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Friday, September 26, 2008

The New Concerts at Tudor City Greens - HUGE SUCCESS!

I'm not at a loss for words - I have too many! Wednesday night was a tremendous success. At previous concerts, people came and went throughout the night - well, Wednesday they came, AND DID NOT GO! There has never been such a turnout - over 250 people. What was exciting, is that about 1/4 were from the cabaret world, and the rest were not! This means we ARE hitting a totally untapped cabaret audience - most attending, signed up for our mailing list! Thanks to MAC for producing this in association with us. As one person said to me, "Can you imagine the additional audience we'll get, when the UN is not in session, and we have normal foot traffic!" Yes, I can imagine it. And still, we were packed. A normally quiet audience, the crowd at Tudor City that night hollered and whooped throughout the entire show. They were blown away. We are hopeful that the increased attention will result in generous donations to Tudor City Greens. The Greens are private parks, privately funded, that we keep open to the public, unlike other "keyed" gardens, such as Grammercy Park. Although we have a lot of beautiful trees, we've noticed there's no money growing on them, and funds are always needed to keep the parks beautiful and open to all. In fact, the majority of visitors to the parks, are the people who work in the area, and take their lunches there. The TCG website will be up soon, but in the meantime, if you wish to make a tax deductible donation: Tudor City Greens, Inc., 5 Tudor City Place, Box 1 - E, NYC 10017.

Bumping up the profile of this whole event, was the donation of colorful balloons from the TOY BALLOON SHOP, here at #5 Tudor City Place, and the fantastic new logo and graphics, posters, flyers and programs, courtesy of Hector Coris. Everyone just said, "How can I help - What can I give?" and then went overboard to help us make this a success. At the post show party, our sponsor, CIBO was very generous with drinks for performers and press - we packed their bar area, and they are very pleased to be partnering with us on this exciting new cultural event - as they put it, there's really nothing like this in NYC right now - a regularly planned free community cultural event with rotating stars from the world of Broadway and Cabaret! Patrons from the concerts told me that they couldn't wait to read their programs and visit the websites of the performers.

I'd like to say that this exceeded my wildest dreams, but I have pretty big dreams. Everyone that I respect, said the programming was flawless - I agree. How can you lose when you start out with gorgeous Darren Williams entering the beautiful park singing "All the Sounds of the Earth Are Like Music...", with the entire company joining in on "Grand Night For Singing"? Follow that with Broadway and Cabaret Star Eric Michael Gillett, and then a grown man, comedian, Richard Cramer, dressed as a butterfly. People couldn't believe that Catherine Overfelt and Maria Moncada were newcomers, so powerful were their presentations. Hector Coris had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and Jenna Esposito made them melt. Rosemary Loar had them alternately transfixed and then dancing in the aisles, uh, gravel. And they seemed to like me, too! None of it would have been possible, without our incredibly talented Musical Director, David Caldwell, who rushed over from his regular gig as Musical Director of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, to play for us.

All of the volunteers for the event were indispensable - especially my husband, Dr. Garrett Bennett, TCG president Julie Warshaw, secretary Anne Stoddard, and friends Tom Vaughn and Paul Tuite. They made it possible for me and the performers to head right to CIBO for the post show "meet and greet", which is so important in keeping sponsorship and our new audience. And if it weren't for Eva Swan from VOCALEASE, lending us a sound system, only the front few rows would have heard us!

We are so grateful to the press for turning out to help us spread the word of this new performing opportunity: Sandi Durrel from Cabaret Scenes, Rob Lester from Cabaret Exchange (and other publications), Roy Sander - critic at large, and the intrepid Maryann Lopinto, who took over 300 photographs that she will get posted and give to us. THANK YOU ALL!

Ok, next stop for me is Birmingham, AL, where I perform my cabaret show, IT'S POSSIBLE, as a fund raiser for Unity of Birmingham, on Oct. 2nd. See you there!