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Storefront Theatre Salutes Nancy LaMott May 23-24 at the Duplex

The Storefront Theatre's Spring benefit We Miss Nancy: The Storefront Sings LaMott will be presented at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre on Monday, May 23rd at 7 PM, and Tuesday, May 24th at 9:30 PM.

As its title indicates, the show (which is directed by Phil Geoffrey Bond with Musical Direction by Ray Fellman) will feature some of today's leading lights from the cabaret world in a tribute to "the brilliant cabaret performer and recording artist who placed her indelible stamp on some of the most classic compositions ever written, before her untimely death in 1995."

The May 23rd evening consists of the following songs and singers, all of whom have been touched by LaMott's artistry: Scott Ailing ("That Old Black Magic"), Bobby Belfry ("Just in Time For Christmas"), Brandon Cutrell ("Where Do You Start?"), Baby Jane Dexter ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore/I'm Glad There is You"), frequent LaMott collaborator David Friedman ("Trust the Wind"), Maria Gentile ("Help is on The Way"), Nikki Renee Daniels ("I Have Dreamed"), David Gurland ("Accentuate the Positive"), Rick Jensen ("In Passing Years"), Liz McCartney ("Listen to My Heart"), Phillip Officer ("We Can Be Kind"), Marty Thomas, and Nick Cearley, Brandon Cutrell & Sarajean Devenport performing a Johnny Mercer medley.

The May 24th evening will feature Lisa Asher ("In Passing Years"), Scott Coulter ("My Foolish Heart"), David Friedman ("Trust the Wind"), Audrey Lavine ("Out of This World/So in Love"), Karen Mack ("Help is on The Way"), Carolyn Montgomery ("Beautiful Baby"), Kate Pazakis ("We Live on Borrowed Time"), Julie Reyburn ("The Child in Me"), Ricky Ritzel ("Not Exactly Paris"), Shonn Wiley, ("How Deep is the Ocean?"), and once more, Nick Cearley, Brandon Cutrell & Sarajean Devenport in a Johnny Mercer medley.

Nancy LaMott, considered by many to have been the greatest singer of American Popular Standards of her generation, was on the verge of stardom when she was struck down by uterine cancer at the age of 43. One of the most sought-after cabaret singers in San Francisco, Nancy soon found her way to New York, where she quickly became known in the cabaret world as one of the great singers of her time. In 1989, Nancy met composer/conductor David Friedman, who felt she should be making records, and offered to produce them himself. Based on the success of the first record, Beautiful Baby, Nancy's popularity began to spread to a wider circle and she began breaking attendance records at some the most prestigious clubs in New York, including the Chestnut Room at Tavern on the Green and the world famous Oak Room at the Algonquin.

Subsequently, Nancy toured extensively, was discovered by WQEW disc jockey Jonathan Schwartz, which led to her being played on 1,000 radio stations all over the country, and appeared on numerous television shows including Live With Regis & Kathie Lee. Kathie Lee Gifford became a huge fan and played an enormous part in promoting Nancy nationally and also in personally supporting her toward the end of her life. Nancy also sang at the White House twice, and became a favorite of the Clintons.

In March of 1995, Nancy was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Nancy chose hormone therapy as opposed to surgery so that she could complete the greatest album of her career, Listen To My Heart, with a full orchestra orchestrated by the legendary Peter Matz. Shortly after her diagnosis, Nancy was in San Francisco doing an AIDS benefit when she was introduced to actor Pete Zapp. They quickly fell in love and began a bicoastal romance. In July, Nancy was told that the hormone therapy had not worked and that she needed to have a hysterectomy. She postponed it one month so that she could play the Algonquin one more time. As soon as that engagement was over, Nancy had the surgery and was told that the cancer had spread slightly and that she would need chemotherapy.

During this period, Nancy kept performing, doing a sold out week at Tavern on the Green, and even fulfilling concert dates around the country. The chemo and the disease began to take their toll, and just a few days after her last two performances, an appearance on "Charles Grodin" and her regular annual visitto WQEW's on-air Christmas Party, Nancy was rushed to the hospital and her shocked friends and family were told that she had just a couple of days to live. Peter Zapp and her family and friends rushed to her side. That night, President and Mrs. Clinton phoned her in the hospital to wish her well. In the last hour of her life, Father Stephen Harris performed a bedside wedding ceremony for Nancy and Peter. Nancy died with friends and family around her, married for the first time in her life, and knowing she was on her way to worldwide recognition. The outpouring of support and love that followed Kathie Lee's tearful on-air announcement of Nancy's death the next morning has grown and grown. Since Nancy's tragic and untimely death, her six albums have soared in popularity and her story has touched thousands of people across the nation.

Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are strongly encouraged, and can be made by calling 212.255.5438. There is a $15 cover, as well as a two-drink minimum. No one under 21 is permitted, and credit cards are accepted.

The Duplex Cabaret Theatre is located at 61 Christopher St., in the heart of New York's West Village.


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