show run of Everett Bradley’s Holidelic, the beloved holiday funk revue headed by famed rock percussionist Everett Bradley (E Street Band, Bon Jovi). Bradley plays the role of Papadelic, Funk’s Father Christmas, an amalgamation of George Clinton and Santa Claus, featuring holiday-themed funk songs written by Bradley and brought to life by an array of top shelf noise makers. 

Additional shows feature a robust mix of performances that celebrate the best of the holiday season from all cultures. Performers include international drag superstar Latrice Royale, notable Broadway names Jelani Remy (Ain’t too Proud), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Jared Grimes (Funny Girl), Reed Luplau (Moulin Rouge!), Jaime Lozano and The Familia, Ronny Dutra, Ilene Reid, and Brinda Guha, plus Cumbé Dance and a traditional Mexican pastorela from Something from Abroad. From cabaret shows featuring celebrated Broadway artists showcasing their cultural holiday traditions to unique dancers from around the globe and a vibrant drag show, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Tinsel: A Global Holiday Celebration.

Show Calendar

Monday, December 6  7:00 pmReed Luplau’s Crikey…It’s Christmas!Music
Thursday, December 99:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Friday, December 10 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Saturday, December 11  7:00 pmJared Grimes’s Christmas In The Lab Tap Dance | Music
Saturday, December 11 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Sunday, December 12 1:00 pmPastorela: A very Merry Immigrant ChristmasTheater
Monday, December 137:00 pmJelani Remy’s ‘Tis de Season with Jelani! 
Wednesday, December 157:00 pmJaime Lozano & The Familia:
Canciones para Navidad (Songs for Christmas)
Music | Cabaret
Thursday, December 167:00pmBrinda Guha’s invocation (a holiday summoning)Music | Dance
Friday, December 17  7:00 pmIlene Reid’s The Sounds Around the HouseMusic | Cabaret
Friday, December 17 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Saturday, December 18 1:00 pmPastorela: A very Merry Immigrant ChristmasTheater
Saturday, December 18 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Sunday, December 192:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Sunday, December 197:00 pmCumbe’s Family Celebrations Throughout the African DiasporaDance | Music
Monday December 20  7:00 pmTelly Leung’s Tossing Tinsel with TellyMusic | Cabaret
Wednesday, December 22 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Thursday, December 23 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Sunday, December 262:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Monday, December 27  7:00 pmRonny Dutra’s Réveillon BrancoSamba Dance | Music
Monday, December 27| 9:00 pmLatrice Royale’s Why It Gotta Be White Christmas?!Music | Drag
Tuesday, December 287:00 pmRonny Dutra’s Réveillon Branco Samba Dance | Music
Tuesday, December 289:00 pmLatrice Royale’s Why It Gotta Be White Christmas?!Music | Drag
Wednesday, December 297:00 pmLatrice Royale’s Why It Gotta Be White Christmas?!Music | Drag
Wednesday, December 29 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Thursday, December 30 9:00 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic
Friday, December 31 10:30 pmEverett Bradley’s HolidelicMusic

International concert and recording artist Maxine Linehan has released a new single, “Evergreen,” off her acclaimed holiday album, This Time of Year. Inspired by the evergreen trees populating the backyard garden of her Vermont home, Maxine Linehan’s newest single is a tribute to love’s ability to endure even in the darkest of times — like an evergreen surviving the harshest of winters. “Evergreen” is perfect holiday ballad for a world regaining its hope and rekindling its joy after a most difficult time.

“Evergreen” is now available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, YouTube, and Tidal. Click HERE to download. 

The single was written by Andrew Koss, Maxine Linehan, Trey Bruce, Darren Holden, and was engineered and mixed by Andrew Koss at The Studio At Strawberry Fields Lane in Manchester Vermont.  

As previously announced, the world premiere of Maxine’s new solo holiday concert, This Time of Year will be performed one-night-only at Southern Vermont Arts Center on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 7:30PM. Tickets are now available HERE.

