Grammy Winner Melissa Manchester to Play Spencer Cabaret Night, 5/31
Grammy-winner Melissa Manchester still reigns as one of the finest singers and songwriters around. Having dominated the airwaves through the 70s and 80s, her award-winning ballads summon both head and heart in timeless journeys of love. Her Top Ten hit tunes like "Don't Cry Out Loud," "Midnight Blue," "and "Whenever I Call You Friend" shimmer like silk as they take a long view of relationships, and the tremendous toll of time. Her soft and smoky vocals are joyful and yearning, hopeful and reflective. And her bouncy tunes like "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" and "Talkin' To Myself" bristle with spunk and verve. She is one of the finest lyricists of our time, scoring significant industry awards and honors for her herself as well as for peers who've also recorded her trove of songs (i.e. Kenny Loggins, Johnny Mathis, Kathy Matea and Cleo Laine), and her voice endures as one of the very best.
Manchester's long career involves a kind of "Who's Who" of the American music world. She became a Chappell Music staff writer when still a teen, and she went on to study songwriting at New York University under Paul Simon. Around that time her singing talents were "discovered" in the Manhattan club scene by Bette Midler and Barry Manilow, who hired her as a backup singer when she was just 20. She went on to debut her first album, Home to Myself, just two years later, and with the release of her many Top Billboard hits, she set the tone for a mode of voluminous, powerful pop singing that's still sought today by aspiring young singers.
The amazingly diverse performance artist, who also starred in musicals on Broadway and L.A. stages, was honored with the Governor's Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for her contributions to the music & recording arts and a 2012 New York Bistro Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Popular Music (presented by her dear friend, the late Marvin Hamlisch). She recently recorded her 20th album, You Gotta Love The Life, which celebrates the great American songbook.
Performing piano and singing her compilation of hit songs and personal favorites, Melissa appears in a multi-media Cabaret night at the Spencer on Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m. will include guitar and vocal accompaniment. Excellent seats are available for $69 & $66 for this lovely night of pop-soft rock greatness. Don't miss out! Call the Spencer Box Office at 575.336.4800 or go online to www.spencertheater.com for tickets. A pre-show ravioli & linguini Lobby Buffet ($20) is also available at 6 p.m.
• The Nerd - Wayland University Theatre, Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ($30). Featuring a cast of seven, this two-act comedy by playwright Larry Shue centers on a "house-guest from hell" who outstays his welcome with a vengeance. The guest transforms what should have been a normal dinner party thrown for an important client into absolute insanity. Pre-show barbeque beef short ribs lobby buffet ($20) at 6 p.m.
• OH WHAT A NIGHT! A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Tuesday, June 10 at 8 p.m. ($59 & $56) A captivating tribute to Valli's vivacious songbook. Featuring impeccable vocals, and non-stop singing and dancing, the night's many hits will include the iconic 'Jersey boys' greatest hits "Sherry," Big Girls Don't Cry," "My Eyes Adored You," "Grease" and "Let's Hang On," and a dozen more favorites. Sponsored in-part by Rainmakers Golf Course & Community. Pre-show herb roasted codfish lobby buffet ($20) at 6 p.m.
• 2014 Miss New Mexico Pageant - Thursday-Saturday, June 26-28 ($49-$29) More than 20 of the most beautiful women in New Mexico compete for the crown! 1st preliminary competition June 26 at 7 p.m.; 2nd preliminary & crowning of "Outstanding Teen" June 27 at 7 p.m.; Miss New Mexico Finals & crowning June 28 at 8 p.m.
• Spencer Wine & Brew Festival - Friday, July 5 from 2 p.m.- 9 p.m. ($25; $20 prior to day of event). Featuring fine wines and beers as well as arts and crafts, this is a day-long event with live music and popping good fun! Patrons may enjoy pours at booths set around both levels of the Spencer's Crystal Lobby. Entertainment at the day-long event will be provided by the sizzling quartet Straight Up Jazz of Albuquerque (jazz standards with bass, keyboard, drums, saxophones, flutes and clarinet). Dance, taste a variety of wines and beer, (patrons may also purchase these products for take home) and meet talented artists at this New Mexico True event! Sponsored in-part by First National Bank of Ruidoso.
