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Cabaret

What To Watch December 27th To Take Away The Blues

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The Prom: Netflix An adaption by Ryan Murphy of the Broadway musical. 

It’s a Wonderful Life Mile Square Theater on demand through December $25. A live radio play by Joe Landry, directed by Kevin R. Free, based on the screenplay of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 play starring Jimmy Stewart as a man who gets to see how much he matters. Audio description and closed captions are available.

#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence Mile Square Theater. Eight years after the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, some 50 theaters throughout the country (including Mile Square Theater in Hoboken) will present free readings of the seven plays by high school students who won a national contest

Ham: A Musical Memoir Sam Harris’s sensitive and prodigiously talented boy survives the Bible Belt through talent and moxie, which lead to fame and fortune, but when the rocky road of desperately seeking acceptance finally reaches a dead end, he is forced to confront the internal demons that haunt him.

Encores! Inside the Revival: Tap Dance Kid New York City Center. Directed by Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) dives into the 1983 Tony-nominated musical The Tap Dance Kid, centered around the life of an upper-middle class Black family and a ten-year-old’s dream of being a professional tap dancer despite the challenges posed by his lawyer father and society. Leon, alongside book adapter Lydia Diamond, will give audiences an up-close look at the percussive heart of the story with the help of choreographer Jared Grimes and cast member from the original Broadway production Dulé Hill.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles A new theatrical production streaming online from Original Theatre Company (Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon) debuts.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles by Philip Franks, based on M.R. James’ short story The Experiment, stars Janie Dee, Max Bowden, Stephen Boxer, Jack Archer, Alexandra Guelff, Robert Mountford, Poppy Roe, and Tim Treloar.

In 1918, the recently widowed Alice Bowles is left destitute as she seeks to solve a mystery left by her late husband Francis. Moving to 2020, YouTube urban explorers Matt and Caitlin uncover a mysterious grave in an abandoned churchyard. What starts as harmless entertainment turns darker when their discovery begins to unwrap a mystery which has lain dormant for over a century.

The digital production is co-directed by Philip Franks and Alastair Whatley, designed by Adrian Linford, and edited by Tristan Shepherd, with sound design and original music composed by Max Pappenheim.

Peter Pan–A Musical Adventure Chicago Shakespeare Theater will present free, streaming performances of Peter Pan–A Musical Adventure.

The production is available to stream through January 1, 2021.

The newly re-mastered recording of the theatre’s 2018 production—directed and choreographed by Amber Mak—was filmed by multiple cameras in front of a live audience and stars Johnny Shea, Elizabeth Stenholt, Cameron Goode, Carter Graf, James Konicek, Rengin Altay, Sean Patrick Fawcett, Roberta Burke, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Christina Hall, Colin Lawrence, Michael Kurowski, John Marshall Jr., and Travis Austin Wright.

Based on J.M. Barrie’s tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, Peter Pan–A Musical Adventure has a score by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe, and a libretto by Elliot Davis based on the book by Willis Hall. 

12pm: Artist Talk with Battery Dance  Each week, artists from around the world join BatteryDanceTV for a 30-minute talk.

Kerry Butler
Kerry Butler

5pm sound check and 8pm concert: Kerry Butler & Seth Rudetsky Kerry most recently played Barbara in Beetlejuice on Broadway. Previously she was nominated for an Outer Critics Award playing three characters in Mean Girls. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Xanadu. Other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Dora nomination), Disaster!, Catch Me If You Can, (Drama Desk nomination) Sherrie in Rock of Ages, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, (Outer Critics nomination). Kerry won the Clarence Derwent Award as Penny Pingleton in the original cast of Hairspray, Eponine in Les Miserable, Blood Brothers, and The Best Man. On television she has appeared on 30 Rock, The Mindy Project, Rescue Me, Law and Order, Elementary, Mysteries of Laura, White Collar, Blue Bloods, One Life to Live, and The Gilmore Girls reunion for Netflix. She can be seen in the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Her album “Faith Trust and Pixie Dust” is available on iTunes.

5pm: Simple Gifts By TheatreWorks TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will ring in the holiday season with Simple Gifts, a joyful, multicultural celebration of beloved holiday songs and traditions from many diverse backgrounds.

Livestreamed December 10-27, 2020, with on-demand streaming available December 28, 2020–January 1, 2021. Live post-show conversations with members of the cast will follow every performance.

TheatreWorks Artistic Director Tim Bond directs his first virtual production with this world premiere work, crafted by Bond and a cast featuring a bounty of Bay Area theatre veterans.

These gifted performers will share beautiful music, meaningful memories, and take audiences on a journey through a variety of winter celebrations, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Noche Buena, Diwali, Las Posadas, Winter Solstice, as well as exploring Christmas traditions from around the world.

