Alix Cohen’s writing began with poetry, segued into lyrics then took a commercial detour. She now authors pieces about culture/the arts, including reviews and features. A diehard proponent of cabaret, she’s also a theater aficionado, a voting member of Drama Desk, The Drama League and of The NY Press Club in addition to MAC. Currently, Alix writes for Cabaret Scenes, Theater Pizzazz and Woman Around Town. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine and Times Square Chronicles. Alix is the recipient of six New York Press Club Awards.
Annamaria Alfieri is the author of four acclaimed historical mysteries, including the current Strange Gods, which takes place in British East Africa in 1911 and is described as Out of Africa meets Agatha Christie. Writing as Patricia King, she also is the author of five nonfiction books, including Never Work for a Jerk, that landed her on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is a past president of Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, and Vice President of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. She is a life-long fan of the American Popular song.
Literary critic and author of books on literature, folklore and mythology, Barbara Leavy has been a contributor of features and reviews to Cabaret Scenes from the magazine’s earliest issues. Retired as a full professor of English at the City University of New York’s Queens College, she retains her honorary appointment as Adjunct Professor of English in Psychiatry at Cornell University’s Medical College. When not at cabaret, her current work in the realm of crime fiction. Barbara’s latest book, published by Poisoned Pen Press, is a second edition of The Fiction of Ruth Rendell—Ancient Tragedy and The Modern Family.
Candace Leeds has been steeped in the world of music since the age of twelve, when she enrolled in Juilliard to study voice and prepare for a professional career. After 15 years of music studies, she moved into entertainment management at New York's Town Hall, where she produced concerts and served as Associate Director. Her writing and marketing skills led to senior positions in major public relations firms, including the PR arm of Grey Advertising and The Rowland Company, which became part of Saatchi and Saatchi. For the past two decades, she served as Vice President of Public Affairs at the multi-billion dollar conglomerate, Loews Corporation, and now has her own marketing consulting company. While pursuing her business career, she continued her music involvement, studying cabaret and occasionally performing in local New York venues. Candace is an accomplished writer whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News, TV World, and many others.
Chuck Lavazzi is the producer for the arts calendars and senior performing arts critic at 88.1 KDHX, the host of The Cabaret Project’s monthly open mic night, and entirely to blame for the Stage Left blog at stageleft-stlouis.blogspot.com. He’s a member of the Music Critics Association of North America and the St. Louis Theater Circle. Chuck has been an actor, sound designer, and occasional director since roughly the Bronze Age. He has presented his cabaret show Just a Song at Twilight: the Golden Age of Vaudeville, at the Missouri History Museum and the Kranzberg Center.
A New Yorker for more than 25 years, David Hurst is the publisher, editor and theatre critic for New York Arts Review (www.NYArtsReview.com), a fine arts based website which focuses on theatre, opera, dance, music, film and cabaret. He is a classically trained singer, pianist, violinist and percussionist. From 2001 - 2014 he served as the theater critic for Next Magazine in New York. He has written for Opera News, In Theater, TheaterMania.com and Show Business Weekly and is a voting member of both the New York Drama Desk and the New York Drama League.
Born and raised in New York, Elizabeth graduated from NYU with a degree in Journalism. She has lived in various cities and countries and now is back in NYC. She has written magazine articles and published three books: A Housewife’s Guide to Women’s Liberation, Twelve American Women, and Heroines of ’76 (for children). A great love was always music and theater—in the audience, not performing. A Philadelphia correspondent for Theatre.com and InTheatre Magazine, she has reviewed theater and cabaret for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia City News. She writes for Cabaret Scenes and other cabaret/theater sites. She is a judge for Nightlife Awards and a voting member of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle.
Elliot Zwiebach loves the music of The Great American Songbook and classic Broadway, with a special affinity for Rodgers and Hammerstein. He's been a professional writer for 45 years and a cabaret reviewer for five. Based in Los Angeles, Zwiebach has been exposed to some of the most talented performers in cabaret—the famous and the not-so-famous—and enjoys it all. Reviewing cabaret has even pushed him into doing some singing of his own — a very fun and liberating experience that gives him a connection with the performers he reviews.
Eric cut his “vocal teeth” in his native Washington, D.C. After degreeing at JMU, then Army service, he spent the l960s in New York trying to be the next Andy Williams. He was managed by Karl Lassen, then Herb Handman. Eric opened for Bill Cosby, played on the hit, The Preacherman, and performed with Erskine Hawkins, Bill Conti, Joe Farrell, Paul Motian, Elliott Gould, Keeffe Brasselle, and Illona Massey. Then, “the music died.” In l969 he returned to Virginia, as a singer, comic-m.c., bandleader, pianist, bassist, journalist, and actor (Another Life). In 2002, Stevens began penning “Sophisticated Songs” for cabaret, jazz, pop, and more. Being a 50/50 tunesmith/wordsmith, he digs Rodgers, Legrand, Frishberg and the Bergmans.