This Time of Year the album is produced by Andrew Koss, Music Directed and arranged by Ryan Shirar, co-written by Grammy Award nominee Felix McTeigue (title track), mixed by multi Grammy winner Kevin Killen, and mastered by multi Grammy winner Bob Ludwig. 

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:


The Marvelous Marilyn Maye Received Twelve Standing Ovations At The New York Pops



Karen Akers, Jim Caruso, Tony Danza, Jamie deRoy, Max von Essen, Melissa Errico, Bob Mackie, Susie Mosher, Sidney Myer, Josh Prince, Lee Roy Reams, Rex Reed, Randy Roberts, Mo Rocca , Mark Sendroff, Lee Roy Reams, Brenda Vaccaro and David Zippel were there to see and honor Cabaret legend and Grammy nominee Marilyn Maye. Maye who turns 95 April 10th, made her at Carnegie Hall solo debut last night with The New York Pops, led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke.

Steven Reineke Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator, Grammy nominated recording artist and a musical treasure. Her entire life has been committed to the art of song and performance and it showed with the 12 standing ovations she received.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Maye appeared 76 times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen and had a RCA recording contract, seven albums and 34 singles.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The evening started out with the superlative New York Pops Overture of Mame, which Maye had played the title role.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Next a Cole Porter Medley with “Looking at You,”  Concentrate On You,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” It’s Alright With Me,””Just One of Those Things,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “All of You”. This was Marilyn’s second standing ovation. The first was when she stood on that stage for the first time and the audience was rapturous.

Marilyn Maye and Steven Reineke Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

A terrific “It’s Today” from Mame with high flying kicks was the third ovation and wow can that woman kick.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

A rainbow medley included “Look To The Rainbow” from Finnian’s Rainbow, the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” the jazzy “Make Me Rainbows” and of course “The Rainbow Connection.” And with that another standing ovation.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

“Put On A Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Tedd Firth and Marilyn Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Frank Loesser’s Joey, Joey, Joey brought on a fifth standing ovation. This song was a masterclass in acting and vocal nuance. For that matter every song that comes out of Ms. Maye’s mouth is perfection. Part of the brilliance of this night is her musical director, arranger, and pianist Ted Firth. That man is a genius.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke, Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Lerner and Loewe’s “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady ended the first act with a sixth standing ovation.

Steven Reineke Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The overture from Hello Dolly! and then Cabaret shows Marilyn Maye also starred in opened the second act. The New York Pops sounded phenomenal as always.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

“Your Gonna Hear From Me” from “Inside Daisy Clover was an appropriate starter for this next round as the audience got to its feet.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Maye’s most requested song “Guess Who I Saw Today” from New Faces of 1952 was followed by a show stopping “Fifty Percent” from Ballroom and of course another standing ovation.

Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Her next song was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be included in its permanent collection of recordings from the 20th century. Her recording of “Too Late Now” is considered by the Smithsonian to be one of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century and Ms. Maye showed us why and again another standing ovation.

Being presented with flowers

A proclamation from The City of New York read by Steven Reineke to Marilyn Maye made this day Marilyn Maye Day. This treasure cried with joy as she sang Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here.” Though she forgot some of the lyric, Ms. Maye proved performing is all on the intent and connecting to the audience. Two more standing ovations were added here.

Steven Reineke, Marilyn Maye with the proclamation Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke, Marilyn Maye with the proclamation Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

For encores, I was thrilled to hear James Taylor’s “Circle of Life” and “Here’s To Life,” which is my personal favorite, finally going back into “It’s Today” with those high kicks and a twelfth standing ovation. Bravo Ms. Maye!

Steven Reineke, Marilyn Maye with the proclamation Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

If you are a singer and do not catch Ms. Maye live, you really do not care about your craft. Last night Ms. Maye made it clear why she’s been celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz singers for more than 50 years and this was a night I will always remember. Thank-you New York Pops.

