Monday, September 27, 2010


Another week is here. Summer is over. Autumn is here. I was in the Hamptons for the weekend and there are pumpkins everywhere.
And as we go into the last week of September, we also celebrate passages and new beginnings this Wednesday night at The Iguana! This is one of my favorite times of the year. I like to celebrate the abundance of shows we have to choose from in NY.
We are blessed at the choices we can make EVERY DAY in NY. Wednesday Night at The Iguana is a chance to see and choose from so many!

One of our entertainers this week is Daryl Glenn. Daryl has a new show opening on the 17th that features our very own Saadi Zain!
Daryl Glenn & Jo Lynn Burks & Friends
with saadi zain (bass)
special guest stars
Joe Iconis and Marty Thomas
scheduled to appear*
Liz Lark Brown/Karen Dryer/Danielle Grabaniowski/Amber Martin
Brad Wills (*subject to change at any moment!)
sunday, oct 17 @ 10 pm

240 west 54th street
(212) 765-5454

$10 cover/no minimum, however… fabulous food and drink available!!!
reservations essential

Marya Zimmet returns this week!Sunday, 10/3, 9:00 pm Marya is doing a 35-minute set, with Tex Arnold on piano, and Jon Burr on bass. Jazz and Latin standards, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, as well as more obscure gems that tend toward the bluesy, swinging and/or hauntingly beautiful.
This event is part of the Westbeth 40th Anniversary Arts Festival.

Marya is one of several performers that night. FREE

RITA ELLIS HAMMER RETURNS!You can take Rita home with you!


JANICE HALL RETURNS! Janice Hall, one of the five finalists in this year's Metrostar Talent Challenge at the Metropolitan Room, is debuting her first solo show, "Grand Illusions: The Music of Marlene Dietrich," at the Metropolitan Room.

Janice, an internationally-known opera singer who is now turning her attention to the art of cabaret, will pay tribute to the life and legend of one of the true icons of the twentieth century. Marlene Dietrich’s musical repertoire included songs from the Weimar cabaret, jazz standards,
folk songs, antiwar songs, French chansons, and, of course, her famous film songs.

In Grand Illusions, Janice re-interprets many of Dietrich's famous hits, bringing the beauty and distinction of her own voice as well as her considerable dramatic gifts into play. The show also features many lesser-known but beautiful songs for you to discover. Included are songs by Friedrich Hollaender, Cole Porter, Lerner & Loewe, Fats Waller, Robert Stolz, Charles Trenet, and Pete Seeger.

The show is directed by Bistro and MAC award-winning Peter Napolitano, with musical direction by legendary pianist Paul Trueblood, and featuring Ritt Henn on bass.
Show dates are: Nov 3, @ 9:30PM; Nov 6, @ 4:00PM; Nov 13 @ 4PM; Nov 21 @ 4PM, and Dec 8, @ 9:30PM. There is a $15.00 cover ($10 for MAC and Cabaret Hotline members), and a two-drink minimum.
The Metropolitan Room
34 West 22nd St, NY, NY10010
(Betw. 5th & 6th Ave.)
For reservations: Tel: 212 206 0440 - Fax: 212 206 0433
Online at:

"…sleek, chic and elegant in appearance as well as in the presentation of her songs…pure, unalloyed gold." (Beatrice Williams-Rude, Broadway After Dark)

KEN GREVES RETURNS! Ken Greves is a passionate interpreter of the Great American Songbook and a specialist in the music of Harold Arlen.

“Arlen’s music resonates profoundly with my musical sensibilities,” says Ken. “Arlen considered himself a jazz composer and wanted to be a vocalist himself. He was unique in that he was unafraid to break out of the standard 32-bar form.”

Another important influence on Ken was the voice of Judy Garland.

“My fascination with Garland was her uncanny ability to musically shape a song while acting and telling a story. She demonstrated that a song has a beginning, middle and end.”

Ken grew up in Nassau County, on the south shore of Long Island, NY. Neither of his parents were musicians, but they noted early on their son’s fascination with music, theater, and dance.
JILLIAN LAURAIN RETURNS! Jillian's show "When The Sun Comes Out" returns on Sat. evening, Nov. 13th at 7pm at the Metropolitan Room. Tommy C. James, arranger for the Duke Ellington Orchestra will be bringing down the house once again. Songs by Sondheim, Arlen, Herman. $15 cover charge ($10 for MAC members). For reservations, please call 212-206-0440







EARL LEVIT RETURNS!Earl Levit's JOYEUX NOEL will open on Saturday night, December 4, 2010.
The tickets will be $25 including one beverage. There is a surcharge for credit card reservations, the theatre will be able to tell you the costs.
The tickets will go on sale sometime late October early November. 215-923-0210 for reservations.

SIERRA REIN, who is also part of MARQUEE 5, will also sing a solo! Soaring on the success of their debut show, We Can Make It: The Songs of Kander & Ebb, which earned the group a 2010 MAC Award for Best Vocal/Duo/Group, Marquee Five isn’t leaving any dust in their wake as they forge ahead in this latest creation. 8-Track refers to music on magnetic 8-track sound recordings popular in the ’60s and ’70s, eras that produced many of the greatest hits of all time.
Reminiscent of The Modernaires, the 1940s quintet with the Glenn Miller Orchestra who recorded “Make Believe Ballroom Time” for WNEW, the tight harmonies of Marquee Five are, indeed, top-notch spectacular. Impressive, too, are the talents of the individual singers who comprise the group: soprano Vanessa Parvin; mezzo Julie Reyburn; alto Sierra Rein; and the two smooth-sounding males, Mick Bleyer and Adam West Hemming, the latter responsible for the clever arrangements and musical direction.