Born in Chicago, Esther tells people that she grew up in the dark. Her grandfather and father owned neighborhood movie theaters on the city’s North Side, and weekends and summers in the ‘50s were spent watching movies of the era. She grew up in Tucson, lived in Southern California for 10 years, and moved to Las Vegas in 1976. She has dealt in art since 1971, but for the past 35+ years, has spent much of her life as an entertainment writer, with bylines in the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun, as well as numerous tourist publications. For the past 13 years, the mother of three, and grandmother of three young adult grandsons, has written a weekly online column under the name of Claire Voyant.
Fiona Coffey joins our review team as a cabaret enthusiast and jazz singer, just as she makes her sell-out debut on the London cabaret scene with a self-devised tribute to her alter-ego Mrs. Robinson. She has hosted jazz evenings and performed at a number of venues including The Crazy Coqs, The Pheasantry, and 606 Club. In her day job she is a leadership development coach, travelling around the globe, working with a hugely diverse population of executives, as they grapple with the challenges of leadership and organizational change. Having recently expended most of her writing energies on her doctoral thesis, she welcomes the opportunity to entertain and inform a different audience through Cabaret Scenes.
Helen Theophanous is half Greek/half Irish and studied music at Goldsmiths' and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed classical works and lead roles in musical theater. Following a career in Education Management, Helen studied jazz with Lea DeLaria and performs in major London venues, appearing regularly at Ronnie Scott's Bar with the resident trio with whom she made her album “Amici.” Her recent Bacharach show was launched at the Crazy Coqs, where Helen occasionally hosts the late night Open Mic. Clare Martin OBE said of Helen's voice “ ...stunning and classy ..with drama and presence...”
Jaz Dorsey is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He has a BA in International Studies from Chapel Hill and pioneered the graduate dramaturgy program at Virginia Commomwealth University. From 1990 to 1997 he lived and worked in New York City and enjoyed numerous productions of his own cabaret-style musicals including Cafe Escargot and Alice In America. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he curates a new play reading series for the Nashville Parks Theatre Department. He is also managing director/dramaturg for The Spiral Theatre Studio in New York.
Originally from Fresh Meadows, Queens, Jeffrey has been in nine national tours, including How to Succeed… (Finch), Camelot (Mordred) and Peter Pan (Hook). He has also had the pleasure to play leads in the entire Neil Simon catalogue. On television, he was the permanent guest host, for 21 years, on the #1 local talk show in the country Kelly & Company on WXYZ-TV, Detroit. He teaches a weekly Master Class in Drama in Boca Raton, Florida. His theater reviews are on talkinbroadway.com. Writing for Cabaret Scenes has enabled him to educate the public as to the superb cabaret resources that South Florida has to offer.
After decades in the banking field, singing in a chorale, and writing on just about every subject under the sun, Jerry left finance and decided to devote himself to the American Songbook. Countless workshops in singing and writing later, he began contributing articles to the New York Sheet Music Society and to write reviews and feature stories for Cabaret Scenes. Jerry is now the Contributing Editor for the monthly newsletter of the NYSMS, continues to perform in chorus, and is currently researching a biography of the late American pop singer Jo Stafford.
A native New Yorker, Joel was always fascinated by musical theater. Luckily, he was able to be a part of seven Broadway musicals before the age of 14, quitting to pursue a pre-med degree, which led no where except back to performing in the guise of directing a touring ballet troupe. Always interested in writing, he wrote a short play in high school that was actually performed, leading to a hiatus of nearly 40 years before he returned to writing as a reviewer. Writing for Cabaret Scenes has kept him in touch with world filled with brilliance.
John Amodeo has been a contributing writer to Cabaret Scenes since 1998, has written cabaret articles for Theatermania.com, was a cabaret journalist for Bay Windows (1999-2005), and then for Edge Publications (2005-present). John has been producer, assistant producer, and host for several Boston-area cabaret galas over the past 25 years, and produced Brian De Lorenzo’s MACC-nominated recording “Found Treasures.” His liner notes grace several cabaret CDs. John holds degrees in landscape architecture from Cornell and Harvard Universities, and has been practicing landscape architecture in Boston for 35 years, where he is a partner in his firm. John was a founding member of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA), and served as BACA Vice President for 2 terms. He is happily married to his favorite cabaret artist Brian De Lorenzo.