6pm: Portia de Rossi and Cast of ABC’s Better Off Ted Reunite for Virtual Reading By Play-PerView who brings together the cast of the cult comedy series Better Off Ted for a Zoom reunion to read the Season 1 episode “Jabberwocky,” followed by Q&A. The cast of the 2009 series includes Jay Harrington, Portia de Rossi, Andrea Anders, Malcolm Barrett, and Jonathan Slavin.

Proceeds for this event, streaming 6 PM ET December 27, will benefit Feeding America. Tickets are available here.

7pm: Hip Hop Cinderella – A New Musical Amas Musical Theatre in association with HipHopMusicals.com present Hip Hop Cinderella – A New Musical, a family-friendly intergalactic romp with a cool, hip-hop vibe, laughs, adventure and unforgettable songs.

Click here for tickets. This virtual theatrical experience is available on-demand through December 27, 2020. All proceeds benefit Amas Musical Theatre’s education programs.

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, teenage Cinderella and her rapping robot companion Runka live on planet Zolla. They toil under the thumb of Cinderella’s stepmom, Lady Zurka, and her two social media obsessed stepsisters, Zig and Zag. The galaxy has lost its groove, and the Prince is throwing a Hip Hop Ball and Rap Competition to turn the beat around. Traveling via a quantum time warp, Cinderella transforms into “Ella C” and fights to win the competition. Upon returning to planet Zolla, Ella C is forced into a royal rap battle against Lady Zurka with a surprising result.

Directed by Christopher Scott, with musical direction by Evan Alparone, the cast features alumni students of the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy. They are: Alexis Aguiar, Cassandra Barckett, Jamiel Tako L. Burkhart, Brian Criado, Emily Lang and Lexy Piton. The stage manager is Benjamin A. Vigil and Nikki Wen is assistant stage manager. 

7pm: NYGASP’s Virtual Season Concludes With Stream of Comic Operetta Cox and Box New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ finale of their 2020 virtual season, a cinematic experience of Sir Arthur Sullivan and F.C. Burnand’s comic operetta Cox and Box, will stream December 27–January 2, 2021.

7pm: Meet Me in St. Louis Irish Rep available through January 2
A holiday musical based on the MGM movie. With Shereen Ahmed, William Bellamy, Rufus Collins, Kerry Conte, Melissa Errico, Ali Ewoldt, Kathy Fitzgerald, Ian Holcomb, Austyn Johnson, Jay Aubrey Jones, Kylie Kuioka, Ashley Robinson, and Max Von Essen.

7:30: Verdi’s Falstaff Verdi finished his sublime final opera when he was almost 80 years old, capping a fruitful career with a bawdy adaptation of scenes from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV. His classic operatic farce charts a knight’s gold-digging efforts to seduce two married women, leading to belly-flopping failure on both counts. The score, meanwhile, is a complete tour de force, demonstrating the old master’s still-youthful panache, as well as his profound insight into human nature.

8pm: Celebrity Autobiography Act Blue. A fundraiser for the Democratic candidates of the Georgia Senate runoff elections, following the format of this popular show where celebrities make fun of other celebrities’ memoirs, by reading passages from them. Performers include Matthew Broderick, Billy Crystal, Rachel Dratch, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo, Andrea Martin, Mandy Patinkin, Rosie Perez, Rob Reiner, Martin Short, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Michael Urie 

8pm: Hershey Felder Tchaikovsky By TheatreWorks Hershey Felder rings in the holiday season with a live streamed performance of his hit show Hershey Felder Tchaikovsky, offering viewers at home a front row seat for this work that brings to life the famed Russian composer of “The Nutcracker Suite.”

Following the live stream, the performance is available for streaming on-demand access through December 27. 

Hershey Felder Tchaikovsky features an extended focus on the composer’s iconic work The Nutcracker ballet, as well as delving into Tchaikovsky’s life in Italy, and his array of works from the ballets Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, to his 1812 Overture, and other symphonic works.

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: suzanna@t2conline.com

Cabaret

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen

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Karen Mason and Louis Rosen met back in the 70s in Chicago. Karen was a young singer accompanied by a the incomparable pianist-songwriter Brian Lasser. He was close friends with guitarist, pianist-songwriter, Louis Rosen. Mason and Lasser moved to New York and two years later Rosen was there as well. A little over ten years later Lasser died of AIDS. Rosen and Mason have made sure that Lasser’s music is remembered.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Mason and Rosen are back together again celebrating nearly 50 years of collaboration and friendship. The evening is stripped down bare with Rosen on guitar and piano and Mason and Rosen on vocals. Most of the material is Rosen’s songs many from his most recent albums, but added are a few selections by  Lasser, that make you know he died way to soon.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Rosen’s music is what singer/songwriters use to write, full of blues riffs, uplifting swing, folk melodies, jazz cadences and soulful powerful lyrics. It is like an old soul left their words to impart. This night so made me want to hear his newest album “Love and Ashes”. Rosen is a musicians musician.

