In today's column, Sue reviews two show seen last week and has news about 2 shows by a songwriter friend and 2 shows she is involved in.
Sorry - I was so busy this week I didn't have time to write this part of the column by deadline. And I will be out of the area until the 20th of October, so I will probably not be able to get a column prepared for next Monday. But here are 2 cabaret reviews and a few important "picks" for the upcoming weeks.
CRAIG POMARANZ in LOVE AND THE WEATHER - THE METROPOLITAN ROOM (34 West 22nd Street, NYC - 212-206-0440) - Wednesday, October 12th
What a Show! What a voice! What a lovely evening. Not only did I get a chance to spend some time with the Kurtzmans, first at the last Tudor City Greens show (see below) and then to get got to hear Craig Pomranz's new show, Love and the Weather, was just a perfect evening!
I have heard Craig sing many, many times at Iguana but only one or two songs here and there. Hearing him do a whole show was a nice surprise. He has got so many wonderful colors and tones and stylings in his voice. What a treat! This is a man that knows that once you have established that you can sing (or sing big) that it is ok and, in my book, preferred to then bring a tune way down or allow it to get very emotional and NOT worry about your big sound. He also knows how to let a song breathe AND that space in a song can speak volumes.
Further to his overall performance, Craig also knows that while one does not have to drive the theme (or lack of theme) home between each song, he did set a precedent of what the show's intent was at the top of the show and then checked in here and there on the concept but it was mostly off the cuff remarks back and forth between him and the INCREDIBLE Stephen Bocchino on piano and back up vocals. I would say that while what they said was funny, at times it came off as planned banter. Craig is very spontaneously funny so I'd tell him to just trust his own instincts and do away with the planned chat to just be who he is on stage because, well, he's enough.
On the vocals, at the top of the show, some of the tunes selected brought to mind the era of the older crooner but then, as the show continued, he gave us a more contemporary sound and some jazzier tunes as well. I liked all sounds and again, there was diversity in what we were listening to not only in song selections but in his sound. It was fun. I really didn't know what to expect next.
His version of "Blackberry Winter" was stunning and frail (not vocally but emotionally). Again, with as big as his voice is, he knows that a good show has to have the emotional ups and downs as well as a chance for the audience to take a breather to then be able to receive another bigger number. He's a smart performer and this was a really nicely put together show song wise and flow wise.
I really loved this show and I strongly encourage you all to try to make his last show this Wednesday, October 12th at 9:30 pm.
THE LAST CONCERT (for the Season) AT TUDOR CITY GREENS
Just a quick note of recognition on what an amazing season this was and to congratulate Raissa Katona Bennett (Producer); Dr. Garrett Bennett & Hector Coris (Associate Producers) and Tanya Moberly (Stage Manager) on all their hard work in making this series happen every season. It's A LOT of work!
Tonight's show, as always, was superb. It's no wonder this series won both the MAC and Bistro Awards. Tonight we were treated to the cast of 11 O'clock Number (Cristina Bianco, Carole Bufford and Scott Coulter now appearing every Thursday at 11:00 at Feinstein's through October 27th) - WOW, what harmonies and what great voices. The incomparable Eric Michael Gillett who is finishing up his stupendous run at The Beechman of his NY Time's acclaimed show Cast of Thousands, the songs of Craig Carnelia. A student of Eric's and a force to be reckoned with, Cookie Stark who will open a new show at Don't Tell Mama soon. Raissa and Tanya also performed (watch for Tanya at Mama's in Oct and Nov) AND Kenneth Gartman who performed and acted as Musical Director along with Jeff Cubeta. The singing tonight was SO amazing. Our own Terese Genecco is now Raissa's "side kick" and plays the drums for the evening with Tom Hubbard on bass. Special Guest tonight was the wonderful David Friedman! What a show and what a lovely night in the park. It is always sad when the season ends but I am SO looking forward to next May when it starts up all over again. FREE entertainment of this caliber in NYC every month…This is the best ticket in town!
To join their mail list for the 2012 season please visit: www.TudorCityGreens.org
HOLD THE DATES if you are in Boston and on Halloween Night for Scott Evan Davis, the young man I reviewed a while back saying that he WILL be on Broadway some day.
Cautiously Optimistic, the Music of Scott Evan Davis MONDAY, OCTOBER 24th at 8:00 pm CLUB CAFE (209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA - 617-536-0966)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31st at 7:00 pm BIRDLAND (315 West 44th Street, NYC - 212-581-3080) presented by: Jim Caruso's Cast Party - Broadway to Birdland Series.
LOOK at this cast! Birdland & Cabaret's own: William Blake, Natalie Douglas & Julie Reyburn! Broadway & Theatre's own: Joshua Dixon (National Tour of Freedom Train) - Ellen Marsh (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) - Emily McNamara (Time Out said she is, "One of the Top Ten local women every gay man should be obsessed with.") AND MORE!!! There is also another B-I-G name that we cannot announce yet that will be appearing at Birdland and who will be on the CD as well. With musical direction by David Snyder (from Broadway to Hollywood to Carnegie ... amazing!)
If you don't believe my praise...how about... "You're a genius!" - Kristin Chenoweth
Save the Dates!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22nd at 8:00 pm - Broadway Concerts Direct Proudly Presents A LITTLE NIGHTMARE MUSIC (NO TRICKS, ONLY TREATS!) COMMUNITY CHURCH OF WURTSBORO (134 Sullivan Street, Wurtsboro, NY - 845-888-2798) - General Admission $15 & Students/Seniors $10
One of my favorite places to sing and again, with a wonderful cast led by the lovely Sarah Rice and also starring: John Babcock, Emily Buttner, Carole Demas, Rich Flanders, Alexandra Frederick, Rob Gardner, Joanna Morton Gray, Janice Myerson and David Vernon with Ray Fellman on piano. Delicious home-baked goodies are a special treat at intermission! These concerts were featured as one of the 50 best things about Sullivan County. Come hear what the excitement is about!
CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE in collaboration with Sue Matsuki Productions is proud to present ... PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW ... THE LADIES ARE IN THE HOUSE! THREE GREAT FEMALE SINGER/SONGWRITERS! Saturday, October 29th at 5:30 pm at DON'T TELL MAMA (343 West 46th Street, NYC - 212-757-0788 ). Hosted by Sue Matsuki (doing original tunes by two of my favorite chick songwriters: Mary Liz McNamara & Zo Lewis).
*The two young ladies, Cloud and Lana are out of state "finds" that you will L-O-V-E and Karen is an amazing songwriter/singer who will be our "Special Guest" this month.
$15 Cover Charge (just $10 for Students, MAC & Hotline Members) - 2 drink minimum. No credit cards.
Dream it, Believe it, DO IT!
e-mail me at SueMatsuki@aol.com
For more information on me or to read my resumes/reviews please visit my personal website at http://www.SueMatsuki.com/