For over 30 years, John Hoglund has been a respected entertainment writer covering cabaret, jazz, theater and recordings. His writings have appeared in numerous outlets including the Bistro Bits column for Back Stage. John moderated seminars and forums for the International Cabaret Conference At Yale. He produced many celebrity fundraisers in NYC including one of the first benefits after 9/11: “HeartSong:The Heroes' Concert” at The Bottom Line featuring 36 major stars. He co-produced “HeartSong2: The Heroes' Concert” for Katrina victims at Symphony Space and “Miracle On 35th Street” with a star-studded lineup. Other fund raising efforts include the first benefits for Broadway Cares and God's Love, We Deliver. John served on the Board of Directors of MAC for 12 years. He is well known for championing new and rising talents.
Les Michaels is a singer, host, and producer known from his Cabaret Open Mic Mondays at Vermont for seven years and Guest Stars Cabaret in the Ten20 at Belage Hotel for three years. He moved to Palm Springs seven years ago and hosts Applause Wednesdays Cabaret Open Mic at Club Threesixty North in Palm Springs and Cabaret on the Green at AJ’s on the Green in Cathedral City. His Sundays in Summer Cabaret Series in the Arthur Newman Theatre at the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert is in its sixth season.
Les Traub has been covering the cabaret scene for over twenty years. He is a co-founder and President of Cabaret West and has produced cabaret shows at the Jazz Bakery, Cinegrill, Gardenia, El Portal Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and at UCLA. He co-produced and wrote a Sammy Cahn tribute show at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. He is Chairman of the Board of Musical Theatre Guild, where he co- produced Sail Away, High Spirits, Little Mary Sunshine and Street Scene at the Alex Theatre. He has lectured on cabaret in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Connecticut. .
Lynn DiMenna has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in the entertainment world. She’s been guest vocalist with the Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Count Basie orchestras, as well as a featured “girl singer” with the Stan Rubin Orchestra and The Tavern on the Green All Stars. As a cabaret headliner and CD recording artist, her shows have played clubs from New York’s Stage 72 at The Triad, Metropolitan Room, Laurie Beechman Theater and Birdland to L.A.’s Gardenia. For nearly two decades, she hosted cabaret-focused radio shows in the New York metropolitan area, and now is a contributing writer and reviewer for Cabaret Scenes magazine and its website.
Marilyn Lester left journalism and commercial writing behind nearly two decades ago to write plays. That branch in the road led to screenwriting, script-doctoring, dramaturgy and producing for the stage. Marilyn has also co-authored, as well as edited, books. It seemed the only world of words she hadn’t conquered was criticism, an opportunity that presented itself via Theater Pizzazz. Marilyn has since sought to widen her scope in this form of writing she especially relishes. Marilyn is a member of the Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild, Women in the Arts and Media and The League of Professional Theater Women.
A life-long New Yorker, Melody Breyer-Grell was a voracious reader as a little girl, which led towards a life filled with theater, opera and jazz. Following her penning a parody nightclub show chronicling the ups and down of a life in music, she proceeded to get published in several genres, including fiction, essay and memoir. They include The Fairhaven Literary Review, short stories featured in Counting Down the Seconds and SunKissed (both published in the UK by Freya Publications). Melody is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, opining on a broad range of subjects—from peace in the Middle East to American Idol.
In the cabaret community, Michael is best known as a MAC and Bistro Award winning technical director. Over his 20-year career, he designed hundreds of shows for luminaries like Julie Wilson, Elaine Stritch, Linda Lavin, Andrea McArdle, Stephen Schwartz, and Amanda McBroom. Clubs at which he’s worked include The Duplex, Judy*s and the Metropolitan Room. These days, he splits his time between NYC and Las Vegas, having traded lighting for writing. He contributes restaurant and hotel reviews for QVegas Magazine and writes the Las Vegas Experience column for Gay Vegas Magazine.
Michael Miyazaki is a Washington DC/Baltimore area-based performer, director, and writer. He has performed at various venues in the DC area, and his most recent show is Thanks for the Memories: The Musical Legacy of Bob Hope. He has appeared with numerous local theater troupes including Scena Theatre, the Source Theatre, and Fraudulent Productions. He has attended the Perry-Mansfield Cabaret Workshop (working with master teachers Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, Barry Kleinbort, Christopher Denny, Shelly Markham, and David Gaines), and has also studied under Sally Mayes, Tex Arnold, Lina Koutrakos, Rick Jensen, Amanda McBroom, and Alex Rybeck. He is the creator of the blog The Miyazaki Cabaret Update: DC & Beyond (currently on hiatus) and is a member of the DC Cabaret Network and the Arts Club of Washington.
