BWW Feature: Isolation Creations From Seth Sikes, Regina Zona, Mauricio Martinez And More Continue To Flood The Internet
It was recently announced that Broadway theaters will stay closed until 2021 and the arts community is feeling the pain. Naturally, the safety of the American people during the global health crisis comes first, nobody denies that, but the people who love to sit in theaters and witness the art, the people who need to stand on stages and make that art, are all in pain right now. The cabaret and club industry continues to wonder when they will begin making merry again, though they do have the benefit of at least being able to open their doors for limited seating for meals and drinks. In the meantime, the artists of the performing persuasion continue to make virtual music and Broadway World Cabaret is on the hunt for Isolation Creation, new and old, and this week we turned up some real treasures.
Young cabaret upstart Seth Sikes has been under quarantine on Fire Island and decided to celebrate Gay Pride by creating a music video for Pride, for quarantine, and for the new fashion trend that is all the rage (in more ways than one, as a look at the news will show).
"Since I'm not able to perform live, where I often sing parody lyrics, and since I have all the time in the world, I made a music video for Pride. I had never edited music or video but it was a welcome learning experience."
"I often perform musical theatre songs with a twist or parody lyrics for live nightclub audiences, but since I can't do that for the foreseeable future, I decided to try to make a music video. I've always loved Randy Rainbow who is the King. He has a genius for making hilarious political parody videos, and while I'm not political in this one, I am a show queen, and I happened to finish it just in time for Pride!"
Mexican-born singing actress Florencia Cuenca released her recording and music video of the song "Burn" from the musical Hamilton, just as the movie version is on the eve of debuting on Disney +, as a part of her project "Broadway en Spanglish." The song features arrangements and music production by fellow Mexican Jaime Lozano, who has the distinction of being the artist that Lin-Manuel Miranda has called the next big thing on Broadway.
On her Youtube channel, Ms. Cuenca writes: "As a brown Mexican immigrant with an accent, I don't yet have many options to be a leading lady on a Broadway show, so I am working to create opportunities for people like me to be on stage. As I work towards that dream, I am experimenting with how my mixed musical upbringing could reimagine my favorite musical theatre songs, playing with not only the "mezcla" of musical traditions but how an immigrant woman learning a second language sounds when she speaks."
Katie Dunne McGrath shared on her Facebook page her recording of Brian Wilson's "In My Room" - Ms. McGrath says the song is "..something that's taken on new meaning to me with the onset of COVID isolation. Rick Jensen played piano and sang some harmonies. My fella Chet Whye Jr. produced." In the two weeks the song has been online it has been viewed nearly three thousand times. See IN MY ROOM by clicking HERE
New York-based music group Fleur Seule, led by eternally chic and angelic-voiced frontwoman Allyson Briggs, paired with Argentinian Eduardo Bosio to record "The Prayer" as a "message of hope with you. We pray for global change and healing for all during these times." Ms. Briggs and her incredibly popular music group have been prolific in the continual amount of online content they have produced since the city of Manhattan went into quarantine, and even though the city is partially re-opened, Briggs and co. continue to provide inspiration and entertainment for the music lovers of the world. See THE PRAYER by clicking HERE
Broadway and nightclub star Mauricio Martinez has been sheltering in place in New York City and during his isolation Mexican native Martinez has been sharing the love and sharing his voice in musical numbers - one was recorded and posted on the Youtube page for the Black Star Theater Company and can be seen below, the other was recorded and posted on his Facebook page and can be seen HERE.
Twice Tony award nominated Constantine Maroulis has been beyond industrious during the lockdown, constantly staying in touch with his fans and in seeming perpetual motion. With a new CD in release titled UNTIL I'M WANTED, and a young daughter at home, it's a wonder he isn't exhausted but he can't stop producing online content.
Cabaret doyenne Lina Koutrakos, back in May, joined together the cabaret singers who attend her weekly classes, once in person and now online, and together these 14 actors sang a little Sondheim, virtually, to keep spirits up. Now on the last day of June, their video is still welcome at any time, for all continue to need their spirits lifted.
Dear Friends, another dark day for artists hit us yesterday. It was confirmed that Broadway will not open for the remainder of 2020. They follow opera, orchestra, theatre companies all over the world. ARTISTS ARE DEVASTATED! For me personally, I am having a harder and harder time trying to stay positive and I am not as directly affected by these closures as so many others are. This is why I had to do something for artists. This is what #FriendsArtistsMusic is all about.
#FriendsArtistsMusic is a collaborative musical project to raise money for three organizations who are championing artists who have been affected by COVID-19.
I offer a little joy on this day with my 8th collaboration of a fabulous Gershwin Medley (a Wally Harper arrangement) that I was privileged to sing with Grammy-nominated conductor, Jim Lowe. We are both alums of the incredible The Hochstein School and this performance is dedicated to them.
PLEASE SHARE. PLEASE DONATE. PLEASE SUPPORT ARTISTS.
The GoFundMe is HERE (click for link).
"Soundtrack of Our Lives: A Celebration for the Film and TV Music Community" raises money for MusiCares in a benefit for COVID-19 relief. The hour-long Youtube special has been covered by all the news outlets and features many famous faces from the entertainment industry. It is worth watching the entire hour, but at the 47 minute mark is a special performance that features the great Mr. and Mrs. Karl -- Orfeh and Andy. WORTH. WATCHING.