Marta Sanders Takes the Lead in “Follow Me” at The Beechman

Photo by Lou Montesano

The nightclub singer Marta Sanders follows her memorable Cabaret Convention appearance (she closed the Stephen Sondheim tribute with a soul-bearing “I’m Still Here”) with an encore of her latest show, “Follow Me,” in February.  The four-week major engagement performs at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street, on Thursday, February 2; Saturday, February 11; Thursday, February 16 and Saturday, February 25, all at 7:00 pm.

In “Follow Me” Sanders celebrates her twin passions — New York, and the rest of the world.  Called “a cabaret star of the highest rank” by John Hoglund in Theaterscenes.net, and “the queen of clowning” by Rob Lester in TalkingBroadway.com, Sanders is also a high-end New York tour guide, having served as president of the Guides Association of New York City.  At the core of her world travels is the gravitational pull of The Big Apple, a city she knows and loves inside and out.

Keeping pace with the peripatetic Sanders is her music director John McMahon. In addition songs she introduced with her frequent collaborator, the late Michael Greer (“Hunk on the Bus”), she does three tunes by John Wallowitch (including her signature “Warsaw”). Sanders’ world-class romp around the world also includes “Maria by the River” — a song she co-wrote with McMahon and Debra Zalkind — as well as tunes by Carol Hall, Sting, and Peter Matz, among others. Debra Zalkind is the show’s director.

Photo by Lou Montesano
Marta Sanders accompanied by John McMahon Photo by Lou Montesano

In a career spanning several decades, Sanders has won both MAC and Bistro Awards for outstanding female vocalist.  Mixing her soaring alto and prowess as a comic storyteller, Sanders epitomizes a freewheeling American nightclub style that was prevalent until the ‘70s — and that has endured with such pros as Bobby ShortSteve Ross, Barbara Cooke and Marilyn Maye. “Every time you see her you have a good time,” is how Scott Siegel saw it in TheaterMania.com.

Texas born, and of American father and an Argentinian mother (her father was the head of the Peace Corp in Colombia for a time), Marta grew up in cities across the States and in South America.  Soon after arriving in New York, she was cast in the original Broadway production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”  But her taste for travel had her gravitating away from the theater to nightclub performing.  She was featured in supper-clubs, on cruises and in concert venues across Central and South America, Russia, and on both coasts.  In New York she gained a loyal following in regular appearances at such clubs as Les Mouches, The Ballroom, Upstairs at Greene Street, Reno Sweeney, and Grand Finale.  She also hosted a radio program on WLIR for a time.

In October she combined her twin professions when she offered a uniquely immersive tour of New York’s storied nightlife that included performances and stories by several popular entertainers and cabaret entrepreneurs.  Sponsored by Karen Lotman Productions the tour was an official event of the 27th annual Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Convention.

Marta’s recordings include “Panache” (available on CD Baby), and “Corazon del Alma” available through www.martanyc.com

Photo by Lou Montesano
Photo by Lou Montesano

“Follow Me,” Marta Sanders’ globetrotting club act about her life as a tour guide and world traveler plays four dates in February at The Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café, 407 West 42nd Street.  Performances are Thursday February 2; Saturday February 11; Thursday February 16, and Saturday February 25, all at 7pm.  There is a $20 music charge and a $20 food and beverage minimum. To pre-pay online visit www.lauriebeechmantheatre.com, or call 212/352-3101.  For information only call 212-695-6909.