Jenna's Two Cents Blog   

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Monday!

Actually, this Monday is happier than most, because it's only a week till Christmas! Yay! I've barely started my shopping, I've got countless hours of baking ahead...yet I'm still filled with my yearly holiday euphoria. It COULD be because we had the annual Esposito Family Christmas Concert yesterday. I had not been feeling very Christmas-y until then, but singing all of those songs just put me right in the spirit. It was me and my dad and my sis singing, with my dad playing guitar, my brother-in-law Rob Broelmann on bass, Brian DeWitt on drums, and the fabulous Lynda Saponara on piano. Rob's brother Brian also joined us on tenor sax, which was a real treat. The church was packed, everyone was singing along, and there was plenty of holiday joy in the air. So...I'm ready to shop till I drop and bake till I crash! AND squeeze in a few more shows, of course! But before I tell you what's on the agenda for this week, let me tell you about the shows I've seen since my last entry. It was actually a really crazy week with other obligations, so I only made it to a few, but they were terrific! On Thursday, 12/14, I went to see my friend Maureen Taylor, who was participating in the concert version of Stage and Screen, a new musical by Kip Dennis. The show was charming, and Maureen was terrific in her role as a gossip columnist. I hope to see it back again soon! On Saturday, 12/16, I went to another of the "Give Me a Voice" benefits at the Metropolitan Room at 5 p.m. The show was terrific, with another stellar lineup including Miles Phillips, Tim DiPasqua, Baby Jane Dexter, and - of course - the charming and talented host/m.c./booking manager Lennie Watts! I really had a blast...and THEN, I had to rush over to the Laurie Beechman to do a quick sound check for the holiday fete I was singing in that night at 8! I was honored to be part of such an incredible lineup - I shared the bill with Lisa Asher, Jamie deRoy, Brandon Cutrell, Julie Gold, Alysha Umphress and Barbara Brussell, among others. It was another great show - so a big thanks to Phil Geoffrey Bond for putting at all together!
So...tonight, I'm going to head up to Symphony Space at 8:00 to catch My Christmas Song for You, a benefit hosted by the fab Andrea Marcovicci. Scheduled to appear with her are Barbara Brussell, Judy Butterfield, Natalie Douglas, Daisy Carnelia, and Jeff Harnar. Should be another terrific show - and the proceeds benefit programming at Symphony Space, which is definitely something worth supporting! After that, I will (of course!) be heading to Cast Party for my usual Monday night revelries.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., I'm heading to the Metropolitan Room (seriously, maybe I should just get a cot there?) to see the fabulous Karen Mason in her holiday show - and I can't wait! I'll write all about it in the next post...
Until then, warmest holiday wishes to all!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Whew, busy week!

