The CABARET Website
Plans are underway by the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA) for a three-day Cabaret festival. This marks the 11th annual "March is Cabaret Month." The festival will take place March 23rd - 26th at Jimmy Tingle's Off-Broadway Theater, 255 Elm Street, Davis Square, Somerville, and will include eight hour-long cabaret acts by prominent BACA members, a Saturday evening Gala Benefit, a Sunday Master class, and a Showcase for new talent.
Award-winning director Bill Castellino will direct an ensemble cast in an original cabaret show created for the Saturday night Gala. This accomplished director has also choreographed and written dramas, concerts, cabaret performances and special events throughout the world. These include national tours for Jolson, Chess, and Les Miserables, and cabaret performances with Amanda McBroom and Ann Hampton Calloway. Among his awards are Chicago's Jefferson Award, four L.A. Weekly Awards, and eight Drama Logue awards. Castellino is best known to Boston area audiences for the Reagan-era satire, Rap Master Ronnie (also seen on HBO) and more recently for the new musical Lizzie Borden at the Stoneham Theater.
Tickets for the March 25th Gala are $45. Proceeds will go to BACA to support and promote the art of Cabaret in the greater Boston area. Ticket prices for individual programs, Master Class and Showcase will vary. A second press release on March 1st will contain more specific details. For updated information contact BACA@onebox.com or go to www.bostoncabaret.org. .
Call 617-591-1616 for tickets and directions, or see the website at www.jtoffbroadway.com. Jimmy Tingle's Off-Broadway Theater is accessible by the Red Line and by all Davis Square T buses. Parking is available on the street and in municipal lots, and free parking is available behind the VFW hall at 371 Summer Street.
CELEBRATING THEIR ELEVENTH YEAR, THE BOSTON ASSOCIATION OF CABARET ARTISTS (BACA) EXTENDS A FREE OPEN HOUSE INVITATION TO ALL
Kicking off its 11th year with this event. BACA is a nonprofit membership organization made up of singers of all experience levels, as well as pianists, composers, venue producers, voice teachers, listeners and enthusiasts from throughout New England. This affiliation of performers and colleagues serves as a network of individuals banded together to increase awareness of the genre of music wed to theatre known as Cabaret. Members receive a newsletter, free listings on the Association's website, can join an informative listserv, and are given a member card that offers discounts to numerous music, theatre, and musical theatre performances. The BACA newsletter and listserv offer updated information on local and national cabaret activities, workshops, classes and conferences, and BACA co-sponsored open mics. In addition, BACA serves as show co- producers and last year, with comedian Jimmy Tingle, mounted the highly successful "March Is Cabaret Month" Cabaret Celebration, a fourteen hour performance weekend comprised entirely of BACA member performers at Jimmy Tingle's Off-Broadway Theatre. Annual memberships are $20 for students, $30 for individuals, and a dual household membership is $40.
The concert was uneven: some singers were nervous, visually and vocally; others made some stabs at interpretation; one singer, Michael Kreutz, was superb.
Chris and Diana use the songs to tell the history of Miss Merman's career from 1930 to 1970. Merman's first hit song was "I Got Rhythm" from Gershwin's "Girl Crazy" where she had a small part and her last stage appearance was as Dolly Levi singing Jerry Herman's hit numbers. They incorporate the songs and comic lines quoted by the famous singer. Ron does dialogue with the audience and not only plays the piano but gets to sing with Diana in "Friendship", "You're The Top" and "You're Just in Love". However the show belongs to the multitalented Diana Blanda who wowed the crowd with her incredible vocal range in the ballads and her strong belting voice in the upbeat numbers. She performs the show in at least 4 different sequined gowns and a costume for "Rose's Turn" an 11 minute song from "Gypsy" and dances up a storm in this song and many others all night long. My favorite numbers were the ballads where you can hear the beauty of her soprano voice. These included "Lost in His Arms", "Before The Parade" (which turns into a dynamic upbeat song that stops the show as does "Blow Gabriel Blow") "Falling in Love is Wonderful" and "No Business Like Show Business" which closes the show. A word of praise to 22 year old Buddy who plays a mean set of drums all night long, too. So for a top notch evening of musical fun be sure to catch this show at the Granite Theatre.
