BWW Feature: Stephen Mosher's Pandemic Playlist Number Five
Here in New York, the sun shines as the world spins and everyone makes the most out of the day ahead. What better way to start the day than a shower, a flossing, a cup of coffee and ten talented cabaret acts to brighten things up? Here is today's Pandemic Playlist, offered to you with the hope you will have a wonderful day.
1. Meg Flather is like the big sister of the cabaret community. Wise, funny, and always able to see through the haze of life to the person or people standing before her, she has taken her keen observation of life and people and turned it into a songwriting career that has yielded a wealth of musical materials for artists to get their brains around, the teeth into and their voices lifted by. Songwriting being only one of her talents, the television spokeswoman often raises her voice in song in clubs around town, most frequently Don't Tell Mama, in shows so supremely constructed as to feel like a one-act play. With shows like Outbound Plane, A Cabaret Sisterhood, and Cockeyed Optimist, Meg Flather was last year's Ambassador of Optimism. HERE is her take on Little Edie, and HERE is Meg Flather's website
2. Blaine Krauss is having a moment. The thrice Broadway employed actor has spent the last year singing in nightclubs around town and always to thrilling effect, but his recent show at FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW had to be canceled when he booked a little show called Hamilton - anyone heard of it? Mr. Krauss is one of the special ones, with a voice that whispers so sweetly and tenderly when the story needs it, but that roars thunderously when required... and just when you think he's got you wrapped around his little finger, he busts out with a little dance move to close the deal. With a prolific online presence (@blainekr Insta or @blainekrauss Twitter) Mr. Krauss inspires his fans and followers and leads the way for young people looking to live their lives with authenticity. A perfect example of his nightclub performance style is this slightly-known Christina Aguilera song HERE
3. The Show Broads are two women that everyone should know. The senior member is Broadway alum Marta Sanders, who has been a cabaret maven for a while now, wowing audiences with her loud and proud persona and voice, and Leanne Borghesi joins Sanders after taking the New York cabaret scene by storm after becoming bi-coastal, doing shows in NYC and San Francisco throughout the year. When these two women met, lightning struck, and when the smoke cleared The Show Broads stood on the earth. Their debut show at BIRDLAND was one of the events of 2019, with a waiting list so long that they recently had to do an encore. HERE is one of the numbers from Show Broads and the ladies can be found online here: Leanne Marta
4. Alexa Green is an actor and singer of international acclaim and, boy, has she earned it. After a lengthy stint playing Glinda on the West Coast, Ms. Green has been staking a claim on the concert stage with her big voice (sometimes mind-blowingly big) and playful personality, singing in group shows, but it's time for a full-on Alexa Green Show because she has something to say and an individual way of saying it. She never disappoints in a performance and she never lets down a student. That's right, the little Lady with the Big Voice is also an accomplished voice teacher in great demand. Her students swear by her, and a listen of her singing this epic song HERE will show, once more, that those who teach can also do. Find Alexa Green online HERE
5. Matt Doyle has done the slow and steady thing with his career, starting on Broadway with the original Spring Awakening, and then spreading himself out with his work on stage, on film, in the studio, and on the nightclub stage. He has given himself room to grow and room to succeed, and he is doing it, with a vengeance. With an impressive resume of acting work, his self-penned music available for purchase, and a plum role in this season's revival of Company, Mr. Doyle is poised for the next big thing, and one suspects it will be fun to watch. Watch Doyle slay at FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW right HERE and find him online right HERE
6. KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler are two of the driving forces in the cabaret community, with respected careers and points of view on keeping cabaret alive. Though the two friends have thriving solo careers, when they get together for a duo show, audiences flock to them. With her crystalline soprano and quirky sense of humor and his in-your-face determination to thrill, they are two treasures, sent to change your mood and change your day. See Sullivan and Nadler knock 'em out HERE and see KT online and Mark online
7. Susie Mosher is the brain behind the INCREDIBLY popular show at BIRDLAND called The Lineup, where she gathers together the greatest talents to perform, every Tuesday. Before claiming her place as cabaret's true Hostess with... well, that joke's too old to make, even for me... Susie was a Broadway performer who gave her unique skill set to every role she played, be it a New York based production or one out past the Hudson River. With a natural gift for comedy and a voice that's bigger than the sky, Mosher is always a sure bet when it comes to grabbing her audience and keeping them with her for the entire ride. See Susie Mosher utilize all of her gifts in her appearance at the 2019 Cabaret Convention HERE and check out her WEBSITE
8. Jack Bartholet is breaking down walls in cabaret. Unapologetically original and always genuinely himself, Mr. Bartholet has created one show after another in which he showcases a singing voice that is downright otherwordly. His infectious personality comes out in his musical selections, the arrangement of those selections, and the setting provided by the incomparable script into which he places those selections. The subjects covered in a Jack Bartholet are topical, humourous, personal, heartbreaking, and always relatable, and the man himself is one of the true gifts to an industry that, desperately, needs originality and integrity. That's Jack Bartholet all over the place. See Jack sing HERE and when the clubs open again see his show A LADY WITH A SONG at PANGEA. Jack Bartholet online
9. Orfeh and Andy Karl are The End. With careers spanning stage, film, concert stages, and television, it is no wonder that their fan base is as huge as it is. And when it comes to fan bases, it shouldn't surprise if everyone were to look in the direction of The Karls and things "Damn, I wish I had that." The truth is, though, that Andy and Orfeh earned their careers and their fans the old fashioned way: they worked for it. The coolest, hippest, grooviest, fiercest people ever to slay a song by Prince, they are the couple to see ANY time they set foot on any stage. I dare you not to be completely drawn in by THIS @orfeh Instagram Andy Karl website
10. Joan Ryan is a real Lady. A Lady with a powerful four-octave range and an extensive career singing on symphony stages around the world. After a lifetime of playing the big rooms, though, Joan Ryan wants the intimacy of the nightclub rooms of New York City and only recently hit one out of the park at THE GREEN ROOM 42. One of her most hypnotic numbers on that night was Joan's lovely reimaging of a famous Rogers and Hammerstein classic that runs the gamut of emotion and vocal prowess. Joan Ryan's website
Everyone have as good a day as you can, live in the light, embrace kindness and, as the saying goes, don't let the bastards get you down.
Photos in this story were made by me, Mosher, except for Matt Doyle and Sullivan N Nadler. I haven't photographed them... yet.