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Breaking News: New York Cabaret World Mourns Passing of Award-Winning Comedian/Singer/Host DANA LORGE

The angel of death did not pass over Dana Lorge's house last night and the world of New York cabaret is grieving as a result.

During the evening of the second Passover seder, the New York cabaret community was shocked to learn that MAC Award-winning performer and variety show host Dana Lorge died from complications of lung cancer, which was diagnosed just a few months ago. Lorge's exact age at the time of her death was unknown to most people because for decades she referred to herself as being 27. And that was believable because up until her recent illness she exuded the energy and beauty of a 27-year-old. BroadwayWorld's New York Cabaret Section Editor Stephen Hanks captured the essence of Dana Lorge in this 2013 profile.

Dana Lorge was a quintessential cabaret character known for her glamorous and glitzy outfits and her vivacious laugh, beloved for her generosity with friends and other performers, and for her flair for comedy combined with a dose of ditziness. As a singer, she could make audiences laugh hysterically during her rendition of a comedic song such as "Iriving, the 142nd Fastest Gun in the West" or cry during the delivery of a tender ballad like Francesca Blumenthal's "The Lies of Handsome Men." As an actress, Lorge appeared in a number of films, including The Producers, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Moscow on the Hudson, and Prince of the City. For the past six years, Lorge was the popular and wacky host of two variety shows, first for the weekly open mic Wednesday Night at the Iguana followed by the monthly Dana Lorge Variety Show (co-hosted by Warren Schein with Musical Direction by Barry Levitt) at the Metropolitan Room, the latter highlighting both veteran cabaret performers and newcomers to the scene. Both shows had devoted followings because of the charismatic Dana Lorge.

Within hours of the news of Lorge's passing, there was an outpouring of emotion and heartfelt comments on Facebook.

"I can't believe it. I'm so shocked and heartbroken," wrote Mary Lahti, who was a regular at Lorge's Iguana open mic shows. "She was one of the first [along with co-host Richard Skipper] to give me a chance in cabaret and make me feel like family. I will miss Dana's laugh, her hugs, her kindness, her talent, her outfits, and that wacky purse with the giant watch on it."

"Dana Lorge was the consummate pro," praised Musical Director and Composer Barry Levitt, who was the MD for Lorge's variety shows and a close friend for more than 40 years. "She was one of the few remaining 'characters' in show business. But, beyond the lashes, sequins, spangles and glitz, there was a woman of talent and substance. And she was very underrated as a singer and could hold her own with anyone on delivering a ballad."

Veteran cabaret performer and Provincetown Cabaret Festival Producer Patricia Fitzpatrick, who shared a MAC Award nomination with Lorge (and Helena Grenot) for Fitzpatrick's 2012 show Cougars On the Prowl, was profoundly sad on hearing the news. "From the first minute Dana and I met, I felt a kinship like no other," Fitzpatrick said. "Her generosity and warmth was constant. I have a drawer full of jewelry to attest to her kindness. There's a place in my heart only she can fill and our friendship will never die. She could make me laugh and cry in one set of songs. A light has gone dim over the Cabaret world tonight. Heaven now has sequins!"

"Like everyone who knew and loved Dana Lorge, I am deeply saddened tonight," commented Award-winning cabaret show Director Peter Napolitano. "I will miss her love, her light, and her laughter."

Services for Dana Lorge will take place on Monday April 25 at 12:00 Noon and the family will be receiving friends beginning at 11 am at Gutterman's Funeral Chapel inside the Parkside building located at 98-60 Queens Boulevard, near 66th Avenue in Rego Park, Queens, New York. Call 718 896-5252 for more information.


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From This Author Stephen Hanks