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What to Watch in The New Year: Jan 18

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MLK at BAM performers 1
MLK at BAM performers 2

11am: The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brooklyn Academy of Music. New York City’s largest public celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, a free virtual program, featuring speeches as well as performances by, among others, PJ Morton, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Sing Harlem!, poets Timothy DuWhite and Ashley August,.

2:30pm: Leave a Light On By Lambert Jackson Productions Rob Madge

3pm concert: Kelli O’Hara  starred most recently in the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. On Broadway, Kelli’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. She then reprised her Tony Winning role while making her West End debut for which The Times hailed her as “Broadway musical’s undisputed queen” adding “Kelli O’Hara does not just play Anna, she owns the part”. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons and WTF), King Lear (Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing (City Center Encores), Sunday in the Park with George (Reprise), and My Life With Albertine (Playwright’s Horizons). Kelli received a 2018 Webby nomination for her role in the hit web-series thriller The Accidental Wolf and appears in the second season of Netflix’s series 13 Reasons Why. Other film and television credits include Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Showtime’s Master of Sex, CBS All Access’s The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, Alexander Hamilton, N3mbers, and the animated series Car Talk. In 2015, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow. She returned to the opera this past spring as Despina in Così fan tutte. Her concerts have gained international acclaim, spanning from New York’s Carnegie Hall all the way to Tokyo. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Along with two Grammy Award nominations, her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World are available on Ghostlight Records. Kelly recently received her first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy of Drama Series for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series The Accidental Wolf.

3pm: Transatlantic Tales (Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival) A series of eight original plays written to be performed live on Zoom, each pairing actors in Ireland and the United States, were recorded this summer.  Featuring many familiar faces on either side of the Atlantic the project made fast friends across an ocean and provided striking evidence of both the cultural connections and disconnects that have always characterized Irish-American relations. 

4pm: Soul to Soul National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene available for four days. The tenth annual concert (this time virtual) celebrating African-American and Jewish music– spiritual, jazz, klezmer, and folk.

7pm: Drum Major Instinct Theater of War. On Sunday, February 4, 1968, Dr. King delivered The Drum Major Instinct at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, exactly two months before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. In it, he prophetically spoke of his own imminent death and laid out a challenge to his congregation, and also the world, to harness an inborn human drive—“the desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first”— and use it to promote justice, righteousness, and peace. A cast of performers and public officials will read and discuss the text, accompanied by original music composed and conducted by Dr. Philip Woodmore performed by a diverse choir of singers from New York and St. Louis. Featuring performances by Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit), and soloists De-Rance Blaylock, Duane Foster, and John Leggette.

7pm: Blue Ridge through January 19. A reunion reading of the play by Abby Rosebrock, featuring Marin Ireland as a progressive high school teacher with a rage problem retaliates against her unscrupulous boss and is sentenced to six months at a church-sponsored halfway house, where she attends to everyone’s recovery but her own. Directed by Taibi Magar

7:30pm: Bizet’s Carmen Metropolitan Opera. The Met’s Week of Opera’s Greatest Heroines begins with the tale of the irresistible and free-spirited Gypsy, whose fatal attraction with the jealous soldier Don José burns too hot for them to control. Anita Rachvelishvili as the title character, with Anita Hartig, Aleksandrs Antonenko and Ildar Abdrazakov

8pm: Pajama Cast Party Broadway performers by Broadway performers Claybourne Elder and Capathia Jenkins, singer/songwriter Susan Werner, and husband and wife operatic team Jessica Fishenfeld and Scott Joiner.

Kelli O’Hara, Renée Fleming, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 1) By MasterVoices The central project of MasterVoices’ 2020-2021 season will be a virtual rollout of award-winning composer Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle, Myths and Hymns, in an online staging conceived by Ted Sperling. Inspired by Greek myths and a 19th-Century Presbyterian hymnal, the 1998 cycle is a kaleidoscopic collection of musical genres as it explores the nature of faith and longing in a secular world. New short musical films will illustrate the protagonist’s attempt to seek answers in four ways – through Flight, Work, Love, and Faith. The four chapters of this personal voyage will be released in free digital installments throughout the winter and spring.

Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, More Star in Jerry Herman Tribute From Pasadena Playhouse Pasadena Playhouse will pay tribute to the late composer of Hello, Dolly!Mame, and La Cage aux Folles with You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman.

Conceived and music directed by Andy Einhorn, the revue will be available to stream January 10. A live virtual opening night will also take place that night, with guests including Bernadette Peters and David Hyde Pierce.

Available to stream through February 7.

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.

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.

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

Cabaret and Talks For June

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92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 6/1 – 3: Wonder of Wonders: Celebrating Sheldon Harnick; 6/11: Daddio: Advance Screening and Dakota Johnson in Conversation with MTV’s Josh Horowitz; 6/15: An Evening with Noah Hawley with Special Guest Jon Hamm and 6/20: Dr. Anthony Fauci in Conversation with Lawrence O’Donnell: On Call.