From group numbers like “Moondance” and the smart, witty “Copacabana”(that intermingles “Oye Como Va,” “Them from The Pink Panther” and “Theme from Sex and the City”), to individual highlights—including Hemmings’s rich and beautifully phrased “A House Is Not a Home” underscored with “Honesty,” Rein’s strong and expressive “Move Over,” Reyburn’s intense rendition of time and love “Tangled Up in Blue” and the juxtaposing duet of Bleyer and Hemming’s pairing “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” and “All in Love Is Fair”—there isn’t a dull moment. The musicians are a unique combination of talents: Mark Janas (piano); Matt Scharfglass (bass guitar); John Benthal and Tony Romano sharing dates on acoustic/electric guitar.
Joseph Ward directs. Special thanks to Father Jeffrey Hamblin who produces Marquee Five.

Sandi Durell

Cabaret Scenes
September 17, 2010

Video clips from the Labor Day show @ Birdland coming soon! Subscribe now to Youtube: willybsinger's Channel.
Then, of course, there is Dana Lorge!

BARBARA PORTEUS RETURNS!Barbara Porteus is the quintessential cabaret performer who can give you precisely what you came for from Stephen Sondheim to Johnny Mercer. She has performed in such shows as The Sound of Music with Marie Osmond, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying with Donald O'Connor, The Wizard Of Oz with Phillis Diller, Peter Pan with BD Wong and David Ogden Stiers, The Music Man with Gary Sandy, Fidler On The Roof with Jan Peerce. Performing in nightclubs on land and sea, her extensive and impressive resume includes touring with Eddy Arnold and opening for Petula Clark, Sid Ceaser and many others. Currently, her collaboration with musical director Barry Levitt, bassist Eric Udel and Mayra Casales at Don't Tell Mama is packing the house and receiving rave reviews.




Richard, I just unearthed the CD of the radio interview we did 3 years ago, with you on the phone in NYC and Carol Channing on the phone in LA - I hope you still have access to it;we had so much fun and she was just so complimentary of you!
Ginny Wolf, Spotlight On Connecticut,

Richard & Dana, Thank you so much for making Wednesday Night at The Iguana such a memorable occasion. I was honored to be on the program with so many other wonderful, talented singers recently. What a bore Wednesday nights would be without the joy of you two marvelous entertainers and the diverse group of artists you manage to bring each week to the Iguana. May it go on, and on, and on and on.
Alicia Terry Littman,NYC

What a fun and fabulous night of great entertainment at the Iguana! Richard, you and Dana are the King and Queen (you decided who is which) of herding a huge group of crazy singers into a wonderful show. I loved the eclectic mix or performers, the friendly vibe, and the fact I could actually hear myself when singing on stage! Oy! What a relief.
There was never a dull moment, never a lull in the energy, and that's hard to accomplish in this kind of show. Now I understand why Wednesday Night at the Iguana is an award-winning production.
Thank you for including me, and I will definitely be taking that 2-hour train ride from Kingston to the city to be at the Iguana again.
Nancy Tierney,


With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Well, another week has passed and we return to The Iguana tomorrow night! Wow, what a line-up! The reservations have been pouring in. Don't be left off. One of my favorite entertainers is kicking off the show tomorrow night. Maureen is one of the greatest gifts I have received performing at The Iguana in the last year and a half. Can't wait to see what she has prepared for us tomorrow night. Check out her website at

Lois Morton began writing songs in the late sixties, and at the suggestion of Pete Seeger, had several topical songs published in Broadside Magazine. After a long hiatus, which included raising a family, teaching, writing children's books and ESL textbooks, and directing a continuing education program at the YWCA, she returned to songwriting in the mid nineties. She currently focuses on humorous songs of social commentary on subjects such as CLUTTER, CELL PHONES, PSYCHOTHERAPY, et. al., which have delighted audiences at Acoustic Long Island, the Huntington Folk Music Society, and other performance venues. Her song "Confessions of a Clutterholic" received a standing ovation at the National Conference of Professional Organizers.

Diana LeBlanc returns. Diana is in the beginning stages of putting together a tribute show to Angela Lansbury! I can't wait! I don't think it has been done before! Tomorrow night, Diana will be previewing a song from that show.

And of course, there's Dana Lorge!

Warren Schein will be singing at the Iguana on Wed. Sept. 22, can't wait.
He is terrific...

E.J. Decker returns! E.J, is in the process of recording a new cd and will be previewing an original song tomorrow night. You will also have the option of buying E.J.'s cds tomorrow night and/or enter in a drawing for our door prize featuring the cds of tomorrow night's artists. “It’s so nice to finally hear someone who knows what they’re doing!”

—Legendary jazz vocalist Laurel Watson
(Basie, Ellington, Sonny Stitt)

New York City in the mid- to late-’90s produced an amazing group of talented jazz vocalists. After years of supporting each other's gigs, helping each other network and find new clubs and talented sidemen, singers such as Kendra Shank, Diane Hubka, Jody Sandhaus, Barbara Sfraga, Dena DeRose, Mary Pearson and Roseanna Vitro are all enjoying well-deserved accolades.

Now, E. J. Decker, another from this group, emerges with a stunning debut album entitled While the City Sleeps..., released on the Candela Records (EJ9265) label.

"The reaction of listeners was very positive, they mentioned your unique voice and melodism. Thank you again for your brilliant CD and songs you sing."
—Remigijus Leipus
Lithuanian Radio-1 programme (LR-1)

John Beebaut will also be joining us tomorrow night.



