Jenna's Two Cents Blog   

Monday, August 25, 2008

Odds and Ends

Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe next weekend is Labor Day weekend? WHERE did the summer go?!
It's actually been a fairly slow coupla weeks, so I don't have a ton to report on right now...
On Thursday, August 14th, I was pleased to be part of a show at the de Seversky Center in Long Island. Hosted by my friend Kate Beckman, the show featured Sue Matsuki, Gretchen Reinhagen, Irenka Jekubiak, and yours truly. Despite the monsoon-like weather, we actually had a nice, very appreciative crowd, so that was a lot of fun!
Last Monday's Cast Party was jam-packed with talented folks, including cellist Trevor Exter, bassist/composer Jay Leonhart, the fabulous Christine Lavin, and Broadway veterans Luba Mason and Jana Robbins. I'm definitely looking forward to another great Cast Party tonight!
I hit the Time Out New York Lounge to catch Julian Yeo and his swinging band on Tuesday evening, and had a great time as usual! The rest of the week was spent kind of laying low, as I had a few big auditions and I needed my beauty and vocal rest!
This weekend was a big family weekend for me, as it was my nephew Charlie's first birthday! His actual birthday was yesterday (August 24th), but we had the big party with friends and family on Saturday. It was soooooo much fun, and Charlie was a very happy birthday boy! Of course, he received plenty of musical gifts (a guitar, drums, a xylophone, and a "baby grand" piano) in addition to lots of other fun toys and cute outfits! As soon as I get my pictures loaded onto my computer, I'll post a few!
That just about brings us up to date - check back for more soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Wednesday!

Hellooooooooo everyone!
Before I begin my recap of the past week, I do need to put out a plea - if anyone knows where I can purchase some Pocket Coffee, please let me know! Pocket Coffee is my favorite candy in the world, and I've grown accustomed to having 1 piece each afternoon to help me through the end of the work day. I just had my last piece, and the store where I usually purchase it is out!
Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me get down to writing about the past week's shows!

On Thursday, August 7th, I went to Gotham Comedy Club to check out Homocomicus, which featured an all star lineup of comedians, including Nancy Witter, Jessica Kirson and Jim David, and was hosted by my friend Danny Leary. What a fun night! Everyone was superb, and Danny did a fantastic job of emceeing and keeping things moving!

On Saturday evening, I was pleased to be part of a performance at Don't Tell Mama. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experience with Summer in the City, the cabaret workshop helmed by Lennie Watts and Lina Koutrakos. During the workshop, each of us had worked out an arrangement of a Beatles song, and on Saturday night, we put them all on their feet in front of a sold-out house! The show was called We Can Work It Out: The Music of the Beatles, and we had an absolute blast doing it! The audience was great, and everyone turned in excellent performances.

On Monday, it was off to Birdland for Cast Party, as usual. With Jim Caruso back at the helm for the second week in a row (he'd missed several weeks due to his tour with Liza Minnelli!), it was a terrifically fun night - can't wait to do it again next week!

Last night, I went to see the talented Gabrielle Stravelli in her show at the Laurie Beechman. With a supremely eclectic selection of material, ranging from Bob Marley to Hoagy Carmichael to Steely Dan, Gabrielle brought her unique vocal stylings to each of her selections and had the audience whooping and hollering throughout the evening. My favorite song of the evening was actually written by her bassist, J.B. Flatt. Titled "Please Don't Tempt Me," it's a blues that really let Gabrielle sink her teeth in and show some grit, in addition to her excellent voice!
That's about it for now - gotta head out to a book club meeting!
More to come soon!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Back from Vacation!

Okay, so it wasn't a *real* vacation...I didn't go anywhere fascinating or exotic, but I did take a week off from the day job and escape NYC, so it was lovely! I even managed to squeeze in some performing - what more could a girl ask for?

Anyway, though, let me get caught up here! I actually only saw a few shows between my last blog entry and today, so this should be fairly quick!

Let's see...on Tuesday, July 22nd, I headed back to the Time Out New York Lounge to catch Julian Yeo and his band again. Turns out that he's going to be there every other week, which is a great thing to know! As I wrote a few weeks ago, Julian and the band always provide an entertaining evening, and the TONY Lounge is a terrific setting for them! Check them out tonight or on August 19th - they'll be there from 6-8 p.m.

The following evening, I had a gig at The River Room of Harlem, which was a lot of fun. We had a nice crowd, and I was backed by a fabulous band (Fortune Esposito on guitar, David Crone on keyboard, Matt Wigton on bass, and Brian DeWitt on drums), and we were even treated to a spectacular light show, as thunderstorms moved in over the river towards the end of the evening!

On Thursday, July 24th, I headed to the Metropolitan Room to see Lina Koutrakos her show of torch songs, aptly called "Torch." I've seen Lina perform a number of times, mostly doing rock, so it was a treat to see her doing this style of music. One of the things I always admire about her in her rock singing is her gutsy, soulful, passionate commitment to the music and the lyrics, and she brought those same dynamic qualities to this show, making it a truly captivating experience!

The next week was my vacation week, so aside from singing with the Fortune Four (my dad's rockin' band!) at the Lava Lounge at the Monticello Raceway and Casino, it was a fairly slow week for me, entertainment-wise! The Lava Lounge show was a blast - we did a 60's show, including music from the Beatles, the Stones, Leslie Gore, the Monkees...and even some Hendrix! It was really a fantastic way to spend a summer evening!

That just about brings us up to date - check back for more updates soon!

Oh - and check out the pics below - on my week off, I got to take my nephew Charlie to his very first Yankee game!! His mom and dad also came, as well as my dad. We had a great time, and I'm pretty certain that Charlie is just about the cutest fan ever!