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; 6/1, 8, 15, 22, 29: 6/3: Gabrielle StravellI; 6/3: Gabrielle Stravelli & Billy Stritch “Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other”; 6/10: Susan Mack “No More Blues”; 6/1: Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano: “Sun! Skin! Sin! Sinatra!”; 6/ 18 – 19: Stacey Kent and 6/24: Clint Holmes in “Icons”.

Clint Holmes

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 6/1: Ethan Slater; 6/4 – 8 Rumer Willis and 6/11 -24: Aaron Tveit.

Rumer Willis

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 6/20: FOLLIES in Concert

Norbert Leo Butz, Christine Ebersole, Santino Fontana, Jennifer Holliday, Norm Lewis, Donna Murphy

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 6/14: Randy Edelman.

Randy Edelman Photo by Jeff Smith

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 6/2: Lucille Carr-Kaffashan.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.

Klea Blackhurst

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 6/9: Songbook Sundays Johnny Mercer with Billy Stritch, Klea Blackhurst,Gabrielle Stravelli and more.

54 Below: 254 West 54 St.  6/1: Tony Danza: Standards & Stories; 6/2: Lea DeLaria: Brunch Is Gay; 6/6 – 8 and 10 – 13: Norm Lewis: Summertime (Special Tony Edition; 6/14- 15: Gavin Lee: Steppin’ Out With Fred Astaire; 6/18 and 26: Christine Andreas: Paris to Broadway; 6/21 – 25: Linda Eder and  6/28 – 29: Jackie Evancho: My Story

Linda Eder

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 6/17: Nicholas King; 6/20: Sally Mayes; 6/23: Reeve Carney and 6/29: Corinna Sowers Adler, Marieann Meringolo and Sandra Piller.

Reeve Carney – Photo by Matthew Tammaro

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 6/2:Paula Cole; 6/14: Eliane Elias and 6/27: Gino Vannelli.

Eliane Elias

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. Every Saturday and Sunday Lucky Cheng’s Drag Brunch; 6/12: Craig Rubano.

The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 6/19: Timeless Songs from the Silver Screen;

The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 6/3: Let’s Put On A Show! 35 Years Of Irish Rep Musicals! and 6/20 – 21: Samara Joy

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Cabaret

My View: Jimmie Herrod….America’s Got Talent!

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Our table of four “judges” at 54 Below (Steven Reineke, Eric Gabbard, Storm Large, Eda Sorokoff) didn’t have a Golden Buzzer to ring for “America’s Got Talent” winner Jimmie Herrod last night, but we all gave this super singer a standing ovation and a thumbs up at the conclusion of his solo Cabaret debut in Broadway’s Supper Club.

Jimmie’s tonal dexterity, vocal chords that have no limits, and imaginative jazz interpretations of Broadway and Pop standards  thrilled a room full of music lovers.

Not everyone in America has talent, but Jimmie Herrod sure has!

From blowing the judges away as a finalist on “America’s Got Talent” to playing Angel in the symphonic version of Rent at The Kennedy Center, and touring the world as a member of Pink Martini, Jimmie shared his favorite songs and stories in an unforgettable intimate and personal show. 

Alex Boniello (Dear Evan Hansen, Deaf West Spring Awakening) was Jimmie’s special guest

About Jimmie Herrod

Jimmie is a vocalist who brings singular power an expressivity to his global career as a singer, songwriter, and entertainer on stage and screen. As a solo artist with a uniquely high vocal range, Jimmie has appeared to critical and audience acclaim multiple times with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center, including on the nationally broadcast “Joni Mitchell Songbook,” and alongside luminaries such as Renee Fleming and Raul Midon.

Recent appearances include solo debuts with the St. Louis, Nashville, and Houston Symphony Orchestras, starring alongside vocalist Storm Large in a weekend of concerts with the Oregon Symphony, and touring the globe as a member of the band Pink Martini.  Herrod first came to worldwide prominence as a finalist on the NBC nationally broadcast television show, “America’s Got Talent,” earning the rare “Golden Buzzer recognition from actress Sofia Vergara and returning the following year on the AGT All-Star series. IN 2024 Jimmie launches his first national tour as a solo artist, in support of his forthcoming full-length album.

JIMMIE HERROD, STEVEN REINEKE, The New York Pops, ERIC GABBARD

JIMMIE HERROD

JIMMIE HERROD

JIMMIE HERROD

JIMMIE HERROD

ALEX BONIELLO

JIMMIE HERROD & ALEX BONIELLO

STANDING OVATION

EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, STORM LARGE, ERIC GABBARD

STORM LARGE & EDA SOROKOFF

STORM LARGE & STEPHEN SOROKOFF

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Cabaret

Finding Words for Spring 

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And who better to lead a search like this than every lyricist’s best friend, the incomparable Steve Ross!  Dressed all in green like a musical Pied Piper, Steve began our adventure with “Mountain Greenery”, one of the best examples of the verbal dexterity of Larry Hart.  Having arrived in this luscious verdancy, Steve highlighted the ever-clever Alan Jay Lerner by slowing his delivery a tad so we could savor every word in “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here”.  Those words, like all that Steve served up, deserved the attention he gave them. It’s amazing that even though one has heard a song many times, a thoughtful delivery can reveal more than had been realized. Johnny Mercer had his moment for admiration with “I’m Old Fashioned”, which curiously has the hallmarks of a lyric by Oscar Hammerstein.   

