Friday, April 22, 2011

Count Down to : 4 Nights from Tonight! The 26th Annual Bistro Awards are honoring THE RESCIGNOS, JOHNNY RODGERS BAND, and SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED!

Sherry Eaker


The 26th Annual Bistro Awards

At Gotham Comedy Club
Tuesday April 26, 2011 6:30pm

current tickets availability: Limited Go to to order tickets.* * * * * * * Bistro Awards Update * * * * * * *

Tommy Tune Just announced as celebrity Presenter
Free Supper Buffet after the Bistro included with
all tickets

Directed by EDIE COWAN
Hosted by JIM DAVID
Music Direction by LENNY BABBISH
As you know, this week I have been covering all of the recipients of this year's Bistro Awards. Today, I wrap it up with our final three recipients. Yesterday was about three dolls. Today is about three guys (with a few dolls thrown in for good measure). As those of you who know me know, I am always telling everyone to pay it forward. From time to time, however, someone will inevitably ask what that means. Yesterday, one of last year's Bistro recipients, Peter Napolitano (who also directed one of this year's Bistro recipients to her win...(Janice one of this week's earliest blogs to get more info on her)...sent me a great "history of what it means. "Pay it forward is a reference to the title phrase of the book by Catherine Ryan Hyde. In the book the phrase is used as the opposite of payback: when someone does a good dead for you, instead of paying them back, pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else, preferably a stranger. The pay it forward concept has a firm foundation in history. Ben Franklin described it in a letter he wrote to Benjamin Webb in 1784. In this letter, he wrote about his intention to help Mr. Webb by lending him some money. However, he did not want to be repaid directly. Instead, Ben Franklin hoped Mr. Webb would at some point meet an honest man in need of financial help and pass the money along to him." Thank you, Peter! And everyone do this! I Love it!!

Well, back to The Bistros: I hope you have your tickets. Over the past three days, I've written about Liz Larken Brown, Nate Buccieri, Carole J. Bufford, Carol Channing, Anthony Cochran, Tyne Daly, Kevin Dozier, Michael Feinstein,Janice Hall, Sean Harkness, Allan Harris, Hilary Kole, Faye Lane, Colleen McHugh, and Dionne Warwick...all recipients! Today, I'm going to focus on THE RESCIGNOS, JOHNNY RODGERS BAND, and SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED!
Before I get to the recipients, I would like to acknowledge one of the members of our Bistro Awards committee. Tomorrow, I will write about three other members...Ladies first: Elizabeth Ahlfors!Elizabeth Ahlfors was born, raised and educated in New York (NYU). Her first love was always music, cabaret, and theatre – in the audience, not performing. She writes for Cabaret Scenes,,,, and Curtain Up's "Cabaret Nights." She was previously Philadelphia correspondent for and InTheatre Magazine and reviewed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia City News, and Spotlight Magazine. She is a member of the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle.
Last year, it was thrilling to see Rex Reed present to Mitzi Gaynor.
Cannot wait for the excitement of this year! Here is Jackie Hoffman from the 2006 Bistro Awards:
THE RESCIGNOS will be receiving The Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award
The DuplexBorn in New York City, Paul and Robbie Rescigno grew up in southern Delaware, spending most of their childhood watching classic television on Nick at Nite. Both attended Syracuse University where they appeared together in productions of Twelfth Night, Kiss Me, Kate, and the premiere of their variety show. While in college, both studied for a semester at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The two were featured in a nationwide Dell commercial and appeared in the feature film Tenure, starring Luke Wilson, Gretchen Mol and David Koechner. When they are not performing, their days are spent working in television. Robbie has worked at MSNBC’s Morning Joe as well as The Nate Berkus Show, while Paul currently works at The Late Show with David Letterman. In addition to seeing them live Tuesday night at The Bistro Awards, you can catch them on 5/13 - The Rescignos Variety Show: The 27th Anniversary Special at The Duplex
61 Christopher Street
New York, NY. Check their website,, for details.