My heart is still beating too fast. I am so proud and Happy looking at that AWARD, How can I thank all of you. And you, with your cute pussycat face...you are a darling man. Can you let everyone know how my sister and I feel about this whole fukakta piece of paper and what it means to us for our 60 years. I truly luv ya...
DOLLY AND BOBBI BAKER (THE FABULOUS BAKER SISTERS) were honored with a Special Award for OUTSTANDING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN CABARET by The Boston Association of Cabaret Artists, and the award was announced at this year's IRNE Award Party.
MICHELLE CURRIE for "At Last" with Jim Rice on Piano
@ Riverside Theatre
CAROL O'SHAUGHNESSEY for "Full-Tilt" with Jim Rice on Piano
@ CabaretFest, Provincetown
for "A Cock-Eyed Optimist" with Tom LaMark on piano @ Club Cafe Cabaret Room, Boston
for "Marry Me (a Little)" with Jim Rice on piano
@ Club Cafe Cabaret Room, Boston
for "At The Movies Reel 2" @ Kennedy's, Boston
WILL McMILLAN & BOBBI CARREY
for "If I Lovede You"
@ Scullers Jazz Club, Boston
THE FABULOUS BAKER SISTERS
for "Vaudeville Revisited" with the Al Vega Quartet
@ Scullers Jazz Club, Boston
BRIAN PATTON, MICHAEL RICCI, NINA VANSUCH & WILL McMILLAN
for "At The Movies: Reel 2"
@ Kennedy's, Boston
BEN SEARS, BRAD CONNOR, VAL ANASTASIO & TIM hARBOLD
for "The Smart Set"
@ Wheaton College
THE FABULOUS BAKER SISTERS
DOLLY AND BOBBI BAKER
WHETHER BELTING OUT A LIZA TUNE OR PUTTING HER HEART INTO A BALLAD, MERYL SINGS THE BEST OF BROADWAY AND MORE! FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS GALAID’S ONE WOMAN SHOW HAS TAKEN HER TO THE SANDS HOTEL IN ATLANTIC CITY TO COUNTLESS PERFORMANCES THROUGHOUT NEW ENGLAND.
AN ACTRESS AS WELL, MERYL’S STAGE CREDITS INCLUDE LEADING ROLES IN “GUYS & DOLLS”, “KISS ME KATE”, “COMPANY”,”GODSPELL”, “OLIVER”, AND “FIDDLER ON THE ROOF”. LAST YEAR SHE WAS THRILLED TO PORTRAY THE EVIL MISS HANNIGAN IN EVERYONE’S FAVORITE “ANNIE”.
OF HER PERFORMANCE, ONE LOCAL REVIEWER SAID “MERYL GALAID CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A TRUE COMEDIENNE, COMBINING PHYSICAL COMEDY WITH A STRONG BRASSY BELT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, A DEEP SOUL!”
MOST ENJOYBLE TO DATE HAVE BEEN RECENT PERFORMANCES WITH THE “REAGLE PLAYERS” IN WALTHAM, WHERE SHE SANG AND DANCED IN THE RAIN IN THEIR AWARD WINNING PRODUCTION OF “SINGIN IN THE RAIN”.
THIS PAST SUMMER MERYL WAS A PART OF THE BRILLIANT CAST OF “A MUSIC MAN” WITH WBZ’S SCOTT WAHLE IN THE LEADING ROLE OF HAROLD HILL.
MERYL’S AUDIENCE HERE AT THE REGENT WILL BE TREATED TO SELECTIONS FROM SOME OF BROADWAY’S BEST KNOWN SHOWS SUCH AS “CHICAGO”,“LES MISERABLE”, “A CHORUS LINE”, “CABARET”, “GYPSY”, AND “CRAZY FOR YOU” TO NAME A FEW.
