Hoo boy! Who knew the DC Cabaret Network’s Open Mic at The Black Squirrel would be as entertaining as it was. Of course it is always entertaining, but some surprises such as a birthday with cake, technical difficulties, a flakey music stand and, of course, wonderful talent all brewed together to make a bubbly night of fun and craziness. Jeff Hamlin at the keyboard led the night’s participants with great ability, agility and just a general good ‘tude, despite the fact that the music stand on the piano fell off one too many times. Oy vey! Our audio guy, Jeff Tucker, dealt with a very cranky sound system while Steven Cupo, once again at the helm, was having his own lyric meltdown, but charged on bravely, helping to set the evening’s tone. Board member, Cindy Hutchins, chose to celebrate her birthday at the Open Mic. And thank goodness she did because there was a DELICIOUS chocolate truffle cake waiting for her which she shared with everyone there. One just never knows what unexpected treats one may find at the Open Mic! And speaking of treats, we welcomed back our errant board member, Tracy Simpson, who was away in NYC for 2 months with work. My, my … hearing her sing again reminded us all how sorely she was missed! Great songs, great people and the truly unexpected blended together to make a really exceptional evening.

SO, if this all sounds like you were left out of a wonderful time, we really hope you will join us at our next Open Mic on Monday, August 8 at 8:00. We look forward to seeing you then!

Steven Cupo – We Can Be Kind
Susan Stockdale – Walk On By
Heidi Mayor – The Longest Time
Ron Squeri – Perhaps Love
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – Fallin’
Maureen Kerrigan – That Funny Honey of Mine
Magdalena Kuszmileva – Dream a Little Dream of Me
Tracy Simpson – Tall Drink of Water
Everard Cupo – Some Enchanted Evening
Steven Cupo – I Will
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – This Year
Cindy Hutchins – The Best is Yet to Come
Maureen Kerrigan – Cry Me a River
Ron Squeri – Your Kiss of Fire
Everard Cupo – What a Wonderful World


With summer around the corner, the expected warmth was previewed at The Black Squirrel with the DC Cabaret Network’s June Open Mic; that would be the “warmth” of friendship, talent and a general good time. At first, we thought it was going to be a “tastefully’ intimate group, but after the proceedings began, twice as many that were in already in attendance showed up, leading to a full complement of singers! The delightful and energetic piano playing of the talented Howard Breitbart led the night, and, except for his sustain pedal trying to escape the stage early in the evening, brought a spark to everybody’s presentations. The emcee was once again, Steven Cupo, who began the night with a dedication to the tragedy in Orlando. After which, he revved up the evening with a bit of his own brand of twisted humor. There were many new faces there. Shaw Tavern in Bloomingdale hosts their own Open Mic, led by the wonderful Jill Parsons every Wednesday night, sent over some their best singers to add to the happy group at The Black Squirrel; and we were ALL so glad to get them! Thank you to Danie, Cory and Ashlee for swinging by. That’s not to say our Open Mic “regulars” didn’t do a great job as well. New Board member, Heather Frank, belted out a song as we had never heard her … wow! And the always sweet Ron Squeri sang a very funny If You Love Me, Please Don’t Feed Me, reminding us ALL that we’ve “been there, done that”. It really was a special evening with which start the summer.
For those who missed it, please join us at our next Open Mic on Monday, July 11 at 8:00, at which the immensely appealing and easy-on-the-eyes Jeff Hamlin will be at the key board.

Steven Cupo – Let There Be Peace On Earth and Let it Begin With Me
Heather Frank – Keeping Out of Mischief Now
Ron Squeri – Perhaps Love
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – Waiting for Life to Begin
Juan Marroquin – Imagine
Danie Harrow – Too Beautiful for Words
Brandi Rose – Stars And The Moon
Paul Pompeo – Come Fly With Me
Cory Hibbets – Kiss the Air
Erika Cogliani – You Learn to Live Without
Ashlee Kurkoff – Don’t Rain on My Parade
Everard Cupo – Lucky Old Sun
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – Come Rain or Come Shine
Ron Squeri – If You Love Me, Please Don’t Feed Me
Juan Marroquin – The Way You Look Tonight
Paul Pompeo – Everybody Says Don’t
Erika Cogliani – Easy As Life
Danie Harrow & Ashlee Kurkoff – Let Me Be Your Star
Cory Hibbets – So Close Brandi Rose – Christmas Lullaby
Steven Cupo – With You


The spring rains of May brought on more than just flowers; music was blooming as well at The Black Squirrel.  An enthusiastic group was ready to welcome in good music along with a wonderful evening of fun and camaraderie.  With Reenie Codelka at the piano, the creative spirit blossomed.  Reenie even shone with her own versatility as she played for one singer with nothing but basic chords and lyrics in front of her.  Everyone was duly impressed; especially the singer!  Host, Steven Cupo, brought his 90 year old Dad, Ev, to help add to the entertainment.  Ev had been to past Open Mics, but this was the first time he sang twice.  And, boy, what a huge treat that was.  He really still has the magic one needs in order to put across a song.  Board member, Cindy Hutchins, brought along a new voice student.  They both ended up singing by using music from the just completed lesson.  Now that is what you call “getting into the swing of things”!  Speaking of Board members, Monday was the birthday of DC Cabaret Network Board President, George Fulginiti-Shakar.  Even though he wasn’t in attendance, he was remembered from the stage.  Happy Birthday, Georgie!
As all were leaving at the end of the night, everyone agreed that it was a very special coming together of music and great story telling; just the perfect evening.

