Erv Raible FB pic  3

Cabaret Impresario Erv Raible Dies At 68

 Cabaret impresario Erv Raible, 68, died on Wednesday, February 19 at Lenox Hill Hospital after a long illness. Funeral and memorial arrangements are pending and will be announced.

For many years, Erv Raible played a prominent role in the cabaret and nightclub scene in Manhattan. He owned four of New York's most popular and legendary cabarets and piano bars including: The Duplex (1978-1984) , Brandy's Piano Bar (1980-1985), Don't Tell Mama (1982-1989) and was also an owner and booking manager of Eighty Eight's from 1988 to 1999 when it closed. No one else has had such success in New York nightclubs before or after.

Some of the successful shows to come from these venues include: “Nunsense.” Closer Than Ever” as well as prominent artists like Bonnie Franklin, Linda Lavin and Harvey Fierstein.

 

Erv Raible - Rob HoskinsErv Raible & Rob Hoskins

His beloved life partner, Rob Hoskins, worked by his side from the start (in 1978) until his own death in December 1984. Erv continued to expand his activities and even brought local artists to perform in Paris (where he had a home for many years) as well as presenting performers in other parts of the United States. In a career that spanned 40 years, Erv Raible presented more than 4000 artists – many went on to achieve recognition and stardom on Broadway and television. He also worked with student and longtime friend Sarah Jessica Parker. For years, he was regarded as cabaret's strongest, most vocal champion of the art form and even fought authorities, unions and politicians for musicians' and performers' rights.

The Duplex old logo

Along with New York Post critic Curt Davis, Erv co-founded the Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) – later renamed the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs and remained president for 13 years. This was the very first cabaret trade organization of its kind. Their annual spring awards gala honors legendary artists, rising stars  and newcomers.

Erv became the Associate Producer of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Cabaret Symposium in Waterford, Connecticut for eight years. He served as a master teacher for twelve years and taught cabaret classes for Talent Ventures, Inc (TVI.) Over the last six years, he taught cabaret classes and ran seminars for DreamsCome True (DCT) Enterprises and Biz Kids NYC.

Mr. Raible was the Executive Director of Cabaret & Concert Artists International, and was a New York City based cabaret

Brandys Piano Bar logo

coach, director, publicist, consultant and talent representative. He was also the Executive/Artistic Director of the Cabaret Conference At Yale University which was developed in conjunction with the Yale School of Drama and the Yale Repertory Theater and is an international teaching program that offers an intensive look at the art of performance technique training professionals for the live entertainment industry. He also served on the Back Stage Bistro Award Selection Committee.

Mr. Raible received many honors over the years. He was the recipient of the 2004 Back Stage Bistro Award for Outstanding Director. He was a 2002, 2003 and 2004 MAC Award nominee for Outstanding Director and was a recipient of a 2000 Back Stage Bistro Award for Eighty Eight’s; a 1992 MAC and Back Stage Bistro winner for conceiving, producing and directing the groundbreaking Outstanding Musical Revue, Here’s To Our Friends…The AIDS Music Revue, a 1992 MAC nomination for Outstanding Special Musical Material for the song I Wish I Might written with Emmy Award winning composer Brian Lasser, a 1991 Back Stage Bistro award for promoting cabaret and founding MAC. In 1989, he was awarded the Piaf d’Honneur from the French government in Paris for his success promoting, producing and directing cabaret internationally. Nancy LaMott, Jenifer Lewis, Jeff Harnar and Sharon McNight were among the artists he presented in cabaret and concert in Paris.

Dont Tell Mama logo

Aside from Erv Raible Cabaret & Concert Artists' International, he served on the Advisory Boards of the Washington DC Cabaret Network, Boston Association Of  Cabaret Artists, Chicago Cabaret Professionals, Cabaret West/Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association and the West Michigan Cabaret Association.

Erv was also a respected art teacher, collector and historian who traveled extensively pursuing art rarities around the globe. An exhibition from his personal collection of art and Chinese porcelain toured Asia and Europe.

In spite of his many creative and tutorial interests, Erv Raible will likely best be remembered for the plethora of talents he nurtured and presented from Tony and Emmy nominated or winning artists like  Lea 

Delaria and Sharon McNight, Karen Mason, Sally Mayes, Jenifer Lewis, Nathan Lane and Sarah Jessica Parker to a bevy of newcomers and rising artists whom he delighted in teaching the art of live performance. Social media has been burning with caring and heartfelt messages and tributes to the man since news of his passing spread.

