Forget about that old movie title song, “Never on a Sunday” that claimed Sunday was “a day of rest,” or the one from Flower Drum Song called “Sunday” that called it “Sunday, sweet Sunday, with nothing to do.” There’s plenty to do. This Sunday is the annual Broadway Flea Market where proceeds from all sales of theatre-related items go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. You’ll find some cabaret faces selling you theatre and cabaret-related merchandise at the table run by MAC, the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.
And after that ends around dusk, unwind with some live music or unpack your bag of purchased goodies while listening to cabaret music on the radio. A “Sunday in New York” (that’s another song title) has musical pleasures galore.
After a two-week break, the Salon open mic, a Sunday tradition at Etc. Etc. Restaurant on West 44 Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, returned this week. The optional theme was songs about time, a convenient but not coincidental excuse for gracious and talented guest co-hosts --- the Bistro Award-winning singer Deb Berman and guitarist Sean Harkness --- to plug and preview their upcoming Metropolitan Room duo show, All in Good Time. A “good time” was had by all with these tasty musical appetizers – and those having the menu’s edible appetizers looked rather satisfied, too. Among the regulars were two who are known for their laugh-a-minute performances but each also did a serious song. They were the irrepressible Ray Jessel, one who puts the “Ray” in cabaret, with two originals, and Joan Jaffe who will be appearing for FREE in the "Any Wednesday" series at Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Square on October 20 at 6pm (not in the morning!!). Both Ray and Joan are performing at Don’t Tell Mama. Despite fervently forceful force of nature performer/Salon producer Tanya Moberly dropping a subtle hint by singing Promises, Promises’s “Knowing When to Leave,” some of us didn’t really want to know we should vamoose at the end. Actually, the words “subtle” and “Tanya Moberly” have never been in the same sentence before. This lightning bolt of a singer will bring back her show of show tunes for those who show up at Don’t Tell Mama on the last day of this month. I missed it last time due to a schedule conflict involving Mitzi Gaynor, but am going this time at gunpoint. I mean, at the suggestion of others who say it’s a “don’t miss.” Mark Janas will be at the piano, as he is at the Salon.
Don’t Tell Mama is also the location for the MAC seminar on the matter of patter in cabaret acts, this Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon. It’s free for MAC members and a token fee for others. I’ll be one of the panelists and the event has the singer and fellow NiteLifeExchange writer, Daryl Glenn, as moderator. Come talk about talk with us and discuss the blahblahblah of cabaret. That reminds me of a song by the Gershwins, “Blah Blah Blah,” which I am hoping will come up next Sunday at the Salon when Gershwin is the theme. Everything is a song cue, isn’t it? “I got rhythm/I got music….” said the Gershwins. In their last song, “Love Is Here to Stay,” they said, “The radio and the telephone and the movies that we know/May just be passing fancies/And in time may go..” Well, the radio is still here and, if you look, you’ll still find cabaret music and standards. And you can hear that radio program later if you’re out on a Sunday night. Have your cake and eat it, too –literally; the venues mentioned below serve food.
Jonathan Schwartz’s weekend afternoon radio broadcasts continue on WNYC at 93.9, although contractually can’t be broadcast on their website like their other shows. Yes, you need an actual radio. But, in most cases, remember that you don’t always need one. These days, listening on the radio can often mean radio that you can hear through the magic and machinery of your computer. And in many cases, the shows are available later on if you are not free to hear it for free when initially broadcast. You can hear your favorites and discover new ones 24 hours a day any day at www.thepenthouseradio.com -- whistle while you work.Or, for example, you need not miss the Sunday Salon at Etc. Etc. OR Sandy Jordan and Friends’ soignée sip-along in the Algonquin lobby, a few avenues east on 44 Street OR Sunday Evening Singing Soiree with sushi, a newer addition with www.EdgeNewYork.com cabaret columnist/singer/teacher/author of Off the Charts!, Kevin Scott Hall as host at Ido Sushi at 20 Seventh Avenue South, with Dan Daly on keyboard --- to stay home and tune into David Kenney’s “Everything Old Is New Again” Sunday radio broadcast. Yes, it is first aired live at 9pm on a Sunday evening on WBAI 99.5 FM on your radio dial or streamed live on www.wbai.org -- but it’s also there waiting for you later in the archives. Each two-hour show is available in the archives as a podcast for the next two weeks, so you can hear it at your convenience. I was a guest on the September 12th show to speak about upcoming autumn events in cabaret. It also allowed me to play some new recordings by people we discussed. For example, I played the title song from Joyce Breach’s CD Odds and Ends, released this week; Joyce has dates at the Metropolitan Room in October. I played a track written, sung and plated by the aforementioned Bill Zeffiro, “Happy Birthday, Mrs. Parker,” from the new CD Lost Broadway and More, Volume 2, a collection of mostly rare songs from musical theatre plus some new items. It’s available at www.Footlight.com on the Original Cast Records label and Bill, a frequent presence on the piano at the Salon and the Wednesday variety shows at the Iguana, holds court himself as the singing piano player with guests who can include YOU – at La Mediterranée on Second Avenue near East 50th Street, every Tuesday night, and at Flûte Gramercy, 40 East 20 Street, on the last Thursday of each month, starting at 8pm. This month, the last Thursday is also the very last day of the quickly-dissolving month of September, and his featured guests are Susan Winter and Carole J. Bufford.
Busy Carole is currently alternating with fellow 2009 MetroStar runner-up Danielle Grabianowski as the opening act for winner Liz Lark Brown’s highly-charged, highly recommended show – the last two performances are this week: Wednesday and Thursday, September 22 and 23. Carole is also in the Cabaret Convention at Jazz at Lincoln Center on the opening night, October 7, and she has her own show at Metropolitan Room in October, as do Danielle and Susan in a busy month there, that features the return of another Convention opening night artist, the ever-popular package of dynamite and dazzle, Marilyn Maye, in a show filled with Broadway songs. These are some reasons to leave the house!!
Some helpful links:
David Kenney’s radio shows: www.oldisnew.org