Steven Cupo – Mama, a Rainbow
Marcia Kass  – Timid Frieda
Paul Pompeo – Here’s That Rainy Day
Stephanie Dailey – Hard Hearted Hannah
Len Borges – Beyond the Sea
Heidi Mayor – Hang on Little Tomato
Everard Cupo – Wandering
Steven Cupo – With You
Cindy Hutchins – Every Time We Say Goodbye
Magdalena Kuszmileva – The Man I Love
Paul Pompeo – Fly Me to the Moon
Stephanie Dailey – I Believe in You and Me
Heidi Mayor – I’ve Been Lonely Before
Everard Cupo – Old Man River


An April evening in spring must have inspired folks to stay outside and enjoy the weather, because they didn’t seem to be going indoors to take in the lovely ambiance of the DC Cabaret Network’s April Open Mic  at The Black Squirrel.   However, even though the group was small, our evening was “yuge” with good music and wonderful versatility.  As Steven Cupo hosted, Bill Yanesh’s talents were on full display at the keyboard.  Because the group was small, Steven kept encouraging Bill to go for a solo himself.  The Rachmaninoff never appeared, but he clearly showed that, if given the opportunity, he would have been fully capable!
It was a bit sentimental having Board member Tracy Simpson sing a couple of songs.  She will be leaving for a couple of months to take advantage of a great job opportunity in New York City.  She said she will be back, but in the meantime, is looking forward to attending some cabaret in The Big Apple herself!
Announcements were made regarding the DC Cabaret Network’s Annual Members Showcase on Thursday, April 14th at the Metropolitan Church of Washington.  It always is a great way to see the range of performers in DC.
At the end of the night, everyone concurred that, after all, a small group listening to live music in an intimate space was a wonderful way to spend a spring evening.

Steven Cupo – House of the Rising Sun
Michael Miyazaki  – Making Love Alone
Byron Murray – You’d Be So Easy to Love
Juan Marroquin – En Mi Viejo San Juan
Ron Squeri – Leaving on a Jet Plane
Tracy Simpson – When She Loved Me
Stephanie Dailey – Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
Steven Cupo – My Funny Valentine
Byron Murray – You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to
Ron Squeri – So In Love
Juan Marroquin – My Way
Tracy Simpson – Manhattan
Michael Miyazaki – Get Here
Stephanie Dailey – When Did You Leave Heaven?


The DC Cabaret Network’s January Open Mic at The Black Squirrel saw in the new year with an intimate group of participants, who braved a cold January night in order to share talent, song and camaraderie.  Even though the group was small, the evening was large with good music.  Steven Cupo hosted, while Jeff Hamlin’s talented hands were at the keyboard.  Jeff’s versatility shone through when the piano stand holding the music fell off the back of the piano while one of our singers was in mid-song.  Jeff didn’t “bat-an-eye’ and just kept playing as though the ghost of the sheet music was still in front of him.  Way to go, Jeff!
It was also heartening to have Sherri Kuznicki Owen and her husband, Mark, drive all the way from Annapolis to be with the Open Mic gang.  The cold certainly didn’t stop them!  Everyone received an extra special treat when Steve Cupo’s 89 yesr old dad, Everard, got up to the stage and sang “That Lucky Old Sun”; without a mic and a cappella, no less.  He was GREAT!
Announcements were made to watch for our upcoming party to celebrate the new “Terri Allen Legacy Fund”.  So, watch your email for this gala, as well as the notice for our next Open Mic.
It was agreed that an intimate group in an intimate space was a wonderful way to spend a chilly evening.

Steven Cupo – They Were You
Len Borges  – Paper Moon
Marcia Kass – Timid Frieda
Richard Gondelman – Leader of the Band
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – I’ll Be Seeing You
Everard Cupo – That Lucky Old Sun
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – For Good
Richard Gondelman – Hallelujah
Marcia Kass – I Hate Men
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – Waiting for Life to Begin


