New York City: January/February News 2015

| January 7, 2015

Mark your calendars and set your alarms as the Metropolitan Room attempts to set a Guinness World Record for the “Longest Variety Show Ever.” The marathon begins at 7:00 pm 1/1 and runs through 7:00 am 1/5. There will be four days and 60 hours of continuous entertainment: singing, comedy, burlesque, instrumentals—250 artists and 25 emcees come together under the guidance of the venue’s managing and booking director Bernie Furshpan. Most performances are 10-15 minutes in length. Day passes are available, providing attendance up to 11:59 PM of the day of performance and includes one free beverage. A four-day pass, at $60, provides attendance anytime and continuously over the four days and includes a free beverage per day. For details, including the performers/times, visit www.metropolitanroom.com.

That’s some way to start the New Year at the venue. Here’s another: Marilyn Maye! Not only does she ring out the old and ring in the new with two shows 12/31, she has seven additional dates from 1/2-10, two of which are part of the marathon (but require separate admissions). You’ll get tunes and snappy patter 1/4 & 2/2 with Duets starring Jay Rogers and Aaron Morishita. Piano man Jon Weber returns with his solo gig 1/5 & 6. Can it really be 30 years since the Nelson Riddle/Linda Ronstadt recordings—What’s New, Lush Life, For Sentimental Reasons—hit the charts? To celebrate the anniversary, Robyn Spangler, with M.D. Todd Schroeder, will perform selections from the three albums 1/12 & 17. The monthly Dana Lorge Variety Show is 1/23 & 2/27. The January edition of This Is Your Night! will honor David Kenney, host for 35 years of Everything Old Is New Again on WBAI 99.5 fm/WBAI.org, is 1/26.The next night, Nathan Lee Graham explores the songs of Cole Porter in Perfectly Porter. Karen Wyman closes out the month 1/31. Maxine Linehan returns to the Met with Beautiful Songs–Music for the Soul and the Season, 2/4, 6, 20. Adam B. Shapiro brings his new show, Nothing Normal, to the club 2/16.

The Duplex has a busy two months planned. Stephanie Joiner is there to mark her 30th birthday with My Life Is Not a Musical 1/8. Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp host

A Gay Show for All People! 1/11 & 2/8. Annette Homann is there to celebrate her debut album of original songs, Heimatgefühle, 1/15. Catch the encore performance of Thomas Honeck’s Dancing with Death 1/22. Lennie Watts hosts the next MAC Roving Open Mic 1/27 with Ricky Ritzel at the piano. Sandra Bargman is back on The Edge of Everyday 1/30 & 2/15. Revolution, starring Kathleen France & Dawn Derow, continues at the club 2/22. Get Committed 2/28, when Stacie Koby presents stories of love and lunacy.

Mary Testa and Michael Starobin celebrate the release of their CD Have Faith 1/4, 5, 11, 12 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Raissa Katona Bennett and Kenneth Gartman are there with 3 Decades in the Dark: Raissa & Kenneth Go to the Movies 2/10, 12, 17, 29, 21.

Jeffrey Passero declares 1/2 as My Night to Howl! at Don’t Tell Mama. Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, er, Tommy Femia and Rick Skye, are there 1/20, 17, 31; 2/14, 28. Also making return vistis: Amy Beth Williams 1/21; Martha Lorin and Jon Weber 1/22 & 2/19; Georga Osborne 1/28; Vickie Phillips 1/28; Tim Di Pasqua 1/30; Ted & Lo 1/11 & 2/13. Marci Kraft, accompanied by Billy Stritch, is there 2/4-7.

You’ll find LaChanze Feeling Good at Joe’s Pub 1/4 & 5. We haven’t seen Anne Steele in town for a while, but she’s back and she makes her debut as a songwriter with a new EP at the Pub 2/21.

Cheyenne Jackson makes his Café Carlyle debut 1/13-24. Bettye LaVette heats up the stage 1/27 – 2/7. She’s followed by Alexa Ray Joel making a return visit 2/24 – 3/7.

