Hamptons Summer Songbook – Preview – Come to Cabaret!

“This has been a long time coming”, sighs Donna Rubin, co-producer with Josh Gladstone of the first full cabaret season at not for profit LTV Studios. With support from Eleanor and Howard Morgan, the former musical theater actress and former artistic director of Guild Hall have booked a roster of popular artists ordinarily seen in Manhattan clubs. Having put a toe in the water last summer, LTV will offer Saturday night shows from June 22- August 31. No more lengthy drives or crowded jitneys to see your favorites.

Josh Gladstone and Donna Rubin

Tuesday night, a preview of the program was unveiled at New York’s Triad Theater.

Tovah Feldshuh begins the evening with a glimpse of Aging is Optional (G-d, I Hope It Is!) Dar Williams’ “When I Was a Boy” arrives youthfully with feet firmly planted (high heels off) and chest puffed out. “I won’t forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand/I said I was a boy/I’m glad he didn’t check…” As rendered, it’s an actor’s scene-in-one.

James Bassi and Tovah Feldshuh

A brief monologue as WYOY’s fatalistic Miss Chronic broadcasting Kaddish and Coffee follows. (Written by Larry Amoros.) Feldshuh has increasingly added this kind of skit to shows. The segment ends with a yearning “Neverland” (Betty Comden/ Adolph Green/Carolyn Leigh; Moose Charlap/Jule Styne) Second star to the right and straight on till morning – a new cabaret venue! (MD/Pianist James Bassi.)

The extremely dapper Mark Nadler with fascinator-hatted KT Sullivan present Always: The Love Story of Irving Berlin. “I think about how he wrote songs that shaped America, but what if he’d written in his own language?” Nadler posits, then rendering “White Christmas” in Yiddish with signature brio. Berlin’s first wife tragically died five months after their honeymoon, but a second love match lasted 63 years.

Mark Nadler and KT Sullivan

A First Date Medley duet includes romantic circumstances from “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” to “It Only Happens When I Dance with You.” Material is performed with palpable warmth. Sullivan ends with a light soprano interpretation of “You’d Be Surprised”, replete with playful gesture. Accompaniment bubbles. (MD/Piano Mark Nadler)

David Alpern – former reporter/writer/Sr. Editor Newsweek – presents Steve Ross and Karen Murphy in Best of the Versed: Celebrating opening Lyrics you may not know to songs you thought you did. “I weave with brightly colored strings/To keep my mind off other things…” begins “Falling in Love with Love.” (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart –The Boys From Syracuse.) Would you have known? Murphy convincingly assumes character. It’s easy to imagine her in the musical.

David Alpern; Steve Ross and Karen Murphy

“Oh, I got a message from below/’Twas from a man I used to know…” sings Ross – the verse to “Pack Up Your Sins and Go to The Devil.” Inflection showcases the song as wryly written. Who better than Ross to represent Cole Porter? “Though with joy I should be reeling/ That at last you came my way/There’s no further use concealing/That I’m feeling far from gay…” he follows with touching wistfulness. (“After You, Who?”) (MD/Piano Steve Ross.)

Mark Singer and Darcy Dunn submit Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim’s “Tonight” in tandem with Frank Loesser’s “Luck Be a Lady” from their upcoming evening Headliners and One Liners. And then a duet of Henry Mancini/ Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River” Voices blend nicely. “We’re the only ones you haven’t heard of tonight,” they quip. Arrangements are deftly bespoke. I’m unclear as to the meaning of the show’s title (MD/Piano Julia Mendelson.)

Darcy Dunn and Mark Singer

Perfectly Frank – A Century of Sinatra features Sal Viviano who strolls from the back of the theater, drink in hand. “A Hundred Years From Today” (Joseph Young and Ned Washington/Victor Young), “You Make Me Feel So Young” (Mack Gordon/Josef Myrow), and “My Funny Valentine” (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) are performed by this certified crooner. Catskill jokes might be replaced by a few Sinatra anecdotes. (MD/Piano Alex Rybeck.)

Alex Rybeck and Sal Viviano

Anna Bergman opens with “The Museum” (Addy Feiger/Francesca Blumenthal) about how to meet a better class of men. “There’s something about the lighting/Something about the hush/That makes a guy respect you/While giving you the rush…”  The droll song lands well when performed by classy Bergman. “The Merry Widow Waltz” follows with signature operatic panache. (Franz Lehar/Carl Haffner/Richard Ganz- English by Ruth & Thomas Martin.)

A medley of “I Wish You Love” (Charles Trenet- English by Albert Askew Beach) and “I’ll See You Again” (Noel Coward) invites us to the Hamptons. Bergman shares with the audience. Her show is titled The Song is You. (MD Piano Phil Hall.)

Phil Hall and Anna Bergman

Paris to Broadway is excerpted by confirmed Francophile Christine Andreas whose glorious soprano French never disappoints. We hear “La Mer” (Charles Trenet-English by Jack Lawrence), “The Last Time I Saw Paris” (Jerome Kern/ Oscar Hammerstein II) and “Valse D’Amour” (Marcel Achard/Marguerite Monnot) to which one can’t help but sway. On the Broadway side, Andreas presents a sparkling “She Loves Me” (Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick) reminding us of successful years on the boards. (MD/Piano Marty Silvestri.)

Marty Silvestri and Christine Andreas

Also on the program but missing tonight are Jeff Harnar and Karen Akers.

Tickets are available now, donations gratefully accepted. Support the art of live cabaret music however you can, wherever it sprouts.

Eleanor and Howard Morgan in Association with LTV Studios present
Hamptons Summer Songbook
Produced by Donna Rubin and Josh Gladstone
The series: Saturdays, June 22 – August 31

LTV Studios  
75 Industrial Road, Wainscott 

About Alix Cohen (1787 Articles)
Alix Cohen is the recipient of ten New York Press Club Awards for work published on this venue. Her writing history began with poetry, segued into lyrics and took a commercial detour while holding executive positions in product development, merchandising, and design. A cultural sponge, she now turns her diverse personal and professional background to authoring pieces about culture/the arts with particular interest in artists/performers and entrepreneurs. Theater, music, art/design are lifelong areas of study and passion. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League. Alix’s professional experience in women’s fashion fuels writing in that area. Besides Woman Around Town, the journalist writes for Cabaret Scenes, Broadway World, TheaterLife, and Theater Pizzazz. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, and ifashionnetwork. She lives in Manhattan. Of course.