From Tavern-on-the-Green to Town Hall, she has sung all over town, performing for most of her life, with big bands, in summer stock and in clubs and cabarets including Paris Concerts in French and the Montmartre Jazz Festival.
She has 6 CDs, 4 working with the great Mike Renzi. Some years back, Ted Story, George Ferencz & Cynthia opened and ran the IMPOSSIBLE RAGTIME THEATER (IRT), which had a great 100 play/10-year run. She co-chaired the FRIENDS OF THE JEFFERSON MARKET LIBRARY BELL, which brought voice back to OL’ JEFF, the 128-year-old BELL in the Venetian Gothic Tower of the Jefferson Market Courthouse Library. She also chairs MULRY ANGLE/WEST 11TH STREET BLOCK ASSOCIATION. Her website covers all of this. Go and read about all the things that warms my heart.

(The performers of 2009's Diversity Weekend. In this photo: Brad Loekle , Aunt Joanna, Jay Rogers , Cynthia Crane)

Brand new show !!!
Brand new CD !!!

Four shows only !!!

Fridays, Oct 29 & Nov 12 at 7:30
Saturdays, Dec 4 & 11 at 9:45

“King of the power ballads ! ” Back Stage
“Silky and sinuous interpretations...! ” NY Daily News
“Beautiful and haunting!” Worall Newspapers

Marcus Simeone returns to Metropoliltan Room with his brand new show featuring highlights from his thrilling new album, Haunted, on the Miranda Music label as well as evergreens from the Great American Songbook, As always with Marcus, there will be some very special musical surprises culled from his repertoire of 3000 songs.

After recording over 300 songwriters' demos for major artists (Trisha Yearwood, Reba McIntyre, etc.,) and two live CD's (At Last, Everything Must Change / Miranda,) the new album, Haunted, is Marcus's first full-length studio CD and features memorable – and haunting songs by many of today's most visible and popular songwriters including, John Bucchino, David Friedman, Heather Sullivan, Janis Ian, Stephen Schwartz, and David Zippell among others.
The CD also features many of the original composers at the keys in unison with Marcus on this exciting project. The album is scheduled for release in December with a special celebration at the conclusion of this run.

In the liner notes to his first album, At Last, best selling author, critic and renowned song historian Will Friedwald gushingly referred to , “ … his beautiful voice, his extremely wide range, his ability to switch effortlessly from baritone to tenor to falsetto and, likewise, his multi-generic ability to move easily between the world's of pop, cabaret, theater music, soul and even jazz.”

Universally respected for his heart-wrenching interpretations of soulful ballads, red-hot jazz sensibility and powerful pop flair, Mr. Simeone's musical genius has also been compared to some legendary, eclectic greats in the industry including, Marc Anthony, Al Jarreau, Johnny Mathis and Jimmy Scott. He appeared on the original Star Search as well as Showtime at The Apollo as well as performing as part of the annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention at Town Hall and Jazz At Lincoln Center series on four occasions.
Critics have frequently referred to Marcus's haunting vocals as mesmerizing. He has been honored by The Manhattan Association of Clubs with three vocal awards (and ten nominations) as well as the coveted Back Stage Bistro Award as Outstanding Male Vocalist. twice named him their Outstanding Artist of the Year.
Reserve now to see this emotionally-charged, multi-octave tenor who sings with an emotional depth that is rare. This is one of those not-to-be-missed performances by an artist who is receiving national acclaim and attention.

STEVE (The Whistler) HERBST joins us for the first time!Steve Herbst has been dazzling audiences with his artistic whistling for over 48 years.
A remarkable three-octave range on his "instrument" matches his enormous stylistic range, which encompasses classical music, jazz, blues, pop, and Broadway. His virtuostic control of pitch and powerful lyricism combine to produce a quality of expression that is rare among musicians at large, let alone whistlers in particular. At the 2002 International Whistlers Competition held annually in Louisburg, North Carolina, Steve won the International Grand Champion Prize, placing first in the classical category and second in the popular music category, a testament to his enormous versatility. At both the 2003 and 2004 Convention, Steve was awarded the prize of North American Champion as well as the coveted title, "International Whistling Entertainer of the Year", the most prestigious award in this entertainment venue, which he has just won again in 2005 for an unprecedented third time.
The award acknowledges not just his competitive excellence, but his winning international acceptance for this musical art form wherever he performs: clubs, churches, festivals, plus television and radio media. Steve lives his motto, " whistling is an idea whose time has returned!"

Melissa will be at Studio 100 on Thursday with guitarist Chris Bergson (just back from European tour) and bassist Neal Miner! Also, Melissa has a show coming up on November 2 at the Triad Theater which is called "Dear John Letter," a tribute to her favorite songwriters and performers named John!
NANCY TIERNEY JOINS US FOR THE FIRST TIME!Nancy is a jazz-centric pop singer who loves to take songs from "back in the day" and kick them up with contemporary jazz arrangements. With this kind of wild mix of songs spanning 15 decades in her creative toolbox, she weaves both song and story into theme-driven musical shows with the intention of entertaining and uplifting anyone within earshot. As a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, Nancy was educated in classical music. She was going to be an opera singer until her first year at college when she discovered how ugly the opera world can be. But the training was invaluable. It taught her how to be a musician, not just a singer. She says, "I fell in love with the art of cabaret because it is the only performance art form I know of that allows the artist so much creative freedom. Anything goes. I can incorporate songs from any genre, pop, classical, jazz, rock, whatever works, A show can be funny, meaningful, inspirational, dramatic or just plain silly! It all has a place in cabaret.
When I'm not creating and producing my own shows, like "In Your Wildest Dreams," "Insomnia," "Love and Lunacy," "Lovin' The Spin I'm In" and "In My Own Voice,” I perform on demand at fund raising events, special musical showcases, and at some pretty nice clubs and cabarets throughout the San Francisco Bay area."

