American Classics Announces 2013-14 Season: 'SO KAYE, DIZZY FINGERS and More!
For their 2013-2014 season American Classics brings three "firsts" to their programming. For the first time American Classics will present a guest performer in their own concert, acclaimed entertainer John O'Neil in his popular salute to Danny Kaye, 'So Kaye, a one man "tongue-twisting tour-de force" showcasing songs, stories and monologues culled from Kaye's illustrious career. 'So Kaye was nominated for the prestigious IRNE award in 2001; since that time O'Neil has performed the show up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida. "Adding John O'Neil and 'So Kaye to our season is exciting for us. John has appeared with us in the past, but we are delighted to be able to showcase him in one of his most popular shows," says Producing Director Benjamin Sears, who notes, "this is Kaye's centenary year, so it's a perfect time to feature John in an American Classics season."
John O'Neil, one of New England's finest cabaret actors (Niagara Falls Gazette), has also been recognized by the Boston Globe as one of New England's best-known cabaret artists. Regularly appearing at popular nightclubs and cabarets across the country, an evening with John O'Neil equally charms the lover of the soulful cocktail pianist and the fan of the art of cabaret. His show Camp Songs was named one of the year's 10 best cabarets by Bay Windows newspaper in 2000. O'Neil made his New York debut at Danny's Skylight Room in Being Earnest: The Songs of Ernie Lijoi, also named one of Boston's best cabaret shows in 2001. Reviewers have called his show, Not That You Asked, "a perfect mix of standup comedy, song and personal anecdote" and "the best show of the season so far, cabaret or comedy, theater or soapbox." In August of 2002, O'Neil released his CD 'So Kaye: The Songs of Danny Kaye at Musikfest, the nation's oldest and largest music festival. In March of 2003, the Independent Reviewers of New England presented O'Neil with a special recognition award for his many contributions to the field of cabaret. In the fall o2003, Black Arrow Entertainment produced a one hour video featuring O'Neil called Portrait of a Cabaret Singer.
In addition to his talents as an accomplished soloist, O'Neil often performs with local cabaret performers and has appeared on stage with the internationally acclaimed Ann Hampton Callaway. Theater lovers have seen him on stage in Kander and Ebb's And the World Goes 'Roundand in the starring role of Miss Gulch Returns. O'Neil is an enterprising educator, operating his own vocal studio, mounting performance master classes, and teaching at diverse educational institutions such as Wheelock Family Theater, Riverside Cabaret Institute, and Wind Song Educational Institute in Taiwan.
Performances of 'So Kaye are Friday, November 1 at 7:30 at the Follen Community Church in Lexington and Sunday, November 3 at 3pm at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street, Cambridge.
The end of February brings another exciting first-time event for American Classics as they join forces with popular Harvard Square restaurantUpstairs on the Square for two cabarets of songs about food, accompanied by delicious offerings from the restaurant's celebrated kitchen.American Classics will "sing for your supper" in two unique events. Friday night, February 28, is a late-night cabaret at 10pm, with a full concert accompanied by light fare and drinks in the downstairs Monday Club. Sunday afternoon, March 1 offers a full brunch with concert at1:00 in the elegant upstairs dining room. For those wanting lighter food, a 2:00 seating for just dessert and the concert is also available. Featured performers include song duo Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner with American Classics favorite Caroline Musica and other guests.
In April the members of American Classics present their first-ever concert of piano "novelty" pieces beloved in an earlier era coupled with novelty songs from many generations. Dizzy Fingers - Piano Pyrotechnics and Delectable Ditties brings together the witty and tricky piano pieces of Zez Confrey and other leading composers of the style with popular novelty songs such as Yes, We Have No Bananas. Performers are the members of American Classics, Margaret Ulmer, piano, song duo Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner, and special guests. A rollicking time is guaranteed for all on Friday April 25 at 7:30 at the Follen Community Church in Lexington and Sunday April 27 at 3:00 at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.