I'm sneaking in a few seconds at the day job so I can write quickly about what I've seen since I last posted! Let's see...on Wednesday, 12/6, I saw David Ippolito's year end concert at Merkin Concert Hall, which was a blast! It was a really great show, and I can't wait till it gets warm again and I can go see him in Central Park on Saturdays. On Friday night, I went back to Helen's to catch Colm Reilly's Roy Orbison show for a second time, because I just couldn't get enough the first time around. The show was even better this time around - Colm's really settled into the music, and it's really becoming a part of him - awesome show! On Saturday evening, I headed over to the Metropolitan Room for "Give Me a Voice" which was a show to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina through Oprah's Angel Network. Hosted by Lennie Watts, the show was a lineup of stellar talent, including Jeanne MacDonald, Rick Jensen, Cynthia Crane, Terese Genecco, Shaynee Rainbolt, and Brandon Cutrell (among others!). It was a really terrific show, and I'm so happy I was able to catch it! On Sunday evening, I caught Marcus Simeone in his "Romance" show at the Laurie Beechman. I'd never seen a full show of Marcus' before; I'd only caught him guesting in other people's shows...and I LOVED it! His song selection was great, and really suited his smooth, easy delivery. Tracy Stark was fab at the piano and also lent her lovely voice to a number of songs, really adding to the show. Last night, I hit the Metropolitan Room at 7 p.m. to catch Lennie Watts, Scott Coulter, and Steven Ray Watkins in their annual holiday show, and it was SO much fun!!! I particularly liked their medley of depressing Christmas songs...just the right thing to bring everyone some holiday cheer. All three men are such incredible musicians. Their harmonies were stellar, and they provided a cheerful (well, mostly, anyway!) hour of songs to get us all in the holiday spirit. Then it was over to Cast Party, of course, where there were so many talented people performing last night...and I was priveliged to be sitting with a number of them: Sue Matsuki, Maureen Taylor, Rob Langeder, Barbara Brussell, Ritt Henn, Tony DeSare, Terese, the list goes on, too! But I've GOT to get back to work! More soon, I promise!
OH, and mark your calendars for a few shows I've got coming up. I'll be performing in the Laurie Beechman Theatre's holiday show this Saturday, 12/16, at 8 p.m., and then the following day, I'll be doing the annual Esposito Family Christmas Concert with my dad and my sis in Middletown, NY...and THEN, the first two Fridays in February, I'll be bringing my all-new show "SMOOCH!" to the Laurie Beechman at 9 p.m. Stay tuned for more details...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A few recommendations...

Well, I just got in from work and am sitting down to do a quick update before seeing Shaynee Rainbolt at the Metropolitan Room in her "Home for the Holidays" show. I always enjoy watching Shaynee perform, so tonight should be a lot of fun. If you read this and feel like dashing out immediately, you can catch her at 9:30 p.m.!
Tomorrow night is going to be another treat, because I'm going to see David Ippolito in his big year-end concert at Merkin Concert Hall. David is best known as being "that guitar man from Central Park" because every warm, sunny weekend, David heads to Central Park with his guitar and entertains hundreds of people! David's songs are funny, intelligent, and SO much fun to listen to! And, here's the best part - David is offering half price tickets to ALL of my friends! So, you can call or stop by the box office, mention that you're "Jenna's friend" and get your ticket for $10 instead of $20! If you don't have plans already, head on over tomorrow night and check it out. I guarantee that you will have a fantastic time!!!
Thursday night is...well, it's laundry night for me, so no shows. But Friday, I'll be heading back to Helen's to see Colm Reilly's Roy Orbison show again, because it was so wonderful the first time, I just have to go back! Definitely a must-see in my book!
Anyway, that's all the time I have for now - gotta slap on some makeup and head to the Met! More soon!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wow, what a night!

A big thank you to everyone who came out to see the birthday bash on Saturday night - I had such a fantastic time! It was a really special night, and it was wonderful to look out and see a full house. And a huge thank you to all of the participants: Barbara Brussell, Lodi Carr, Angela Carstensen, Hector Coris, Fortune Esposito, Kelly Esposito-Broelmann, David Goldman, Ritt Henn, David Ippolito, Sue Matsuki, Michael Quinn, Ben Rauch, Gretchen Reinhagan, Matt Sigl, Jenny Lynn Stewart and Maureen Taylor...AND another huge thanks to my fantastic band: Fortune Esposito (musical director/guitar), Michael Blanco (bass), Richard Schacher (piano), and Brian DeWitt (drums).
I had so much fun, I'm already thinking about next year's!
Because it was such a busy week with preparing for my big bash, I only made it out to one other show last week, and that was Sue Matsuki's show at Sweet Rhythm. She did two swingin' sets, and I had a terrific time! She was accompanied by a fab band (Gregory Toroian, piano; Jerry Vivino, sax, David Finck, bass & Ron Tierno, percussion and really put on a stellar show. My personal favorite was her "Baby, Baby, Don't You Go 'Way Mad" - definitely a must-hear!
Tonight, I'm off to see the Knicks at 7:30 and then, of course, I'll be headed over to Cast Party. I've got a bunch of shows on my calendar for the next few weeks, so I'll be posting as often as I can to keep you updated!