What do you get when you combine four talented women on stage to sing about life in 2021? FOUR!, a new cabaret performance that will debut on the stages of Urban Stages as a part of their Winter Rhythms series. The four ladies are scheduled to sing a variety of popular tunes on December 16th at 9PM. Tickets available at Urbanstages.org.
Kea Chan (54 Below and Green Room 42), Mollie Downes (National tour Chicago) Jennifer Noble(Broadway’s King Kong) and Sarah Parnicky (Award winning Desperate Measures) bring the show to the stage with their accompanist John DiPinto. Vincent Scott (Urban Stages A Charmed Life) will direct the show which was conceived by Urban Stages Board member Craig Horsley.
“I have either known or seen the talents of these wonderful performers over the years and I am grateful to Urban Stages for giving me the stage I wanted to spotlight them in a fun and timely show,” Horsley says. “The past twenty months have been particularly hard on the theater community and the artists. I tried to take some of these singers’ experiences over that time period and present them with heart and humor and especially with hope for a better 2022. What better way to do that than through song?”
Winter Rhythms won the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series and the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award. Proceeds from Winter Rhythms benefit Urban Stages’ acclaimed Outreach Program, which brings over 200 free “arts in education” presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs.
Tickets for shows are on sale at urbanstages.org
Karen Mason is an acclaimed Broadway star and concert artist. Her new album Let the Music Play, is available in all digital formats and on CD from Zevely Records. The recording’s powerful and timely first single, the title cut “Let the Music Play,” was released earlier this fall. On the heels of her featured role opposite Ewan McGregor on the hit Netflix miniseries “Halston,” Mason presents this collection of theater music, pop classics and new compositions. Special guests Stephen Schwartz, who plays piano on a tender version of the beloved Wickedballad “For Good,” and David Friedman, who accompanies Karen on his poignant standard “We Can Be Kind.” The album – which features arrangements by Christopher Denny and Barry Kleinbort, in addition to contributions from Dick Gallagher, and Brian Lasser – is produced by Paul Rolnick. Listen to the new album at Spotify or Apple Music.
Following her sold-out album release concert at New York’s Feinstein’s/54 Below Karen, will return to the city for a very special three-night edition of her legendary Christmas show at The Laurie Beechman Theater from December 17-19. She will also celebrate the album and the holidays at New Hope, PA’s RRazz Room on December 11. Concert info and album details are at KarenMason.com.
David Sabella, an award-winning singer and actor, celebrates the release of his new CD “Time Heals” in the jewel-box room at Pangea (the Café Carlyle of the lower east-side) with his show, “Pandemic Relief.” The album, called “Time Heals,” was recorded live during two previous performances of “Pandemic Relief,” and features musical favorites from Broadway, the Great American Songbook, and pop music, re-set in new, illuminating arrangements by Christopher Denny, Gregory Toroian, the late Rick Jensen, and Music Director Mark Hartman. The trio is rounded out by Dan Gross on Drums, and Sean Murphy on Bass.
Sabella, best known for his years on Broadway in the musical Chicago, is also an award-winning actor, and an internationally recognized classical singer whom Luciano Pavarotti proclaimed “Excellent, not good, excellent!” In addition to originating the starring role of “Mary Sunshine,” Sabella joined the national touring company of Chicago for the historic opening of Mandalay Bay (Las Vegas) and then returned to the Broadway company to appear with Melanie Griffith as Roxie Hart. Sabella also starred in numerous productions, and in various leading roles Off-Broadway, at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. I
Sabella is also the author (with Sue Matsuki) of “So You Want to Sing Cabaret,” (2020, Rowman & Littlefield), The Owner and Chief Editor of www.CabaretHotspot.com, and one of NYC’s most sought after voice & performance coaches, www.davidsabella.com.