“A master interpreter… Mason produces a depth of sound and brilliance of color that converge in the work of very few singers!” (Chicago Tribune)

Mason has an authenticity to her voice. She is a storyteller, rich in tone and truly excels on Lasser’s music. She is a belter at heart, but Rosen’s music has her venerable and exposed, which is a new side to her art.

It is always wonderful to watch two artists collaborate,

Luba Mason and Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen: Ages Since the Last Time: Chelsea Table + Stage, 152 West 26th Street.

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Cabaret

My View: Why CAN’T A Woman…? This Woman Can…Lianne Marie Dobbs

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The actor Lianne Marie Dobbs played a 1900’s woman in the HBO series The Gilded Age. You also might have seen her in Law & Order, The Equalizer and F.B.I., but yesterday at Chelsea Tables + Stage she wasn’t just playing the part of a Cabaret singer!  Ms. Dobbs is the real deal, and she captivated an audience of music connoisseurs with her formidable vocal talents and wit in her show titled “Why CAN’T a Woman…? 

Lianne’s cabaret act utilizes Broadway leading men’s songs and sassy standards, served up with a twist of SHE, to celebrate all the hats that women wear, and she answered the shows question authoritatively….This woman sure can!

Lianne Marie Dobbs was named one of the Best Vocalists of the Decade (BroadwayWorld, 2020) and has filled The Green Room 42, 54Below, Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Blue Strawberry in St. Louis, and will be featured in Chicago’s Cabaret Week later in May.  “Why CAN’T a Woman…?” was named one of the best cabaret shows of the year (2022) by BroadwayWorld, and called “an honest to goodness emerging work of art”.  She has appeared in leading roles Off-Broadway, in National Tours, and at renowned theaters such as Denver Center, Repertory of St. Louis, Ogunquit Playhouse, Goodspeed and many more.

Ron Abel is Lianne’s music director and arranger, whose accolades include: LA Critics Circle Award Winner and L.A. Weekly Award Winner for his original compositions and unique arrangements of Broadway hits for orchestras and singers. He has been the music director for acclaimed vocalists such as Lucie Arnaz, Peter Allen, Joely Fisher, Valarie Pettiford, Julia Migenes, Helen Reddy, and John Lloyd Young.

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

STANDING OVATION

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

PAUL KREPPEL, RON ABEL, EDA SOROKOFF, MURPHY CROSS

EDA SOROKOFF & TAKAKO HARKNESS

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Cabaret

My View: The City Was Special Last Night….Melissa Errico at 54 Below

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The evening at 54 Below was advertised as a “ Vinyl Release Celebration Concert” and how apt that VINYL, the unrivaled substance utilized to capture the subtle nuances and breadth of music has now been used to capture the elegant voice of Melissa Errico singing the songs of  “Sondheim in the City” for posterity. 

Caveat: While Vinyl may capture in analog glory the beautiful notes and words of Melissa, one must be in her presence to experience her irrepressible beauty, wit, and intelligence on stage.

Melissa Errico….Sondheim In The City Vinyl Release Celebration at 54 Below May 7,8,9…..

Tedd Firth Music Director, David Finck (Bass), Eric Halvorson (Drums) Bruce Harris (Trumpet)

About the show:

After the critical triumph of her Sondheim Sublime album-called “the finest all Sondheim recording ever made” by the Wall Street Journal, Melissa Errico returned to one of her cabaret homes (54 Below) last night and to her favorite songwriter with an entire new program of Sondheim songs, celebrating her new album (released February 16, 2024 on Concord) and a different side of Steve, praised in The New York Times as “a New York house tour of thrill and heartbreak..from one of Sondheim’s deepest-hearted yet lightest-touch interpreters.”

Sondheim in the City is the Sondheim of smart, sophisticated New York, the Sondheim of the quick, witty, sardonic, love-seeking and sex-driven city that he recorded and worked in through his long life. From the anthem of city busyness “Another Hundred People” to the bittersweet hymns of city marriage, “Sorry, Grateful” and “Good Thing Going,” with time for hardboiled surprises like “Uptown, Downtown” and surprisingly soft-centered ballads like “All That I Need” and “Dawn”

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO & TEDD FIRTH, music director

54 Below, Eda Sorokoff

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Cabaret

Klea Blackhurst Brings The Songbook Of Jerry Herman To Life

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Klea Blackhurst returned to Chelsea Table and Stage last Sunday with another installment of her monthly series “The Box Set”. Each month Klea reprises one of her acclaimed shows. Last  Sunday she performed  One of the Girls: “The Words and Music of Jerry Herman”. Klea sang Herman’s songs that were made famous by the women in his life.

