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Music News: Melissa Errico, Unknown Soldier: Original Cast Recording, Haley Swindal, Sidney Myer, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Tomatoes Got Talent



Born in New York, raised in the suburbs, fully blossomed on Broadway, and always in love with Moss Hart’s words…in this show Melissa Errico will sing of those New York dreams and New York gates, of New York frustrations and New York fulfilments. Reaching into her personal songbook box — Sondheim, Comden & Green, Joni Mitchell — and accompanied by her incomparable longtime partner, the poetic jazz pianist Tedd Firth, she will celebrate the city of rushing pasts, of cancelled lunches and hurried loves, of Broadway dreams and beautiful solitudes.

Melissa begins her concert story with an Italian family’s immigrant dreams, colorful tales of Mott Street, hatcheck girls & the Ziegfeld Follies. She continues on into a twelve-year old’s epiphany watching “On Your Toes” — who then finds herself starring in “My Fair Lady” a decade later in that same theater! And, as another hundred people come to mind, Melissa sings songs by the classic songwriters who celebrate our complex and inimitable and back-to-life town. As she always does, Melissa will pay particular attention to women’s experience and women writers, from a swinging “Wished on The Moon” by one of The New Yorker Magazine’s most original intellectuals, Dorothy Parker, to Georgia Stitt’s and Marcy Heisler’s haunting love song of today’s East Village, “The Wanting of You”. From the glory of the uptown downtown rush to the recent years of shutdowns and backwards blessings — from “Another Hundred People” through “Lonely Town” — Melissa will sing the real and secret New York, the New York of private exaltations and public bumping-intos. Songs will include Sondheim’s “The Little Things You Do Together,” Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea Morning”…and of course, look for Melissa’s own Manhattan essentials, from Rodgers & Hart “Manhattan” itself through “The Way You Look Tonight,” to which she once danced with her mentor in Central Park. Expect a kiss goodnight, too, and a wish for a peaceful and joyful “Autumn in New York.”

Ghostlight Records has announced that Unknown Soldier: Original Cast Recording – one of the final scores from the beloved late Obie Award-winning songwriter Michael Friedman – will be released in digital and streaming formats on Friday, September 24, the date that would have been Friedman’s 46th birthday. Unknown Soldier features music by Michael Friedman; lyrics by Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein; and book by Daniel Goldstein. The original stage production was directed by Trip Cullman. The album is produced by Dean Sharenow, and co-produced by Daniel Goldstein, with Hunter Arnold, The Civilians, and Kurt Deutsch serving at executive producers. It features the cast of Playwrights Horizons’ New York Premiere of the musical and orchestrations by Michael Friedman and music supervisor Marco Paguia, and is conducted by music director Julie McBride. To pre-save the album, please visit 

Unknown Soldier is a sweeping, elegiac musical about a woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. Beginning as Ellen Rabinowitz discovers a mysterious photograph of an anonymous soldier, tucked away in a box of keepsakes while cleaning out her grandmother’s home. Spanning three generations, the show unravels a delicate tangle of family lore, as Ellen chases the extraordinary story that unlocks her history — and charts her future.

Unknown Soldier had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons, from February 14 to March 11, 2020, when it was shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The show made its world premiere at the Williamstown Theater Festival, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 2015. Both productions were directed by Trip Cullman.

The cast of Unknown Soldier features Kerstin Anderson, James Crichton, Zoe Glick, Emilie Kouatchou, Erik Lochtefeld, Jay McKenzie, Jessica Naimy, Estelle Parsons, Margo Seibert, Thom Sesma, and Perry Sherman. The band includes music director and conductor Julie McBride on piano, Hiroko Taguchi on violin, Deborah Assael on cello, Ben Kono on reeds, Mike Thurber on bass, Mike Dobson on percussion, and Jim Hershman on guitar. 

