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BWW Reviews: Beaux Arts Society Summer Soiree Salutes Cabaret With Diana Templeton, Helen Klass

The Beaux Arts Society, Inc. held its 2014 Summer Soiree in Manhattan at Etcetera Etcetera on West 43rd Street. The luncheon and entertainment were chaired by Society President Dr. Tom Stevens, who introduced radio host, entertainer, and critic Andrew Martin as the event's emcee. Among the entertainers present were singers Corky Romash and Ronnie Giles, Lillian Walker Moss of the 60's "girl group" The Exciters, and one of the Society's Distinguished Artists, Diana Templeton. Actors James Allerdyce and Kevin Schwab were also in attendance in the crowd of over thirty members and guests.

A buffet luncheon was presented, followed with coffee and tiramisu and with networking among members and their friends. After the luncheon and an announcement regarding the annual Beaux Arts Society Ball, which will have an "Ebony and Ivory" (Black and White Ball) theme this year, Society Executive Vice-President George Strum turned events over to Martin, who is also chair of the Society's Advisory Committee. Martin began with an announcement of new Distinguished Artists including actor/director Donna Drake, and then introduced the entertainers for the afternoon.

The entertainment was presented as a salute to New York's cabaret scene, featuring cabaret performers Giles, Romash, and Templeton as well as Helen Klass, Lillian Walker, Kitt Holiday and Kerry McCarthy. George Strum, who served as piano accompanist, also sang, and author Bernadette Miller presented a reading of one of her published short stories between sets.

Broadway songs predominated in the cabaret atmosphere, with Klass singing Rodgers and Hart and from PAL JOEY, McCarthy performing from SHOW BOAT, and Strum presenting selections from LES MISERABLES and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, while Ronnie Giles, fresh from his "Revenge of the Third Rate Lounge Singer" show at Don't Tell Mama, sang Cole Porter. Romash, a Society favorite who performed a cappella, revealed that when she began as a band singer, she had a number of her arrangements created for her by Stan Kenton.
Walker, whose group The Exciters became famous for their hit single "Tell Him," performed "Tell Him" a cappella with enthusiastic audience assistance. Holiday was also a crowd pleaser, performing a flamboyant Latin dance to "Papa Montero" with assistance from Walker and from cabaret artist Sandra Benee, as the final performance of the afternoon.

The Beaux Arts Ball will be held in November, with Charles Busch coronated as King of the Ball, Diana Templeton as Queen, Kevin Schwab as Prince, and Anita Gillette as Princess. The annual "Fall Frolic" will be held in December at Solas. For further information about Beaux Arts Society, Inc. events and Distinguished Artists, visit the Society's web page at, or email Dr. Stevens at

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From This Author Marakay Rogers