Eighty Eights logo

 

Current MAC president Lennie Watts issued a statement that sums the man up best,, “Erv Raible was a pioneer in the Cabaret and Nightlife World. He supported countless artists by not only nurturing them, but by giving them a place to call home, in the clubs that he owned and ran. He was one of the major forces behind MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) and was a strong advocate for the rights of Cabaret performers. Cabaret as we know it would not exist if not for the vision of Erv Raible.” Cabaret legend Julie Wilson said, “Erv was a natural teacher – a joy to work with. He cared for those he taught – He was a Manhattan institution.” Baby Jane Dexter said, “... He was totally nurturing, supportive and made 88's completely available to me - and is responsible for my restarting my career.”

As aforementioned, funeral arrangements and a memorial will be announced. Mr. Raible will be interred in Cincinnati next to his parents, Erwin and Dorothy Raible and his beloved life-partner Rob Hoskins.

Erv Raible chair 

 

Velisia LeKae

New York, December 18: It has been revealed that the beautiful Valisia LeKae, who received a 2013 Tony Award nomination for her performance as Diana Ross in Broadway's Motown The Musical, has withdrawn from the show after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The 34-year-old actress confirmed her diagnosis on her Facebook page.

 "On, Nov 22, 2013, I had laparoscopic surgery to remove an endometrioma from my right ovary. A sample was taken from that endometrioma and on December 2, 2013, my pathology results reveled that I was positive for Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma, Ovarian Cancer," LeKae writes. "After receiving a second opinion it was confirmed by my Gynecologic Oncologist on Dec 9, 2013, that the diagnosis had been correct. Per the advice of my doctor, I will need to have another surgery (unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) as well as chemotherapy. I am scheduled for Thursday (December 19, 2013) and chemotherapy soon thereafter."

Ms. LeKae continued, "As a 34 year old, African American woman, I feel that it is important that I share my story in order to educate and encourage others about this disease and the fight against it. 2013 has been full of blessings, from being nominated for a prestigious Tony Award for my portrayal of "Diana Ross" in Motown The Musical as well as many other accolades. God has given me another role to play and like all my previous roles, I plan to go all in, only this time I plan to Win!"

The producers of Motown the Musical released the following statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Valisia during this challenging time, and we, along with the entire Motown the Musical family, are hoping for a complete and speedy recovery." The role of Diana Ross is currently being played by Felicia Boswell.

AfterDark-NYC wishes her a speedy recovery and looks forward to reporting her progress.

 

Bette Midler - showgirl

 

Bette Midler To Play Mae West In HBO Film

December 9:  Hellzapoppin!

According to Deadline, Bette Midler will star in HBO Films' upcoming Mae West biopic, directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist) from a script by Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Hairspray, La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, etc.)
Friedkin, Fierstein and Jerry Weintraub (Behind The Candelabra) will executive produce the project. 

 

Mae West

Mae West will be based on the legendary actress' saucy autobiography Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, which follows West's rise to fame after writing and starring in her controversial Broadway show Sex. West was sentenced to 10 days in prison for "corrupting the morals of youth" with the play. After Sex, West wrote Diamond Lil in 1928, which allowed her to break into the Hollywood world. West's film credits include Night After Night, She Done Him No Wrong, I'm No Angel, Belle of the Nineties, Goin' to Town, Klondike Annie, Go West Young Man, Every Day's a Holiday, My Little Chickadee, The Heat's On, Myra Breckinridge and Sextette, among others.

Bette Midler A

Bette Midler, who is currently starring in a post-Broadway engagement of I'll Eat You Last at in Los Angeles, began her legendary career as an entertainer in 1965, in New York, where she developed the trademark act that would make her one of the most renowned talents of her generation. Her debut album, 1972's The Divine Miss M set her on the path that has led her to earn Grammys, Emmys, Golden Globes and Academy Award nominations in a career that has spanned over 40 years. She has toured the world, sold millions of albums, published two books and appeared in over two dozen films, including The Rose, Beaches, Ruthless People, Hocus Pocus, First Wives Club and For The Boys.In addition to her work on stage and in films, Bette has made her mark in television, with the Emmy Award-winning CBS special of Ol Red Hair Is Back, and several HBO concerts, Live at Last and Art or Bust, and the Emmy Award-winning Diva Las Vegas. In 1992 she starred in the CBS television adaptation of the musical Gypsy, for which she won both a Golden Globe and the national board of review award for her performance.In January 2009 she concluded her sold-out Vegas spectacular The Showgirl Must Go On, at Caesar's Palace, with over 200 performances. 

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein, actor and book writer for the Tony-winning musical KINKY Kinky Boots, has also written Broadway's Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles, Safe Sex, Legs Diamond, Hairspray, A Catered Affair and Newsies. He won the 2003 and 1983 Tony awards for Best Actor for Hairspray and Torch Song Trilogy, respectively, as well as the 1984 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for La Cage aux Folles and the 1983 Tony for Best Play for Torch Song Trilogy.

