I like to make some serious singer poses when I sing...I am all looking like a jazz singer.
Wait. Not 'THE' jazz singer...that would just be uncomfortable and also wrong.
This picture was taken by the LOVELY Tracy Nolan...the partner of Jim Clayton who accompanied me on my Birthday at Statlers...which this pic is from. It was ALSO Jim Clayton's Birthday that night...I shit you not my friends...what are the odds, huh?
What a fucking time it has been.
George and I were chatting about our lives a couple of years ago and deciding what we wanted to do and where we wanted to do it.
That sounded horrible.
You know what I mean.
We decided we wanted to be somewhere that we could be immersed in our art. I know...I sound all fancy...but when I talked to friends in NY and London and they talk about the plays and the workshops and the cabarets and the TV and Film and how they can cross over...I was jealous...I also wanted to be somewhere like that. And be able to afford living somewhere like that.
Well, in the last few months I have seen that we live "somewhere like that".
I am not trying to sound ...well, fancy or...superior...just ...happy and proud of Toronto.
WE can be that place...we are that place.
It is very exciting.
I just finished my 3 month series at Statlers...I played every week for three months in a cabaret.
When I started cabaret-ing in earnest about 6 years ago...there was NO WAY that could have happened anywhere ...not with a cover charge and a drink minumum. And the NOW Magazine recognized it and made it a Critics Pic for the whole time...that made me very happy and hopeful.
My great thanks to Jon Kaplan for being such a great supporter!
Jenni Burke PACKS...yes...literally packs Statlers EVERY MONDAY night for over a year now...EVERY WEEK.
I went to Eighty Eight's in NY about 15 years ago and saw a room much like Statlers doing that very same thing...and dreamed of a day when it would happen here...well it did... and it does...did I mention EVERY MONDAY?!
You can go there and see the up and coming...the older and came...and the people who just like to sing for fun...but you never know what experience you might have!!!But you will ALWAYS get the fabu Jenni Burke...she MAKES that night.
Marcus Nance is doing a fabulous cabaret once a month...his guests have included Measha Brueggergosman and Louise Pitre. He has an entirely different, new and exciting fan base...and he is performing classical, musical theatre and comtemporary rep....and he is easy on the eyes and is one of the BEST singers around. He also PACKS THEM IN! (and he also needs a website)
AND I have seen amazing cabaret shows at fabulous and new venues.
Up at the Toronto Centre Merle Garbe has a series called Studio 5040
I have performed there myself and have seen the fabulous duo of Patricia Zentilli and Patti Loach...an amazing cabaret team...doing their thing there, with my handsome husband opening the show....the Patty's also have a hit cabaret CD that garnered tons of raves in major magazines.
This will be the second year of the CANWEST Cabaret Festival at the Young Centre! With fabulous and exciting acts....including the Patty's....and....um...well....myself. Not that I think I am fabulous...but ....I am gonna be there....WAIT!!! I am fabulous!!! Aren't we ALL!?!?!?!
CABARET is everywhere, people.
And....are you tired yet?
And there is this amazing Sondheim in September Series.
It is one of the most ambitious projects I have ever seen.
3 nights of Sondheim starring the luminaries of Canadian cabaret, jazz and musical theatre. All Mondays...two are over and one is left.
I went to the first one and was bowled over...Blythe Wilson, Janna Polzin, my George, Megan Nuttall, Judith Landers...singing the best music ever written...suck it people...that stuff is the BEST!!! And the huge ensemble choir.
I had the honour of performing with my husband at the concert last night. I played Mrs. Lovett...how fun was that..hair rocked! Dress rocked! And I did my best not to eff up.
But the best part, besides getting the chance to sing with George, was watching all the other diverse performers get up ...there was true magic made last night...Paula Wollfson singing " I'm Still Here" brought down the house...Julie Michels' Send In The Clowns accompanied by George ....oh eff...what is his last name....I have googled...I have looked in the program....he isn't listed...oh that isn't good...but please someone send it to me...was pure art...and my George belting out the Sweeney as only he can...Andrew Stelmack, Jay Turvey...I cannot even name them all...and the choir again...singing the "Ballad of Sweeney Todd"....
There is one more show next Monday and you would be drunk to miss it...they line up is HUGE...Thom Allison, Patricia Zentilli, Charlotte Moore, Elicia Mackenzie....you gotta go to
I want to congratulate Warren Kimmel and Peter Huck on the herculean effort they have made...and ALL proceeds go to the Actors Fund...
There is so much going on!
This is the longest thing ever!
And now I take my friend Wayne Gwillim and my Sharron's Big Broadway Show...which I did in Sunday night at Buddies in Bad Times...that was a night to remember for always...I take the show to two venues out east. I am very excited...and a bit nervous...but mostly excited!
Statlers rock and roll.
I am immersed!
Toronto is rocking...and that is just the cabaret stuff people...so much else to be seen and done!
ADDENDUM: And I probably am NOT using that correctly...But I received this email from a very supportive cabaret and theatre goer who came to the Sondheim Series last night....
"Your blog today was great because I hadn't heard of some of the cabaret nights you mentioned. Is there some central source for Toronto cabaret listings on the internet? Or would that be...you? Walking back to our cars, I was raving to my friends about how lucky we are to live in a city with this much talent on our doorsteps -- and where you can go hear a show like last night's... for only $25?... and all benefiting a great cause? I was feeling all warm & fuzzy about Toronto."
I suggested Amanda's Blog
...also Robert Missen's Group...
Canadians For Canadian Cabaret
Can you guys think of anyone else?
And the Bassist's name is....George Koller....thanks Loach!