Jenna's Two Cents Blog   

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Catch-Up Time!

Hey all!
Well, it's been nearly four weeks since my last post, which seems crazy to me - where has the time gone?! Sorry for the delay; with my show going on and making the rounds to a bunch of other great shows, plus squeezing in time with my new nephew, I haven't had a heck of a lot of time to sit at my computer and write! But enough with the excuses...let me get on to the interesting stuff!
First of all, I unfortunately just do not have the time to write individually about all of the shows I've seen recently (and I doubt you have the time to read individual paragraphs about each of them). I will, however, talk about the 3 shows I went to this week because they were all fantastic, and so vastly different from each other!
On Wednesday evening, I headed to my favorite haunt, The Metropolitan Room, to see Terese Genecco, who was in town from San Francisco to perform at the Cabaret Convention. The show she did at the Metropolitan Room, "Drunk With Love: The Sequel" was a follow-up to her wildly popular show "Drunk With Love: A Tribute to Frances Faye." Though not featuring strictly the songs of Frances Faye, this show had a lot in common with the first: outstanding vocals, through-the-roof energy, a tight, well-rehearsed "little big band" and terrific arrangements. Terese is one of my favorite performers on the scene - if you haven't seen her, definitely try to catch her next time around.
Thursday evening found me at Don't Tell Mama to catch one of my other favorites, the legendary Ray Jessel. I consider myself a Ray Jessel groupie - every time he's in town, I try to catch his show at least once, if not several times. He is such a uniquely talented entertainer - a singer/songwriter in his 70s, who bears a striking resemblance to Einstein and can have you rolling on the floor at one moment with one of his comic songs, and the very next moment, break your heart with one of his beautiful ballads. Again, another must-see in my book! He's L.A.-based, but comes to NY a couple of times a year to share his talent with his fans on this coast! Again, if you haven't seen one of his shows yet, I highly encourage you to do so! He's got a few more performances - Tuesday, November 20th at 9 p.m. and Sunday, November 25th at 7 p.m., both at Don't Tell Mama. I may be at one or both - hope to see you there!
On Saturday night, I went to see Gashole at the Duplex. Gashole has been around for about 7 years, in various incarnations, and I had never gotten to see them before, but after the show last night, I can say that I will definitely be seeing them again. Irreverent and silly, Karen Mack and Michael Holland put on a show that's been described in the following terms: "Deranged medleys. Soaring harmonies. Dubious trivia. Pop culture freefall." Fun, fun, fun - a reminder that playing music should involve actual PLAY! I had a great time and can't wait to catch another one of their shows. One of the best parts is that the show changes each night - each table is equipped with a rolodex full of songs/medleys, and audience members are encouraged to pull their requests out of the rolodexes and put them in a big fishbowl before the show starts. The fishbowl is brought around to various audience members throughout the show, who pull a card out to determine which song will be next.
As I said earlier, I'm unfortunately not able to write individual paragraphs about all of the shows I've seen recently. Let me say, though, that they each had something special to offer, and if any of them are brought back for another run, I'd highly encourage you to see them. So, here we go...Laurie Krauz in her jazz set at Sweet Rhythm; Cynthia Crane in her new show, "The Time Has Come" at The Metropolitan Room; Miles Phillips in his gorgeous new show, "Quiet Stars" at The Metropolitan Room; The Gene Krupa Orchestra at The Reprise Room at Dillon's; the fantastically talented Hillary Kole at Birdland; Marcus Simeone in his wonderful CD release show at the Laurie Beechman Theater at the West Bank Cafe; and Gretchen Reinhagen in her new show "Back To Basics" at Don't Tell Mama. What a coupla weeks it's been - jam packed with great entertainment!
I was also thrilled to be a featured vocalist at Julian Yeo's jazz brunch yesterday, which occurs on every other Saturday at the Reprise Room at Dillons, which is on 54th between Broadway and 8th. The brunch is a great deal - $19.95 for great music and a tasty pre-fixe brunch. It runs from 11:30-2:30, and is a great way to spend a Saturday morning/early afternoon. The musicians are fantastic, and the food is great, too!
Well, that just about brings us up-to-date...but check back soon - I've got a couple of "essay" style blogs cooking about various aspects of the business and am hoping to have them completed within the next week or so.
Also, 13 Men...and Me! is now available for purchase through CD Baby! Woo hoo!
Have a great week, and check for updates soon!