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My View: Stephen Sorokoff

My View From The Camera: Opening Night: CAGNEY

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One of the Presidential Candidates didn’t have to show up to make Cagney great again.  Robert Creighton and the cast did that as a celebrity filled audience cheered them on.

Robert Creighton

Robert Creighton

Josh Walden, Ellen Zolezzi, Robert Creighton, Danette Holden, Bruce Sabath, Jeremy Benton

Josh Walden, Ellen Zolezzi, Robert Creighton, Danette Holden, Bruce Sabath, Jeremy Benton

Cagney Curtain Call

Cagney Curtain Call with Riki Kane Larimer, Producer

Chita Rivera

Chita Rivera

Tony Roberts

Tony Roberts

Christine Ebersole

Christine Ebersole

Danny Aiello

Danny Aiello

Chita Rivera & Riki Kane Larimer

Chita Rivera & Riki Kane Larimer

 

Emily Conner & Pat Cooper

Emily Conner & Pat Cooper

Karen Mason

Karen Mason

Chita Rivera & Danny Aiello

Chita Rivera & Danny Aiello

Producers Joe Sirola, Joe Cecala,Riki Kane Larimer, Jamie deRoy, Joel B. Grossman, Emily Conner, Robert Creighton not in photo Maray Cossette, Barbara Freitag, Sharon Azrieli

Producers
Joe Sirola, Joe Cecala,Riki Kane Larimer, Jamie deRoy, Joel B. Grossman, Emily Conner, Robert Creighton
not in photo Mary Cossette, Barbara Freitag, Sharon Azrieli

Eda Sorokoff, Tony Roberts, Jamie deRoy

Eda Sorokoff, Tony Roberts, Jamie deRoy

Robert Creighton

Robert Creighton

Stephen Sorokoff, Jamie deRoy, Robert Creighton

Stephen Sorokoff, Jamie deRoy, Robert Creighton

Stephen Sorokoff-11

Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

Cabaret

My View: David Marino Makes His Debut at Birdland

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Last night David Marino made his debut at the legendary BIRDLAND Jazz Club in the heart of New York City.  It was certainly an exciting night for the charismatic 23 year old who hails from Montreal, Quebec, in Canada. David was a finalist on LA VOIX (The French Canadian Edition of THE VOICE).

Birdland was filled with family, friends and plenty of New York notables, including owner Gianni Valenti and we were treated to standards in English and French and learned about David’s journey with music. A journey that first began when as a child his father played Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” for him.  He got emotional while telling that story with his Dad there in the audience, and it was quite moving. This kid would appear to have the right stuff for a bright future, and starting out with Billy Stritch as his musical director with some of the best musicians in NYC was an excellent choice for his first time here on 44th street, at an address the entire world knows.  Here are some photos from David’s debut at Birdland.

DAVID MARINO

DAVID MARINO

DAVID MARINO

BILLY STRITCH & DAVID MARINO

DAVID MARINO

DAVID MARINO

DAVID MARINO & RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

MARILYN MAYE, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, EDA SOROKOFF

STEPHEN SOROKOFF, NICOLAS KING, SETH SIKES

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NICOLAS KING, SETH SIKES

SETH SIKES, EDA SOROKOFF, NICOLAS KING

BIRDLAND

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Cabaret

My View: Carole J. Bufford…”You Don’t Know Me”. ( Now We Do)

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Her show is titled “You Don’t Own Me” and if anyone in the Palm Beach audience didn’t know Carole J. Bufford before, they certainly do now after her exciting performance last night at Cafe Centro.

Carole J. Bufford, award-winning cabaret star and powerhouse vocalist, returned to Cafe Centro last night with a tribute to the fearless, fabulous females of the 1960s. With the music made famous by Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Carole King, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra, Cher, and more, Carole and her quartet put their own inimitable spin on those great song classics in her show You Don’t Own Me. Her electrifying  musical tour de force celebrated a time of great change and transition in America and across the pond.

As Carole noted, the musical and cultural landscape was never the same after these bold and daring women planted their flags and ensured their voices were heard.  Well, Carole Bufford’s voice was authoritatively heard in West Palm Beach last night as she took charge of each song and brought the music of the 60’s back to life.  The moveable spot in the club illuminated this dynamic entertainer thrilling each table in a room filled with her Palm Beach fans.

Ms. Bufford’s good friend and co-producer of the evening Sandy Fisher introduced Carole to the enthusiastic Cafe Centro audience.

Next up in the Fisher/Sorokoff Cabaret series is Dawn Derrow on March 12, and on April 24th one of the hottest acts in show business “The New Belters” Seth Sikes & Nicolas King will be bringing their music to  Cafe Centro.

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

HERE’S CAROLE!

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD & SANFORD FISHER

STEPHEN SOROKOFF & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

EDA SOROKOFF, GIO MOLLA, RON ABEL, SANFORD FISHER

ROB RUSSELL, CAROLE J. BUFFORD, RON ABEL

DAWN DEROW & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

JEFF LEIBOWITZ & ROB RUSSELL

SANFORD FISHER & ISANNE FISHER

PETER CALO

CAFE CENTRO

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Cabaret

My View: Direct From Florida..The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble Heats Up 54 Below

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Spectacular, awe-inspiring, and sensational were all words being uttered by the audience after The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble’s high-energy, horn-powered, Big Apple style weekend performance at the iconic 54 Below Club. In that intimate and elegant room, these students matched the part with their classy black suits and stunning stylish dresses. Their debut show in New York City called “Students of the Songbook” gifted listeners with a youthful and reimagined spin on many jazz favorites. TKA Jazz performed with a level of confidence and excellence often reserved for season veterans.