Mr. H. joined the party when Steve made “Younger Than Springtime” sound so full of yearning yet with a touch of sorrow.  Steve’s patter is always welcome for not only his wry humor but his instructive sensibility. He related how when Oscar Hammerstein declined the opportunity to write the lyrics for Annie, Get Your Gun, the torch was handed to Irving Berlin. He eagerly stepped up to the proverbial plate and in true Berlin fashion grand-slammed yet another terrific score. The contemporary of Noel Coward, Ivor Novello, dropped by with his “We’ll Gather Lilacs”, a wistful song that evoked the hopeful longing of the WW II years. 

A personal highlight was Steve’s rendition of “Send in the Clowns”—not a song evoking Spring, for sure, but one that deals with the complications that can ensue in falling in love.  Steve’s attention to one word in the lyric made the sardonic pathos of the situation almost palpable. (No, I won’t reveal the word—you must hear it for yourself next time!) And such is the magic of Steve Ross. He sprinkled this magical evening with several songs made famous by Fred Astaire and others in films which rounded out the evening beautifully. 

Steve swung into optimistic territory with “Make Our Garden Grow” adding a delicate touch of “‘Tis the Gift To be Simple”– a perfect ending to this show. But wait—there was more! He coaxed us into a sing-along to celebrate Eliza Doolittle Day, May 20. How “Lover-ly” it was! 

Any Steve Ross show is worth the time of any aficionado of the Great American Songbook. This show was especially notable. Each lyric shined under Steve’s masterful interpretation, and the entire room was silent throughout—nary a cough or ice-cube tinkle to be found. We were spellbound. If you are in the market for a spa treatment for the heart/soul, catch Steve’s next show. They don’t call him the Crown Prince of Cabaret for nothing! 

 

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Cabaret

My View: Julie Wilson Honored By The Mabel Mercer Foundation at The Pierre Hotel

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Cabaret luminaries, supporters, and officers of The Mabel Mercer Foundation gathered at The Pierre Hotel last night to celebrate the100th anniversary of the birth year of cabaret legend Julie Wilson.  Julie’s dominant presence in the cabaret world over the many decades led her to be called “The Queen of Cabaret”. Cabaret’s current guiding light, KT Sullivan, the artistic director of The Mabel Mercer Foundation hosted the evening’s celebration which included a gourmet buffet followed by performances from some of cabaret’s most beloved artists and friends of Julie Wilson.  Entertaining the Gala audience of music connoisseurs and honoring the legacy of Julie Wilson were: Karen Akers, Carole J. Bufford, Melissa Errico, Jeff Harnar, Sue Matsuki, MOIPEI ( Mary, Maggy & Marta), Sidney Myer, Craig Rubano, KT Sullivan and Amra-Faye Wright…. John Weber (piano) and Steve Doyle (Bass).

An especially emotional moment of the evening was actor Holt McCallany (son of Julie Wilson) paying tribute to his mother and singing “I’m Becoming My Mother”.

HOLT McCALLANY (son of Julie Wilson)

KT SULLIVAN, artistic director The Mabel Mercer Foundation

KT SULLIVAN

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

JEFF HARNAR

JEFF HARNAR

SUE MATSUKI

SUE MATSUKI

CRAIG RUBANO

CRAIG RUBANO

KAREN AKERS

KAREN AKERS

SIDNEY MYER

SIDNEY MYER

AMRA-FAYE WRIGHT

AMRA-FAYE WRIGHT

HOLT McCALLANY

HOLT McCALLANY

HOLT McCALLANY (son of Julie Wilson)

MOIPEI

MOIPEI

PATRICK McENROE, KT SULLIVAN,MELISSA ERRICO,MOIPEI

HOLT McCALLANY & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

MOIPEI & HOLT McCALLANY

EDA SOROKOFF & ELIZABETH SULLIVAN (Happy 94th Birthday)

MELISSA ERRICO PATRICK McENROE, KT SULLIVAN

JEFF HARNAR & MOIPEI

HEATHER SULLIVAN, HOWARD MORGAN, Chairman of the board Mabel Mercer Foundation, ELANOR MORGAN

KT SULLIVAN, ELIZABETH SULLIVAN, HEATHER SULLIVAN,Dr. Patrick Sullivan

KT SULLIVAN

KT SULLIVAN, PETER HANSON, Linda Hanson

EDA SOROKOFF & CRHRISTEL IBSEN

MONAH GETTNER,KT SULLIVAN, ALAN GETTNER

BRIAN KALTNER, Board Member Mabel Mercer Foundation & DEBBIE DAMP

HOWARD MORGAN, KT SULLIVAN, CAROLE J. BUFFORD,MOIPEI, MATHEW INGE

PATRICK McENROE & MELISSA ERRICO

KT SULLIVAN & STEPHEN SOROKOFF

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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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