Raissa Recommends

Friday, January 16, 2009

Raissa Recommends - Week of Jan. 19th

Hi Friends:

Many thanks to Scott Barbarino at http://www.cabaretexchange.com/ for linking this blog and Jenna Esposito's blog (http://www.jennaesposito.com/) to the home page. This means I better be good about updating this blog! So, I figure if I'm not so fancy with embedding photo's and websites in the fancy way, I can get more info out to you faster. I'll still add 'em when I can, but for now, I've got some great recommendations for you and just great stuff to tell you about performances I've seen.

First, mark your calendars and come see me host and Don Rebic and his trio in BROADWAY JAZZ ON BROADWAY next Tuesday, 1/27 - 8 and 10 pm. Our guests this month are: ANN HARADA (Ave. Q, Suessical), ROSEMARY LOAR (Sunset Blvd., Chess), KIRBY WARD (Showboat, Crazy For You) and CHIP ZIEN(Into The Woods, Falsettos). There's a $10 discount for MAC, Cabaret Hotline and Cabaret Exchange members - pay just one cover and see both sets - food/bev. minimum for each set will still apply. A big thank you to my wonderful husband, Dr. Garrett Bennett, for designing the graphic above, after spending a long day doing surgery!

Then, remember that you've gotta see Eric Michael Gillett in his smash show "BEST OF MY LOVE". There is one more performance remaining, Monday 1/26, at 7 pm. He's accompanied by the fantastic Don Rebic (who is also my musical director for BROADWAY JAZZ ON BROADWAY) and dreamy Steve Doyle on bass. more info at http://www.ericmichaelgillett.com/.

Last night, 1/19, I beheld the wonder that is David Colbert, at the Metropolitan Room. I knew he had a beautiful, legit voice, but I was totally unprepared for his versatility, acting ability and total lack of fear! Every moment in this brilliant show directed by Kristine Zbornik, worked. What a ride it was. David can sing anything - one minute like REM, and a rocker, the next, he's in opera mode with a glorious full throated baritone. His musical director, Charlie Lindberg is exceptional, the band, (on one week of rehearsal!) incredible, and how can you lose with talented Tanya Holt and Karen Mack singing back-up? Favorite moments of mine were "When You're Strange", "The Prayer" and "I Say A Little Prayer" with Tanya and Karen. I just couldn't wait to see where he'd go next. I won't say more, because I don't want to ruin any surprises for when he does this show again - and he MUST!! He doesn't have a website that I know of, but I'll be sure to let you know when he's performing again!

On Wednesday, 1/14, I was treated to a double header. I caught 98% of Shaynee Rainbolt's show with her four trombone band at the Iridium. She was stunning in a teal wrap gown that set off her complexion and red hair perfectly. She knows how to highlight the lyric and intent, and still keep a great jazz flair. One of my many favorites was "5 a.m.", and I learned so much from her about the fantastic Russel Garcia. I just got her CD and it's great! You can buy it and find out when she's performing again, if you check out her website: http://www.shayneerainbolt.com/. You can get on her mailing list there, too, and I highly recommend it.

So I only caught 98% of Shaynee's show, because I had to run out to catch my friend, Julie Reiber, go on for "Elphaba" in WICKED!! I could go on and on about Julie's performance, but let's just say she ROCKED in every way - voice, acting, passion - phenomenal. Last time I saw this show was when my friend, Adinah Alexander went on for Madame Morrible, and she was fantastic too. The show is in great shape. Although you can't see Julie for much longer in WICKED, as she is leaving in February, you can see her when she's my guest again at BROADWAY JAZZ ON BROADWAY at the Iridium, and check out http://www.juliereiber.com/ and keep posted here for more info...

David Auxier continues to amaze me - I caught the show he concieved, directed, wrote lyrics for and performed in, "I've Got A Little Twist", at the Triad on Thursday 1/15. It's one of the best nights of theatre/cabaret/comedy I've ever had. Gorgeous Michele McConnell (who I worked with in a reading, "At The Back of the North Wind" last year) showcased a glorious soprano and fantastic comedic chops. New to me were the talented Angela Smith, Colm Fitzmaurice, Stephen Quint, David Wannen, and musical director, Mark York. They all had their own amazing moments and when they worked as an ensemble, it was magic! David himself has one of the most beautiful voices in NYC today, and I hope more of you will get to see this fantastic show - whether you love G & S or not, or never even seen a G & S show, you will love it. Look for more info at: http://www.davidauxier.com/.

This week I will be at the Metropolitan Room on Wed. 1/21 watching "Menage" with Sarah Rice, Edd Clark and Marni Nixon - 3 wonderful and talented singers all and great people to boot.

I've already seen Maureen Taylor in "Taylor Made" - she's bringing it back to the Metropolitan Room for one night only on 1/31 - it's a great evening and you owe it to yourself to see her if you haven't already - http://www.metropolitanroom.com/ or call 212-206-0440.

And finally, here is what I had to say about John Koprowski's show last time I saw it:
“If you want to be moved, see a man perform directly from his heart and have a blast on stage as he rocks out to all the tunes baby boomers grew up with, then go see John Koprowski at the Beechman in ‘Dreams and Reflections’" - you will get the chance to do so if you catch him on 1/21 or 1/28 at 7 pm at the Beechman!

Whew - gotta get some work done now - thanks for stopping by and I'll post again later in the week.

Love and light,