LAUREN ROBERT RETURNS!Lauren Robert is a professional actor, singer, songwriter and playwright. She is a former Epic Records recording artist and her original songs have been produced by Stephen Bray (The Color Purple, Madonna) and Robert Nemiroff (Raisin). Lauren spent years recording and performing on the road at clubs, festivals and on national theatrical tours. For fourteen years Lauren hailed as the lead singer of the wildly popular Louisiana Zydeco-funk band Mojo Hand. Lauren is about to sign with a wonderful literary agent GOTHAM ARTISTS AGENCY...who will be representing Lauren as a writer and performer...with special attention to development of her play .22 CALIBER MOUTH. They are welcoming interest in the production and all comers should get in touch with GOTHAM ARTISTS!!
Joey Infante (left in picture with his partner, Michael McDonald) returns!

MARILYN COONEY JOINS US DIRECT FROM SAN FRANCISCO! The following is taken from Marilyn's website: My life began with family sing-alongs, my father on piano and accordion. My love affair with the piano began the moment Dad placed my small fingers in C major position. Many years later, most of the songs on this CD were born on that family upright, which my mother had shipped to me from New York one Christmas.
Growing up near New York City, I was raised on Broadway tunes, but credit also goes to Debussy, Irving Berlin, Motown, The Kingston Trio, and others whose music became part of me. I have always tinkered with words, but at 16, lyrics and music converged when my siblings bought me a pawn shop guitar.
As I sang the works of Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Carole King, and Laura Nyro, I learned that everyday experiences could become universal songs.
As a high school English teacher for 32 years, I was privileged to help students find their own writing voices, while they showed me the courage of self-expression. In the meantime I attended and led seminars in self-discovery, where I began to write songs. When I retired, my dear husband encouraged my devotion to music. The path led to the San Francisco cabaret community, where I encountered musicians who became friends, mentors and colleagues.
It was Barry Lloyd who faithfully transcribed my songs into lead sheets, tweaking a chord here and there for flavor. He also taught me vocal interpretation and some simple ways to accompany myself. But Barry is the primary pianist on this album, and as you listen, you will know why his solo cabaret shows are acclaimed nationwide.
Songwriting is a mysterious process. Sometimes it seems as if out of nowhere, notes and words come flying, and all I have to do is scribble them down before the moment is lost. Other songs require far more conscious effort, but all are gifts.
I hope that my experiences and observations, collected here in musical form, will speak to you or encourage your own self-expression, for truly,


Take Vicki home with you!



Sunday, September 26 · 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Location Don't Tell Mama

343 West 46th Street (Restaurant Row)
New York, NY

Having just completed a 4-show run at San Francisco's Rrazz Room, Linda Kosut brings a "tasting" to New York - - - a "flight" of the unexpected - - - blending jazz, folk & cabaret styles into sparkling arrangements of songs by songwriters as diverse as Peggy Lee to Tom Paxton to Annie Lennox.

Linda is joined by some of New York's finest musicians with TEDD FIRTH piano; TOM HUBBARD bass; JEFF LEDERER sax; JOE ABBA drums.

SUN, SEPT 26, 8:15-9:30PM
Cover $20 + 2-drink min (cash only)
Reservations a must.

JUDY STADT RETURNS!Radio Host of THE LUNCH & JUDY SHOW! stories, songs and comedy

And don't forget:



Last year’s rain almost put the kibosh on the BC/EFA Flea Market, that had to move from West 44th St to Roseland! We HOPE the skies will be clear on September 26th for DO40's fourth foray into Flea Marketdom back in Shubert Alley! They can’t do it without your help! If you’d like to donate items for the DO40 table, and/or your time that day, please call the DO40 Hotline at 212-330-7016 and let them know how you’d like to help. They have a convenient midtown location where you may drop off donated items. They’re asking Volunteers to work the table for a 3-hour slot, between 9:00am and 7:30pm. You may also contact them at

They will be selling our fabulous DO40 t-shirts, DVDs, CDs, books, posters and framed memorabilia and of course, the ever favorite Playbills!! Theyhave a framed poster of Michael Bennett’s Ballroom, signed by members of the original cast (including co-choreographer Bob Avian) and a mystery donor who never fails to surprise them with incredible items. Come and meet their Board of Directors, and many, many of the great dancer/members that make DO40 the great organization it has become!
They will be located on the North side of West 44th Street near the Broadhurst Theater (unless they move them from where they were last year! - details have yet to be announced!) But you will be able to spot their great white and blue DANCERS OVER 40 banner from anywhere!


Richard and Dana, thanks so much for inviting us to perform at The Iguana recently. It was an especially smooth and enjoyable evening with wonderful fresh talent among the mix of wonderful familiar guests who are always entertaining. Richard, you were extra "on" that evening and had many of us in stitches. Dana, your song was great and you were gorgeous as usual. I spoke to two sets of new comers at intermission who said you both make people feel so warm and welcome and they plan to return. Kudos to you both. There is no stopping you, and nobody plans on it, so keep it up! We had a blast.
Mary Lahti, Riverdale, NY

Congratulations on your great success Tuesday night (7/27/10). Your performance was a lovely example of true showmanship - funny, warm and completely Carol!
Peter Napolitano

Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

If you would like to join the Channing-Kullijian National Coalition for returning arts education to public schools, email your contact info to to be added to our elist. With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper


With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Well, the last five weeks have been a whirlwind! I just got back on Sunday night from two successful shows in Malibu (both as "Carol" and as "Richard"!). A successful run in P-town, and of course Wednesday Nights at The Iguana! Kudos to Dana for running a tight ship and from what I hear, great shows in my absence.
So now, I'm ready to return tonight with an incredible line-up! Hope that YOU will be able to join us. This blog is to celebrate tonight's. cast! First up, is Craig Pomranz!Here is a review by David Finkle: What's instantly lovable about Craig Pomranz isn't his easy way on a stage, the unforced smile, the loose body language — although all of that is certainly appealing. No, what was immediately grabbing about him at the first of four Metropolitan Room Wednesday dates for which he's signed up is that he has a terrifically rangy and expressive tenor but doesn't make showing it off in all its splendor his top priority. He's only interested in it for its ability to carry lyrics and melodies he cares about.