Sharon McKnight writes me “The last time I performed in an open-to-the public “Sharon” show was January 2020 in San Francisco. Finally I’m getting hip and going with the flow. My next show will be on Thursday, December 9, at 8:00 PST and will be streamed from Feinstein’s at Vitello’s in Studio City, California. It’s called “Between Holidaze”. You can come to the showroom at the restaurant in person or stream it in your underwearfrom home. Don’t try to hide it. I know you’re out there. How many times have you had dress code options? You can thank me later. The show will contain just a couple of “my kind of Xmas songs” and requests that have been made over the last almost two years. The Live Stream can be viewed for 2 weeks following the night of the show.” Go to SHARON McNIGHT “Between Holidaze” to learn more.
Ghostlght Records announced that Ride the Cyclone: World Premiere Cast Recording – based on the critically acclaimed musical that has sold out hit productions across the US and Canada – is available on CD online and in stores. The album was released in digital and streaming formats earlier this year. The show features book, music and lyrics by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell. The album is produced by Brooke Maxwell, who also serves as music director and conductor, and provides arrangements and orchestrations. Kevin McCollum (Six, Mrs. Doubtfire, Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights, [title of show], The Drowsy Chaperone,Something Rotten!)and Morris Berchard (The Color Purple, Hand to God, Something Rotten!, Ragtime) serve as executive producers. Ride the Cyclone will be coming to theatres around the country. Sign up for news and updates at RideTheCycloneMusical.com. To stream or download the album, or order the CD, please visit ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/ridethecyclonePR
Ghostlght Records will also release the original cast album of the new musical Space Dogs on January 28, 2022. The show features music and lyrics by Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire, who also perform the show. Space Dogs will debut at New York’s MCC Theater, directed by Ellie Heyman, from January 11 to February 20, 2022. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Starting today, customers who pre-order the digital album will immediately receive the track “The Space Dogs of the Cosmodrome.” The album is produced by Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire, with Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producer. Pre-order now at ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/SpaceDogs
Space Dogs tells the heartbreaking, mind-blowing true story of Laika and the Chief Designer — a stray dog and the top-secret Russian scientist who sent her to space during the Cold War. The show is a sweeping, kaleidoscopic tale of invention, betrayal, international political intrigue, and the immortal friendship that exists between man and dog, as they journey together to the stars. More on the show is at mcc.theater/spacedogs.
The Glorious Corner
A CHER STEAL — This year’s 97th edition of the Macy’s Day Parade was a rather underwhelming one, save for Chicago – inexplicably singing “Your My Inspiration” – and the always, indefatigable Cher, singing a track “DJ Play a Christmas Song” off her new holiday-themed album. The first few bars will terribly auto-tuned, but that seemed to disappear and Cher’s vocals rang full and bold.
She was, typically, a pro. Mixing effortlessly and emotionally with the dancers in a terrific set. Some pundits reported the clip was shot days earlier, but she was live and, just sensational. I wish more of today’s performers possessed her vigor and skills. That’s why most of the current acts, here today, will be gone tomorrow.
As we went to press, we learned that this parade was Macy’s most-watched edition ever! Congrats.
HALL VS. OATES — Some terrible news appeared in Wednesday’s media that Daryl Hall had taken out a TRO against partner-John Oates. I’ve loved what these two have done for decades and I loved Hall’s solo albums; especially the one he did with Robert Fripp in 1977 Sacred Songs. His record company at the time (RCA) hated it so much, they held up its release for three years.
I also well remember them in the 80’s when it seemed you could’t turn on a radio without hearing their music. 29 of their 33 singles were major chart hits on Billboard. But I do go back to them even in the 70’s, with their terrific “She’s Gone” which basically launched them. And, my favorite album of their War Babies, produced by Todd Rundgren. Quick note: That album sounds as good and relevant as it did when it came out in 1974.
The problem seems to arise from Oates wanting to sell his portion of certain songs to Primary Wave Artists – which ironically owns several of their songs already. It’s a small point, but that seems to be the issue. In all actuality, it’s another case of a classic-rocker selling his music.
