BWW Reviews: New York Cabaret Pays Loving Tribute to BOBBIE HOROWITZ at Metropolitan Room
Bobbie Horowitz has been a major staple of the New York cabaret scene for nearly 30 years--as songwriter, producer, performer, and fan--and the recent variety show tribute to her at the Metropolitan Room (in another of the "This Is Your Night" series) proved why and was richly deserved. Produced by Metropolitan Room General Manager Bernie Furshpan and singer Sue Matsuki, the show featured a plethora of top cabaret performers who literally sang Bobbie's praises, not only showcasing Horowitz's talents but also her relentless support for the cabaret community.
Horowitz has enjoyed an unusual, but not uncommon ascent to the top of New York cabaret. A Brooklyn native, she and best friend Sharon Spector (now Sharon Schapow) began writing songs as youngsters. which they'd perform everywhere from summer camp to local events. Though separated initially during the high school experience in which Horowitz attended a private academy, she soon joined her friend at New Utrecht and get involved in student government before her acceptance to Cornell University. The two drifted apart again after graduation but reconnected in 1980, and began writing a bevy of cabaret hits including "Whatever Happened To The Kids From Brooklyn?", "Something's Rotten In Transylvania," "Boiled Chicken" (later re-written as "Fudge Fishcakes" for an appearance on a children's educational television show), "Snow White," "Murray The Plumber" and "It Ain't Right." They ultimately developed a cabaret act and won audience's hearts. Prior to this, however, Horowitz had a most fascinating career path, including a stint as a casting agent where she actually had to turn down Wanda Richert for a part no matter how breathtaking the future Broadway star might have been. Later, after her second marriage ended (her first produced the downtown theater performer David Slone), she went on to great success by producing the Drama Desk Awards for several seasons, and the musical Nora Blake written by John Meyer, which enjoyed global display. And her commitment to cabaret has been an inspiration.For Bobbie's night at the Metropolitan Room on November 23, the audience was greeted by Furshpan, delivering a charming speech and a photo retropspective of Horowitz's life and career. Notable performances and tributes among the singers paying Horowitz tribute included Rob Langeder and his wife Stacie Perlman Langeder offering "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby (with "Bobbie" inserted for "Baby," to the absolute delight of the honoree), variety show host Dana Lorge (dressed as Bobbie) singing "Just In Time" in tandem with Warren Schein, a rendition of the Horowitz ballad "Pictures of You" by Corinna Sowers-Adler and Stearns Matthews, Adam B. Shapiro with a roof-raising "Cohen Owes Me Ninety-Seven Dollars," Stacy Sullivan singing a stirring "On My Way to You," and, the irrepressible Don't Tell Mama booking manager and performer Sidney Myer dueting with Diana Templeton on Horowitz' hilarious song, "Snow White." The evening was capped beautifully by Tony Award-winner Chuck Cooper's rendering of "You There, In The Back Row." Other performers were Elaine St. George, David Vernon, Richard Skipper, Sue Matsuki, Reverend Yolanda (Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes), and Mark Nadler. Bill Zeffiro kept the show flowing with great work as Musical Director. It won't be any surprise if Bobbie Horowitz, one of New York cabaret's most beloved people, is on the scene for another 30 years.
Photos by Russ Weatherford