From his opener — "Summer Knows" (Alan Bergman-Marilyn Bergman-Michel Legrand) — he devotes himself to painting the picture the lyricists want painted, the scene meant to be depicted, the sentiment hard-fought to express. Not that he's dully earnest about it. He's affable, chatty, hip, and regularly takes a jazz singer's loose-and-liberal-with-notes strategy. Indeed, it's got to be said about him that occasionally he's too loose and liberal; maybe too often he flattened notes that have little or nothing to do with jazz technique.

Pomranz's programming — not to mention his comic sparring with music director Stephen Bocchino — is rewarding. In a show mostly geared to celebrating summer — or just plain heat — he veers toward songs not necessarily overdone. Yes, he includes "Lazy Afternoon" (John Latouche-Jerome Moross) in a medley with the George Gershwin-Dubose Heyward "Summertime," but he also simmers and sizzles on Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave" and the intense and sensual "Hot in Here" (Amanda McBroom-Michele Brourman). When he'd finished purring it on opening night, he said, "I'm all right."

For obscurities, he digs around in Murray Grand's "Love at an Auction," which is full of innuendos involving antiques, of all unexpected things. Plus he does a beautifully moody version of "Night Song," which Lee Adams and Charles Strouse wrote as Sammy Davis Jr.'s Golden Boy opener. Anyone who ever wondered whether sultry summer New York City nights could be captured in words and music gets the affirmative answer here.

Pomranz — a dancer, which may explain why he's so fluid on stage — also has a penchant for slowing things down. Aside from the above-mentioned "Summer Knows," he also takes his time on the beg-off, "You Oughta Be in Pictures" (Edward Heyman-Dana Suesse), and particularly on the Gus Kahn-Walter Donaldson "Makin' Whoopee," with which he makes the best whoopee this reviewer has seen and heard since its original interpreter Eddie Cantor giddily clapped hands through it. Pomranz has such fun with the words that he manages to get Alex Rodriguez's apparent dalliance — or is it a kabbalahiance? — with Madonna into the act. This is a fine example of a performer maximizing the moment...he engineers it so that the audience can't help but leave knowing very much who he is: a thoughtful, amusing, friendly entertainer with something to say and sing.
Catch a preview tonight of Craig's upcoming show at The Metropolitan Room in October!

Funny Lady Edie Stokes returns!


BRONWYN RUCKER RETURNS!Visit Bronwyn's home page at

Take Bronwyn home with you!



Then, of course, there is my co-host(ess), DANA LORGE!

SUNNY LEIGH RETURNS!You can buy Sunny's Sweet Feelings CD

DARYL GLENN RETURNS!(seen here with Jo Lynn Burks). Here is a review of Darryl's NASHVILLE (Source: Michael Dale, BROADWAYWORLD.COM)Though The Metropolitan Room's fine martini selection always suits my refreshment needs very nicely, on Monday night I was feeling a severe hankering for something their bar doesn't stock, PBR in a can. That's because I was having a swell ol' time watching Daryl Glenn, Jo Lynn Burks and company singing the entire soundtrack to Robert Altman's 1975 drama, Nashville.

"They'd either get really excited or had no earthly idea of what I was talking about," is how Glenn describes people's reactions whenever he'd tell them of his dream to do a full show dedicated to Altman's film about various characters from the gospel and country music industry who get involved with a political rally for a 3rd party presidential candidate.
I'm far from being an expert on this kind of music (I went in thinking that the film's Oscar-winning song, "I'm Easy," was Lionel Richie's "Easy [Like a Sunday Morning]") so I'll spare any comments on the show's country authenticity, but let's just say my toes were tapping and head was bobbing throughput the spirited set, directed and choreographed by Vince DeGeorge.
Daryl Glenn, who sings most of the lead vocals and plays guitar, has a sunny presence and a light, expressive voice that keeps you smiling throughout bouncy tunes like Keith Carradine's "It Don't Worry Me," and is sincerely touching in "I'm Easy." (Also by Carradine) Of the latter, Glenn says it's the song that first made him want to pick up a guitar and his affection for the words and music sweetly comes through.

Jo Lynn Burks, a former Miss Alabama and Miss Miami, music directs from the piano and wrote all the arrangements. With her hair teased high as the hem of her leather skirt, Burks has the kind of rich, creamy tones that serve up tunes like Karen Black's "Memphis" and Ronee Blakely's "My Idaho Home" so well.
She and Glenn sound great together when they share Blakely's lusty "Tapedeck In His Tractor" ("There's nothing like the lovin' of a hard drivin' cowboy man."), giving the song a gay spin that 1975 country/western audiences might not have been ready for.

Special guest star Jay Rogers is all macho patriotism, proudly singing Richard Baskin and Henry Gibson's "200 Years," dressed heroically in red, white and blue. The terrific band accompanying the singers includes Ivan Bodley (bass), Chris Delis (guitar), Warren Odze (drums), Andy Stein (fiddle) and John Widgren (pedal steel guitar) with Tanya Holt and Brad Wills on backup vocals.

In addition to the musical treats, there are also chocolate treats – namely GooGoo Clusters – awarded to those who can answer Nashville trivia questions. So brush up your Altman and head on down to that little honky-tonk called The Metropolitan Room.