The Unknown Soldier cast album is a part of The Michael Friedman Collection, a long-term project that will eventually comprise the premiere recordings of nine new musicals, in addition to Ghostlight’s previous acclaimed albums of Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonThe Fortress of SolitudeLove’s Labour’s Lost, and Pretty FilthyThe Michael Friedman Collection is made possible by the generous donors to the Michael Friedman Legacy Fund, The Civilians, and by the artistic contributions of his many collaborators. More information is at

Broadway’s Haley Swindal announced that she will premiere her brand-new show, Back in Business, at Feinstein’s/54 Below for one night only, on September 20.

In Back in Business, the dazzling Ms. Swindal offers the audience a stylish return to live performances after the Haley Swindal’s last venture to Feinstein’s/54 Below moved audiences with her one-woman show Sing Happy, performing to several sold-out audiences and garnering rave reviews. Ms. Swindal most recently commanded the role of Mama Morton in Broadway’s Chicago. Her other credits include Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway and on tour with White Christmas and Jesus Christ Superstar. This past winter Haley’s To New York, With Love, a limited time streamed concert event, received a 30 day extension by popular demand. She has performed in concert at Carnegie Hall alongside the great standards vocalist Steve Tyrell, acclaimed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, and under the baton of Steven Reineke with the New York Pops Orchestra. Haley won a New York Emmy for her appearance on “Kids On Deck” and recently finished filming the live-action film remake of Anastasia, in which she played Tsarina Romanov opposite Brandon Routh. Off-Broadway credits include SistasThis One’s for the Girls, and Out of this World. For more, please follow Haley on Instagram at @haleyswindal.

Musical director Scott Cady will be the pianist, leading his trio as Haley’s accompaniment, with multi award-winning cabaret director Barry Kleinbort at the helm.

For tickets, visit

Tammy Faye Starlite and Sidney Myer – will premiere new shows at Pangea the alt-cabaret oasis in the fall. Starlite claims Thursdays in October beginning Oct 7, and Myer starting things off tantalizingly with consecutive Mondays, November 8 and 15. Also appearing in a variety of encores and premieres are several Pangea notables, including Raven O in “I Love U NY” (Tue Oct 5); Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton, who return with a new show, “Life and Love and Who Knows What Else?” (three Wednesdays in October, 13, 20, 27), and a norm-crashing cavalcade of downtown performers curated by Kevin Malony and TWEED TheaterWorks for the “Sundays @ 7” series.  These include the chip off the VERY old block Claywoman (Sept 26); monologuist extraordinaire Tulis McCall (Oct 3); fun duo Bergman & Blaustein (Oct 10); the divine singing sorceress Carol Lipnik (Oct 17); the rapier witted Steve Hayes (Oct 24); the entrancing Edgar Oliver (Oct 31); post-post songstress Rachelle Garniez(Nov 7); the late-blooming Iris Rose (Nov 14); celebrated duo David Cale and Matthew Dean Marsh (Nov 21); the all-lady Tom Waits cover band Vicki Kristina Barcelona (Nov 28); the second coming of Carol Lipnik (Dec 5); out-of-this world Cleo Berlin (Dec 12); the uncooked Joshua Fried (Dec 19); and the audacious Heather Littleer (Dec 26). 

On Tuesday September 21, Pangea celebrates its 35th anniversary with an all-night celebration starting at 6pm with performances by a Who’s Who of Pangea artists. (Pangea opened originally as Spaghetteria on East 7th Street, then moved to its present location in 1986.) Opened by Penny Arcade, the continuous performances in the Cabaret Room are curated by co-owner and entertainment director Stephen Shanaghan, with the help of Kevin Malony, Ben Cassara, Gerry Geddes, and Coby Koehl. Co-owner Arnoldo Caballero y Cespedes (Pangea’s interior design director) co-hosts the party with Shanaghan.  Starts 6pm, free admission, proof of vaccination required. A new feature at the club — regularly scheduled no-cover entertainment in the Front Lounge – continues with the extension of these crowd favorites: Sue Matsuki’s “Jazz Brunch Open Mic” (2nd Sunday of the month); Michael McAssey’s “Monday Open Mic” series. As it has been since emerging from COVID after being on life-support, Pangea has been enforcing a strict proof of vaccination policy for the Cabaret Room.  Shows with music charges are all cash at the door except for Tammy Faye Starlite and Sidney Myer shows, which are advance sale online. 