 

 

Dominic Scaglione Jr. 3Joseph Leo Bwarie 3

Dominic Scaglione, Jr.               Joseph Leo Bwarie

TONY, GRAMMY & OLIVIER AWARD WINNING

JERSEY BOYS

WILL WELCOME

DOMINIC SCAGLIONE JR. & JOSEPH LEO BWARIE

IN THE ROLE OF FRANKIE VALLI  BEGINNING TUESDAY, JULY 30TH

Now on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre

The producers of the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical JERSEY BOYS are pleased to announce that Dominic Scaglione Jr. and Joseph Leo Bwarie will assume the role of Frankie Valli in the Broadway cast on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. A veteran of the Broadway company, Mr. Scaglione previously played this role to great acclaim in the Chicago and Las Vegas productions. Mr. Bwarie, who will be making his Broadway debut, played Frankie Valli to rave reviews across the country in the first national tour. John Lloyd Young will play his final performance as Frankie Valli on Sunday, July 28, 2013.

The Broadway company also includes Matt Bogart (Nick Massi), Drew Gehling (Bob Gaudio) and Andy Karl (Tommy DeVito) with Peter Gregus and Mark Lotito, and Miles Aubrey, Erik Bates, Candi Boyd, Jared Bradshaw, Ken Dow, Russell Fischer, Renée Marino, Rashad Naylor, Katie O’Toole, Joe Payne, Jessica Rush, Nathan Scherich, Sara Schmidt and Taylor Sternberg.

JERSEY BOYS opened on Broadway to critical acclaim on November 6, 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre. The show has been seen by over 18 million people worldwide (as of July, 2013) and is currently playing in New York; Las Vegas; London; Capetown, South Africa; in cities across the U.S. on a National Tour and will open soon in The Netherlands.

JERSEY BOYS is written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.

JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, about a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks who became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

www.JerseyBoysInfo.com

Richard Rodney Bennett

 

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, one of today's most talented, respected and beloved composer/musician/performers, died peacefully at home in Manhattan on December 24.He was 76 years old.

Sir Richard was a prolific artist at home in many genres of music. He was no stranger to the worlds of film, opera, jazz and cabaret where he was well known for acclaimed collaborations with Mary Cleere Haran and Claire Martin at The Algonquin, among others. He was quite at home in the world of jazz, for which he developed a passion, and worked with Dame Cleo Laine. Well respected for decades by his peers, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein even signed his immigration application. Early in his career, he studied with legendary Pierre Boulez in Paris.

He is likely best known by the public for his numerous film and television scores – for which he won a BAFTA award and earned three Oscar nominations. Among his memorable scores were music for the “Doctor Who” television series in Great Britain and many films including “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” Sidney Lumet’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” which won him a BAFTA in 1974, “Far from the Madding Crowd” and “Nicholas and Alexandra.”

Sir Richard was equally at home composing and performing. He was honored with a CBE in 1977 and received a Knighthood in 1995.

RR Bennett. McCartney 4

April, 2000: Sir Richard Rodney Bennett with Sir Paul McCartney event in NYC

(Photo above: AP: - April 27, 2000 file photo, Sir Paul McCartney, second left, speaks with composers Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, left, Roxanna Panufnik, second right, and Judith Bingham before a benefit dinner for the Garland Appeal in New York.)

Sir Richard once said that his film and television work was “... to earn money to subsidize my other work.” He also said, “... I liked writing music that would be played next week by more talented musicians. It was the best training there was.”

His major works included three symphonic works and an acclaimed opera, “The Mines of Sulphur.” Recent compositions included “Reflections on a Scottish Folk Song” for cello and string orchestra, which was commissioned by Prince Charles to commemorate his grandmother, the Queen Mother.

He was equally at home performing as a jazz pianist, especially when he played with Cleo Laine, which he did regularly. His publisher, Gill Graham, of the Music Sales Group, described him as “.... the last of his kind”. “ Sir Richard also wrote 32-bar jazz standards; the most complex serial music and everything in between,” she said.

Chris Butler, the company’s head of publishing, added: “Richard was the most complete musician of his generation – lavishly gifted as a composer, performer and entertainer in a multiplicity of styles and genres. He was a loyal friend to music, musicians  and music publishing and we will  remember him with great respect and affection.”

Sir Richard came from an artistic family; his mother had studied composition with Gustav Holst, and his father was a writer of children’s books. He turned down a place at Oxford University in the 1950s in favor of studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London, alongside other distinguished composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Thea Musgrave.

He was later dismissive of his education at the Academy, describing it as a “disaster”. “I learned much more at the Westminster Music Library in Buckingham Palace Road, which was an absolute treasure house of 20th-century music,” he said. “Though London was very exciting,” he added. “It was cheap and we could live our own lives - and be slightly bohemian, without being raffish.”