As a very young child growing up in Brooklyn, I have vivid memories of being taken to the movies by my mother. Too small to go alone. I was brought to watch the greatest performers of the silver screen--Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth, and countless others. The war had come to a smoldering end, and what had sustained so many durring that difficult time both at home and overseas was not only movies, but the extraordinary music that came from those movies. They were brilliant songs that let people escape from their lives for a little while.

I was no different--I fantasiized that I was being crooned to by Bing, that I was singing with Judy, that Fred was whirlming me lightly around the dance floor in his white tie and tails. Well into the 1950s, this music provided a backdrop to my life--it WAS my life. I sought adolescent solace in the words of Gershwin, quietly laughed to myself at Porter\'s timeless lyrics, and silently thanked what Tom Brokaw has so eloquently dubbed \"The Greatest Generation\" for being, in fact, so great. And now, thanks to the advent of American Movie Classics and the Turner Movie Channel, millions of new young fans of this music are cropping up all over, coast to coast.

I\'m thrilled to see that movie music didn\'t just cease with the Eisenhower admnistration. And so, here you\'ll find newer classics as well as the older ones that came from the movies. From Gershwin to Quincy Jones and Percy Sledge, the tradition continues, as the next generation discovers the power and delight I\'ve experienced in these songs that have graced my life. They were all sung by shadowy images on a silver screen, but when I close my eyes, I\'m a child again, dancing in the arms of Fred Astaire, while the world drifts by. So join me: close your eyes, and let this music transport you the way it has me. -- Rita Ellis Hammer

A Tribute

When the petite, elegant, bird-like lady walks out on stage and stands in the spotlight, chances are she\'ll have you expecting some delicate crooning.

Not on your life.

Rita Ellis Hammer could fill a room the size of Radio City Music Hall with her voice alone--no microphone necessary. This is one of those prodigious, force-of-nature sounds, a Broadway belt, a Mermanesque vibrato and High Brooklynese enunciation that are not for the faint of heart. Prepare to be walloped.

Rita is, quite simply, a thrilling performer. And she is literally a blast from the past, recalling a style of singing that predated amplification and found its home in the theatres and music halls of a bygone New York. Listening to her is a little like hearing Merman in \"Girl Crazy\" in 1930, or traveling even further back in time to Proctor\'s and swilling beer while a dame swathed in a boa and a bustier belted out barroom ballads. It\'s a sound that has practically vanished today, replaced by nasal, rock-inspired shrieking that bombards us from too many Broadway and cabaret stages.

Rita has been singing ever since she was a Flatbush toddler, and was billed as Baby Rita when she performed on New York radio programs as a baby belter. Her success continued into television\'s Golden Age, when she was a regular on New York TV Variety programs. She took a long time out to raise her family, and now she\'s back with a voice that has lost not an ounce of power.

Clearly, this lady has a great sense of humor about her flying cannonball of a sound. \"When my daughter was little and I\'d try to sing her a lullaby,\" she recounts, \"she\'d put her fingers in her ears and say \'No Mommy, no! Too loud!\'\" Rita\'s brassy belt was never meant to be wasted on such sweet stuff.

Long may she roar!

(SOURCE: Eric Myers, former cabaret critic, Time Out New York)

MELISSA HAMILTON RETURNS! Saturday was a 9/11 tribute at the Sugar Bar, tonight she's be at the Iguana with luminaries from the jazz and cabaret world, and last but not least, she'll be back at Studio 100 on Thursday the 23rd with Chris Bergson on guitar and Neal Miner on bass.


NATALIE DOUGLAS was born in Los Angeles, California and began her singing career at the ripe old age of four in her mother's kitchen. Given a song to learn while her mother was preparing dinner (really in order to get Natalie out of her hair), Natalie then performed the song for her parents after the meal. Since that auspicious beginning, this performer has garnered rave reviews with multiple awards and nominations for her unique mix of jazz, blues, standards and contemporary country music blended together with the assistance of her Musical Director, Avenue Q's Mark Hartman.

She is a seven-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award Winner, a Nightlife Award Winner and a Backstage Bistro Award Winner with appearances at Birdland Jazz Club (her NYC home), The Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Herbst Theatre, Town Hall and other New York City, National and International venues. In addition, there is Natalie’s annual New Year’s Eve collaboration with Mark Hartman – a Greenwich Village tradition - which materializes each December 31st at the Duplex Cabaret Theatre.

Natalie’s has two recordings to date: her debut CD, “Not That Different,” which was nominated for a 2000 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and “To Nina...Live At Birdland” (a live recording of her one woman show, To Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone) Both CDs are available at or via the website and selections from the CDs continue to be featured on NPR and Sirius Radio. She also appears on Fine and Dandy for PS Classics and Broadway By The Year: 1940 on Bayview Records.
She is married to her gorgeous husband, private personal trainer, Billy Joe Young (and can be seen with said husband, showing off the good education her parents paid for on The Discovery Channel's Cash Cab.)

Natalie is also an actor and is featured in feature film “The Camera’s Eye,” has appeared on ABC’s “Cupid” and many theatrical productions, including "The People vs. Mona", "Thalia Follies", “theATrainplays (series 5-22)” with The Neighborhood Playhouse, "Hillside in Hell" with 13th Street Rep and was a featured soloist at the York Theatre Company’s benefit production of "Children Of Eden" at Riverside Church.

Natalie is a Visiting Artist specializing in numerous diversity programs that she presents at Tri-State area public and private schools.

She is a graduate of USC with a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with certificates in Theatre and Women's Studies and holds a Master's Degree in Psychology from UCLA.
Natalie Douglas performs at Birdland October 11th!
Take Natalie home with you:

BOBBIE HOROWITZ RETURNS!You Deserve To Be the Slim, Sexy & Successful Star You Truly Are!
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To find out why Bobbie recommends Isagenix, visit Discuss this with Bobbie this eve!