For reservations online (required) visit , or for info call 212/995-0900. Pangea is located at 178 Second Avenue (between 11th & 12thStreets). 

Jazz at Lincoln Center welcomed in-person audiences back to Dizzy’s Club at Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City with live performances this summer and will keep the momentum going throughout the fall. Dizzy’s Club is renowned for performances featuring world-class jazz artists, panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and a warm ambiance.

After more than a year of streaming Dizzy’s Club virtual concerts such as Jazz From Homeand Live From Dizzy’s, in-person audiences are back in the House of Swing, enjoying live music by Club favorites, from established artists to emerging talent, who have graced its stage since the club’s inception. Audiences will continue to be treated to world-class jazz alongside all-new craft cocktails, a curated wine selection and a brand new Southern American-inspired dinner menu. 

Kicking off the month of October at Dizzy’s Club is the multi-Grammy nominated pianist/composer/arranger, Joey Alexander who will be celebrating his return to Jazz at Lincoln Center (October 1-3). Joey DeFrancesco, master organist, brings his full arsenal: organ, keyboard, piano, trumpet and, for the first time on record, tenor saxophone to celebrate his September 2021 record release, More Music (October 7-10). Samara Joy, recent winner of the Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition, will make her Dizzy’s Club headlining debut to celebrate her new album (October 17). Additional artists featured throughout the month include Mike LeDonne with Ron Carter and Joe Farnsworth, Christian Sands, Ashley Pezzotti and Jeremy Pelt. 

Dizzy’s Club is located in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, on Broadway at 60th Street on the 5th Floor of the Shops at Columbus Circle, New York City. 

Tomatoes GotTalent 2019 Winner Christina Conn. Photo by Maryann Lopinto

11 extraordinary women over 40 have been hand-picked to appear in the finals of the 7th annual “Tomatoes Got Talent” contest at The Triad Theatre, 158 West 72nd Street, on Monday October 4 at 7pm. Tomatoes Got Talent is a showcase for women who have made their marks and their livings outside of the entertainment world, but who consider the craft of singing and performing to be integral to their lives.   

This year’s blue-ribbon jury consists of Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams, and the Tony Award-winning Broadway producers Margot Astrachan and Ken Waissman. The show’s music director is Paul Chamlin. Making a special guest appearance is the acclaimed singer and Tony-nominated educator Corinna Sowers Adler.  Also performing as a guest will be therapist and gerontologist Merrill Stone, who was a runner up in the first “Tomatoes Got Talent” in 2014.  Last year’s Tomatoes contest was uprooted in April 2020. 

Here they are, the finalists: A Senior Ms. America NY runner up, Carol Barnett recently retired after 45 years as a chef.Businesswoman and mom Susie Clausen decided to pick up the saxophone and singing lessons under five years ago.Judith George owns her own video production company and is a stand-up.Reared in the South, Jo Jones is an accomplished acrobatic baton twirler and former pre-school teacher.Shana Kahn is a fashion executive for Ralph Lauren.A student of the piano and ukulele, Lisa Kerr is a risk manager with a major corporation. Robin Lyon-Gardiner is a full-time real estate broker.Jean Marcley is a blind stand-up and self-worth coach. Kara Masciangelo has worked for many years at the Federal Reserve Bank.Deana Monaco is a legal assistant at Morgan Stanley.Leyla Zaloutskaya is a global IT trainer for the United Nations. The reigning champion is 2019 winner Christina Connors.  The 2018 winner was Sheree Sano. For tickets and information visit

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:


Events For December



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Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For December



Tis the season to be entertained. Here are picks:

92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 12/2 – 4: Lyrics & Lyricists In the Key of Life: The Genius of Stevie Wonder. Led by Broadway’s Darius de Haas; 12/5: Recanati-Kaplan Talks Death, Let Me Do My Show: Rachel Bloom in Conversation and 12/14: Sharon Stone and Jerry Saltz Talk About Art.

Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 5:30 Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks and 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; Every Saturday at 7pm Eric Comstock with Sean Smith (Bass) & special guest Barbara Fasano (Voice); 12/11: Karen Mason for her annual Christmas show “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!”; 12/12 – 16 Stacy Kent; 12/18: James Barbour returns to Birdland with his annual Holiday Concert: 12/21 – 25: “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” starring Birdland regulars Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch and 12/28 – 31: Marilyn Maye.

Sutton Foster

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 12/1 – 9: Sutton Foster; 12/12 – 16: Gavin DeGraw and 12/19 – 31: Michael Feinstein.

Michael W Smith and Amy Grant

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 12/5: Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith; 12/6: Dee Dee Bridgewater with Sean Jones and the NYO Jazz All-Star Big Band; 12/13: Michael Feinstein and Jean-Yves Thibaudet and 12/22 – 23: The New York Pops The Best Christmas of All with Norm Lewis

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Norm Lewis by Peter Hurley

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 12/8: Mariann Meringolo and 12/9: A Christmas Special Robert Bannon.

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St.

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas. 12/28: Lee Taylor

Christine Ebersole with Billy Stritch

54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 12/3: The Cast of Sweeney Todd, feat. Gaten Matarazzo, Maria Bilbao, & more! 12/4: Brandon Victor Dixon: Soul of Broadway; 12/5: We Love the Winter Weather: Songs of the Season with KT Sullivan, Stacy Sullivan, Jeff Harnar, & Todd Murray; 12/5 and 29: Christine Pedi: Snow Bizness; 12/8 – 10: The 13th Annual Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza, feat. Annie Golden & more!; 12/12 – 17: Christine Ebersole with Billy Stritch: I’ll Be Home For Christmas ; 12/19 – 20: Lisa Howard’s Holiday Special!; 12/21 – 23: A Very Countess Christmas with Luann de Lesseps; 12/24, 26 – 30: Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway: Yuletide Revelry! and 12/31: New Year’s Eve with Aaron Tveit!

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 12/2: Sally Mayes; 12/11: Mamie Paris; 12/13: Danny Bacher and Dawn Derow.

José Feliciano

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 12/22: José Feliciano

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. 9/28: Alison Angrim

The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 12/2 and 5: White Christmas at the Triad: A Celebration of Irving Berlin;

The Town Hall:
 123 West 43rd Street. 12/18: The 43rd John Lennon Annual Tribute starring Graham Nash, who will receive the 2023 John Lennon Real Love Award and play some of his favorite John Lennon and Beatles classics. Nash will be joined by a stellar line-up including Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Marc Cohn and Bettye LaVette; 12/5: A Very Darren Crissmas Meet & Greet Experience and 12/22: Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Nöel Nights.
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Alec Wilder Tribute 



Devotees of the Great American Songbook have another reason to love living in New York.  Yes, cabaret shows of the music of Porter, Rodgers et al abound here of course, but once a year there is a loving tribute to a lesser-known composer.  Some of us may have even passed him on West 44th Street as he was leaving his home in the Algonquin Hotel.  This dapper gentleman was Alec Wilder, a musician who wrote classical pieces as well as songs.  He wrote words and music, and sometimes let the likes of Marshall Barer, Fran Landesman and even Johnny Mercer supply lyrics.  There are a few of these titans who can have one foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall.  George Gershwin comes to mind immediately; Cole Porter dabbled but reverted to what he could do best.  Wilder also wrote American Popular Song/The Great Innovators 1900-1950, a volume respected by those who love the music of that era.  

The Friends of Alec Wilder presented their 38th Annual Concert for an audience of seriously devoted fans of Wilder on November 11th at 54 Below. 