He helped Sir Paul McCartney with his orchestral work, "Standing Stone." Commenting on sections faxed by the former Beatle, Sir Richard said, "I sent him one, thinking it was pretty good," McCartney said. "A few minutes later, I got a fax back with the word 'feeble' scribbled across it. "I phoned him straight back and said, 'Richard, that's what my teacher wrote on my essays. You're a sensitive artist, and if you don't like something, could you please write, 'That's a little below par?'”

Bennett once coached Elizabeth Taylor to sing a nursery rhyme for the film "Secret Ceremony," for which he wrote the musical score.

In his private life, he was known as a Scrabble enthusiast and a creator of enormous Christmas feasts. Ms Graham described him as “... determined, hilarious and a great influence.”

A frequent visitor to the cabaret rooms in Manhattan, Sir Richard is mourned by his many friends within that community. Funeral plans were not announced.

 

Jamie deRoy & friends

Jamie deRoy  3

presents an evening at

Metropolitan Room

Featuring

Loni Ackerman * Michael Amante *

* Judy Gold *Valarie Pettiford *

Tonya Pinkins * Giselle Wolf

Friday, December 28th at 7PM

 Join celebrated cabaret performer Jamie deRoy when she hosts an evening of her Multi MAC Award-winning variety show, Jamie deRoy & friends, on Friday, December 28th (7PM) at Manhattan’s cabaret hot-spot Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street ~ btw. 5th & 6th Avenues).

Joining Jamie on this holiday evening will be Broadway favorite Loni Ackerman; Singer, performer and concert sensation Michael Amante;  two-time Emmy Award-winning comedian Judy Gold; Tony Award-nominated actress and singer Valarie Pettiford; Broadway veteran  and Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins and  London’s own stage, TV and cabaret star Giselle Wolf. Ron Abel will serve as musical director and Barry Kleinbort will direct.

 The colorful cabaret series, which has been thrilling New York City audiences for the past 21 years and serves as the basis for deRoy's award-winning cable television show, spotlights a wide variety of well-known entertainers and newcomers lighting up the cabaret, theater, and comedy worlds.

JAMIE deROY has won eight MAC Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards, ten Telly Awards and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work on both stage and screen. Jamie has appeared onstage with Joan Rivers and has headlined at many of New York’s major clubs. She has produced nine CDs in the Jamie deRoy & friends series on Harbinger and PS Classics labels. Her theatre producing credits include the upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway as well as the just opened My Name is Asher Lev Off Broadway.  Other credits include:  Nice Work If You Can Get It, Peter and the StarcatcherMother F**ker with a HatCatch Me If You CanThe Addams Family, Lend Me A TenorFinian's Rainbow, Ragtime, Enron, A Behanding In Spokane, The Norman Conquests (TONY, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards winner for Best Play Revival), Desire Under the ElmsAll About Me, Blithe SpiritImpressionismSpeed-the-Plow, Arthur Miller's All My Sons,The Seagull, George Steven Jr.'s Thurgood, Clifford Odets' The Country Girl, David Mamet’s NovemberJay Johnson: The Two and OnlyChita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, and Say Goodnight Gracie; Off-Broadway: Forbidden Broadway – Alive and KickingHarrison, TX (Primary Stages), Beebo Brinker Chronicles, Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn, Dividing The Estate (Outer Critics Circle Award), Opus, Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell, Athol Fugard’s Exits and Entrances, Christopher Durang’s Adrift in Macao, A.R. Gurney's Black TieBuffalo Gal and Indian Blood (Outer Critics Circle Award)Terrence McNally’s Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Her London credits include: MargueriteMake Me a Song and The King’s Speech. Other TV and film producing credits include the Emmy-nominated "The Biggest Little Operas in Town" for Channel 13 and Rick McKay’s documentary Broadway: The Golden Age. Her acting credits include appearances on the television shows “Alice,” “Spiderman” and “Knight Rider,” and in the films GoodFellas, Raging Bull, See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Married to It. Onstage, Jamie appeared with Rene Auberjonois in The Threepenny Opera, as well as in The Drunkard with musical direction by Barry Manilow.

Jamie deRoy & friends at the Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street ~ btw. 5th & 6th Avenues) on Friday, December 28th (7PM) has a $30 cover charge plus a 2 beverage minimum. For reservations, please call 212-206-0440.

FEINSTEIN’S AT LOEWS REGENCY

 

PRESENTS

 

THE RETURN OF TWO-TIME EMMY AND FIVE-TIME GRAMMY NOMINEE

 

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN

 

AND TWO-TIME TONY WINNING BROADWAY AND TV STAR

 

CHRISTINE EBERSOLE

M ichael Feinstein photoChristine Ebersole

 

DECEMBER 23 TO NEW YEAR’S EVE

New York:  FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed “Best of New York” by New York Magazine and “an invaluable New York institution” by The New York Post, will close its Fall 2012 season with the return of the club’s founder MICHAEL FEINSTEIN and two-time Tony Award winning Broadway and TV star CHRISTINE EBERSOLE from December 23 through New Year’s Eve. Their duet show will feature classic standards and Broadway hits, in addition to rarities from the Great American Songbook. Feinstein will perform selections from The Gershwins and Me, his new CD and book from Simon & Schuster, currently on the Los Angeles Times Best-seller list. Feinstein’s longtime Musical Director John Oddo will lead the all-star band. All shows take place at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).

 MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

 His book The Gershwins and Me, which is combined with a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano, was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2012. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination for The Sinatra Project, his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released last year. His Emmy nominated TV special, Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, is currently airing across the country. His PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook” was the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award. The first two seasons are now available on DVD and the third season will air in 2013. For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interview and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Moby, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.

 Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to an annual international Great American Arts festival, diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Starting in 2010, he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2013, he will replace the late Marvin Hamlisch as the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops. More information is at www.MichaelFeinstein.com.

CHRISTINE EBERSOLE currently starring on TBS’s comedy hit, “Sullivan and Sons, has performed her solo concerts at The Kennedy Center, yearly engagements at The Carlyle, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency and many concert halls and theaters across the country, including The Boston Pops (having returned in September 2012), The New York Pops, the televised Kennedy Center Honors and The San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall (2008 PBS Special). A native of Winnetka, Illinois, Christine Ebersole won the 2007 Tony Award for Outstanding Actress in the “role of a lifetime” as “Edie Beale” in the acclaimed Tony Nominated Broadway Musical Grey Gardens. Lauded with virtually every Off-Broadway theater award when it premiered at Playwrights Horizon, Grey Gardens went on to pack its Broadway theater for over a year, with every theater critic praising Christine’s bravura performance. Christine followed Grey with the Broadway production of Blithe Spirit opposite Angela Lansbury and Rupert Everett.

 In past theater seasons, Christine has won critical acclaim as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, for her portrayal of “Dorothy Brock” in the 2000 revival of 42nd Street. The following season, she starred in Broadway's Dinner at Eight, garnering a Tony Award nomination. In 2005, Christine starred as “M'Lynn” on Broadway in Steel Magnolias. Christine has been a regular on the TV Land comedy hit, “Retired at 35,” USA’s hit TV series, “Royal Pains”, appeared as “Denny Craig’s” love interest in “Boston Legal,” as an attorney on “Law and Order: SVU,” guest starring roles on “Lipstick Jungle” and “Cashmere Mafia” and played Samantha’s aunt in ABC’s “Samantha Who.” Other TV appearances include a “Not Ready for Prime Time” player on “Saturday Night Live,” Bette Midler's “Gypsy,” “Mary & Rhoda,” “Platinum” with Diana Ross, “Will & Grace,” “Murphy Brown and a recurring role on the WB series “Related” in addition to appearances on “The Today Show”, “The View”  and “The Colbert Report.”

 Film work includes the upcoming film The Big Wedding opposite Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon, her role as a TV talk show host interviewing the shopper in the hit movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Tootsie, Amadeus, Black Sheep, Dead Again, My Favorite Martian, My Girl II, Folks! and Richie Rich. In addition to her television, film, Broadway and concert work, Christine has released 4 CDs, including her CD celebrating Noel Coward and the new CD Strings Attached featuring Aaron Weinstein and his trio. For more information, please visit her website at www.ChristineEbersole.com.

 FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY will present MICHAEL FEINSTEIN and CHRISTINE EBERSOLE from Sunday, December 23 through New Year’s Eve on Monday, December 31. There are shows at 8:00 PM on Sunday, December through Sunday, December 30 with additional 10:30 PM shows on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29. On New Year’s Eve, Christine Ebersole will perform solo at 7:00 PM and then with Feinstein at 10:45 PM. For the shows December 23 to 30, there is a $60 cover charge per person with a $40 food and beverage minimum. For New Year’s Eve, Christine Ebersole’s 7:00 PM show has a $175 cover charge and an additional $40 food and beverage minimum. For Feinstein and Ebersole’s 10:45 show, there is a $350 cover charge, which includes three course dinner and champagne. Jackets are suggested but not required. The club is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit us online at FeinsteinsatLoewsRegency.com and TicketWeb.com.

 

Lenox Lounge 4

 

 

 

 

 

 New York: Yet another Manhattan landmark will bite the dust.

The famed Lenox Lounge, where Billie Holiday had her own table, greats like Dizzy Gillespie would play his trumpet among other jazz notables and author James Baldwin and a slew of other literary types took it all in. It was a blast from the past with the burgundy couches, the Art Deco light fixtures and familiar zebra-print wallpaper all conjured memories - and where, today, everybody still knows everybody there, will close its doors on Dec. 31.

