Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sara Louise Lazarus

"The crisis you have to worry about most is the one you don't see coming."
-Mike Mansfield, American statesman (1903-2001)

with David and Sam Sedar
Happy Thursday!

The week is slowly winding down and the countdown begins to Monday night's 27th Bistro Awards here in New York. I have been involved with the Bistros for the last two years.
Sherry Eaker may be the captain of that ship, but Sara Louise Lazarus is the one who guides the ship into harbor. She was directing the year that I won mine, in 1997, and she is back to direct this year.
 When I told her on the occasion of her birthday last week that I wanted to do a blog feature on her in anticipation of the Bistros, she was flattered, but busier than ever and really didn't have the time to sit down for an interview. That is totally understandable. So today, this is a tribute to a wonderful director and woman told through the voices of colleagues and friends! Sara, we celebrate you!
with Kelly Varley and Jeanne Slater.
 Sara Louise Lazarus has directed shows in theatres and cabarets throughout New York City, including the Jewish Repertory Theatre and Avery Fischer Hall, Lincoln Center. She has been the recipient of MAC and Bistro Awards for Outstanding Cabaret Direction. Ms. Lazarus is the founder of the Sara Lazarus Studio for Musical Performance Studies where she teaches. She serves on the advisory board for Singers on Stage.

 It's audition time in New York, you're new here and you need help. What to sing? You fumble around in a stack of papers for a complete copy of the song you want to sing, only to discover the last page is missing. "Oh well, maybe the pianist can fake it," you say.
Not exactly. And you won't get very far in New York with that kind of disorganization. Enter Sara Louise Lazarus, extraordinary New York song interpretation coach. Ms. Lazarus spends her time helping singing actors of all levels get organized and prepared for the big audition. (Source: Theatrical Singer)
This is Sara's 11th Bistro Show. 

Sherry was doing her first Bistro Awards Show at the Supper Club.  She had chosen to move the show there from the Ballroom.  She called Sara, having seen some of her cabarets, and they wound up becoming fast friends in the process of working on the show.  Sara has taken a hiatus a few times over the years--the first when her son was a year old, and the second two years ago and last year when she had date conflicts with other shows she was directing.  She's thrilled to be back with Sherry, Roy and David, and has enjoyed meeting and working with Mark and Kevin.  Kimothy Cruse, our stage manager, and Sara have already done two shows together--The 1959 Broadway Songbook for Lyrics and Lyricists at the 92nd Street Y, and a huge benefit at Symphony Space.  He's great.

I would have to say that Sara is one of the handful of people who have most impacted my life, both professionally and personally. I owe her so much! So much of what I do as a coach and musical director can be traced to my having worked with her over the years, learning from her mastery of performance techniques. There is no one better at what she does, no one. In addition to her brilliance as a director and teacher, there is her enormous warmth, humor, wisdom, and capacity to make sense out of complications. I consider her a friend, colleague, and role model. And there are many people in this business who would not be where they are without her. I'm one of them. (And I'm not saying these things just because she is currently looking after my grand piano until I can afford a larger apartment).
-Alex Rybeck

 Well, I can just say that she's a very giving person. As you know she's worked with many wonderful performers. She's was an outstanding musical performance coach. I owe much of my success to what I learned from her when I was just starting out.
-Tres Hanley

The gifts I have leaned from Sara's classes have made me a better singer and person.
-Peggy Herman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            Contact: Beck Lee/MEDIA BLITZ, LLC (718) 403-0939


Columnist Liz Smith, composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, choreographer George Faison, and jazz artist Annie Ross are among the presenters appearing at the 27th Annual Bistro Awards on Monday April 23 at 6:30pmat Gotham Comedy Club in New York, 208 West 23rd Street.

Liz Smith, the “Grande Dame of Dish,” presents the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award to Kaye Ballard. Best known for her gossip column (that was syndicated in nearly 70 newspapers), Liz is one of the owners of a new website for women,

Marvin Hamlisch, the composer of more than forty film scores ("The Way We Were," "Three Men and A Baby," "Ice Castles"), Broadway shows ("A Chorus Line," "They’re Playing Our Song," "The Goodbye Girl," "Sweet Smell of Success") and the principal pops conductor for a half-dozen symphony orchestras across the country, Hamlisch presents the Bistro Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Popular Music to Melissa Manchester.

The Tony Award-winning choreographer of more than 30 plays and musicals, and the co-founder of the Faison Firehouse Theater, George Faison presents the Bistro Award for Ongoing Artistry in Jazz to Dee Dee Bridgewater.

A founding member of the legendary jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, Annie Ross was inducted into the ASCAP Wall of Fame in 2009.  She appears weekly at the Metropolitan Room with her band, which includes Warren Vaché to whom she presents the Bistro Award for Ongoing Excellence as a Jazz Instrumentalist.

The evening, under the direction of Sara Louise Lazarus, musical direction by Lenny Babbish, is hosted by comedian and actor Jim David, and will feature performances from most of this year’s Bistro-winning artists.  In all, a total of 26 awards will be given out during the course of the gala evening.  Sherry Eaker is the producer.

The evening's festivities include a Champagne reception for the Bistro recipients and Premium Ticket holders (5 pm), followed by the awards presentation and show (6:30 pm).

This year's Bistro Awards Committee comprises the journalists Elizabeth Ahlfors (Cabaret Scenes,, and; David Finkle (Village Voice, The Huffington Post); Kevin Scott Hall (Edge Media Network,; Rob Lester (Cabaret Scenes,,; Erv Raible, executive/artistic director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University; Roy Sander (, chairman of the Advisory Board of MAC), and Mark Dundas Wood (, Eaker, who heads up the Bistro Committee, is the former longtime editor-in-chief of Back Stage, and the producer of the event since its inception.

Melissa Manchester
The Bistro Awards are sponsored by ASCAP and BMI, with additional sponsorship from Branson B. Champagne, Banfi Wines, and the Loews Regency Hotel. General Admission tickets are $60; Premium Tickets are $95, which includes the pre-show Champagne reception, priority seating and After Bistros buffet. There is a two-drink minimum. A food menu is also available. To purchase show tickets, go to For additional information, please call 917-239-5467.

Thank you, Sara, for the gifts you have given and will continue to give to the world.

Sing Hallelujah! You are worth celebrating! And celebrate we will Monday night at the 27th Annual Bistro Awards!
Your devoted fan,

Reserve today for Peggy Herman. Click on the above banner and be part of our star studded audience!

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
Tomorrow's blog will be..Nancy Sinclair's Memories of Hello, Dolly!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Richard Skipper,                            

This Blog is dedicated to Al Koenig! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!


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