It was another wintry evening on March 10, 2014 for the DC Cabaret Network’s Open Mic at the Warehouse. But spirits were bright as members remembered Erv Raible, cabaret impresario, who recently died. `
Erv influenced many singers in New York and throughout the country. Most recently, he was the Executive Artistic Director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale. (Many local singers have trained at the Cabaret Conference or the Cabaret training sessions held at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, where Erv served as Co-Director.) Erv was also instrumental in the start-up of the DC Cabaret Network and served on the Advisory Board.
Steven Cupo talked about Erv’s contributions to cabaret as a club owner and manager in New York in the 1970’s, and stated unequivocally that “there would have been no cabaret in New York as we know it today without Erv.” Beverly Cosham talked about knowing Erv and performing in his clubs during that time.
Terri Allen brought a photo of Erv and George Fulginiti-Shakar had magically found purple boas in a garbage bag near his house, (yes, this is true), that adorned the music stand. Performers wore the boas as the mood struck them.
As several people spoke, references to singers came up and the audience was introduced to important icons like Nancy Lamott and Karen Mason who began their careers as singers in New York as Erv launched his clubs.
With George Fulginiti-Shakar at the keyboards and Jeff Tucker, Art of Music, on sound, it was a memorable evening for the DC Cabaret Network.
Here’s the rundown of singers and songs:
1) Steven Cupo, One/What I Did for Love, Marvin Hamlisch/Edward Kleban
2) Maris Wicker, Never Never Land, Jule Styne/Comden and Green
3) Beverly Cosham, From Where I Stand
4) Marsha Katz, The Old Folks, Jacques Brel
5) Donald Davidson, My Lean Baby, Billy May/Roy Alfred
6) Tracy Simpson, Oh How I Loved You, Marcy Heisler/Zina Goldrich
7) Joenn Khoo, I Think That He Likes Me, Kooman and Diamond
8) Mary Reilly, A Fine Romance, Jerome Kern/Dorothy Field
9) Jeff Stern, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, David Mann/Bob Hilliard
10) Christy Trapp, Please Make a Decision
11) Maureen Kerrigan, The Ladies Who Lunch, Stephen Sondheim
12) Terri Allen, Come Rain or Come Shine, Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer
1) Marsha Katz, Long Ago (and Far Away), Jerome Kern/Ira Gershwin
2) Mary Reilly
3) Beverly Cosham, My Favorite Year, Michelle Brourman/Karen Gottlieb
4) Maureen Kerrigan, Lazy Afternoon, Jerome Moross/John Treville Latouche
5) Tracy Simpson, Every Road Leads Back to You, Diane Warren
6) Christy Trapp, The Nearness of You, Hoagy Carmichael
7) Terri Allen, I’ll Be Here With You, David Friedman
A final thought:
Although Erv began his career in New York as a club owner, he believed it was important that singers have the opportunity to work on their craft with other great performers and musicians, and that is why he worked with the two Cabaret Conferences.
Erv will be missed. He was a teacher, coach and mentor to many and he always had ideas about what songs to sing, how a song could be arranged, and how to structure a show. In the midst of trying to work through material, he might offer advice like “less is more”. But, an Ervism, could also have been — “Sometimes you have to just sing the damn song!”
By Terri Allen and Tracey Simpson