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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snow, renovations and Big Night Out!

Hi Friends:

What a week! Sunday, I was doing my show in Scranton, PA with my friend and musical director, Mark Janas. Garrett drove us there and back, thank God, as Mark and I really had to catch up on some sleep on the drive! Then, I bundled the dogs and my friend, Julie and her two dogs into the car and we headed up to CT to beat the snow. The next three days we were busy putting the house back together after the wonderful renovations Jimmy Little did, and I forgot how much it would be like moving in again. I'll post some before and after shots here once I figure out how! All this to say, that with regular "life" happening, I've been in withdrawal from seeing any cabaret.

However, I did get to see one of my best friends, Leah Hocking, perform the role of Mrs. Wilkerson, in BILLY ELLIOT on Friday night. As usual, she was fantastic and owned the role. Leah and I met....well, let's just say a loooonnnnggg time ago when we started out in summer stock together in Boothbay Harbor, ME! (taught her how to eat a lobster - she's from MI and they don't have fresh lobster there.) Anyway, it's always a proud moment for me and an emotional one, to see her jubilant on Broadway!

I then ran over to catch Sheera Ben-David's late show at the Oak Room, but it had been cancelled :( However, not surprisingly, as it is directed by Eric Michael Gillett and because Sheera is so gifted, it got a rave from the NY Times, and I'm planning on getting there this week for her final week.

I'll be performing at BIG NIGHT OUT hosted by the fantastic Jennifer Wren and Bill Zeffiro, this Thursday, March 5 at 10 pm. BNO is featuring the music of Jay Alan Zimmerman this week in their composer series. Jay is one of my new friends and "finds". We met at the Songbook Series this past December, when we were both performing there and John Znidarsic had just christened him "Broadways Beethoven." Jay became deaf to speech, but can still hear some music below middle C. I noticed him because he was signing, and knowing ASL, I went over to "talk" with him. We've been working on some of his songs ever since and it's been a fantastic collaborative process, as Jay trusts my ears to let him know what works for me, etc. Very cool. I hope you'll come hear this amazing man - and he still sings gorgeously! Here's more info on him: Jay Alan Zimmerman is the composer/author of the stage musicals Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly DEaF Musical (named “Pick of The Fringe” by the Washington Post), My Café Cinderella, HoliDaze, and his current project I.M. — The Invisible Man Musical, as well as composer/author/director of the award-winning film musicals Love Burns and Pawns. He scored the plays Booth and Our Brutus, which were both Fringe First Award winners at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and had New York and London productions. Additional info at deafmusical.com, quirky videos at youtube/musicbyJAZ, and blog at http://www.jayalanzimmerman.com/.

Big news from my pal Jenna Esposito - she has her own column now at http://www.broadwayworld.com/! Go to the site and sign up for newsletter alerts - let's make this a big success for a woman who does so much for all of us in the cabaret world.

Thanks for stopping by and go see a show this week!

Love and light,