Mychelle Colleary (native Californian, honorary New Yorker and now Londoner) graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from San Jose State University. Her first professional acting role was at 18 and she worked in theater for two years before attending University. As a jazz vocalist, Mychelle has performed internationally and has shared the stage with greats such as Carl Anderson, Clare Fischer and Bobby McFerrin. She currently divides her time between project management (design & communications) and being on a stage or in an audience. From musical theater to classical to folk rock to jazz to cabaret, Mychelle brings her collective professional experience and insight to reviewing.
Pamela S. K. Glasner is a critically-acclaimed published author, filmmaker, social advocate and contributor to the Huffington Post. She is a proud member of the Writer’s Guild of America, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, and the Connecticut Historical Society. She is also a Registered Reader at both the Royal Society of London and the British Library. She lives in rural Connecticut where she continues working on "The Lodestarre Series," an historical drama which explores the treatment and mistreatment of the mentally ill over the course of 350 years, as well as several other new projects.
Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.
As a youthful columnist, Peter offered dating advice to Seventeen magazine’s teen readers. Simultaneously, his “think pieces” and articles on entertainment appeared in other national magazines. Editing four magazines for a small publisher when the Korean Conflict erupted, Peter entered military service, becoming Editor-in-chief of The Army Home Town News Center. After service, he joined the family business and in the ensuing decades created several companies in the fashion and home decoration industry. Peter signed on as one of the first contributors to the fledgling Cabaret Scenes magazine, later was named associate editor and, in 2007, took over as publisher.
Randolph is the newest addition to the writing staff at Cabaret Scenes. He is a cabaret teacher, previously teaching with legend Erv Raible, and his students have gone on to success in the field with sold-out shows and many awards. He is also a director and that, combined with a knowledge of the art form and techniques that cabaret performing encompasses, makes him love reviewing NYC’s cabaret scene. When not catching the Big Apple’s crazy talent, Randolph loves 1970s variety shows, mall Chinese food, Meryl Streep films and a good cold glass of pinot grigio.
Richard Edgcomb has been an aficionado and fan of cabaret way before he ever knew what cabaret was. He was a fan of Broadway music and the Great American Songbook from an early age. Even in his teens, records by Jane Oliver and Liza Minnelli shared space on the turntable with Aretha Franklin and other R&B artists. All came full circle when he hosted several radio shows on WDVR FM 89.7/91.9 New Jersey Public Radio for 18 years. His first show, Lazy Monday Afternoon, an easy-listening slot, morphed into Center Stage, a cabaret show filled with music, talk and interviews. Richard began writing for Cabaret Scenes early in 2000.
2015 is native New Yorker Rob Lester's eighth year as contributing writer, beginning by reviewing a salute to Frank Sinatra, whose recordings have played on his personal soundtrack since the womb. (His Cabaret Scenes Foundation member mom started him with her favorite; like his dad, he became an uber-avid record collector/ fan of the Great American Songbook's great singers and writers.) Soon, he was attending shows, seeking out up-and-comers and already-came-ups, still reading and listening voraciously. He also writes for www.NiteLifeExchange.com and www.TalkinBroadway.com, has been cabaret-centric as awards judge, panel member/co-host, and produces benefit/tribute shows, including one for us.
Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.
Always interested in the arts, Steve was encouraged to begin producing and, in 1998, staged four, one-man vehicles starring San Francisco's most gifted performers. In 1999, he began the Viva Variety series, a live stage show with a threefold mission to highlight, support, and encourage gay and gay-friendly art in all the performance forms, to entertain and document the shows, and to contribute to the community by donating proceeds to local non-profits. The shows utilized the old variety show style popularized by his childhood idol Ed Sullivan. He’s produced over 150 successful shows, including parodies of Bette Davis’s gothic melodramedy Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte and Joan Crawford’s very awful Trog. He joined Cabaret Scenes 2007 and enjoys the writing and relationships he’s built with very talented performers.
Victoria Ordin is a writer based in West Los Angeles and Manhattan. Raised in L.A. around film and television, she developed an early appreciation for Broadway and cabaret from her parents, but particularly her father, whose musical passions ranged from classical to opera to Big Band. After studying English at Yale, Victoria earned her Masters at UCSB and completed coursework for the Ph.D. For the past four years, she has written a bicoastal memoir and culture blog called Victorian Chick Redux. Her work has also appeared in The Weekly Standard, Huffington Post, and the Patch.