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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gratitude, Love and Peace are in the air!

Hi Friends:

December is a precious month for me - This Christmas Eve will be the 11th anniversary of when Garrett and I eloped and got married! Our favorite way to celebrate is to decorate our tree with the pups and have a glass of cheer as we snuggle together and gaze at the finished product. It's especially pretty this year. We just finished decorating inside and outdoors at our Connecticut home, when we got snowed in and the lights are glowing through the snow! (check out my facebook photo albums of the pups helping decorate.)
This Christmas Day night at 11:45 pm, we will toast my Mother, Rita, who made her transition 2 years ago. I miss her very much, but her loving energy is so closely surrounding us, as we decorate the tree with her ornaments, and place the village of skaters and lil' houses under the tree - it was one of my favorite things to do with her, when I was little. Mom loved so many things about Christmas - baking (she was a prize winning baker!), the lights, watching us place Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning and giving him shiny pennies, and singing Christmas songs endlessly - guess that's where I get it from...it's no wonder she picked this most precious day to "go home". I feel Mom close, with every note I sing at Christmas, especially.

We're hoping that Garrett's folk, Jane and Al, will come down to spend a few days with us at Christmas - we love to spoil them when they are here - they are the best in-laws in the world - seriously! Luckily, we get to see my Dad, Dennis, quite often, and will see him this week too. Otie and Brandy especially love being with him because once they sit with him, he hates to move and disturb them, so they get lots of attention and cuddles!

Exciting news to end the year with - ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Raissa is thrilled to be a guest of Eric Michael Gillett in his New Year's Eve Performance of "Life of the Party" at the Metropolitan Room. Special guests: Broadway's Raissa Katona Bennett and Melanie Vaughan. Opening act for Eric is comedian Richard Cramer. Musical Director is Don Rebic. $75 cover includes performance, open bar, and midnight champagne toast!

Doors open at 10:15, show begins at 10:45. I hope you'll join us for the countdown and a champagne toast at midnight! Be sure to call the Metropolitan Room at 212-206-0440 for reservations, which are strongly suggested.

As many of you know, in addition to being one of the best performers in the business, Eric is also the brilliant director and co-writer of my shows, and I am so honored he has asked me to share the stage with him, Melanie and Richard. And as you may also know, musical genius Don Rebic is my partner in crime and the musical director/arranger for the BROADWAY JAZZ ON BROADWAY series at the Iridium. (Our next show is 1/27 - more on that next year.) I can't think of a better way to end this year and begin the next, than with these beloved, talented people. And if YOU come, you'll be there, too, with me, my husband, and many close friends.

After the excitement of New Year's is over, I have much to tell you about with the great shows I've seen (or I'm about to see) this month including Susan Winter (you can still catch her last show on 12/23 - go!), Marcus Simeone, Valerie Lemon, Edd Clark/Sue Matsuki, Lennie Watts/Steven Ray Watkins/Scott Coulter, Daryl Glenn, Jenna Esposito, Julie Reiber, and Darren Williams - all at the Metropolitan Room - does that place book the best talent or what? Visit their site or call 212-206-0440 and check out some of these folks - you'll be happy you did.

Many thanks for all the support and love you send my way - I hope you feel it coming right back at you!

Love and light,