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!
JILLIAN LAURAIN RETURNS!
BRONWYN RUCKER RETURNS!Visit Bronwyn's home page at http://bronwynrucker.com
Take Bronwyn home with you! http://tinyurl.com/26uxnej
CORKY ROMASH JOINS US TONIGHT!
JERRY WICHINSKY RETURNS!
Then, of course, there is my co-host(ess), DANA LORGE!
SUNNY LEIGH RETURNS!You can buy Sunny's Sweet Feelings CD www.cdbaby.com/sunnyleigh
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.
RITA ELLIS HAMMER RETURNS!
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
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 RETURNS!
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 amazon.com 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: http://tinyurl.com/2c96zsj
BOBBIE HOROWITZ RETURNS!You Deserve To Be the Slim, Sexy & Successful Star You Truly Are!
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ELIZABETH RETURNS! A singing trombone player!
HELENA GRENOT RETURNS!
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.
May 21, 2010
GLORIA WALDMAN RETURNS!
MICHELLE COLLIER RETURNS!
STEVEN FALES RETURNS!STEVEN FALES
"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! http://tinyurl.com/2422atd
Read Steven's blog here: http://www.mormonboy.com/blog/2010/09/14/i-am-hiv-positive-my-boyfriend-is-not-he-is-riding-for-all-of-us-however-help
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 www.WeddingMusical.com. 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
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 www.mormonboy.com store.
For more information email email@example.com
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!
Sep 20, 2010 09:15
"Mormon American Princess" with Richard Skipper as Carol Channing!
$20.00 cover charge/ 2 drink minimum per person
approximate running time: 60 minutes
THE FOLLOWING ARE RECENT COMMENTS FROM
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, http://www.gaypriderockland.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our elist. With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard SkipperFollow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper
TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL SEPTEMBER!
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com