Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thank You Elaine Strich and God Bless Ya.
When I arrived home after rehearsing with Jason Chesworth (guitar man extraordinaire) today I found that I had an email from George.
It just had a link in it.
After I did some special CSI investigating and determined it was NOT spam (the very thing he has been accusing my innocent email account of...okay, I had to change my password about five times...alright?!) I saw these words in the title...
And my heart sunk a bit.
Elaine Stritch...the queen of old school Broadway, the lady who made sure I stayed in cabaret...was going to do one final show before she hangs it up.
She is having trouble remembering her lyrics...she is 88 years old people...if I can remember my own name at 88 LET alone a bunch of Sondheim lyrics I will count myself very lucky.
The article talks about how she is moving out of her hotel room at the Carlyle Hotel...Room 309. She has lived in that room for 10 years and made the trip down the elevator and up a set of stairs into the Cafe Carlyle many many times...and I went with her once. From Room 309 to the back of the Cafe to watch her KILL her set...and then back up to her room after. It was an absolute honour. I have told this story a number of times...it is one of my faves...but I stayed in her rehearsal room overnight once...there was a white grand piano and pictures of all the cabaret artists on the walls and flowers from Sondheim, Elaine May and Mike Nichols...and Hal Prince...and I know this because I read every GD card.
It happened on a lark...I went down to stay with my pal who was her sound person and assistant at the time...we had ALL worked together on Showboat (Including Elaine)... but this was a couple years later...and Elaine was fancy...I was afraid she would not remember me...she probably didn't...but my pal reminded her, I think. And then she made the grand gesture to offer her rehearsal suite to me for the night.
Are you fucking kidding me.
And after her awesome show I sat in Room 309 and I talked with her...she asked me if I liked a song in her cabaret called 'Fifty Percent' ...it was written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and they insisted that Elaine put it in her show... and my pal had told her she wasn't a fan of it...I said I liked it...of course I did...what the fuck do you say to that question...she did a slow burn on my pal that I will remember forever.
And I told her I was trying to do cabaret but there were no rooms in Toronto and no audiences...and it was hard...
And she said, "Just fucking do it...make a room...find an audience..."
So, I did.
I still think about that weekend...it changed my life.
So, she is still alive and kicking...but she is finishing her stay at the Carlyle in the Cafe and the Hotel.
I cannot help thinking that this is the end of an era.
Well, it is.
I thank Elaine Stritch from the bottom of my heart for her words...swears and all...and her support.
And if you have come this far...why not come a little farther?
I know it has been a big promo month with Full Dark and then the Happening...both went so well and I thank all who came...and, again, I thank all those who have not hidden me in your feed...but I have one more gig...a gem...in Maggie and Heather's place...the Flying Beaver Pubaret on Parliament Street in Toronto.
It is my very first acoustic/unplugged show with only guitar, bass and baritone Uke and harmonica as played by the awesome, Jason Chesworth. We were working today, as I mentioned earlier, and I am having the best time...so fun and the music is soul lifting...I love a new collaboration. I am so excited to be trying all of these new things this year.
I am going back into my nether reaches of my career for some of the music I will sing...Bette Midler, Fats Waller, Rod Stewart and some AC/DC...so wonderful and different...
And I love Maggie and Heather's Pubaret...it is so warm and casual...and I get back to my pop culture loving/storytelling routes...I had a fab night there in January and am so glad to finish the month this way...a month that has been so wonderful already.
Come on out!
Let us make this Good Friday...really really fucking Good.
Here is the poster, people...OH AND KRITTY URANOWSKI is dropping by to serenade us as well...HOW could this night get any better???
You can get tickets online here:
Or Call the Pubaret at:
And as I move forward I leave you with a couple NEW videos that have been a part of my cabaret odyssey...one that my pal Mike Bickerton (Thanks, Bicks) found on his IPHONE of the finale of the last show of my 2011 "Jesus Thinks I'm Funny" Tour at Leicester Square in London. It is amazing to see how the show became second nature by the end of the tour...and I was SICK AS A DOG...and this was still one of the most thrilling days of my life. Fabu accompaniment by Chris Tsujiuchi.
And here is a taste of what my very first Cabaret Residency Workshop at Buddies in Bad Times in Toronto was like...it was thrilling in a different, but no less awesome, way. Accompaniment by Chris Tsujiuchi, Jamie Drake and Jason Chesworth.
AND because you came SO FAR in this post...and I wanted you to hopefully read the whole thing...here is the link the awesome article that started this all today...