Congratulations and I cannot wait to see you on Tuesday night!
JOHNNY RODGERS BAND is receiving for Musical Group
Johnny Rodgers, Brian Glassman, Danny Mallon, Joe Ravo
Birdland, Iridium, Oak Room at the Algonquin, Joe's Pub
Piano, vocals, guitar. Johnny Rodgers is a favorite in the New York and South Florida performance scene - and is creating fans around the world! Johnny’s original songs stimulate the sophisticated palate. He creates bubbly and romantic pop ballads, Taylor-laced melodies, and sultry jazz all stirred with piano driven rock. Johnny grew up in Miami Florida and now resides in New York City. In 2002, Rodgers marked his arrival to New York earning both a Back Stage Bistro Award for Outstanding New York Debut and a MAC Award for Best Male New York Debut. Johnny Rodgers pleases not only with his original songs but also his boy-next-door charm and creamy, dreamy crooner’s voice. Liza Minnelli discovered Rodgers and brought him on as her pianist and guest performer for her world tours, and he debuted on Broadway in the Tony Award winning Liza’s At The Palace. 15th Annual Billboard World Song Contest Winner Fresh and unique, the Johnny Rodgers Band is brilliant jumping from one style to another with the ease of an expert trapezist: pop, rock, jazz. Their music literally takes you on a guided tour of American pop exhibiting the driving energy of rock and roll, blended with jazz sophistication. The band's chemistry and Johnny's personable stage presen...ce completes the formula that creates the band's dynamic performances. Johnny Rodgers Band was formed in New York City in 2003, when award-winning singer-songwriter-pianist Johnny Rodgers created "The Band" he had always dreamed of to add musical depth to his road-tested original songs. Johnny pulled together accomplished musicians with vast experience who were familiar with performing in all styles from pop to jazz and classical. The music comes alive with Brian Glassman on bass, Danny Mallon on drums, Joe Ravo on guitar and Johnny on vocals at the piano or on guitar. Two years after the bands formation, the Johnny Rodgers Band's debut album, Box of Photographs was released featuring Johnny's original songs. His songs take you on side trips to places like upbeat New Orleans and Memphis soul. The album includes Grammy-winner Randy Brecker and his legendary sound on several jazz style cuts on the twelve-track album. Johnny Rodgers Band is always attracting new audiences at the many clubs, festivals, and private events where they perform across the country. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Bottom Line, Birdland, The Metropolitian Room and The Jazz Standard in New York City, Ryles in Cambridge MA, Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club and Van Dykes on Miami Beach, as well at many festivals like Festival Miami at the University of Miami. JOHNNY RODGERS - piano, vocals, guitar Johnny Rodgers a Miami native who resides in New York City. In between concert tours, writing and recording sessions with the band, Johnny Rodgers tours the world with Liza Minnelli and her orchestra as featured guest artist. In addition to wowing the crowds at his own performances, he has shared the stage with such diverse luminaries as Paul McCartney, Michael Feinstein, Stephen Schwartz, Ann Hampton Callaway, Dave Koz, Joel Gray, Debbie Gravitte and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. WINNER - Bistro Award - Musical Group - New York Performances 2011 WINNER - Nightlife Award - Best Cabaret Vocalist 2010 Selected - Rhythm Road tour to Southeast Asia & the Pacific Islands 2010 Selected - Armed Forces Entertainment - what an honor to serve WINNER - 15th Annual Billboard World Song Contest - Americana/Folk category (Home to Mendocino) WINNER – Songwriter’s Hall of Fame – Abe Oldman Award 2002 (Is It The Way?) WINNER – BackStage Bistro Award – Outstanding New York Debut 2002 WINNER – Best One Man Show – Show Business Weekly WINNER – MAC Award – Best Male New York Debut 2002 WINNER – New York Sheet Music Society – Gerald Marks Award 2002 BRIAN GLASSMAN - Double Bass Listen for the deep, complex tones of Brian's 200 year old early American bass. His experience is vast and he is a chameleon of musical styles having played with Lionel Hampton, Paquito Di Rivera, John Pizzarelli, Margaret Whiting and Robert Goulet. DANNY MALLON - Drums, Percussion, Background Vocals Try playing the percussion frog along with Danny as he opens the song 'Mary Jean'. Danny has recorded and performed with artists in all styles such as Woody Mann, Liza Minnelli, Phobe Snow, Randy Brecker, Gene Bertoncini, Richard Barone and Tom Harrell. JOE RAVO - Nylon String Guitar Joe, a native New Yorker and multi-faceted guitarist has performed with Jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Stanley Turrentine and Gerry Mulligan. He studied with classical guitarist Alexander Bellow and Oscar Gighlia at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena Italy. Joe is known for his Brazilian finger stylings. Management: Amy Hafner A Breath of Fresh Air LLC 305.283.6274
And our final recipient today is SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED Cabaret Series
Written, directed, and hosted by Phil Geoffrey Bond
Laurie Beechman Theatre, Don't Tell Mama
It was with great pride that The Laurie Beechman Theatre announced their summer series, SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED, taking place at the midtown venue on Mondays in July - the 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th @ 7pm last year. Featuring an array of Broadway and Cabaret's most dynamic performers, Sondheim Unplugged celebrates the work of Broadway's most beloved and prolific composer, accompanied by piano only. And here they are accepting a Bistro Award on Tuesday night. Congratulations, Phil Bond and kudos to ALL involved! Following twelve sold out shows, The Laurie Beechman Theatre will continue their hit series, SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED, for a thirteenth installment, Monday, April 25 at 7pm. Included in the cast are an array of Broadway and cabaret alums, including Emily Bergl (television's Desperate Housewives), Jim Brochu (Drama Desk winner for Zero Hour), Eric Michael Gillett (Kiss Me, Kate, Sweet Smell of Success), Hunter Herdlicka (B'way revival of A Little Night Music), Leenya Rideout (B'way revival of Company), Lucia Spina (B'way's Legally Blonde, South Pacific) and Jessica Vosk (recent NY Philharmonic Company). We're also pleased to welcome back three very special guests, each of whom created roles in Sondheim musicals: Joy Franz (Into the Woods, Assassins), Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd) and Melanie Vaughan (Sunday in the Park with George). Recently, Sondheim Unplugged received the 2011 Bistro Award for Outstanding Cabaret Series, and has been nominated for the 2011 MAC Award.