Some regular customers are concerned that when the Lenox Lounge does reopen, it will not have the old flare that made it a fixture in Harlem, through many changes in music and through good times and bad.  The longtime owner of the Lenox Lounge said he simply could no longer afford the rent.

The popular nitery will begin the new year with a new owner: Richard Notar, a managing partner of the Nobu restaurant chain, known for its Japanese cuisine and celebrity clientele from downtown Manhattan to Cape Town. Alvin Reed, the longtime owner, said he could no longer afford the lease.

Speaking to the New York Times, one local resident said, “It shouldn’t be closing,” said Bronx resident, Verna Robertson, 67. Ms. Robertson recalled having her first cocktail there, a Tom Collins, decades ago. “It’s a landmark. We have so many memories here.”

Lenox Lounge opened in Harlem in 1942, and has operated through music chamges like rock n' roll, disco and rhythm-and-blues, and through the neighborhood’s ups and downs.

 “You used to have to call up and have someone put something in the chair to save you a seat, that’s how popular it was,” Charlie Harris also told the Times as he stood in the back of the bar by the Zebra Room, the dining area. He has been coming to the lounge for 30 years, drawn by the soul food and the music. “Jazz, blues, R&B, a cacophony of sound was here,” he said. “This was a home away from home.” Many echoed the same sentiment.

Lenox Lounge, just south of the intersection of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, is in a stretch of Harlem that has increasingly become a destination for people from New York and beyond, with restaurants, like Chez Lucienne, Corner Social and the popular Red Rooster, where Bill Clinton and Alicia Keys have dined. Property values have been rising due to the area’s new popularity.   “They want $20,000 a month,” Mr. Reed said. “I can’t afford that.”

Mr. Reed bought the lounge, one of the few extant Art Deco clubs in the country, in 1988. He restored its period touches, like the geometric floor tiles, and brought back live jazz. He also added a D.J. and R&B dance nights.

Despite the boom in its neighborhood, Lenox Lounge had been struggling of late. Mr. Reed, who owns the name of the lounge, would not say what he planned to do with it. Regulars wondered what the new owner would do with the space.

“Is he going to turn it into a sushi place?” asked Fred McFarlane, whose band has been playing there on Thursday nights for a few years. On the phone from Miami, Mr. Notar shared his vision. “I don’t want to change anything,” he said. “There might be a hole or patch here and there that I will fix. But I am not going to bring sushi up there. I want to continue what was 70, 80 years ago. I understand this is a gem.” He estimated that it would reopen in a few months.

Mr. Notar, who grew up in Jamaica, Queens, and lives in Manhattan, said he always had a sweet spot for Harlem.

Back in the late 1990s, he said, he tried to resurrect Minton’s Playhouse, a jazz haven on West 118th Street, known as the birthplace of bebop, but was unsuccessful. He said he envisioned re-establishing the Lenox Lounge as “an old watering hole,” with good food and music, a place that local musicians could call home and where big-name performers could stop in to play.

He would even like to keep the name. (He said he hoped that he and Mr. Reed “could work something out.”) “I know it’s a very tight-knit community and very proud of what’s happening up there,” Mr. Notar said. “And, I have to bring my A-game, or I’ll ride the A train!”

Recently, a little after 8 p.m., the stirring rhythms of the Temptations’ “Treat Her Like a Lady” filled the bar, thanks to Mr. McFarlane’s band, which crowded onto a little stage near the front window. A few diners sat quietly in the Zebra Room, with its black-and-white photos of jazz greats and a silent grand piano. Drinks flowed and the crowd, all having a good time, swelled: gray-haired men in suits and fedoras; young men in jeans and baseball caps watching the Knicks game on the flat-screen TV; women drinking wine in black dresses and pearls. It is Harlem reborn.

Calvin Davis, 62, a regular, hosted a receiving line from his usual spot along the mahogany bar. Men shook his hand; women planted kisses on his cheek  Mr. Davis, a retired social worker, said he had been coming to the lounge since he was 18. But, he said, he would not return after Dec. 31.

“It’s going to lose that charm, to make it feel like a neighborhood bar,” he predicted. “It will never be the same.”

But, for many, hope are high.

Theis article contains some excerpts from the NY Times article first published on December 7, 2012, written by Kia Gregory.

 

Baby Jane Dexter
The Rules Of the Road – Her Way!
Metropolitan Room

babyjanedexter

 

Baby Jane Dexter has always been a spellbinder. Perhaps, never moreso than now, after a year dominated by personal loss and health issues. Every syllable resonates from a place within. Her every word defines one who has faced the good, the bad and the ugly on equal footing. At this stage of her career, her every nuance takes on greater meaning than in the past. Many in the room are aware that she has stumbled and, in true Dexter resilience, got right up and continued the journey. The lady is not a quitter. Consequently, another show is yet a winner.      