HER LONG TIME LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE MUSIC OF JUDY GARLAND AND LIZA MINNELLI WILL ENABLE HER TO PERFORM SOME OF THEIR SHOWSTOPPING HITS!
MERYL WILL BE JOINED ON STAGE BY WELL KNOWN PIANIST AND COMPOSER STEVE BERGMAN AND HIS BAND.
It’s only February and if you’ve been to the theater lately, you know it feels a lot like spring. Love is in the air and if Bobbi Carrey and Will McMillan reprise their exceptional celebration of the feeling, run don’t walk to get your tickets. Their show sold out this past weekend at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
Each singer, not to mention the fabulous Doug Hammer at the keyboard, is at the top of his game: Bobbi with finely etched emotions embracing the lyrics, Will with his sweet, supple tenor defying gravity like a Flying Wolenda and Doug with his jazz riffs between the lyrics. The only word to describe their agility and daring is “thrill” and what a thrill it was to see them take a song and make dramatic theater out of it.
“A Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean” was an evening of imitators of Messrs. Sinatra, Davis, Bishop and Martin singing standards and clowning around and its audience relished each tune, each risqué joke and the quartet’s swaggering camaraderie; this was one show where husbands brought their wives rather than vice versa.
Theatre Works second show of their 22nd season is the operetta, "Amahl and the Night Visitors". The 3 Kings on their way to Bethlehem stop to rest at the home of Amahl, a crippled boy, and his mother. Though they are very poor, they offer the kings, hospitality, shelter and entertainment from their shepherd friends. Late that night, Amahl's mother is caught trying to steal some gold from one of the Kings but when she explains that it is for her starving child, she is forgiven. Amahl offers his crutch as a special gift to the baby Jesus and is miraculously cured of his lameness. Director Connie Anderson gives this holiday tale the warmth and humor needed to carry it off and the expert musical direction by Dale Munschy fills the theatre with the 18 well chosen cast members voices.
The multitude of costumes are by Sharon Charette while the wonderful set is by Mark Anderson. (He directs the second half of the evening called "Holiday Showcase".) Dale not only musically directs the show but also plays keyboards for it. The mother is excellently played by Diane Pincince. Her gorgeous soprano voice soars out over the audience whether she is scolding Amahl or rejoicing at his miraculous recovery. 13 year old Matthew Moran played Amahl at this performance, giving a touching portrayal. His boy soprano voice sells his many numbers and he handles the mischievious and tender parts very well for a boy his age. (Daniel Ariel plays the role on alternate nights. Both boys study voice with Celeste Labonte whom I directed as Sister Sophia in "Sound of Music" in 1994.) The three kings have glorious voices and are well sung and played by Rene Pincince (Diane's real life husband) who is the hard of hearing king who gets many laughs as Kaspar, David Littlehale is Melchior and Jack Moran is Bathazar. The kings page is played by Kevin Endicott who gets to struggle with the mother and Amahl during the gold stealing scene. The chorus members who played the dancing shepherds are Brittany Curran, Becky and Emily Cuellar while the singing ones are Roger and Marie Gregoire, Shelly Whittle, Janet Cournoyer, Barbara Monfils, Guy Guilbault, Joe Casey, Veronica Ariel and Colleen Endicott. (Joe, Veronica and Colleen also sang in the second half of the evening with Diane and Rene Pincince, Louise Tetrault and Emily Luthor.) So for alternative to "Christmas Carol", be sure to catch "Amahl & the Night Visitors" and "Holiday Showcase" at Theatre Works to help usher in the joy of the Christmas season.
