Bill Russell to Present MY SIDE OF THE SHOW at Birdland

A concert celebrating the Broadway musical "Side Show" by Bill Russell.

By: Aug. 16, 2023
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Bill Russell to Present MY SIDE OF THE SHOW at Birdland BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will present Bill Russell – who received Tony Award nominations for his book and lyrics of the beloved Broadway musical Side Show – in the New York premiere of his evening “My Side of the Show” on Monday, September 25 at 7:00 PM. Mr. Russell will discuss how Side Show, a musical about Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who were the highest paid entertainers in the history of vaudeville, got to Broadway in 1997. It’s an inside look at that process through a series of readings, workshops and the Broadway productions – the writing, casting, triumphs and mishaps along the way. The concert will include songs he wrote with composer Henry Krieger, performed by vocalists Erin Davie, Charity Angél Dawson, Jenna Pastuszek, and Jason Veasey, who have all appeared in productions of Side Show. The show will feature music director Greg Jarrett on piano, Larry Lelli on drums, and George Farmer on bass. There is a $30 music charge. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in New York.
In addition to Tony Award nominations for “Best Book” and “Best Original Score,” the original production of Side Show was also nominated for “Best Musical” and received an historic shared nomination for Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner for “Best Actress in a Musical” for their portrayal of the Hilton Sisters.
Bill Russell is an internationally produced author and director of musicals for the stage. In addition to Side Show, he has written books and lyrics for 14 full-length musicals and 2 one-acts. Those include elegies for angels, punks and raging queens and Unexpected Joy with composer Janet Hood; Pageant with Albert Evans and Frank Kelly; and Lucky Duck, Kept, and Up in the Air with Henry Krieger.
Erin Davie has appeared on Broadway in Grey Gardens (Young Edie), Curtains (Nikki Harris), A Little Night Music (Countess Charlotte Malcom), Sunday in the Park with George (Yvonne/Naomi), and Diana (Camilla). In addition to playing Violet in the Broadway revival of Side Show, she played the role at the La Jolla Playhouse and The Kennedy Center.
Charity Angél Dawson appeared on Broadway in Side Show (Fortune Teller), Waitress (Becky), Mrs. Doubtfire (Wanda Sellner), and Chicago (Mama Morton). Earlier this year, she appeared in Hercules at Paper Mill Playhouse and is featured in the new film of Waitress, the Musical - Live on Broadway!, which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. 
Jenna Pastuszek played Daisy Hilton in two productions of Side Show in Media, PA. Her solo shows, Get Happy! and Me, Myself & Barbra, were recently seen at Paper Mill Playhouse and Bucks County Playhouse. She is currently in rehearsals for Elvis: A Musical Revolution at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. 
Jason Veasey most recently appeared on Broadway in A Strange Loop, after appearing in the original cast at Playwrights Horizons and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. He has also performed on Broadway and on tour in The Lion King. He played Jake in Side Show at the University of Northern Colorado.
BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will present Bill Russell in “My Side of the Show” on Monday, September 25 at 7:00 PM. There is a $3o music charge and a $20 food and beverage minimum. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan. For reservations, please call (212) 581-3080 or visit


Every Monday at 9:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party,” a New York institution for almost two decades, is a wildly popular weekly open mic night/variety show that has brought a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to Birdland since 2004. Called “show-business heaven” by The New York Times and “the gold-standard of open mic nights” by The Wall Street Journal, “Cast Party” will take advantage of the city’s post-pandemic nightlife renaissance to keep presenting a potent mix of Broadway stars, jazz swingers and cabaret legends, in addition to new faces and rising talent from every genre. The buoyant, sharp and charming Caruso guides the entire affair, while musical genius Billy Stritch (Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett) holds court at the ivories and leads the Cast Party Symphony Orchestra (Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums).
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

Every Tuesday at 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
“The Lineup with Susie Mosher” is a wild, anything-goes variety show featuring entertainers from the Broadway, cabaret and comedy scenes, ranging from today’s hottest headliners to the best up-and-coming stars of tomorrow. Mosher – the noted actress and singer from Broadway and beyond, called “one of those talents you need to see to believe” by Time Out New York – hosts the spontaneous extravaganza every Tuesday, and each Lineup is unique and promises to deliver an unforgettable night of quintessential New York City entertainment.
$20 + $20 food/drink minimum

Every Saturday at 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club 

Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano
Hailed as “the truest heir to Bobby Short” in The New York Times, pianist/singer Eric Comstock returns to Birdland with star bassist/composer Sean Smith with songs by everyone from George Gershwin to George Harrison. These two masters met on the Off-Broadway hit Our Sinatra (which Eric co-wrote) and have since worked separately and together around the world. Vocalist Barbara Fasano joins them at Birdland for a swinging Saturday supper where the music and stories are equally great. Sean Smith has been an integral part of the international jazz scene for over 25 years, and has performed with Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Art Farmer, Flip Phillips, Clark Terry and many others. Barbara Fasano has been praised as “a gorgeous, soulful singer who has an actor’s intensity in whatever she sings” by The New York Post and “a lyrically sensitive interpreter” by The New York Times. Her latest album Busy Being Free is the recipient of the MAC Award for “Major Recording of the Year.”
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

August 17 (Thursday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater

Joie Bianco and Friends
After two sold-out solo performances, “Joie Bianco and Friends” makes a comeback to showcase Bianco’s own arrangements of favorite standards, debuting vocal trio/duo arrangements as well as debuting some of her original lyrics. Bianco will be joined by talented musicians and friends she’s befriended during her four years of music school. With Eric Stern on piano, Blake Aldridge on bass and Henry Mohr on drums, hear Joie’s take on sassy up-tempos, the blues, and heart-wrenching ballads as a vehicle to tell stories from a young woman’s perspective on life. Bianco is a 22 year-old jazz singer from NYC and recently received her degree in jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music. Joie has appeared in many of NYC’s jazz and cabaret clubs, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland and Carnegie Hall. Joie was the 2019 winner in the jazz vocal category in Young Arts, and the recipient of the 2023 DownBeat Student Music Award for Best Solo Jazz Vocalist. Stephen Holden of The New York Times referred to her as a “prodigious discovery.”
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