54 Below has taken on five new programming producers to create a variety of shows for the room. They are Scott Coulter, Shoshana Feinstein, Brandon Ivie, Benjamin Rauhala and T. Oliver Reid. Phil Geoffrey Bond, who has been performing these duties for the last two-and-a-half years, will stay on as a consultant and produce several projects this year. Now to some of those on the schedule. Barb Jungr continues to explore and put her stamp on material by male songwriters in Mad About the Boy and No Regrets 1/2-4. Look for selections by Springsteen, Coward, Dylan, Weill, Cohen and more. KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar bring their gender-bending exploration of Stephen Sondheim songs to the club 1/7 & 14. After a triumphant run in November of her Turning Points show, Ann Hampton Callaway is back with The Best of Ann Hampton Callaway 1/10. Christine Ebersole is the Big Noise from Winnetka 1/21-31. Sally Kellerman presents A Little Jazz, a Little Blues, a Little Rock and Roll 1/23. February brings Marin Mazzie for four shows beginning 2/4. Alysha Umphress (currently in On the Town) and Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys) share Romantic Duets 2/9. (Alysha is also at Birdland 1/12-17 where she swings Jeff Blumenkrantz in I’ve Been Played.) Mark Nadler introduces a new show 2/18 as does Paulo Szot 2/24-28.

And speaking of Birdland, you’ll find Joanne Tatham with Tamir Hendelman Quartet for their Out of My Dreams CD release 1/19. Singer-pianist Dena DeRose pays tribute to one of her major idols, Shirley Horn, 1/22-24.

Dee Dee Bridgewater is sure to rattle the rafters at Iridium NYC 1/2 & 3. Jacqui Naylor is there 2/4. The Ronny Whyte-hosted Midday Jazz at St. Peter’s welcomes Karen Oberlin & Sean Harkness 1/7 and Daryl Sherman & Art Baron 2/11.

Each edition of The Salon Open Mic, produced by Tanya Moberly and hosted by Mark Janas (who also provides piano accompaniment) featured a different theme/co-host: 1/4 Living in the Moment with Champagne Pam; 1/11 Life Inside & Out with Richard Skipper; 1/18 Just Go to the Movies with Raissa Katona Bennett & Kenneth Gartman; 1/25 theme TBA with Kristoffer Lowe.

Now in its 15th season, the Broadway by the Year series will cover 100 years of Broadway musicals in four installments. Series creator/writer/host Scott Siegel begins with The Broadway Musicals of 1916-1940. That’s 2/23 at The Town Hall. Another of Scott’s creations, Broadway Unplugged, is at Town Hall 1/26.

92nd Street Y’s 2015 season of Lyrics & Lyricists kicks off with A Good Thing Going:

The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration. David Loud is artistic and music director, as well as host. Noah Racey directs a cast of Broadway vets—Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Liz Callaway, James Clow, Jason Danieley and Alan H. Green in five performances 1/10-12. February’s edition, Here’s to the Girls! Hollywood’s Leading Ladies, runs 2/7-9. It was created and co-written by Charles Busch (also artistic director and host) and Carl Andress (also director), with John McDaniel as music director/ arranger/orchestrator. Stars of movie musicals from 1930 to 1960 will be remembered by Nancy Anderson, Andréa Burns, Jennifer Cody, Cady Huffman and Zakiya Young. No stranger to the movie musical, the feisty Mitzi Gaynor makes a special guest appearance.

Another series, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, runs for three months starting1/28 when Billy Porter open the series in The Appel Room in the Time Warner Building. Some of those scheduled to appear: Norm Lewis 1/29; Reich and Sondheim: In Conversation 1/31 (with performances by Paul Gemignani, George Lee Andrews, Kate Baldwin, Michael Cerveris, Anthony de Mare, Ensemble Signal, Alexander Gemignani, Derek Johnson); Judy Kuhn 2/4; Lea DeLaria 2/5; Megan Hilty 2/6; Barbara Cook 2/28. Check our listings for the compelte schedule.

Save the dates: BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards 2/23 at Joe’s Pub. Bistro Awards first week of March. MAC Awards 3/26 at B.B. King

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