The evening started with Klea descending down the long staircase of the club singing “Just Leave Everything to Me” from the film, “Hello Dolly!” and she was off running. She is  an actress, singer, comedian and Mermanologist. What is a Mermanologist you ask ? Someone who is an expert on Ethel Merman.

Klea relayed some wonderful stories about Jerry Herman. She  got to know the composer well.  You can feel her admiration for him not only as a composer, but as a human being.

Klea was backed up by superb musicians: Michael Rice – piano/arrangements, Aaon Russell on drums and Tom Hubbard on bass. In between Jerry Herman stories Klea sang some of Herman’s great songs: “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello Dolly!, “Open A New Window” and “It’s Today from Mame,  “Time Heals Everything” from Mack &Mabel, “Just Go to The Movies” from A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine and “I Don’t want to Know” from Dear World. Klea knocked it out of the park with her rendition  of “I’m  What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.

Very seldom do I leave a show and feel I that I need to spread the world about a great performer but for Ms. Blackhurst… I do.

Klea is truly one of the greats of this generation of entertainers.

We have to wait till September 15, 2024 for her next show “Dreaming of A Song” The Music of Hoagy Carmichael co-staring Billy Stritch.

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Cabaret

Laura Slutsky Does Cabaret for a Cause

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Laura Slutsky’s and my paths have crossed many times over the years and I have always found her witty, kind and engaging. I just didn’t know how big a heart she had until I saw she was producing cabaret and comedy shows to raise money for various charities. Over the past few months, she has gathered groups of talented performers to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease and the people of Maui after the devastating fires. On April 28th I was able to attend her latest fundraiser at the Triad Theater to support St Jude Children’s Hospital.  Lyzette Dorado, St Jude Marketing Director for New York City, was in attendance and was able to share how the organization helps the young cancer patients and their families.

Laura Slutsky

Lizette Dorado, St Jude Marketing Director shares what their mission

Laura Slutsky Singing Eydie Gorme

Laura and Sue Matsuki Cohosts of the Evening

I met Sue Matsuki a few years ago when she was organizing the Winter Rhythms concerts for Urban Stages. She is an award winning (MAC, Bistro and Julie Wilson Awards) singer and author. She met Laura in January and in those 3 short months they were able to organize this wonderful entertaining afternoon with a list of Grade A talent.

Sue Matsuki Singing Judy Garland

Saundra Silliman Sings Nancy Wilson

Elvira Tortora Sings Babara Cook

Debra Stone Sings Amanda McBroom

Laura’s Shmoozin’ with Slutsky series of special performance events each has a different theme and this one was “Legends that ‘Muse’ Me,” a 90 minute concert with eleven powerhouse performers, each singing a song from one of their favorite influences. Each performer wowed the packed house and as all proceeds benefitted St Jude it showed a true sense of community and caring.

Jacqueline Draper Sings Piaf

Meg Flather sings one of her own compositions

Kati Nieheisel Sings Julie London

Eva Steinberg Sings Peggy Lee

Ms Slutsky, in addition to co-emceeing with her special wit sang Eydie Gorme and Sue honored Judy Garland.  The afternoon was a wonderful variety of singers each with a different style including ballads, jazz, blues a popular tunes. Saundra Silliman sang Nancy Wilson; Elvira Tortora, Babara Cook and Debra Stone, Amanda McBroom. Jacqueline Draper performed Piaf in French and English while Meg Flather sang one of her own compositions. Kati Nieheisel and Eva Steinberg spoke of Julie London and Peggy Lee, respectively, before giving them tribute in song. Margaret Curry and Leslee Warren, influenced by Linda Ronstadt and Ethel Waters, respectively, turned up the temperature with Blue Bayou and Heat Wave. Lina Koutrakis completed the line up with two 2 songs; one from Michele Brourman and one of her own.

Debra Stone and all the ladies are accompanied by the Gregory Toroian Band

Margaret Curry Sings Linda Ronstadt

Leslee Warren Sings Ethel Waters

Lina Koutrakis sang 2 songs; One from Michele Brourman and one of her own

All the women were accompanied by the Gregory Toroian Band with Mr. Toroian on piano, Skip Ward on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums.

If this afternoon was an example of all the Shmoozin with Slutsky shows I am sorry I am late to the party. She knows how to bring out the best talent and showcase them in a gleaming light. What’s even more special is that she does this for the benefit of so many in need. Her next Shmooze will raise money for Prostate Cancer (date to be determined) but in the meantime you can support St. Jude Children’s Hospital https://www.stjude.org for more information.

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