Shirley Ritenour – “An Affair to Remember” Benefits Cancer Charities

Shirley Ritenour has returned to the New York City cabaret scene with a new show, An Affair to Remember. After an October 19th premiere, the show returns October 26th encore at 7:00 PM at Don’t Tell Mama. Both nights were set as benefits for Gilda’s Club, NYC and Stony Brook Cancer Research Center through Concerned Women of the Grove. Ritenour will sing a Great American Songbook and pop repertoire, including songs from Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, David Friedman, Sammy Cahn and Judy Collins, along with a sweet tribute to Debbie Reynolds. People who know Ritenour from her operatic roles won’t be left out – she will perform an aria as well. The show is directed by Scott Barnes and Brian Holman is the music director. 

Shirley Ritenour has brought several unique shows to concert halls in the city, her most recent in 2013 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, a benefit titled Shirley Ritenour Conquers Valhalla for Cancer! In 2010, she presented a tribute to kindred spirit, Eileen Farrell, at Merkin Hall titled, Let My Song Fill Your Heart.

Here are some press reviews:

“With a beautiful classically trained voice, Shirley Ritenour puts her heart and soul into operatic favorites by Wagner, Puccini, and Mascagni along with songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn, and others. There aren’t many singers around who can make these kind of vocal transitions. Ms. Ritenour proves she is one of the few who can.”
—Ron Della Chiesa, WGBH, Boston

“Ritenour’s pop technique revealed the smoky beauty of her lower register, most notably in Alec Wilder’s ‘Blackberry Winter,’ an obscure gem.” – Fred Cohn, Opera News

Recently, Ritenour appeared as an opening act for popular comedian Michele Balan at the Cherry Grove Theater. She’s produced several cabaret shows in New York, notably It’s A Grand Night for Giving at Don’t Tell Mama, the show that began her tradition as a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club.

Ritenour began her musical career at the age of 12 as part of the family singing group Two Dots and a Dash—Shirley and her twin sister Sheryl were the dots, sister Donna was the dash. The girls hit the local talent circuit and eventually Ritenour went off to study the classics and came to New York City. Her rich life experiences (she was a dealer in Vegas, an opera singer in Graz, and a singing bartender in Greenwich Village) influence the themes of her shows.

For additional information about Shirley Ritenour, visit:

Don’t Tell Mama is at 343 West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. Visit: or call 212.757.0788 after 4:00 PM weekdays for reservations. There is a $25 cover charge and a two-drink minimum. Cash only,