For her current show at the Metropolitan Room, “Monopoly,” Billie Roe has fashioned, with the assistance of director Mark Nadler and musical director Steven Ray Watkins, a compelling and affecting spoken-and-sung narrative based on the beloved and long-running board game. She begins by recounting her own childhood memories of often cutthroat family Monopoly games, specifically an annual tournament at her grandparents’ summer cottage on an Upstate New York lake in 1963.The song Roe sings to accompany the reminiscence is “Come On! Let’s Play Monopoly” (Mark Mitchell). Remembering her own strategies for buying houses, hotels, and railroads, and those of her two brothers and their parents, Roe reaches back to the Depression era for “Raisin’ the Rent” (Harold Arlen, Ted Kohler). But soon enough she takes off into the world of speculation about the denizens of those Atlantic City streets and other AC locales dotting the Monopoly board, imagining and enacting their lives. (Read MORE)
2012 MetroStar singing competition, and in 2016 was asked to be a permanent judge of the very competition she won 4 years earlier! Previously, Billie played most of the NY clubs in the 70’s and early 80’s; The Bushes, Reno Sweeney, The Grand Finale, The Copa, Trax, The Electric Circus, and Les Mouches where she debuted her acclaimed act The Heat Is On’, opening for Gloria Gaynor. Ms. Roe has sung with the San Diego Symphony in a salute to Cole Porter, and has performed in regional professional theatres throughout the country. As an actress, Billie received the ‘New York State Drama Festival Award for Best Performance’ playing Gertrude in Israel Horovitz ‘Morning’. She holds a BFA in Acting from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, as well as a Master’s degree in Playwrighting from the Actors Studio Drama School, New School University, New York. Ms. Roe is a founding member of the Playwrights Directors Workshop (PDW) at the renowned Actors Studio where she has moderated sessions as well as work shopped her plays.
|with director Mark Nadler|
|Billie and I served on a MAC panel discussion last year discussing press in cabaret. Mark Dundas Wood is sitting next to Billie, |
Betsyann Faiella, Sandi Durell, ME, Moderator Frank Dain
|with Roy Sander at 2016 MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Awards, photo courtesy Natasha Castillo|
“Singing the lives from Baltic Avenue to Boardwalk”
Offering up her own brand of pithy politics, humor, and humanity, MetroStar BILLIE ROE returns to the Metropolitan Room’s cabaret stage with an original new musical show that explores the lives of the people who reside on the Monopoly game board, and quite possibly in your own neighborhood.
Directed by MARK NADLER.
Musical Direction by STEVEN RAY WATKINS.
Musical arrangements by Mark Nadler and Steven Ray Watkins
Written by Billie Roe
SUNDAY, November 20th, at 7pm
STEVEN RAY WATKINS - has been playing the piano for 47 years, and has been a working musician for 43 years. He attended Shenandoah Conservatory of Music with a focus on Musical Theater and Piano. In the 80’s, Watkins was the lead singer of the techno-pop band Ampersand, who had a top 20 Billboard single with the song “Traction.” After their disbandment, Watkins returned to musical theater performance, performing in the national tours of
“big,” “Singin’ In the Rain,” and “Showboat.” Regionally he performed in “Falsettos,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “42nd Street,” “Evita,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” “The Last Session,” and “Witness For the Prosecution,” among others. In 2000, Watkins turned his attention back to music, and quickly became one of the most sought after musical directors and pianists in NYC. As a theater MD, he has worked on “A Chorus Line,” “Funny Girl,” “The Last Five Years,” “Once On This Island,” etc. As a musical consultant and vocal coach he has worked with a myriad of different performers, including Patti LuPone, Hugh Jackman, Beyonce, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Bonnie Franklin, Amanda McBroom, Louise Pitre, and Karen Mason. He consulted on the 2009 Oscars, has musical directed the MAC Awards 3 times, and has been involved in many benefits and concerts in NYC and around the country, including performances at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall.
|STEVEN RAY WATKINS|
Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!
With grateful XOXOXs ,
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
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- Richard Skipper Celebrates...December 9th 7PM at the
SHOW - 'The Best Date in Town' The Patty Duke Showwhich aired on December 9, 1964
featured guests will INCLUDE Kevin Dozier, Peggy Eason, Eddie Korbich, Marieann Meringolo Lisa Viggiano...AND A Mystery Guest*! Bryon Sommers, Musical Director with Jeff Carney on bass and Rex Benincasa on percussion.
Richard Skipper Celebrates: A Talk/Variety Show encouraging us to celebrate each and every day and the hidden gems therein. Did you know A Charlie Brown Christmas Debuted in 1965...Buck Henry, Margaret Hamilton, Dalton Trumbo, Douglas Fairbanks Jr were all born on December 9th?Wear Purple! The Ruling Color Of
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