 In a set that cleverly reprises some mainstays fused with raw, new gems that jolt, the new show is even more powerful than past outings. The late musician Billy Roy, best known as longtime musical director for Julie Wilson and others, is even represented. Few knew of his songwriting abilities. Early on, as Dexter recites his blues-tinged Bargain Day, a unique discovery, one can't help noting that Roy might have gone a different route if he chose. Dexter declares: It's bargain day - wanna buy a heart? Mine is torn apart … I'll sell it cheap or maybe I could trade it in for a happier model. It's quite amazing how one (unknown) song can say so much about the human heart – and lay the groundwork for what lies ahead in a compelling and moving hour. Collectively, the words are vivid testaments of love that settles for less. It follows Joe Ely's, Settle For Love. The two are manifestos that begin a disjointed journey of disappointment and hope that becomes empowering. Mostly, it sets the stage for a starry-eyed running theme throughout the hour that cries out as the show reaches its pique.

BJD performance

 

 The unlikely choice of Rufus Wainwright's The Art Teacher, about a schoolgirl crush   that never left, might have been a throw-away ditty in lesser hands. Here, Dexter's message enhances the journey: I was just a girl then ...never have I loved since then. Abbey Lincoln's I Got Thunder segues into the most shattering moments of the show that has her reprising her own, controversial 15 Ugly Minutes (written with Drey Shepperd,) about a personal experience. This might be the riskiest song ever sung in an intimate room. It was met with sustained applause. A booming This Is A Man's World is the perfect follow-up as is the teasingly perverse Chickie, Chickie (also written with Sheppard) a chauvinistic taunt told  from the female perspective. This compilation packs a dramatic wallop that no other performer today could pull off in a cabaret setting. It makes a shattering statement for women's rights. It also creates an illustrative narrative on a subject that is overpowering in its message. Each song was met with sustained cheers. It sets the tone for the remainder of her program that ends on a positive note. With less narration than in the past, oldies like I Put A Spell On You, the second half leads into Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington's plaintive Something To Live For that is heartbreaking. Eric Hansen's bouncy Big Bodied Woman breaks the spell and opens the door to moving up the mountain. A new find, End Of the World (Matt Alber) is haunting. The Elton John-Bernie Taupin Never Too Old sums up a lifetime of an artist with a lot more living to do. And, aren't we lucky for that! In a world of ordinary performers, Dexter remains a masterclass in truth-telling non pareill. And, along the way, she shares the rules of the road, her way. And, they're like no other. Go!

Baby Jane Dexter appears at Metropolitan Room on weekends through December 22.
Reservations: (212) 206 0440

 

 

 

Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook Celebrates Her 85th Birthday At Carnegie Hall

On Thursday, October 18


Recipient of a prestigious Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2011, legendary Broadway star, concert and cabaret artist Barbara Cook is a national treasure and considered the premier interpreter of the American musical songbook.

The Los Angeles Times said of Ms. Cook, “Ladies and gentlemen, there is breaking news to report. We have scientific evidence that it is indeed possible for a singer who has reached the four-score mark to be just hitting her prime.” Ms. Cook’s latest cabaret offering of Broadway and jazz tunes blows every other singer of any age out of the water..

Barbara Cook photo by Mike Martin London

 

Barbara Cook’s silvery soprano, purity of tone, and warm presence have delighted audiences around the world for more than 50 years. Considered “Broadway’s favorite ingenue” during the heyday of the Broadway musical, Miss Cook then launched a second career as a cabaret, concert and recording artist soaring from one professional peak to another.

Whether on the stages of major international venues throughout the world or in the intimate setting of New York’s Café Carlyle or Feinstein’s at the Regency, Barbara Cook’s popularity continues to thrive - as evidenced by her 1997 birthday concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Albert Hall in London, a succession of 6 triumphant returns to Carnegie Hall where she made a legendary solo concert debut in 1975, and an ever-growing mantle of honors including the Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, her citation as a Living New York Landmark and her induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

 

 

Concert photo: Mike Martin 

 

Motown The musical  logo

It's official! First announcement. 

Motown: The Musical is coming to the Great White Way. Now, it has been announced that Motown: The Musical will open at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 14, 2013, with previews beginning March 11, 2013, according to a press release.
Tickets go on sale to the general public October 1.

The show will star Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) and Valisia LeKae (The Book of Mormon) as Berry Gordy and Diana Ross, respectively.

Motown: The Musical will be based on the life of legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy and feature hits from Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five.

Brandon Victor Dixon  2
Tony Nominee (The Color Purple) Brandon Victor Dixon will play legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy





Darlene Love

Legendary Darlene Love Recovering from Pre-Concert Heart Attack

July 27: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love, who has appeared on Broadway in Darlene Love and major concert and cabaret venues for years, is recovering from a heart attack suffered prior to a concert in New Jersey last weekend. She experienced chest and stomach pains prior to the performance in Asbury Park. Typically, as with many heart attack patients, she was unaware of the seriousness of her symptoms. She took painkillers before the show in order to perform.

