Jenna's Two Cents Blog   
Website: JennaEsposito.com   

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rocky Mountain High

Hello everyone! Just in from Colorado, where I spent a week at the amazing "Art of Cabaret Workshop" at Perry-Mansfield in Steamboat Springs. I am too exhausted to give you all of the details now, but suffice it to say it was a life-changing experience. I DID promise all of my fellow participants that I would be updating this blog and that their names would be in it, though, so I will at least get that in tonight!
So...last week, I had the honor of working with and getting to know these terrific performers: Kate Beckman, Toni Rae Brotens, Robert Green, Irenka Jekubiak, Pat Linhart, Russ Lorenson, Sue Matsuki, Linn Maxwell, Gretchen Reinhagen, Maureen Taylor, and Jeannie Trimdak. We were coached and nurtured by the following amazingly talented faculty members: Christopher Denny, David Gaines, Barry Kleinbort, Andrea Marcovicci, and Karen Mason. Stay tuned for more details this week!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Liza!

Yes, we had a Liza sighting at Cast Party the other night! Not the first, and I'm sure it's not the last, but it's always exciting. She did a song that had been written for her when she was 16, for a musical she was supposed to do with Jeanette MacDonald, but that never actually came to fruition. It was a very touching song - there was even a line about Judy (Garland) singing about "the boy next door!" After that, the crowd went wild, so she called up a special guest from the audience to join her on her next song, and the guest was none other than Michael Feinstein! Michael joined Billy Stritch and Jim Caruso in singing "I Love a Violin" with Liza - what an incredible experience! And THAT, my friends, is why I go to Cast Party every Monday night - you just NEVER know who's going to be there! Also performing at Cast Party that night was one of my favorites - Tony DeSare. He's a fabulous singer/songwriter/piano player in that classic, rat-packy mode, and I always enjoy seeing him perform.
Not too much else going on this week, because I'm getting ready to head out to Colorado for the Perry-Mansfield "Art of Cabaret Workshop," where I'll be working with Karen Mason, Andrea Marcovicci, Barry Kleinbort, Shelly Markham, and Christopher Denny. I can't wait! The program starts on Monday, 8/21 and goes through Monday, 8/28. I'm heading out on Friday, 8/18, though, to give myself a few days to sightsee and get used to breathing the mountain air before I attempt to sing in it!
I don't think I'm going to have much internet access while I'm out there, so I may not be able to do any updates until I get back, but if I can find a cyber-cafe, I may be able to get in a post or two!
Make sure to mark your calendars for the first two Fridays in October (the 6th and the 13th) - I'm bringing my "I Hate Men" show back for a couple more shows. They're both at 9 p.m. at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe.
That's about all for now - more upon my return from Colorado!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Good News!

I Hate Men: Songs for the Scorned is coming back for a second run in October. We will be doing two shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe - Friday, October 6th and Friday, October 13th, both at 9 p.m. I'm really excited - it's a really nice space with a big stage. I've been to their open mike on Fridays, "The After Party" a few times now, and I've had a blast. That starts at 10:30 p.m., so if you come to my show and want to stick around after, it'll be a great night!
Gotta run for now, but just wanted to give you the update. More to come soon!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hot Town...

Hope everyone's holding up during this crazy heat wave. I'm hanging in...even braved it at Yankee Stadium last night! I got amazing tickets through my job, so my dad (the biggest Yankee fan I know) and I toughed it in the 100+ degree weather to see our boys get a victory and move into first place. Fun night! Actually, it's been a fun couple of nights. On Saturday, I stopped into Marie's Crisis for a little bit to see Sheldon Forrest and help him celebrate his 4th anniversary as a pianist there. After that, I headed to Hoboken to join in the festivities at Phil Geoffrey Bond's birthday party, which was lots of fun! On Sunday, I pulled a double header at The Metropolitan Room. First at 4 p.m., I saw Alisa Schiff's show, Mama Said, which was a very well put together show about Cass Elliot, better known as Mama Cass. This show won the MAC award for "best female debut," and from what I saw, it was certainly well-deserved. The music was great, the arrangements were great, and Alisa did a terrific job of delivering the material. At 7 p.m. that same night, I saw Lennie Watts in his show, And Further More. I must say, it was a highly entertaining hour. Lennie chose great material for his show, and sang his butt off...and all that aside, he is a funny, funny man and a very entertaining performer.
On Monday, I ran dashed from my voice lesson in order to make it to the Laurie Beechman for New Mondays, which, on this particular night was featuring the music/lyrics of David Zippel, Deborah Abramson and one of my personal favorites, Stephen Schwartz. What a fabulous show. David Zippel had two terrfic singers on hand to perform a couple of his pieces, and then he performed the "Critic Song" from the upcoming musical "Pamela's First Musical," on which he collaborated with the late, great Wendy Wasserstein and the late, great Cy Coleman. Deborah Abramson was unable to be there, but her music was masterfully delivered by Michael Winther and Sally Wilfert. Stephen Schwartz accompanied himself on piano. He did one new song, followed by "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin. He explained that he thought the song should be performed in every cabaret room, so he felt it was his obligation to christen the Laurie Beechman with his performance of it. Finally, he led the audience through the evolution of "The Wizard and I" from Wicked, which started out as a completely different song before morphing into one of the biggest hits of the show. After that, I headed over to Cast Party for another fun night.
Whew. Didn't realize quite how much I'd crammed into the span of a few days until I typed it all out!
Stay cool, and I'll have more updates soon!