• "Taste of the Spencer" Fundraiser - Saturday, June 21 at 6 p.m. ($50). A robust evening of scrumptious hors d'eouvres, generous pours of wine (courtesy of National Distributing Co.,) and the live & silent auction of art, trips, antiques, jewelry, golf and fishing packages, fine clothing, celebrity memorabilia and more. Fun, fun, fun. (Also at the event, the winning ticket for the hand-blown glass "Poppy Red Basket Set with Ash Lip Wrap" by glass artist Dale Chihuly will be drawn. The raffle tickets are currently being sold for $50; only 300 will be sold. The basket set is valued at $25,000. (Ticket buyers need not be present at the "Taste of the Spencer" in order to win the glass art). "Taste of the Spencer" is the theater's most critical annual fundraiser, proceeds from which are used for facility operations and programming. Join us - and join in the success!
• Missoula Children's Theatre's "Blackbeard The Pirate" - Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. ($10 for children, $18 adults). Approximately 50 children, ages 6-16, will be needed for the musical's various parts. Auditions set for Monday, July 7 at 9 a.m. No experience necessary. Weeklong theatre workshop is free. For information, call 575.336.4800. Sponsored by Ruidoso Ford.
• Lance Lipinsky & The Lovers - Friday, July 18 at 8 p.m. ($59 & $56). Original piano pumpin' rhythms with inspired swagger honoring the performance traditions of Lipinsky's heroes Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley. Together with Lance (the star of the hit Tony-winning musical "Million Dollar Quartet"), this explosive "retro revival" concert includes the rockabilly Lovers on drums, bass and guitar. Pre-show pot roast lobby buffet ($20) at 6 p.m.
• Ottmar Liebert - Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m. ($69 & $66). This Platinum selling guitarist, who created the genre of nouveau flamenco with his sizzling, sensuous tune Barcelona Nights, is a true icon among contemporary guitarists. His multi-instrumental acoustic band Luna Negra joins him. His concert is preceded by a 5 p.m. Master's Class. RSVP for the class (limited to first 50) when purchasing a show ticket.
• Spencer Speakeasy Party: A Roaring '20s Dinner & Dance - Tuesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. ($110). Costumes are optional at this Flapper party, but dressing á la mode makes for a whole lot of fun! Enjoy a scrumptious steak and lobster dinner on stage, speakeasy drinks, and dancing to the big band jazz of The Capones, a septet of horns and percussion together with sultry female vocals.
• Lee Greenwood - Saturday, August 2 at 8 p.m. ($79 & $76) This award-winning "God Bless The USA" singer/songwriter also won distinction for 19 Top Ten country hits like "I.O.U." "Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands" and "Somebody's Gonna Love You." Sponsored by Kay Bird & Sandy Erwin.
• The Shirelles starring Beverly Lee - Saturday August 9 at 8 p.m. ($79 & $76). The sweet harmonies and sassy spirit of this historic vocal group shines forth in Doo Wop, Rhythm & Blues and smooth uptown Soul hits like "Dedicated To The One I Love," "Mama Said," "Soldier Boy," and "Sha La La." Starring group original Beverly Lee, The Shirelles are sponsored by Lynn & Bruce Morgan.
• Don McLean - Saturday, August 16 at 8 p.m. ($69 & $66). Legendary singer & songwriter of "American Pie," "Vincent," and "Castles In The Air," Don McLean is a true American troubadour, a master of "spirituality in rhythm and verse." He's joined by his multi-instrumental band for a night of folk-rock anthems.
• Pat Green, Texas Country - Thursday, August 21 & Friday, August 22 at 8 p.m. ($69 & $66). The Grammy-nominated hit maker, whose tunes "Wave On Wave" & "Take Me Out Dancing" is an ace songwriter with upbeat vocal stylings and a bit of Rock and Blues in his Country mix. Green will be joined at the Spencer by his five man band. Sponsored by The R.D. & Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation.
• Brass Transit, The Music of Chicago - Saturday, August 30 at 8 p.m. ($69 & $66). Featuring a world-class horn section, rocking rhythm section and sky-high vocals, Brass Transit takes us to a more freewheeling era with the many Jazz-Rock hits of Chicago with classics like "Saturday In The Park," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" and "Wishing You Were Here." Brass Transit features some of Canada's most-in-demand musicians and the group won endorsement by Chicago for its true sound and integrity. Enjoy their soaring vocals and spot-on instrumentals with multiple woodwinds, bass and drums.
For more season information and show, event & buffet tickets, please visit www.spencertheater.com or call 575.336.4800.