ELIZABETH RETURNS! A singing trombone player!

Helena Grenot
Damn'd If I Know
Don't Tell Mama
New York, NY

Being kind of a loose cannon is both a charming asset and danger for Helena Grenot. She can seem flibbertigibbetty and flustered or fly high with confidence. Being salty, self-deprecatingly glib with a “take me as I am” attitude: that’s gregarious Grenot. The terrific custom-written opener, “Damn’d If I Know,” captures good-sport shrugging acceptance of life’s unpredictable and uncontrollable events. Her director, Peter Napolitano, wrote the snappy lyrics with lively music by the show’s invaluable and versatile pianist/arranger Barry Levitt. After this, things hit some rough spots with slapdash performances crying out for more nuance—or seemed oversold with more unleashed libido than legato present. Subtlety was not the “thrust” with “Boom Boom” (Marcy Heisler/Zina Goldrich) as she moved in, winkingly flirting with the other musician, fine bassist Morie Louden. Being breezily blunt about bearing the brunt of bad luck with men (or bearing the truth or bearing grudges) will only take a game dame so far. However, towards the end, everything worked with convincing, controlled, mature renditions of the heartbreaking story-ballad “Through the Eyes of Grace” (Melissa Manchester) and the lullaby from Disney’s Dumbo, “Baby Mine.”

Self-interrupting Fiddler on the Roof’s “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” with tales of long tours with that musical and an affair with an unfaithful co-star found her at ease with dishing and perspective. At her best, she can be fun and flip and free. And there’s a big heart beneath the smartypantsdom and panting.

Rob Lester
Cabaret Scenes
May 21, 2010




"He is a writer to watch and to learn from."
—Andrew Harvey, Son of Man

"A playwright whose work displays great moral courage and daring."
—Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

"A fine actor and writer."
—Chicago Sun Times

"One hell of a writer."
—San Francisco Examiner

Steven Fales is a professional actor/writer/producer who first came to national attention with his critically acclaimed solo play Confessions of a Mormon Boy. Having rubbed shoulders with professionals and protestors, prophets and prostitutes, the multi-talented Fales is a self-proclaimed "Oxy-Mormon" who shares his humorous, compassionate, and clear-eyed perspective of the world through his writing and performing.

A classically trained actor, Steven began writing when his perfect Mormon world fell apart. Born in Utah but raised in Las Vegas, this sixth-generation Mormon trained on scholarship at the Boston Conservatory before serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Portugal. He then transferred to Brigham Young University finishing his BFA in musical theater. He holds an MFA in acting from the University of Connecticut. He has studied at the American Comedy Institute in New York and with renowned master acting teacher Larry Moss. Fales is a creativity coach and leads workshops across the country on solo performance.

Fales is also a public speaker, and advocates for many causes. He calls his work transformational theatre: true stories honestly told by the person who lived them woven throughout with elements of recovery. In addition to acting in plays, musicals, television and film, Steven specializes in creating his own solo work: one-person plays, cabarets, and stand-up. Having mentored with several prominent theatre impresarios, Fales is the founder of Mormon Boy Productions and gEveryman Productions which also produces work by other performers and writers.

With many new books, projects, and productions currently in development, Steven Fales splits his time between New York City and Salt Lake City. A single dad, Fales takes an active role in helping to raise his two children from his previous marriage.


2008 Oscar Wilde Award Nomination, Outstanding New Writing for the Theatre, International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
2007 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
2007 Boston IRNE Award Nomination
2006 New York Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance
2004 Overall Excellence Award, Solo Show, New York International Fringe Festival
Nafe Katter/Ron Pallilo Acting Award, Outstanding Acting
Take Steven home with you!
Read Steven's blog here:

NOEL KATZ MAKES HIS IGUANA DEBUT THIS EVE!Noel Katz writes musical comedies: The most recent, Our Wedding, was actually his wedding, got full page coverage in The New York Times and the CD sells at Murder at the Savoy (or, Pulley of the Yard) sold out at the 50th Edinburgh Festival, got five stars from The Scotsman, and is one of four productions he's had in Great Britain. Spilt Milk was spotlighted in The New Yorker and Popsicle Palace was well-reviewed in The Los Angeles Times. His other musicals include Area 51, The Christmas Bride, On the Brink, The New U. and The Heavenly Theatre.

Noel Katz teaches improvisation: For years, he's been a highlight of Artistic New Directions' Summer Improv Retreat. He's done the scores for a variety of Second City (NY) improv-based revues, including We Built This City on Rent Control, A Time For Heroes and Hoagies, Generation F'd and the all-improvised revue, And Then He Wrote. He's utilized song improvisation at Fairlegh-Dickinson University, Circle-in-the-Square and National Dance Institute.

Noel Katz songs are often heard in cabarets and at auditions. The New York Sun praised his incidental songs for the play, Couplets, at Collective Unconscious, as did Talkin' Broadway for his title number for Cloud Nine. Lunatics and Lovers was a recent revue of his songs at The Triad including "Fugue For Cell Phones," "How Could They Have Missed?" and "She Smelled Like Chocolate."

SANDRA DAVIS RETURNS! And there you have it! Hope to see you tonight!

On Monday, please join Steven Fales and me at DON'T TELL MAMA'S FOR AN ALL DAY WORKSHOP! Flying Solo Workshop

FLYING SOLO: How to Create and Produce Your Own Solo Work (or Any Work)

September 20 · 9:00am - 4:00pm
Location Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St., New York City

Created By
Creativity Coaching with Steven Fales, Richard Skipper

Stphen Fales Flying Solo Workshop"

Steven Fales has a gift for igniting the creativity of others."
—Julia Cameron, THE ARTIST'S WAY

"All we have to change the world is our story."

