MARCH IS CABARET MONTH GALA REPORT
Before I give any kid of report on the MARCH IS CABARET MONTH GALA held on Tuesday night (March 2nd) at THE LAURIE BEECHMAN, I want to repeat my thank-you to Tom Stajmiger, who produced the show on behalf of CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE - lining up the cast, arranging the show order, and even selling about 2-dozen tickets for the show! And to Richard Skipper, who MC'd the event with class, style and pizzaz. And to Alex Rybeck, who not only accompanied all the performers on all the songs, but even contributed two of his own songs to the show!
The sold-out show was a salute to "The Composers of Cabaret" - not all the composers, of course, since in that case we would need a dozen or more show nights. Tom chose for this show to honor (in the order their songs were sung) Bobbie Horowitz, John Bucchino, Amanda McBroom, Karcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, David Friedman, Scott Alan, Adam Gwon and the afore-mentioned Alex Rybeck. Each composer was represented by one or two songs.
And to sing their songs he chose some of the top singers from Broadway & Cabaret (in the same order as above): Richard Skipper, Raissa Katona Bennett, Scott Coulter, Jenny Powers, Becca Johnson Southworth, Lisa Brescia, Liz Callaway and Faith Price. It was truly an amazing cast! 15 songs in all made up the 90-minute show (almost to the minute) and they ranged from the very familiar to the more obscure - yet all of them precious gems.
If I were to pick my favorites (and everyone's tastes differ) I would have to choose maybe 7 or 8, just an indication of the quality of the material and the excitement each performer brought to them.
Richard Skipper chose Bobby Horowitz' "special material" number, written for him, to start the night with humor and celebration - a perfect introduction to the evening's intentions.
John Bucchino's songs are so filled with emotion and subtext, it took a person with the talent of Brian Lane Green to do them full justice. His rendition of "If I Ever Say I'm Over You" had me weeping almost at the start of the evening. He brought the same intensity to Bucchino's "Taking the Wheel. Raissa Katona Bennet had the delightful job of singing "The Lift" (her husband is a plastic surgeon) plus one of my McBroom favorites, "Putting Things Away."
One cannot praise enough the talents of Scott Coulter - who can go from a whisper to a belt and back without strain, first singing the Heisler/Goldrich gem "Over the Mood" and then moving to the exciting "Welcome the Rain". Jenny Powers did full justice to the two songs of David Friedman she chose, "It's Getting Hot in Here" (with some 'strip-tease' overtones) and "Nothing in Common." Such an attractive lady - such attractive vocals!
Becca Johnson Southworth (who was one of the waiters for the event and one of the performers) delivered Scott Alan's "His Name" and "Never, Neverland" with the same perfection and charm as she served our drinks. And Liza Brescia was brilliant in her delivery of two Adam Gwon songs. "Canceling the Party" and "I'll Be Here."
After some rather rambling remarks by "your's truly" (I had written out Tom's last name phonetically and then forgot to thank him, and I skipped Skipper's thank you as well), the final two performers took the stage to close the show with two songs by our most talented (and hard working) musical director Alex Rybeck: ""What a Funny Boy He Is", sung by Liz Callaway and "Happily Married Man" performed by Faith Prince - both performed elegantly and with glee. What a night!
There was lots of schmoozing, picture taking, hand shaking and hugging going on after the show - cabaret people are probably the best in the world at schmoozing! Lots of credit goes to the "behind the scenes" folks: Joey Pier on lights & sound, Kenny Bell (who manages and seats the room) and booking manager Phil Bond. We've come to take their fantastic hospitality for granted, a natural result of their ability to deliver perfection will remaining out of the spotlight!
Once again a special thank you to our sponsors - who not only covered all the expenses for the show, but also are covering the additional expenses of promoting MARCH IS CABARET MONTH for the rest of the month! MARCH IS CABARET MONTH 2010 is co-sponsored by Dr. Garrett Bennett (http://nycfacemd.com/ ), Teresa Fischer, Miranda Music (http://www.mirandamusic.com/ ), Jackie Fornatale (http://mysite.verizon.net/jackiefornatale/ ), Marty Geiger (http://www.m-l-p.com/martygeiger/ ), Chelsea's Desktop, Inc. (http://www.chelseasdesktop.com/ ), Jim Van Slyke (http://www.JimVanSlyke.com/ ), Geri Malino and Tennie Leonard (http://www.tennieleonard.com/ )