Mark Walter, FOAW Board Member and son of noted pianist and friend of Wilder’s Cy Walter, introduced Honorary Host Steve Ross, who along with the ever-amiable Eric Comstock interspersed the music with anecdotes about Wilder which rounded out the portrait of the gentleman being painted so effectively by the rest of the cast.    

Barbara Fasano, Eric Comstock

The afternoon began with one of Wilder’s chamber works, presented lovingly by The Wilderness Trio. Eric Comstock followed, summing up Wilder by saying that his music never went out of vogue because it was never in vogue. Wilder is like that secret ingredient that once having tasted it, one yearns for it thereafter. Eric sang four songs, infusing I’ll Wait with his ineffable sass and charm before being joined by his wife, the spunky and gorgeous Barbara Fasano, who made each lyric come to life in ways Wilder would have appreciated. Sean Smith provided bass support, and the trio which has been a mainstay at Birdland illuminated Wilder’s deep emotional grasp of the human condition.   

Jason Henderson photo credit Van Craig

The Wildebeest Wind Quintet followed with the Alice in Wonderland Suite, which showed Wilder at his classically playful best.  Jason Henderson carried some of that lightheartedness into his segment, with two songs that benefited from his natural charm and enthusiasm. Steve Ross made the heart ache a bit with his rendition of the plaintive Did You Ever Cross Over to Sneden’s? before closing the program by encouraging everyone to join him in singing I’ll Be Around, perhaps the best known of Wilder’s songs. 

If your interest in Alec Wilder has been piqued, visit 




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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sutton Foster and Kelli O’Hara With The NY Pops



One Night Only: An Evening with Sutton Foster and Kelli O’Hara with the NY Pops is happening Friday 8pm, at Carnegie Hall. This unique program by NY Pops conductor Steven Reineke, pays homage to earlier icons of stage and screen who teamed up for memorable concerts.

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T2C Talks To Paul Iacono, Unfiltered



Actor and writer Paul Iacono, best known for the films Fame, G.B.F., and MTV’s “The Hard Times Of RJ Berger,” returns to The Green Room 42 in “Paul Iacono, Unfiltered,” His bawdy evening of excess and exposé happens tonight Friday, November 17 at 9:30 PM. T2C had a chance to talk to this 3 decade seasoned performer.

Paul Iacono, is best known for his portrayal of the title character on MTV’s “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” Paul was first featured on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” at age eight, after she discovered his unique talents for impersonating Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman Favorite stage credits include Mercury Fur (The New Group), Bridget Everett’s Rock Bottom (Joe’s Pub), Noël Coward’s Sail Away with Elaine Stritch (Carnegie Hall), John Guare’s Landscape of the Body with Lili Taylor and Sherie Rene Scott (Signature Theater), and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs with Donna Lynne Champlin and Michele Pawk (Transport Group). Favorite film credits include MGM’s remake of Fame, Drew Barrymore’s Animal, Darren Stein’s G.B.F., Extracurricular Activities, and Dating My Mother with Kathy Najimy. Iacono’s play Prince/Elizabeth premiered at The Teatro LATEA Theater co-starring Sofia Black D’Elia and Peter Vack, and The Last Great Dame (loosely inspired by his relationship with Elaine Stritch) at Jane Friedman’s HOWL! Happening Gallery. His cabaret “Where’s the Fucking Kid?” premiered at 54 Below, with “Psychedelic Hedonism” following at Joe’s Pub (New York Magazine “Critic’s Pick”), and “Psychedelic Playhouse” at The Green Room 42.

Join Paul for a surreal vaudevillian celebration through the highs, lows, and misadventures from his past five years out of the spotlight. Directed by Eric Gilliland and written by Iacono, Paul weaves insanely personal and wildly hilarious moments from Hollywood to 42nd Street and beyond, accompanied onstage by music director Drew Wutke, with music consulting and arrangements by Peter Saxe.

Paul Iacono, Unfiltered on Friday, November 17 at 9:30 PM at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel).

Video by Magda Katz

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