In Oates’ book several years ago (Change of Seasons: A Memoir), he hardly mentioned Hall and regrettably that animus has apparently reared its angry head. They’re Philly boys, I’m from Philly and it’s just an awful coda to what was one of music’s major success stories. Sad all around.
SHORT TAKES — Terrific article in this week’s Closer on Micky Dolenz. Check it out here: https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/micky-dolenz-on-telling-stories-on-stage-and-in-his-book/
btw: Dolenz tapes KTLA’s Countdown To 2024 this week in LA …
I first met Phil Quartararo in the lobby of the old Mondrian Hotel in LA with John Sykes and we struck up a friendship that lasted until he passed last week. He was at Virgin for a time and worked with the artists there including The Spice Girls and Paul Abdul. In these fast-changing-times in the music business, he remained somewhat behind the scenes of late, but admitted he missed working with the artists. Phil was a guy you never ever heard a bad word about. Huge loss. Here’s Billboard’s take on Phil:
… As you’ve not doubt read, there is trouble in the Marvel-comic kingdom. The latest Captain Marvel movie (The Marvels) didn’t perform nearly as well as everyone hoped for and their newest star, Jonathan Majors as Kang, is tied up in several court matters.
So, we hear that Kang is out and Doctor Doom is in. Stay tuned …
And Forbes’ James M. Clash has released Amplified; culled from his terrific interviews with the icons of rock ‘n roll; including Grace Slick; Art Garfunkel; Ginger Baker; Micky Dolenz; and Roger Daltry. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CNJZYW2J?ref_=cm_sw_r_apan_dp_WKCSH7AC0ZTK18RZF4ED&language=en-US NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steve Leeds; Kate Hyman; Bono; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Bobby Bank; Dina Pitenis; Frank DiLella; Donnie Kehr; Steve Leber; Don Wardell; Anne Adams; Billy Smith; John Boulos; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rubin; Nexstar; and ZIGGY!
Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project and The Madison Square Park Conservancy Holiday Tree Lighting
Did you know the first public Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the country’s history took place in Madison Square Park? Celebrate the 111th anniversary of the first holiday tree lighting, with MSPC, the park community and neighborhood partners on December 6th from 4 – 6 PM
Enjoy this free joyful event with a photo op, baked-goods, and live music performances by acapella group, New York Life Singers, from New York Life Insurance Company and featuring guest vocalist Gabrielle Lee with Broadway Pianist and Musical Director, Alvin Hough Jr. in partnership with the Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project.
Know before you go:
- Giveaways while supplies last.
- No stroller parking is available so please consider leaving strollers at home if possible.
- Free and open to the public, no reservations are necessary.
Events For December
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.
Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 12/1 – 9: Sutton Foster; 12/12 – 16: Gavin DeGraw and 12/19 – 31: Michael Feinstein.
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
Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St.
Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting and Kelly Clarkson
The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special will air on NBC and Peacock at 8 p.m. ET on November 29, 2023 with the iconic Christmas tree lighting taking place at the end of the special.
The 2023 Christmas in Rockefeller Center special will be hosted by Kelly Clarkson, who will also be performing. Clarkson recently moved her talk show from Los Angeles to New York, where it shoots in 30 Rock. That makes her an obvious host for the tree lighting as it will be glowing right outside her office. Clarkson announced the new gig on her show on October 26, 2023.
Look for Cher!, Chloe Bailey, Adam Blackstone, Keke Palmer, David Foster, Katharine McPhee, Liz Gillies, Darlene Love, Seth MacFarlane, Barry Manilow, Carly Pearce and Manuel Turizo.
The Christmas at Rockefeller Center special will be available to watch on the NBC app, on NBC.com and on Peacock as well as NBC.
The tree is lit daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. On Christmas Day, it’s lit for a full 24 hours and on New Year’s, it stays lit from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m.
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