August 21 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Wendy Moten
Nashville vocalist Wendy Moten – best known for her 2021 run on NBC’s “The Voice” – returns to the venue following her sold-out debut at Birdland last May and a six-show engagement at Birdland Theater that fall. This performance will feature compositions from Richard Whiting to the Queen of Soul. Most recently Wendy made another appearance on “The Voice” to perform with CeeLo Green for Blake Shelton’s final show. Wendy’s new single “Don’t Give Up” was released earlier this year. At Birdland, she will be joined by Mike Ricchiuti on keyboards, Brian Delaney on drums, David M. Santos on bass, and Paul Livant on guitar. Wendy Moten is a bridge from Memphis to Nashville to the rest of the world. Respected in the music business as a consummate professional for years, the wider public discovered her talent and charm during her remarkable run on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2021. She turned all four judges chairs during her blind audition and ended up as a finalist. A native of Memphis, Wendy sang Pop/R&B on a major label in the ‘90s, then moved to Nashville to become an in-demand harmony singer. She has recorded duets with Michael McDonald, Julio Iglesias, Kirk Whalum, Peabo Bryson, Vince Gill, Keb’ Mo’, Buddy Guy, Paul Brown, John Oates, and others. Wendy has performed as a solo artist on the Grand Ole Opry multiple times and recently with Blake Shelton.
$50 tables / $50 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

August 28 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Cashino with Susie Mosher and John Boswell
​​“Cashino,” the long-running LA and NYC cult hit, stars Susie Mosher (Hairspray and host of Birdland’s “The Lineup”) and recording artist John Boswell as Pepper Cole and Johnny Niagra in a special concert version of the critically acclaimed multimedia musical show. “Cashino” began in the early 2000s with a series of short films about the lives of two legendary singers and their continuing struggle to become internet entrepreneurs. Since then, Johnny and Pepper have entertained audiences on both coasts with high energy, high strung and emotionally charged live sets. Known for seamlessly blending ‘80s pop/rock with classic show tunes, medleys include: “The Queen & I,” “Midler on the Roof,” “Chicago” and “The Prince & The Poppins.” After 10 years of vocal rest, Johnny and Pepper are back and ready to rock your world! Pianist John Boswell has served as musical director for Judy Collins, Andy Williams, Bob Newhart, Faith Prince, Carmen Cusack, and more. John played the role of “Moose” in the national tour of Crazy for You and has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Today Show,” “General Hospital” and was the piano playing hands of Nancy McKeon on “The Facts of Life.” Susie Mosher has been performing professionally since she was sixteen in the west coast premiere of Godspell. Nightclubs, theater, television and movies have been along her checkered path, including films View from the Top, It’s Pat, and The Wedding Planner. She has been seen on TV in “Beverly Hills 90210,” “The L Word,” and “Nurse Jackie.” Susie played Prudy Pingleton in Hairspray for the last two years of its run on Broadway.
$35 tables / $35 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

August 31 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater

Cady Huffman and Mary Ann McSweeney – “Just Play”
Tony winner Cady Huffman and jazz and Broadway bass player Mary Ann McSweeney are two veteran performers who love playing music. “Just Play” explains their need to come together and play during the pandemic…and what they discovered along the way. Combining voice with bass, and whatever else strikes their fancy, the duo will pirouette from Peggy Lee to Jimi Hendrix, with a promise that nothing is off-limits. Cady Huffman started playing the Euphonium in 3rd grade, eventually putting it aside in favor of high kicks and belting out show tunes. In recent years she has taught herself the ukulele, couching the high kicks and refining her vocals to include her softer side. Influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Blossom Dearie, she infuses her music with a huge heart, humor and megawatt smile. Huffman won the 2001 Tony Award for playing “Ulla” in The Producers. She was nominated for an Outer Critics' Circle Award for The Nance, and nominated for a Tony Award for The Will Rogers Follies. She also appeared on Broadway in La Cage Aux Folles, Steel Pier, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour and Big Deal. Mary Ann McSweeney has played with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Joanne Brackeen, Lee Konitz, Gil Goldstein and Bucky Pizzarelli. She has played for famous conductors Leonard Bernstein, Lalo Schifrin, and John Williams. As a freelance bassist she has played 45 different Broadway and Off- Broadway productions. She continues to compose and arrange music for her “Urban Fado” project and is looking forward to recording her Urban Fado Project II.
$40 tables / $40 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

September 18 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Amanda McBroom – “Such Good Friends” 
Golden Globe-winning singer and songwriter Amanda McBroom – along with her musical director and writing partner Michele Brourman – will present this new evening of music “Such Good Friends.” This concert will feature songs by Amanda’s favorite female songwriters, including Susan Werner, Ann Hampton Callaway, Julie Gold, Dorothy Fields, Marilyn Bergman, and Michele Brourman. The show will celebrate the musical riches from the hearts and minds of some of the great women in the world of song. Amanda McBroom was called “the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match” by The New York Times. She first came to the attention of music lovers when Bette Midler’s version of Amanda’s song “The Rose” hit number one all over the world in 1979. In addition to Midler, her songs have been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Amy Poehler and Jack Black, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, LeAnn Rimes, Harry Belafonte, Betty Buckley, The Manhattan Transfer, Donny Osmond, and Kurt Cobain.


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