The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located within the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42nd St., in the heart of New York's theatre district. There is a $20 cover charge, as well as a $15 food/beverage minimum (a full dinner menu is available). For reservations, which are necessary, please call 212 695 6909.

SONDHEIM UNPLUGGED features an array of Broadway and Cabaret's most dynamic performers, celebrating the work of Broadway's most beloved and prolific composer, accompanied by piano only. The series boasts an impressive, rotating cast of some of the Theatre World and cabaret's most impressive talents, all of whom will perform their favorite Sondheim tunes. Also included in the cast on April 25: David Brian Colbert, Hilary Kole, Gabriel Mudd, Jillian Severin and Trevor Southworth. Musical Direction is by Ray Fellman.

Past special guests have included Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music), Danielle Ferland (Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George), Joy Franz (Into the Woods, Assassins), Annie Golden (Assassins), Steve Elmore (Company), Victoria Mallory (Follies, A Little Night Music), Donna McKechnie (Company), Pamela Myers (Company), Kurt Peterson (Follies), Teri Ralston (A Little Night Music), Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd) and Pamela Winslow Kashani (Into the Woods). Each evening is hosted by Director/Producer Phil Geoffrey Bond (MAC/Bistro/Nightlife Award Winner).

Included in the rotating company: Carey Anderson (Avenue Q, Mamma Mia), Lisa Asher (MAC & Nightlife Award Winner), Raissa Katona Bennett (Phantom of the Opera), Christina Bianco (Drama Desk Nominee, Forbidden Broadway), David Brian Colbert (MAC Award Winner), Harris Doran (It Must Be Him), Natalie Douglas (MAC Award Winner), Michelle Dowdy (Hairspray), Kevin Dozier, Barbara Fasano (MAC /Bistro/Nightlife Award Winner), Terese Genecco (MAC & Bistro Award Winner), Eric Michael Gillett (Sweet Smell of Success, Kiss Me, Kate, MAC Award Winner), Larry Hamilton, Joe Iconis (Drama Desk Nominee), Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (A Little Night Music), Becca Southworth Johnson (The After Party), Trent Armand Kendall (Into the Woods), Audrey Lavine (Rags, Carrie), Lorinda Lisitza (Nightlife Award Winner), Karen Mack (MAC Award Winner), Rob Maitner (Bistro Award Winner), Cindy Marchionda (Jeff Award Winner), Liz McCartney (South Pacific, Taboo), Susie Mosher (Hairspray), Julia Murney (Wicked), Mark Nadler (MAC Award Winner), Karen Oberlin (MAC & Bistro Award Winner), Phyllis Pastore (MAC Award winner), Miles Phillips (MAC Award Winner), Marybeth Purdy, Shaynee Rainbolt (MAC Award Winner), Julie Reyburn (MAC/Bistro/Nightlife Award winner), Leenya Rideout (Company), Jana Robbins (Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Gypsy), Anne Runolfsson (Phantom of the Opera, Victor/Victoria), Nikki Scalera (Hairspray), Elizabeth Stanley (Company, Cry Baby, Million Dollar Quartet), Katie Thompson (Giant), Will Trice (MAC Award Winner), Jonathan Whitton (MAC Award Winner), Stephen Wallem (Nurse Jackie), Lennie Watts (MAC Award Winner) & Joann Yeoman. (Source:
Wow! What a great night Tuesday night will be!

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Tomorrow's blog will feature a review of Leslie Orofino's show which I am seeing today (hope you'll join me!), CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE premiering tomorrow at The Tribeca Film Festival, and 1976's THE BLUE BIRD premiering on The Fox Movie Channel Monday night!



Richard Skipper, Associate producer of the 26th annual Bistro Awards ,

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