Jenna's Two Cents Blog   

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Here and There

Well, it's been a busy 8 days since last I blogged, and there's a bunch of stuff coming up that I can't wait to see! So, diving right in...
On Friday, February 23rd, we had two successful performances of SMOOCH! at John's Harvest Inn in Middletown, NY. The shows were a lot of fun, and very well received! John's Harvest Inn is such a lovely restaurant, and the food is outstanding. Whether or not there's a cabaret going on, if you find yourself in or around Middletown, definitely check it out!
On Saturday, it was back to Manhattan to see a fabulous double-header at Helen's. At 7:00, it was Jason Wynn in "Not The Same Old@#$%" and at 9:30, it was Rob Langeder in "Broadway Revival." Although the shows were very different, they did have a few things in common: great performances, terrific direction (by Miles Phillips), terrific musical direction (Jason Wynn for his own show, Tracy Stark for Rob's), amazing energy, and sold-out houses! Jason's show was funny and irreverent, and heavily pop/rock oriented, with a few (very well written) original compositions mixed in. Rob's show is a "hand-clapping, foot-stomping spiritual journey as he sings the gospel of The Great White Way!" He's got one more performance left - a "Broadway Gospel Brunch" this Sunday, March 4th at 2 p.m. I can't wait to see it again - and if you're able to make it, I'd highly recommend it. With his beautiful voice and infectious energy, he really puts on a wonderful show.
On Monday, February 26th, I went to Broadway By The Year - The Broadway Musicals of 1928 at Town Hall. Produced by Scott Siegel, the Broadway By The Year series is currently in its 7th year, and is always such a delight to watch. The cast included a number of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and cabaret veterans, including Nancy Anderson (3 time Drama Desk Nominee), Joyce Chittick (Pajama Game), Jeffry Denman (The Producers), Max von Essen (Dance of the Vampires), Malcolm Gets (Tony Nominee, Amour), Leah Hocking (All Shook Up), Eddie Korbich (Drama Desk Nominee, Drowsy Chaperone), Bob Martin (Tony winner, Drowsy Chaperone), Paul Schoeffler (Sweet Charity), Lumiri Tubo (award-winning vocalist), Lari White (Grammy Award Winner), and more!
After that, I ran over to Cast Party to get my weekly fix, and, as usual, it was highly entertaining. Christine Lavin, Christine Pedi, Tina Jensen, and a bunch of others kept us all bopping and smiling!
Last night, I went to the MAC (that's "Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) seminar on James Gavin's book Intimate Nights. The seminar was led by a panel of industry experts: authors James Gavin and Deborah Grace Winer; performance educator Linda Amiel Burns; actress, producer, and talk show host, Jamie deRoy; booking manager, performer and MAC Board member Sidney Meyer; and moderator Richard Skipper. The evening turned into a very interesting discussion of cabaret's past, present and future, and my only regret was that it was only two hours long! The discussion could have continued for a long time afterwards, but hopefully we'll have some similar forums soon!
Tomorrow night I'm going to the final dress rehearsal of Terrence McNally's new play, Some Men at Second Stage Theatre - I'm really looking forward to it! Then, it's a busy weekend - Tracy Stark's cd release party/show at the Metropolitan Room on Saturday night, the fabulous Gretchen Reinhagen in her show "Redefined," which is playing at Don't Tell Mama Saturday 3/3 at 4 p.m. and Sunday 3/4 at 8 p.m. and, as I mentioned before, Rob Langeder in his Broadway Gospel Brunch at 2 p.m. on Sunday 3/4 at Helen's. Whew!
I'll keep you posted on how everything pans out!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Tuesday!

Hello to all, and apologies for the lack of blogging over the past few weeks. I tell you, it's hard work holding down a day job, putting together a show, going to see lots of other shows, and then finding time to write about it! So...without further ado, let me bring you up to date on the past couple of weeks...
SMOOCH! is going very well, in fact, that we've booked an additional date at the Metropolitan Room! Now, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of this room! I was there for opening night last May, and I've gone back countless times since - so to actually book a date there for myself is something of a dream come true! So...mark your calendars for Sunday, March 11th at 4 p.m. The Met is a large room, and I would be thrilled to have a full house for my debut there!
Now, speaking of the Metropolitan Room, I had the pleasure of watching the fabulous Baby Jane Dexter in her show there last Thursday. With a huge voice and a personality to match, the show was an hour of pure enjoyment. She breathes new life into old songs and makes you hear lyrics in ways you never thought of before! Definitely a show not to be missed! She's back there Thursday, 2/22-Saturday 2/24 - if you're able to go, DO IT!!
On Friday, 2/16, I was treated to another great performance - Lina Koutrakos at Joe's Pub. Lina is a singer/songwriter with a rich, soulful voice and a lot to say with it - mostly in the form of rock. Besides being talented, she's just plain cool - there's really no other way to describe it! It had been a while since I last saw her perform, and I'm thrilled that I was able to catch this show.
On Saturday night, I caught my friend, the terrific Canadian crooner Vincent Wolfe at Helen's. It was his NYC debut and I was so happy to be able to support him by being there. He's got this great, smooth, Mel-Torme-ish voice, and it was such a pleasure to listen to him!
And speaking of NYC debuts, I saw another friend of mine, Arnaldo!, "Seattle's favorite drag chanteuse" in his NYC debut the previous Sunday! I'd never seen Arnaldo in a full show before - only a song at a time - so seeing him in his element was really wonderful! He sounded great and looked gorgeous - and had a terrific selection of songs.
That pretty much brings us up to, looking ahead, I'll be at John's Harvest Inn in Middletown, NY (my hometown!) with SMOOCH! this Friday, February 23rd, with shows at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. - so, if you happen to be in the Middletown area (or feel like making a trip to be there!), I'd love to see you there!
I'll be returning to NYC on Saturday to catch Rob Langeder in the return of his highly successful show "Broadway Revival" which is playing at 9:30 p.m. at Helen's. It's a really great show - so if you missed it in it's debut last fall, I'd highly recommend trying to catch it either Saturday or the following Sunday (March 4th, 2 p.m. brunch show).
That's about it for now - hope this finds everyone happy and well!
More to come soon - I promise!