music by George Frideric Handel
libretto by John Gay, Alexander Pope and John Hughes
based on a story from Ovid's "Metamorphosis"
Richard A. A. Larrage, Artistic Director and Conductor
Semi-staging by Stephen Marc Beaudoin
Galatea ... Brenna J. Wells
Acis ... Lawrence Jones
Damon ... Jason McStoots
Polyphemus ... Brian Church
Diana Brewer; La 'Tarsha Long; Heidi Kenschaft Vass (sopranos)
C. Heather Holland; Stacie Pirozzi (mezzo-sopranos)
Peter Bellomo; Craig Lemming (tenors)
Gabriel Alfieri; Paulo Carminati (baritones)
Violin ... Nicole Casinghino; Emily Letourneau
Viola ... Elisabeth Westner; Matt Lewis
Cello ... Celia Wilson
Oboe ... Bryan Jones; Cathy Meyer
Recorder ... Daniel Meyers; Cathy Meyer
Harpsichord ... Leslie Kwan
The Vox Consort, now in its second season, recently performed Handel's charming Baroque opera ACIS AND GALATEA for two performances in two different churches. Those who attended were treated to two hours of lovely period singing by Boston-based artists who are often passed over by other companies; established singers being steadily cast in their places --- to remedy this, the Consort prefers to use local talent, especially those with diverse backgrounds, for its ensembles. One might assume that Handel's pastoral love triangle between a shepherd, a nymph and a Cyclops would make for a traditional, stately evening but in a recent interview director Stephen Marc Beaudoin stated, "We're not interested in that whole 'formal concert setting' routine. The last thing Boston needs is another tux-and-black-dress ensemble . [w]e're never going to be that", and he semi-staged ACIS AND GALATEA at a posh party set in contemporary times with the singers in casual dress (far too casual, actually; the performance resembled a rehearsal); thus, Galatea became a trembling socialite and Acis a swinger in a leather jacket, both, conventional enough; fellow shepherd Damon, advising Acis to use caution in love, was recast as his fussy valet; Polyphemus the Cyclops sported an eye patch and stomped about with a backpack full of drugs. Rather than Polyphemus discovering the lovers in embrace and killing Acis in a fit of rage, as written, Damon, now equally jealous of Galatea, led in the Cyclops and pointed out the lovers to him. Ah, well: like youth, a director must (and will) have his fling; my main concern, however, is that Mr. Beaudoin's current ensemble is pedestrian in movement (after all, Baroque singers must be seen as well as heard) and their numerous bits of business cluttered up the sweep and majesty of Handel's music; the soloists were often left stranded with plenty of "down" time and forced to repeatedly smooth down their hair, brush off a shirt cuff, etc. (in character) while awaiting their cues. For me, the most effective moments came whenever the ensemble simply stood still and sang in true Baroque fashion, allowing the drama in the music to take precedence over physical action.
And my ear was constantly beguiled: Brenna J. Wells, a delicate blonde sparrow, and Lawrence Jones, a willowy tenor, became flowing silver (she) and gold (he), separately and together. Their physical slightness is deceiving: Ms. Wells performed her trills with unforced ease and demonstrated a few high notes in Dolby-like volume, and Mr. Jones was transformed into a ringing trumpet for the celebrated "Love sounds th' alarm"; it is to their credit that they sounded as fresh at the end of the evening as they did at the beginning. Jason McStoots must have been a honeycomb in a past life for his voice is sweetness personified and 'tis a pity that his Damon had to turn villainous for he's an adorable performer; Mr. McStoots' first aria lay too low for him, making him sound fuzzy and breathless; his two other moments displayed him at his best. Brian Church, for all his glowering, turned in a gentlemanly-sounding Polyphemus, sung in smooth, warm tones. Despite a few annoying moments --- e.g. yelling "WHOO!" when Acis and Galetea finally kissed --- the Chorus provided a superb frame for Mr. Beaudoin's quartet, especially in their perfectly hushed "Ah, the gentle Acis is no more!" --- nine voices becoming one. The chamber orchestra, conducted by Richard A. A. Larrage, made a crisp, sprightly sound that never called direct attention to its musicians, only inches away from the singers.
If the Consort's future productions continue to be sung as impressively as this ACIS AND GALATEA, it would be a shame to continue larding them with gimmickry just to make Handel and others more accessible for today's audiences --- beautiful singing of beautiful music need never grow tiresome in itself.