Raissa Recommends

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Raissa Recommends Shows, Classes and Foundation Garments - February

Hi Friends:

The year started off with a bang! So many shows to see, perform in and recommend...
My director and friend, Eric Michael Gillett and I, are putting together a special duet show as a one night only benefit for The Singers Forum, 49 W. 24th Street, on Sunday, Feb. 21st at 7 pm. Jeff Cubeta musical directs - this is my first time working with Jeff, and he's a real joy plus super talented. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. There is a wine and cheese reception after. Seating is very limited, so if you are interested, call Singers Forum at 212-366-0541 asap and make your reservation.

The very next night, Monday, 2/22 at 6pm, I'll be at the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble for Barbara Porteus's CD release signing and performance, (I already have it and it's wonderful!) and then at 7 pm, I'll be at the Metropolitan Room, watching my favorite folk/pop duo, BUSKIN AND BATTEAU. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to see these guys - I've been a fan for 20 years, and I'm thrilled that they are back together again, after a hiatus to their families. Incredible musicians, songwriters, sensitive and funny - they don't make 'em better than this. Between the two of them, they play guitar, piano, violin, and they have one of the most innovative percussionists I've ever seen, Marshal Rosenberg. They did a presentation at the Dutch Treat Club yesterday, and I just about melted when Robin Batteau played his violin TO ME!!! You can pick up their newest CD's at the show, too, and you should.

The next day, I head into the recording studio with PS Classics, to record my new CD! My musical director is David Caldwell, and my core band is comprised of Ritt Henn, Sean Harkness and Mayra Casales. We are scheduled to finish the CD on 3/8, and it'll drop sometime in the Spring - you know I'll keep you posted. I'm pretty excited about this and the amazing songs I've been given to sing by some of my favorite composers.

And speaking of favorite composers, Jay Alan Zimmerman, nicknamed "Broadway's Beethoven", has asked me to perform 3 of his songs during his month long, free exhibition for Chashama, entitled Art/Song - a visual music performance installation by Jay and his wife, artist, Lisa Ingram. I can't really describe all the cool things Jay, a deaf composer, and his wife Lisa, have created with their cutting edge frequency analysis software, but if you go to http://www.chashama.org/, you can read all about it, and get the show times. The neat thing is, you can watch Jay rehearse with me and other singers (like my pal, the fabulously talented Sierra Rein) that he can't hear, during the day, and then see the finished product at night. Chashama's Time Square Space is at 112 West 44th Street, between 6th and 7th and performance days are 2/23, 2/27, 3/3, 3/10 (that's my date) and 3/13 at 7 pm. The installation is open to the public for viewing from 2/23 to 3/16, Tuesday through Saturday from 2 to 7.

And although this blog's entry is primarily for February, I want to touch upon two early March events. First, I've been asked to sing the songs of Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourman in the March is Cabaret Month kickoff event, produced by Tom Stajmiger for Stu Hamstra's Cabaret Hotline, 7 pm on 3/2 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. I'm particularly honored, as Amanda and Michele's songs have always figured prominently in my shows, they sent me a song that only Amanda has performed rarely, and I can't wait to learn it and perform it!

My good friend and colleague, Multi MAC, Bistro and Nightlife Award winner, Scott Coutler is finally giving into the request he's had for years, and is offering SONGBOOK - a group vocal coaching session based on storytelling. This class, accompanied by David Kreppel, begins in March and runs for 6 consecutive Tuesdays. For more information, please contact songbooknyc@gmail.com. If you want to learn how to bring a song to life for auditions and/or the world of cabaret, you could have no finer guide than Scott.
I just gotta share this - if you're a woman, you're always looking for a smooth line under clothes, no matter how thin you are. Well, at WALMART of all places, this week I happened upon Sweet Nothings (div. of Maidenform) Smooth Shaping Torsette! It looks like a corset, (being a period piece performer, I love me a good corset!) complete with light boning, which always gives a good line, and tiny corset hooks that lie flat and smooth under a front flap. You use your own bra, and the design of the thing hoists the "sisters" up where you want them! And it's comfortable.It cost me less than $20. They also have these shaping cami's in nice colors that have a wider strap, so you can, again, wear your own bra, and actually take off your sweater or jacket whiloe wearing it if you needed to. This could be the single most useful and exciting thing I could recommend to you...ladies.
Love and light,