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My View: Opening Night at the BIRDLAND THEATER – Music is in Good Hands Upstairs & Downstairs

My View: Opening Night at the BIRDLAND THEATER – Music is in Good Hands Upstairs & Downstairs

Gianni Valenti, the music world’s gift to New York City, has created another venue for the performing arts.  Jim Caruso made it official last night as he introduced Lucie Arnaz, who with her longtime friend and music director Ron Abel thrilled a celebrity filled opening night audience.

Gianni, who conceived and created the current Birdland on 44th street has built another fantastic venue to coexist with the world famous Birdland. It has a separate kitchen, menu, state of the art lights and sound system, exciting decor, and of course, a world class lineup of performers. 

There probably could have been no finer choice of artist than Lucie Arnaz (on her birthday) to inaugurate the Birdland Theater. I kept thinking as she sang her songs and told her show-biz stories how Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz her Mom & Dad would have loved her show and the Birdland Theatre.  As Lucie pointed out at the beginning of the evening, “it’s daunting turning in every direction from the stage of the Birdland Theatre and seeing friends and fellow entertainers at all the tables”. 

The audience cheered for Lucie, Gianni, Jim, and the folks in the Birdland organization that made this happen.  New York City and everyone else on the planet welcomes the fabulous new occupant at “The Jazz Corner Of The World.”  Upstairs and Downstairs, music is in good hands at 315 w. 44th street.  BTW next in the batting order at the Birdland Theater (after Lucie’s engagement)……Marilyn Maye

For Full Article & Complete photos of this opening go to



Eda Sorokoff, Billy Stritch, Marilyn Maye, Richard Jay-Alexander, Jamie deRoy

Gianni Valenti, Ann Hampton Callaway, Kari Strand

Jim Caruso

Stephen Sorokoff, Marilyn Maye, Eda Sorokoff

Richard Jay- Alexander & Mark Sendroff

Jamie deRoy & David Zippel

Richard Jay-Alexander & Sunny Sessa

Lucie Arnaz


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, 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

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