Marilyn Maye By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Steven Reineke, Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Jamie deRoy and Tony Danza Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Jim Caruso and Max von Essen Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Eric Gabbard., Steven Reineke, Jim Caruso and Max von Essen Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Marilyn Maye and Melissa Errico Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Marilyn Maye and Melissa Errico Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bob Mackie and Marilyn Maye Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Marilyn Maye and Mark Sendroff Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Karen Akers, Sidney Myer, Marilyn Maye and Lee Roy Reams Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Josh Prince, Marilyn Maye and Michael Novak Photo By Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Don’t miss the Pop’s 40th Birthday Gala: This One’s For You: The Music Of Barry Manilow on Monday, May 1st. The gala will star Sean Bell, Erich Bergen, Betty Buckley, Charo, Deborah Cox, Danny Kornfeld, Norm Lewis, Melissa Manchester, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, Billy Stritch, Steven Telsey, Max von Essen, Dionne Warwick, and more to be announced. This will be yet another New York Pop’s Night not to miss.


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The Mayor of Times Square Meets One of the World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivors



I arrived to a packed lecture room at a Library in South Florida.   This lecture caught my eye weeks prior and I made sure to have it in my calendar.  After all, how many more times will I get a chance to hear a 99 year old survivor tell his remarkable story of inconceivable hell, survival and ultimately impressive success?   What I heard in the room that day was hard to fathom it wasn’t part of a Spielberg movie with some creative liberty thrown in to embellish an already unbelievable true story.  This was the real deal.  A vivid description of hell on earth.  What I couldn’t understand is how did this survivor go on to create a vibrant family and a very successful business career and not be bitter every day of his life?   Equally remarkable is how someone his age could tell a story from 85 years ago as if it happened yesterday and with energy and charisma of someone half his age.  He spoke for 45 minutes without a break.  Little did anyone in the audience know that, just prior to arriving at the Library, he fell and injured himself, making his perseverance in even making it to the Library even more heroic.  This is no ordinary man.   I approached the stage after the lecture, patiently awaited my turn to speak with him and asked if I could interview him for my podcast.  I am pretty sure he knew little to nothing of what a podcast was, but he agreed as you are about to learn why telling his story over and over is his divine mission.

Eli Marcus and Sam Ron

Sam Ron bears personal witness to the greatest atrocity in human history. He is one of the only remaining Holocaust Survivors his age who survived four concentration camps…and a Death March.  He turns 99 in July.  His story is remarkable…and he himself is equally as remarkable.

Here’s what you will learn when listening to this World Exclusive interview on The Motivation Show podcast:

-Where did Sam grow up and what was life like before the Germans invaded his country

-How life changed once the Germans invaded and how long did the changes take

-Why and when did Sam and his family decide to go into hiding and where did he hide

-How did Sam end up in the Krakow Ghetto, how was it different than the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, and what took place in the Ghetto

-When did Sam first realize that the Germans were not just transporting Jews to what they disguised as labor camps, but were actually killing them.

-How many times was Sam transported in cattle cars and what was that like

-Which concentration camps was Sam in & what were they like

-What was life like in the concentration camps and why did they move Sam around to different camps

-What is a Death March, why and how did that happen and how did Sam survive it

-What lessons should listeners take away from Sam’s experience

-What does Never Again mean to Sam and why is it so important for him to share this and other Holocaust lessons

You can listen to this interview on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link:    WARNING:  This interview is GUARANTEED to move you to tears!!!

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The Olivier Awards Return



Celebrate the very best in British theatre in a star-studded evening as the Olivier Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall on April 2nd.

Three-time Olivier Award nominee & Primetime Emmy winner, Hannah Waddingham will be hosting the awards for the first time.

The event will feature performances from all of the Best New Musical nominees, including The Band’s Visit, Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Sylvia and Tammy Faye. Also performing will be Oklahoma! and Sister Act, both nominated for the Best Musical Revival award, as well as Disney’s Newsies, which has been nominated for Matt Cole’s choreography.

The multi-Olivier Award winner The Book of Mormon, will be performing to mark its ten-year anniversary in the West End. Additionally, special award winner Arlene Philips will be honored with a tribute from the cast of Grease.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on Magic Radio from 6pm with Ruthie Henshall and Alice Arnold hosting.

The highlights program will also be aired on ITV1 and ITVX at 10:15 pm in the UK and via Official London Theatre’s YouTube channel elsewhere.

And the nominees are:

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