Band Leader Wes Lowe hosted the night of jazz. Due to the limited space on the stage, Mr. Lowe introduced the songs and players stage right. He would then step off stage allowing his band of twenty high school and middle school students to masterfully make their instruments sing as he trusted them to navigate the night musically under their own direction.

Between lead trombonist Julia Basile who wowed the audience with her rendition of Black Orpheus, Julia Drahos on lead trumpet, and Stephen Boylan on lead alto sax, the lead horns kept a tight energetic performance all night. The rhythm section of drummer Ashton Horne, bassist Hadiya Stewart, and pianist Breck Dorow played in the pocket behind the horns in absolute perfection. Early on I noticed how young middle school trumpeter William Smith phrased like Louis Armstrong, letting his solo melodies breathe as they also swung. Soon however, I realized that they all did this as well. This young band of instrumentalists and soloists play well beyond their years.

Changing up the mood, Wes Lowe called upon several beautiful and talented ladies to add their vocal talents to the night. Ella Garcia, although new to the group, sang classics such as “It Had to Be You” with a soulful tone. Current Young Artist Award Winner from the Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook, Maddie Begin, sang show-stopping numbers such as “Feeling Good” and “But The World Goes Round.” She is a name to remember with a powerhouse voice you won’t forget. And making a surprise appearance, TKA Jazz alumni Annie Matot graced the stage singing the classic “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” These young women took the audience from sing-along moments to complete moments of absolute awe.

In addition to TKA Director of Instrumental Arts and Band Leader Wes Lowe entertaining skillfully as the host, his colleague, Associate Director of Instrumental Arts, Mickey Smith Jr. also played the hottest solo of the night with his rendition of the Bill Wither’s classic “Just the Two of Us” on the alto sax. With that being said, everyone’s solos packed melodic invention in a confident swagger. Even more fun were the breathtaking syncopated conversations when the horns all played full force. The energy in the room was palpable for the entire evening. This was a hot performance on a cold night in New York City at 54 Below that was above and beyond anything anyone could have expected.

WES LOWE, DIRECTOR

THE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE.   

MICKEY SMITH JR.

THE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE

MADDIE BEGIN

ANNIE MATOT

JULIA BASILE

THE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE

MADDIE BEGIN

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Cabaret

My View: Cast Party Celebrates Billy Stritch’s Birthday ( Also Other People)

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Two of the worst kept show-biz secrets in February were the birthdays of Jim Caruso ( last Monday) and Billy Stritch, (last night).  Word got out on every social media platform and the lines to get a seat at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party stretched down 44th street to the Birdland front door.  I’m a senior member of the Cast Party alum who has had way too many birthday celebrations at the club. I can attest to the fact that it’s one of the most fun filled and musically exciting places to be in with friends for your big day.  Being with friends Christine Ebersole and Bill Moloney, along with Doug Major, Christina Rose and Lionel Casseroux to celebrate Billy’s birthday made it extra special.  It was also extra special to see Klea Blackhurst and Susie Mosher start the evening off by presenting the birthday cake to Billy, and how about having long time Billy friend and occasional partner in music Two Time Tony-Award Winner Christine Ebersole on Caruso’s open mic list? Yes it was a special evening for our special friend Billy Stritch.

Here are some cell phone pics

BILLY STRITCH, KLEA BLACKHURST, SUSIE MOSHER, JIM CARUSO

CHRISTINE EBERSOLE & JIM CARUSO

EDA SOROKOFF & CHRISTINE EBERSOLE

DOUG MAJOR, JULIE BENKO, BILLY STRITCH, CHRISTINE EBERSOLE

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Columns

My View: “I Can’t Believe How Good This Sounds”

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When George Gershwin was composing Rhapsody In Blue he didn’t have the tools of today’s composers and orchestrators.  No computers or synthesizers to play the notes being put on paper.  Legend has it that George rented an NBC radio studio in 1935 and personally hired the musicians to play his newly created score of Porgy and Bess.  Luckily a technician turned on a recording device for a few minutes and George can be heard saying “ I can’t believe how good this sounds” as he hears his notes played by an orchestra for the first time.

Flash forward….yesterday Eda and I had the thrill of being seated a few feet in front of the 70 musicians of the New York Pops and Maestro Steven Reineke as he rehearsed the soloists and orchestra for the February 9th Concert at Carnegie Hall which celebrates Gershwin and a century of Rhapsody in Blue.  As the small rehearsal room filled with the glorious sounds of Gershwin, played by the New York Pops and Steven heard the orchestra play the program he constructed for the first time,  I couldn’t help recalling George Gershwin’s words…” I can’t believe how good this sounds”!  Carnegie Hall is sold out for tonight’s concert and the audience is in for an outstanding musical evening as Montego Glover sings many of Gershwin’s most famous songs and pianist extraordinaire Lee Musiker performs an exciting innovative Rhapsody In Blue.  I’m sure the 2,800 audience members will be exclaiming “ I can’t believe how good this was” as they leave Carnegie Hall tonight.   

STEVEN REINEKE & MONTEGO GLOVER

LEE MUSIKER & STEVEN REINEKE

LEE MUSIKER & MONTEGO GLOVER

STEVEN REINEKE, LEE MUSIKER, MONTEGO GLOVER

MONTEGO GLOVER

LEE MUSIKER

LEE MUSIKER

LEE MUSIKER & STEVEN REINEKE

CARNEGIE HALL

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