Jenna's Two Cents Blog   
Website: JennaEsposito.com   

Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday, Monday...

Happy Monday!
Although the Yankees were not successful on Thursday evening, the shows I saw this weekend WERE, so that left me in a great mood!
On Friday night, I went to the Metropolitan Room to see Terese Genecco's "Alone Together," a celebration of the music of Arthur Schwartz, which was a very successful follow-up to her "Drunk With Love." While very different in many ways, both shows have one thing in common - a terrifically talented performer with a true passion for the music she sings. While her previous show featured a "little big band," this show was just voice and piano, which really showcased Terese's vocal prowess and showed a much more vulnerable side of her. Barry Lloyd's superb arrangements and accompaniment made an already great show just that much better! If she brings it back, do not miss it!
On Saturday, I was back at the Metropolitan Room to see Jim Speake in "I'm A Brass Band," the music of Cy Coleman. Another great tribute to a great songwriter. Jim has an extremely likeable presence onstage and is a terrific storyteller. Add that to Mr. Coleman's fantastic music, and you've got one enjoyable show!
I took yesterday "off" to do mundane things like shop and pay a long overdue visit to the laundromat, but it looks to be a busy week - I'll be at Broadway By the Year at Town Hall tonight, followed by Cast Party; then it's the MAC awards tomorrow, followed by an after party at Helen's, and then back to Helen's on Wednesday for Shawn Ryan and friends! Whew - I'm exhausted already!
Check back soon for updates on everything!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Go Yankees (again!)

Well, it's another quick post before dashing out to Yankee stadium for me! It's been a busy week for me...after seeing the Yankees win last Wednesday evening, I spent Thursday evening at the Triad seeing Julian Yeo's show -what fun! Julian and I have very similar taste in music, which made it a most enjoyable show for me. He has an awesome trio backing him up, and a fantastic lineup of songs. Additionally, he's got a true love for what he's doing, which just shines through in his work. After his show, the trio stuck around for an open mike, which was very fun. I got up and did a few numbers, as did a bunch of Julian's talented friends. All in all, a fun night.
The following night, I went to see my friend Miles Phillips, who was performing in a short musical at the Laurie Beechman. It was one of three short musicals they were showcasing that evening, and it made for another fun night - I always enjoy hearing new music, and imagining what's next to come in the musical theatre world. Miles, of course, gave a terrific performance, as did everyone else in the show!
The following night, Rob and I pulled a double header - we went to see Baby Jane Dexter at the Metropolitan Room, followed by Jeanne MacDonald's show at Helen's. Both shows were terrific. I'd seen both of them before, and was happy for another chance to check them out. Baby Jane is simply incredible - she's got a larger than life personality and a voice to match. Her material was well-chosen and delivered with amazing energy. I especially enjoyed her "Love Potion Number Nine" and her story about her obsession with the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity (I can totally relate)! Jeanne's show was also quite enjoyable -well chosen material, and sung beautifully - I just love her "Walkin' After Midnight/Detour Ahead" medley, and I love the way she sings "Help Is On the Way." Overall, another great night, to make 3 in a row!
On Monday evening, I had the treat of seeing Toxic Audio for the first time, and wow! They are an a capella group, but not "traditional" at all! They have soooooooooo much fun with their music - they do some crazy vocal sound effects and breathe new life into material that's been done and done and done. If you haven't heard them before, I'd HIGHLY recommend checking them out! They were playing at Birdland, so of course we stuck around for Cast Party afterwards, which was a blast, as usual!
So tonight, it's off to Yankee Stadium, then tomorrow night, I'll be seeing the fabulous Terese Genecco at the Metropolitan Room! Woohoo!
Check back for more soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Go Yankees!

Hello all! I'm just about to head out to a Yankees game, but wanted to squeeze in a quick update. When I left off last week, I was preparing to see "Curtains" on Broadway...what a fun show! I'm always a sucker for a good murder mystery (really, it doesn't even have to be a good murder mystery - the sillier, the better!) and with David Hyde Pierce as the inspector, the show really couldn't miss, as far as I was concerned. Sure, it's admittedly not the most exciting Kander and Ebb score ever, but there's a beautiful, touching song that doubles as a tribute to their long partnership called "I Miss The Music," which is beautifully delivered by Jason Daniely. The show is a love note to music theatre, and has an absolutely stellar cast, including Karen Ziemba, Debra Monk, Noah Racey, Edward Hibbert, and Ernie Sabella. Fun, fun, fun!
On Saturday evening, I saw the lovely and talented Leslie Orofino in her new show, "Spring Fever," which is playing at Helen's. On a chilly April night, Leslie sure knew how to turn up the heat, with her sultry renditions of a number of well-chosen songs. Among my favorites: "Spring Cleaning," "Soon It's Gonna Rain," and Tony Desare's "Let's Just Stay In." Leslie is a charming, passionate and engaging performer and gave her all to a wonderfully entertaining show.
On Sunday, I headed back to Helen's for Rob Langeder's final performance of "Broadway Revival." Along with a number of other brave souls who pushed through the monsoon to make the show, I had a fabulous afternoon. As good as the show has been in the past, I think this show may have even better. Rob's voice just soared, the band rocked, and the well-chosen material really hit home.
Monday night, was of course Cast Party night and I had a great time as usual. Rob and I both sang, as did some of my other favorites - Christine Lavin and Hilary Kole, to name a few!
Okay, it's off to the Yankee game for me! Look for another update soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

West Coast Trip!

Hello all!
I recently returned from my first West Coast adventure and wanted to do a quick update here! I performed with my good friend Russ Lorenson in "The First American Idols: The Music of Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett." Since I do a Rosemary Clooney show and Russ does a Tony Bennett show, it seemed like a no-brainer to put the two of them together. We had a great time doing the show at Kelly's of Alameda, and are hoping to do it again - perhaps in NY! While I was in CA, I also began work on a cd - we got some great tracks laid down, and are planning to finish the recording and mixing next month in NYC. I'll keep you posted on the status - hopefully, it will be ready to go before long!
I returned to NY last Thursday, and am easing myself back into things...I attended the Backstage Bistro Awards the other night - so many talented people in one club at the same time simply amazed me. For me, there were two definite standout performances - Terese Genecco doing "Unchain My Heart" from her Francis Faye tribute show, and Klea Blackhurst doing "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" from the Hoagy Carmichael tribute show she did with Billy Stritch. One of my other favorites from the evening was the terrifically talented Shelly Markham performing "You Make Me Laugh." After the awards, we hightailed it up to Birdland for Cast Party, which was fun and fabulous as usual.
Tonight, I'm going to see Curtains on Broadway, which should be really fun - I can't wait!
Before I go, I must give a plug to my wonderfully talented boyfriend, Rob Langeder, who will be doing one more performance of his MAC-nominated debut show, "Broadway Revival" this Sunday, April 15th, at 1 p.m. at Helen's. I've seen the show twice now and enjoyed it so much that I'd go back again even if he wasn't my boyfriend! The show is filled with amazing singing and incredible energy - not to mention great music. It also features MAC nominee (musical director) and musical director Tracy Stark on piano, MAC nominee (technical director) Shane Mathews as technical director, and is directed by MAC nominee (director) Miles Phillips. So, if you're a MAC member and you haven't put in your votes yet, come check it out! And if you're not a MAC member, just come and enjoy a highly entertaining show!
That's about it for now...will do another update soon!