Come fly with me! I will be leading my solo performance workshop with special guest lecturer actor/writer/producer Richard Skipper. Together we will cover every aspect of what it takes to create a successful and profitable solo performance career.
If something inside you believes that "the future belongs to those who produce what they create", than this workshop can help take you there! This promises to be best (and funnest) one-day solo performance workshop in the country.

As we explore the solo genre, you will leave this workshop inspired to tell your story and show your work like never before. We will be examining in lectures and sharing in the group dynamic what compels one to create and produce their one-person plays, shows, cabaret acts, etc. Short writing exercises will help unlock your process. You will leave with practical advice and specific information from someone who has written his own solo work (in many genres) and who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work.

We will provide continental breakfast, your own copy of Steven Fales' book, and you will also get free admission to Steven's cabaret MORMON AMERICAN PRINCESS later that night at Don't Tell Mama at 9:00 pm with Richard Skipper joining as Carol Channing.

The workshop goes from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm with an hour break for lunch at noon (with a simple assignment).
The cost is $199 for the workshop. $50 reserves your space. Paypal accepted at store.

For more information email

Workshop participants are FLYING! Here's what they say:

"After attending Steven's solo-show workshop, I had the courage and know-how to mount my show at the New York International Fringe Festival and then partner with a theatre company in San Diego on a six-week run of my show. Now I'm approaching investors and self-producing inovativve runs all over Southern California. It's turning into my own industry. Steven teaches you the how, but more importantly helps you discover the why of your work. Once you connect to why you're doing it and how important that is to you, nothing can stop you from sharing your work with the world!"
-- Brian Bielawski, Creator/Performer of GAM3RS: the play. (Brian has an MFA in acting from USD)

"After meeting with Steven all my fears and confusion about how to produce my own show were not only eliminated but I was left feeling truly excited about the whole process. He generously shares his own invaluable experience with you and tailors his coaching to your unique story and gifts.With Steven you may be performing alone but he'll show you how to set up your production with those necessary components so that you'll feel supported. I highly recommend him to anyone who is interested in taking the journey of solo performance!" —Mary-Beth Manning, writer/performer of MOTHER (Ovation Award Nominee for Solo Performance)

Workshop participants currently doing their solo shows: Carlease Burke's 50: IT DOESN'T LOOK THIS GOOD ON EVERYONE; Melinda Hill's THE ACCIDENTAL BISEXUAL AND OTHER STORIES; Shabana Rehman's FOR THE KINGDOM AND THE FATHER LAND a hit in Oslo, Norway and now at The New York International Fringe Festival.

RICHARD SKIPPER is best known for his solo show: Carol Channing in Concert starring Richard Skipper, a fully staged and researched, musical montage celebrating the career and persona of this unique, theatrical legend. Blending Channing standards with original material and other familiar songs sung by Skipper in his powerful Broadway voice, the musical evening surveys Channing's life with many stops along the way for Skipper's unique--and riotous--"ad-lib" interactions with the audience. Mr. Skipper is a four time recipient of the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret) Award a Back Stage Bistro award, and a Cloney Award in Las Vegas for best performer. He was named as one of the Top Ten Cabaret Performers by Cabaret Hotline and as "one of the Top of the Century Premiere Cabaret Acts" by Cabaret Scenes Magazine.Said Backstage Magazine: "Skipper sparkles with the glow of Channing's charisma, but the extra shine you see on stage is a product of a diamond-like brilliance that is his alone. [A]n unqualified musical comedy gem...There is no doubt in my mind that Richard Skipper is well on the way to international recognition and acclaim."

STEVEN FALES has been doing solo performance for ten years having performed under a light bulb in Portland, Oregon to a whole constellation of lights at Lincoln Center. He's produced solo plays by others and has coached many solo artists on their journey helping them write, re-write, workshop, re-workshop and premiere.Fales is also an award-nominated published author as well. (Lambda Literary Award Finalist)

Steven has written and performed CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY (NY Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination), MISSIONARY POSITION, and WHO'S YOUR DADDY. All three make up the MORMON BOY TRILOGY. He performs his cabaret act, MORMON AMERICAN PRINCESS across the country as well as his Oxy-Mormon Stand-up. As an actor he's worked at some of the finest Shakespeare companies in the country in cluding the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. He holds an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Connecticut, B.F.A. in musical theatre from the Boston Conservatory/Brigham Young University. He has trained with Larry Moss and at The American Comedy Institute.

Fales is the founder of the Solo Performance Alliance. See the group page on FB!
And that evening, Steven & I will be appearing together at DON'T TELL MAMA at 9:15!
Steven Fales

Sep 20, 2010 09:15

"Steven Fales"

"Mormon American Princess" with Richard Skipper as Carol Channing!

Musical Comedy

$20.00 cover charge/ 2 drink minimum per person

cash only

approximate running time: 60 minutes


I have seen Richard's show many times! OK I am a big fan. This summer Richard brought the show to Provincetown. How perfect. My friends and I could not have enjoyed it more. Congratulations Richard. Phyllis Frank,

Enjoyed Richard Skipper's performances in Malibu;
both as himself and as Carol Channing !!!
(the Most Amazingly Accurate Characterization in the world !!!)
keep on keepin' on ...David Dean, Phoenix, AZ

Richard & Dana, Thank you so much for making this past Wednesday night such a memorable occasion. I was honored to be on the program with so many other wonderful, talented singers. What a bore Wednesday nights would be without the joy of you two marvelous entertainers and the diverse group of artists you manage to bring each week to the Iguana. May it go on, and on, and on and on. Alicia Terry, NYC

Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

If you would like to join the Channing-Kullijian National Coalition for returning arts education to public schools, email your contact info to to be added to our elist. With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper,