Jenna's Two Cents Blog   

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy March Is Cabaret Month!

Greetings all!
Did you know that March is "Cabaret Month?" I have a vague recollection of being told about that a while ago, but this is the first time that I can recall that there is actually a celebration going on! On Monday, March 10th at 7 p.m., I'll be a guest performer in a special "March Is Cabaret Month Celebration" at the Songbook Theater at Broadway Baby Bistro. Also scheduled to perform are Suzanne Carrico, Molly Pope, Marcus Simeone, Parker Scott, Leslie Orofino, Brandon Cutrell, Tom Andersen, Ben Rauch and Ben Cherry. Tracy Stark will serve as musical director. It should be a great show - I'm really honored to be a part of it! For more details and to order tickets, check out the official website at
I spent the weekend kicking off cabaret month in grand fashion, first catching Lari White's late show at the Oak Room. Now, although the show was on Friday, February 29th, it began at 11:30 p.m. and so carried over into March 1st - and I can't think of a better way to have started the month! I'd seen Lari perform a number of times before, both at Cast Party and at some of the Broadway By The Year shows at Town Hall. I always enjoyed her singing and was eager to see a full show of hers. say I was blown away doesn't begin to describe it! Called Love Letters, the show was beautifully constructed, focused on the writings of people in love. Love letters were read as introductions to songs, and they were perfectly selected, providing seamless transitions between the spoken word and the word which was sung. And boy, can Lari White sing! A 3-time Grammy Award winner, she started out as a country singer, but most of the songs she performed in this show were standards and her velvety voice seemed perfectly suited for them. There were some brilliant pairings of songs, my favorites being a medley of "Hooray For Love" and "Down With Love" and a second medley of "I Wish I Were In Love Again," intertwined with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again." The latter medley perfectly captured the conflicting feelings one experiences after the end of a romance, and I caught knowing grins stealing across the faces of my neighbors in the audience (to match the knowing grin on my own face). Also particularly compelling was her rendition of "Lush Life." I've heard this song done many, many times and always love to hear it, but I found Lari's rendition more touching than most. Glass of wine in hand, she played on the double meaning of "Lush" and also portrayed a woman deeply hurt but trying her best to numb the pain. Love Letters was an absolutely gorgeous show - I'm very much looking forward to seeing Ms. White again the next time she's in town!
On Saturday evening, I went to my home away from home, the Metropolitan Room, to see Miles Phillips in his show, Quiet Stars. I'd seen this show in the fall, when Miles debuted it, and I loved it then...and I must say, I think I enjoyed it even more the second time around! Filled with songs that take place between twilight and dawn, the show was such a joy to take in. From the first plaintive notes of "Good Night My Someone," played on the piano by Miles himself, to the closing notes of "The Night You Decided To Stay," Miles took the audience on a journey of all the places one can go in the course of a night - from the touching to the silly to the seductive, and he did so while singing gorgeously! Particularly beautiful were "With Every Breath I Take" From City Of Angels and "Romantic Notions" from Romance/Romance. As always with Miles' shows, his collaborations with musical director Jason Wynn yielded terrific, engaging arrangements which perfectly showcased Miles' rich baritone.
So, between Miles and Lari, I had a terrific start to "Cabaret Month!" I'm planning on keeping it up this week by seeing What's The Point? at The Reprise Room at Dillon's Monday night at 7 p.m., followed, of course, by Cast Party. On Wednesday evening, I'll be back at the Reprise Room at 7 p.m. to catch my friend Julian Yeo in his "Retro-jazz" night, and then on Friday night at 10 p.m., it's off to the Metropolitan Room for their monthly open mic, Metrojam, which is hosted by the dapper and talented Joe Bachana. A busy week, no doubt, but definitely a fun one! Stay tuned for another update soon!


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