Cabaret Community Mourns the Loss of Peter Fox

Peter Fox

The DC Cabaret Network would like to express its condolences to the family and friends of Peter Fox, who passed away on January 2, 2012. Peter was a member of the DC Cabaret Network, and was well-known in the cabaret community. He performed in our Members Only Showcase in March 2010 at the Arts Club of Washington, and performed his solo cabaret show, “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken” at the Signature Theatre in July 2011. In the summer of 2010, Peter attended the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University, a competitively auditioned, week-long intensive workshop in the art of cabaret. He had also studied the art of cabaret with Judy Simmons and George Fulginiti-Shakar at the Theatre Lab of Washington.

For more information about Peter Fox, see this article on the Washington Blade website.

A public viewing is planned for Thursday, January 5, 2012, at DeVol Funeral Home (2222 Wisconsin Ave., NW) from 6 to 9 p.m. A memorial service is set for Friday, January 6, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th Street, N.W.). Anyone may attend.

Everything You Wanted to Know About “White Christmas” But Were Afraid to Ask

Interesting history of the Irving Berlin song “White Christmas” in an article in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Several DC Cabaret Network members will be performing @ Artomatic

Be sure and check out several DC Cabaret Network members who will be performing the next two Sundays at Artomatic, Washington, DC’s month long arts festival. They’ll be on the Cabaret Stage at 5 PM, Sunday, May 31, 2009, and Sunday, June 7, 2009, at 5:30 p.m..

These shows, known as Cabaret Heaven, feature Terri Allen, Ron Squeri, Maris Wicker, Kathy Reilly, Andrea Klores, Christy Trapp, Justin Ritchie and Beverly Cosham. Musical direction is by Reenie Codelka.

Artomatic is free to the public and features nine floors of visual and installation art, as well as musical and theatrical performances. Artomatic is located at 55 M Street, SE — next to the Washington Nationals Ballpark.

Thanks to Michael Miyazaki for highlighting this info on Miyazaki Cabaret Update: DC & Beyond.

Why They Came to His Cabaret — a book review

Cafe_Society

We came across this book review recently in the Wall Street Journal and wanted to share it with our readers. The book under review is Cafe Society: The Wrong Place for the Right People by Barney Josephson, who was the founder of the New York clubs Cafe Society and The Cookery. Enjoy! And let us know if you read the book.

Field Report: Arts on Foot

Thanks to all the wonderful DC Cabaret Network members who sang as part of Arts on Foot on Saturday, September 13, 2008, at the Warehouse Theater. Here’s who sang what, accompanied by the terrific Mary Sugar:

David McMullin

The Tale of The Oyster

We Can Be Kind

Kathy Reilly

I’ll Remember April

Yellow Days

Ron Squieri

Sway

One More Walk Around the Garden

Joanne Schmoll

A Wonderful Guy

Lazy Afternoon

Michael Miyazaki
I Had A Dream About You

It Must be Him

Emily Leatha Everson

There Will be A Miracle

I Want Them Bald

Lonny Smith, Alicia Steffman, Elizabeth Keyes

A  Good Man is Hard to Find (show title)

A Good Man is Hard to Find

100 Easy Ways to lose a Man -Liz

Lonely Town – Lonny

You Go to My Head – Alicia

Marry the Man Today – Alicia and Liz

A Good Man is Hard to Find (reprise) All

Terri Allen

From Time to Time

What the World Needs Now

Master Class with Wendy Lane Bailey and Laurel Masse

Wendy and Laurel return to DC on September 27, 2008, with their “Words & Music” master class. Check out all the details over at Miyazaki Cabaret Update.

“Psycho Cabaret” Featured in DC Theatre Scene “Fringe Scene Stealers”

Judy Simmons, Michael Vitaly Sazanov, and Emily Leatha Everson (what’s with all the three-part names?) get the star treatment from Joel Markowitz over at DC Theatre Scene.

Pastiche

by Kathy Reilly, May 2008 Guest Blogger

In my last entry as guest blogger, I decided to present a mixed bag of ideas and information that I think might be of interest to singers and performers.

To begin with, while trying to keep up with reviews of shows and performances by a wide range of singers, song writers, etc. I came across a May 22 New York Times blog entry by Rosanne Cash titled, “The Ear of the Beholder.” I think it is worth reading. It can be found here.

In it, Cash discusses the art and craft of song writing and how she strives for artistic accomplishment. She advises writers not to get caught up in with the idea of being truthful and says that truth and facts are not the same, performers should live with questions and find their own truth through creation and discovery.

I extract one quote here from the blog: “Real artistic accomplishment requires a suspension of certitude. E.L. Doctorow said that ‘writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.’ ”

This thought leads me to some comments on “A Catered Affair,” a show I saw last weekend in New York . Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein were the headliners with others. The show is Ms. Prince’s and I am glad that I had a chance to see her as Aggie; she was great. Leslie Kritzer as Janey, Aggie’s daughter, was excellent and most of the cast was believable. The show is about the impact of Janey’s upcoming nuptuials on family members.

