MAC Hanson Award winner Ira Lee Collings returns to Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, NYC to celebrate Gay Pride Month with his new show Life Is a Song– So Why Not Sing It! on Monday, June 26th at 7 PM. The evening includes songs heard on the popular TV show Your Hit Parade. Ira Lee adds: “and some weed songs too.” He will be joined by Musical Director John M. Cook on piano. Sally Darling — a fellow Hanson Award winner— is the director. The Hanson Award is given by MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) “to recognize and encourage performers of outstanding talent.”
Born in a very small town in Indiana, the youngest of eight children, Ira Lee began singing on the radio with his sister when they were kids. After studying at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, he moved to New York where he appeared off-Broadway and in regional theatre, and even opened for the great Dawn Hampton in the 1960s. After many years of performing, he took a 25-year hiatus from show business, re-appearing a few years ago with several successful cabaret appearances in NYC. Now 81, his previous shows at Don’t Tell Mama include Gay Since 1935 – A Gay Geezer’s Musical Odyssey and Simply Ira Lee (A Gay Geezer Celebration).
On BistroAwards.com, Kevin Scott Hall wrote: “Collings gives the impression of a life well-lived, with his heart smack-dab in the right place. He gives a self-assured performance, but he offers more than that. It’s a celebration of life itself.” Anne-Allegra Bennett of Center on the Aisle said: “He puts life, energy and compassion into the music” and the late Stu Hamstra of Cabaret Hotline Online said: “A true lesson in the real meaning of Cabaret.”
Ira Lee has appeared in The Metropolitan Room Marathon and 2016 AIDS Day and placed in the top ten in the Mama’s Next BIG! Act competition at Don’t Tell Mama. He was a special guest in May’s On May’s It’s Just a Number show hosted and curated by Bobbie Horowitz at The Metropolitan Room, where he was also just part of their Gay Pride Benefit. NiteLifeExchange’s editor, Rob Lester, chose him to appear in the closing show of the annual Artists in Partnership (AIP) Long Beach, Long Island Cabaret Festival which he hosted, presenting cabaret singers from the ages of 9 to three vibrant performers in their 80s.
Ira Lee’s show includes songs by Marilyn and Alan Bergman/Michel Legrand, Sammy Cahn, Sylvia Fine, and Kim Gannon among others.
For more info on Ira Lee Collings, visit: http://shereedtm.wix.com/ira-lee-collings
There is a $15 cover ($5 discount for MAC members) and 2 drink minimum for Ira Lee Collings at Don’t Tell Mama with a $10 cover for MAC members. No credit cards accepted. Reservations suggested: (212) 757-0788 or reserve online at: http://donttellmamanyc.com/shows/main/ira-lee-collings-the-gay-geezer-6-26