Go back in time to 1958, where Cathy Dresden, “America’s big-hearted songbird,” is bringing her unique brand of mirth and music to Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room! She’ll belt out a few tunes, tell stories, and ponder what it means to be an “old-fashioned girl.”
Joshingly, press notes boast, with alternate facts, that she’s the entertainer about whom Fred Astaire said, “Can’t dance, can’t say no to a schnitzel, can sing a little!” and go on to claim that “Cathy Dresden, the plucky, pert girl singer of the ’50s, first came to America’s attention through her appearances on everyone’s favorite televised talent show, Tony Polanko’s Nationwide Hour of Power. Her full-throated voice and gentle demeanor endeared her to viewers across the country and made her a three-time winner eligible to compete in the Grand Prize Championship.
While Cathy did not take home the ultimate prize of $2,000 (losing to Teeny-Tina’s Tiny Triplets, America’s sweetheart Siamese triplet plate spinners), the exposure it won her jumpstarted her singing career and allowed her to embark on her Butterchurn Tour of the dairy states. But, while she considers America’s farmer’s the true backbone of this great country, this former small town girl is thrilled to be in Manhattan, singing and swinging the hits of songsmiths like Harold Arlen, The Gershwins, Cole Porter, and more!”
Joe Hartman is proud to be the conduit through which Cathy Dresden, the singing dynamo who rose to the heights of her fame in the late fifties and early sixties has come to life. Cathy had her beginnings as a character in Los Angeles at Johnny Coppola’s acting class at Studio C, and became the breakaway hit of his self-penned one-man show Overwhelming Underdogs which premiered in Austin, Texas in 2007. Cathy has since starred in her own show, Cathy Dresden Sings for Her Supper and was the inspiration for and star of Cathy Dresden’s Christmas Spectacular, a comedic homage to the celebrity holiday specials of the early sixties.
Not confined to the theater, Cathy has made appearances at numerous benefits, special events and night spots, warbling and belting out pop standards of the early to mid-twentieth century, and so New York seemed a natural place for her to come into her own.
Joe was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but moved to Austin, Texas at age eight, so he has always felt like a Texan with a “corn-fed” soul. He has also lived in Minneapolis, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California, and wherever he lived, he has performed. Joe has appeared in many musicals, including regional productions of Guys and Dolls (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), 1940s Radio Hour (Wally Cox), Annie (Bert Healy), Company (Peter), Ordinary Days (Warren) and Chicago (Mary Sunshine). And as that last role indicates, before Cathy Dresden, Joe played a large number of ladies including Mrs. Mackelravey in Animal Crackers, Miss Bible Belt in Pageant, Mrs. Forrest in Psycho Beach Party, The Virgin Sacrifice in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and one of his personal favorites, Linda the Chicken in Milkmilklemonade. Joe has also appeared on screen in the independent film Able Edwards, the not so independent film Jingle All the Way, and in Showtime’s The Great Commission, as well as in a number of commercials.
As a writer, Joe penned the one-man show Overwhelming Underdogs, several short plays including Love Lorelei, In a Gilded Cage, his solo show Idol Worship, (FronteraFest winner, Best of the Fest), and International House of Perception, co-written with Kirk German (FronteraFest winner, Best of the Fest). He has also written the radio drama In the Lake, and the screenplay for the short film Superchicks, featured in the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
The Old-Fashioned Girl show is directed by Daniel Adams and features Michael Hicks on the piano (and accordion). Show time is 7 PM. For more information and tickets please click here
The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22 Street in Manhattan. Phone: 212.206.0440