The story, an age-old one, did not have any fresh insights, nor did it take advantage of an opportunity to present a new perspective on what the lives of closeted homosexuals must have been like before it was OK to come out. Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book for the show, gave a cameo performance. He was sometimes hard to understand and the audience was supposed to know that he was gay because Harvey was playing the role. At lease it seemed that way since the fact was never relayed in the story. He was just an odd-ball bachelor uncle. One irritatingly and corny scene, [which receives an ‘I know you Harvey” laugh], has the uncle returning home drunk to a family dinner where he behaves badly in front of the soon to be in-laws. He is frustrated because he has been left out of the wedding plans and, I assumed, because he is angry about his own thwarted love life and narrow heterosexual views of love. The scene didn’t work and, for me, Harvey ‘s Uncle Winston was extraneous to the story. We knew what the subtext was supposed to be because Harvey was in the role, not because we got to know of like Winston.

I did like the unusual sometimes operetta style of this musical and there were some very nice songs. One great song for young women singers is “One White Dress,” sung by Janey. I found Tom Wopat’s father – cab driver a bit too down trodden and Brooklynesque. He is up for a Tony for Best Male Performance in a Musical, and Faith Prince is, as well, for Best Female Performance in a Musical.

Finally, for the past month I have been looking for good resources for sheet music and lyrics. I was planning on sharing what I learned with the DC Cabaret Network blog readers. I did not really get to master or work with the new resources but I did notice that there seem to be more online resources available, which I have yet not tried. New to me are Sheet Music Direct and Sheet Music Plus. I have used Sunhawk and Musicnotes many times but there are still many songs that are difficult to find. Maybe Cabaret Network singers could share a listserv?

For lyrics, I learned that by using Google search for lyrics, one can find the lyrics to lots of songs and some of these are even translated into other languages. I tried to get “Lullaby in Birdland” in French and did but it was NOT a real translation written by a lyricist or the composer. The translation was a word for word one similar to what I would do. It lacked idiomatic phrasing and a sense of how things are expressed in French.

As for new (to me) technology, I found eMule, which I am still learning how to use. A friend got some sheet music on this site. It is described as “one of the biggest and most reliable peer-to-peer file sharing clients around the world.” Thanks to “it’s open source policy many developers are able to contribute to the project, making the network more efficient.” Limewire is another resource I heard about.

Would anyone care to elaborate on sheet music, lyric and technology resources? I would be happy to hear or read your ideas. Thanks and good luck.

May Open Mic Night Report

Our May Open Mic Night on the 19th was a hit with 18 singers taking the stage, and many more in attendance to watch and listen. Michael Miyazaki reports on the evening’s program over on Miyazaki Cabaret Update: DC and Beyond. Thanks Michael!!

Solo Performance

by Kathy Reilly, May 2008 Guest Blogger

Last night I had a surprisingly delightful experience at the DC Arts Center’s presentation of “The Inaugural DC Solo Performance Showcase.” The eleven solo performers were completing a Solo Performance Lab taught by Laura Zam, a writer, solo-performer, and teacher.

As described to me by the friend who took the workshop, students work on material for a one-person show. Over a six-week period, students write, rehearse, edit and polish an original piece, which is then cut, honed and memorized for the five-minute performance before family and friends.

The eleven stories presented were not too dissimilar in subject matter from the wide variety of material offered at a DC Cabaret Network Open Mic. The performers’ choice of subjects revealed all levels of emotional, physical and intellectual experience. Some were amusing and even outright funny, while others were sad, mournful and even a bit weird. Most of the stories appeared to be autobiographical and the performers displayed an admirable degree of gusto and fortitude.

As with songs, the stories were about the mystery, wonder, frustration, and tragedy of life, and how each individual embraces, shuns or deals with problems caused by other people, work, hobbies, aging, etc. Topics included: finding ones true calling as an artist; a life-changing cross-country biking trip; an aging burlesque queen’s dilemma about what’s next; a woman’s battle with her dysfunctional family’s eating habits; saving caterpillars and diverse manifestations of life; the art of pickling as an analogy for being resilient in face of adversity; and the memory of a teenager’s effort to become a cheerleading ‘Tigerettte.’

Most of the artists presented monologues but a few included multiple characters very successfully. One poetic and moving story explored a grandmother’s response when the grandson she raised calls to ask for his mother’s death certificate. She is dumbfounded and pained because her daughter/his mother played no role in his life.

This was good theater and it appeared to be a great exercise for expanding an actor’s, singer’s or writer’s ability to reach and touch an audience. This is not a writer’s course; Zam encourages students to focus on and develop the heart of their stories.

The DC Arts Center is a tiny theater at 2438 18th Street, NW , (www.dcartscenter.org; www.theatredujour.org), which seats about 60 people and is situated behind the center’s upstairs art gallery. The event was presented in association with the Capital Fringe Festival (July 10-27), for which Zam will be teaching a ‘Training Factory” on June 21. Additional Solo Performance workshops are scheduled for June and September. Contact Zam at info@laurazam.com and Laurazam.com.