The DC Cabaret Network’s December “doings” at The Black Squirrel was packed to the rafters for the “Holiday Open Mic”. Everyone was there to share in some Christmas/Hanukkah/non-denominational good cheer … and wow … were they cheerful!  With the ever lovely Reenie Codelka at the piano and, Christmas elf, Steven Cupo, hosting, folks were guided through a mélange of merriment and memories.  This year, there was a bit of a twist in the proceedings, with the introduction of a grab bag.  Most of the participants brought a wrapped present to put in a festively wrapped box.  After they sang, they got to choose a mystery present from the box to help put them in the holiday spirit.  Marcia Kass was probably the most excited of everybody when she unwrapped a 3-ring hole punch.  Leave to a singer to get revved up over a hole puncher!
Twenty singers filled the evening with their remarkable recitals and reminiscences.  And, just as we have been experiencing over these past few months, it was thrilling to have many “new” faces among our regular, wonderful attendees.  Three DC Cab board members offered us three musical selections spanning the gamut of old and new: Cindy Hutchins, Tracy Simpson and Steven Cupo. Newcomer, Erica Cogliani, gave us a magical “Too Beautiful for Words”.  But it was that clever Michael Miyazaki with his re-written “A Good Gift is Hard to Find” that brought the house down.
It was also announced that the new Terri Allen Legacy Fund web site is up and running.  This site is dedicated to extend Terri’s artistry and passion for the art of cabaret beyond her life. The legacy fund contributes to the activities of the Washington DC Cabaret Network as well as artists and organizations that recognize music which connects artists to audiences.  All donations are completely tax deductible.  (For more information, go to www.terriallenlegacyfund.org )
By the end of the evening, so many had sung, there was only time for a group “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” before we all went on our gay (as in “… let the Yuletide be …”) way.
Our next Open Mic is on Monday, January 11th at 8:00, with Jeff Hamlin at the keyboard.  Come join us in the New Year and get into the enjoyment that is the DC Cabaret Network’s Open Mic.

Steven Cupo – Just in Time for Christmas
Byron Murray – On the Road to Bethlehem
Cindy Hutchins – Make Someone Happy
Sheri Kuznicki Owen – Pick Yourself Up
Tracy Simpson – Wintersong
Maris Wicker – It’s Lovely Here
Heidi Mayor – What a Wonderful World
Maureen Kerrigan  – The Way You Look Tonight
Erica Cogliani – Too Beautiful for Words
Ron Squeri – Christmas Eve in Washington
Marcia Kass – Since You Asked
Eileen Warner  – In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
Juan Marroquin – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Tiffany Carter  – The Christmas Song
Michael Miyazaki – A Good “Gift” is Hard to Find
Kathy Reilly – Lucky to Be Me
Mary Reilly – We Need a Little Christmas
Parris Daniel  – My Rose-Colored Glasses
Brandi Rose  – Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine
Brenda Rozier-Clark – How Deep is the Ocean, How High is the Sky?


A rainy autumn evening couldn’t keep folks away from the DC Cabaret Network’s November Open Mic at The Black Squirrel, hosted by a wacky Steven Cupo. And with the wide variety of material, people and presentations, everyone was so glad they came!  Joining the Open Mic for the first time was the incredibly talented Bill Yanesh at the piano.  His youthful guise belied his amazing versatility and obvious depth of experience.  With the diverse styles presented, it was good he was there.  His good nature also came into play, as a jerry-rigged bar table and stool “tower” had to stand in for a lack of a music stand.  What a trouper!
It was exciting to have so many “new” faces; which meant “new” songs!  Newcomer, Parris Daniel, brought an entourage of friends to listen to her sing and play one of her own compositions.  One of her friends, Naomi Mason, was then inspired to sing, even though she had not planned to.  It was good our audio tech, Jill Parsons, who is a talented pianist in her own right, knew one of the songs by heart and jumped in “for the assist”.  It should also be pointed out that Jill brought a friend of her own to sing for the first time, Landon Paddock.  He gave us a smooth and Sinatra-like “All the Way” that made everyone dreamy.  Special mention must be made to Board Member, Tracy Simpson, who knocked everyone out with a song from a new musical, “Waitress”, called “She Used to Be Mine”.  In addition, long-time DC Cabaret Network friend Maureen Kerrigan reminded all that there is nothing like listening to a pro, no matter what she is singing.
The night was such a rich combination of “old” and “new”, it was universally agreed that it would be difficult to wait for our next Open Mic on Monday, December 14th at 8:00.  Come join us for the holidays and get into the fun that is always part of the DC Cabaret Network’s Open Mic.

Steven Cupo – Never Neverland
Heidi Mayor – Dream a Little Dream of Me
Eileen Warner  – It Goes Like it Goes
Paul Pompeo  – Everybody Says Don’t
Parris Daniel  – Hometown Glory
Annie Elliott  – Frank Mills
Mary Reilly – Out of This World
Juan Marroquin – Edelweiss
Tracy Simpson – She Used to Be Mine
Stephanie Dailey – I Was Born in Love With You
Marianne Glass Miller – Poor Everybody Else
Maureen Kerrigan  – At Last
Naomi Mason – Hopelessly Devoted
Paul Pompeo  – Autumn Leaves
Maureen Kerrigan  – Dreamin’
Stephanie Dailey – Home
Landon Paddock – All of Me
Tracy Simpson – Laughing Matters
Parris Daniel – Pride
Naomi Mason – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Juan Marroquin – Moon River


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