Her pain intensified considerably the next day, and the award-winning singer was taken to the hospital, where she was informed by doctors that she was “close to death” following a heart attack. Ms. Love told radio station WCBS, "We caught it before it got bad, and I went in and had the procedure done. They told me I'd be fine in a couple of days. I can go back to my regular routine. No details were revealed about what the procedure was. Love is scheduled to perform at the new Manhattan nightspot 54 Below Sept. 24.

Darlene Love is an actress/singer whose pop hits include such sixties classics as "He's a Rebel" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" She has also appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, Grease, Leader of the Pack and the cult classic Carrie. She was also inducted to the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame. Love's screen credits include "Shindig!," "Change of Habit," "Another World" and all four "Lethal Weapon" films. Her most recent recordings are titled "Age of Miracles" and "Unconditional Love."

From her first number one recording, “He’s A Rebel”, through her string of label hits with legendary producer Phil Spector, including “He’s Sure The Boy I’m Gonna Marry”, and “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” to the countless songs she sang backup on for artists like Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Cher and Aretha Franklin, Darlene Love is still blazing a trail of success in the music industry and has been inducted to the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. Her latest albums are Age Of Miracles, recorded live in New York City and her first gospel album, Unconditional Love, released on Harmony records.

Over the course of her career, Darlene Love has been hailed as the greatest singer in pop music.

Celests Holm

Celeste Holm

July 15: Academy Award winner Celeste Holm has died at age 95. She had recently suffered a heart attack and was treated at Roosevelt Hospital. According to early reports, she died at home.

 

Celeste Holm appeared in more than two dozen Broadway shows that included Gloriana in 1938 (her debut) and the original Oklahoma where she originated the role of Ado Annie. She also appeared in The King and I, Bloomer Girl, Candida and Mame , Her most recent Broadway stint was was in 1991 in I Hate Hamlet. She received an Obie Award in 1964 for her work in Off-Broadway's A Month in the Country.

She won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Gentlemen's Agreement as well as receiving Oscar nominations for All About Eve and Come To the Stable. Other films included, The Tender Trap, High Society and Three Little Girls In Blue.

And, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Insight and Backstairs At the White House a well as another nomination for Loving. She played the Fairy Godmother in the 1965 television version of Cinderella as well as many television series including, Nancy, Archie Bunker's Place, The Beat, Promised Land and Falcon Crest,

Miss Holm and her husband were familiar faces at various cabaret events over the last several years including the Cabaret Conventions.

 

She is survived by her third husband Frank Basile and two sons. 

No funeral or memorial announcements have been announced.

Barbara Cook - M Feinstein

After an exciting 14-year run, Feinstein's at Loews Regency will close its doors at the end of the year.

There are plans to move the nightclub to a different location, although no venue has been announced.

Michael Feinstein issued a statement saying, We are excited that Feinstein’s will be moving to a new location in 2013 when the Loews Regency Hotel undergoes a major renovation. We have several new opportunities that we are considering at this time. It’s been an amazing 14 year run with the hotel and I am extremely proud to have helped present some of the country’s greatest entertainers. I am grateful to the hotel’s management and staff for their hard work and dedication. We look forward to entertaining New York audiences at Feinstein’s for the month of September and then our annual Holiday show in December, followed by a special toast to the future on New Year’s Eve.

Among the numerous performers who have graced the nightclub over the years are Betty Buckley, Rosemary Clooney, Patti LuPone, Polly Bergen, Petula Clark, Tony Danza, Linda Eder, Jack Jones, Judy Kuhn, Marilyn Maye, Donny Osmond, Ronan Tynan (who opened the club) and Barbara Cook among numerous others.

Another New York cabaret, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, also recently closed earlier this year. Soon after, it was announced that 54 BELOW would open in June with Patti LuPone.

Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, Emmy and five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for "The Sinatra Project," his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” A new PBS concert special, "The Sinatra Legacy," is currently airing across the country; "The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life," its companion CD, was released last year. The PBS series "Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook" – in which he uncovers treasures of classic American music – is now available on DVD, with an additional disc of bonus features. The series is the recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award. Feinstein serves as artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, IN, which opened in January 2011. Feinstein is working with MGM to turn The Thomas Crown Affair into a Broadway musical. His many other credits include scoring the original music for the film ”Get Bruce” and performing on the hit television series “Better With You,” “Caroline in the City,” “Melrose Place,” “Coach,” “Cybill“ and “7th Heaven.”

Feinstein's is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations and club information, call (212) 339-4095 or visit feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com.

Page 1 of 2