Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Mary Testa and More Join IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE Benefit Celebrating the Birthday of Barbara Maier Gustern

Mary Testa and More Join IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE Benefit Celebrating the Birthday of Barbara Maier Gustern

"If Music Be The Food Of Love - A Benefit for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen" will be celebrated at Joe's Pub on February 10th, 2020 at 6:30pm (doors open at 6pm), with an after party at Pangea in the East Village (starting at 9:30).The show is an evening of song celebrating the 85th birthday of Barbara Maier Gustern, voice teacher to Broadway and the avant-garde, and will benefit Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, a Chelsea institution and the largest of its kind in New York City. The Holy Apostles program feeds 6,000 people weekly, and they provide many other critical service to the community. Joe's Pub is located at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC 10003.

Barbara's students and friends, Tammy Faye Starlite and Penny Arcade will co-host the benefit at Joe's. The complete list of performers is below (subject to change).

Tickets are priced at $250.00 and $30.00, however tickets can no longer be purchased as the event is sold out. The after party at Pangea also features performers, and the entrance fee for the Pangea event is a voluntary donation.The regular minimum of $20 per person will apply in the cabaret room at Pangea. Pangea is located at 178 Second Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets.

She's far from a native New Yorker, but Barbara has been here since the 1950s. Originally from Boonville, Indiana (pop. 6237), she made her way to Manhattan and received a Masters Degree in Psychology from Columbia University. Then she decided to pursue her dream of singing and performing, which she did for quite awhile here and abroad. "When I became too old to play ingenues and remained too small (4'11" and 85 pounds soaking wet) for leads, I began to teach," says Barbara. "Then I discovered I loved doing it." She coached theater people, cabaret people and many, many cantors. Barbara's life changed the day the avant-garde composer and musician Diamanda Galas walked into her home studio for voice lessons. Soon Diamanda brought Debbie Harry. Then the downtown artists, including transitioning artists, started finding their way to her door. Galas called Barbara "the baddest bitch in New York City."

In the past ten years, Barbara has produced benefits for: Pug Rescue, Joe's Pub New York Voices and The Ali Forney Center, The Living Theatre, and animal shelter Spring Farm CARES. At nearly 85, she teaches approximately 30 hours a week and then goes out to her students' shows at least several nights a week - some at 7pm, some at 11pm, some in the East Village, some in Brooklyn. She teaches in New York City and Philadelphia, and until recently in Mexico City.

"The work they do at Holy Apostles is just extraordinary. It's my parish church, and I couldn't be more in awe of them. I just want to do good and help people for the rest of my life," says Barbara. "My students help to keep me young and treat me as an equal, and I love absorbing their culture, too. I hope I'm an example to old and young alike of how full and exciting life can be at 85 and beyond."

Founded in 1982, the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is currently the largest emergency feeding program in New York City and in the Episcopal Church nationally. Housed within the nave of the Church, the Soup Kitchen serves over 1,200 meals every weekday and offers counseling and referral services to help the guests break the cycle of hunger, poverty, and despair.

AT Joe's Pub:

§ Tammy Faye Starlite opens show as MC

§ The Rector of Holy Apostles, Rev. Dr. Anna Pearson speaks

6 Boys Opening Number: Patrick Gallagher, Jack Bartholet, Linus Ignatius, John Sannuto, Chris Ignatio and Zachery Pearson.

§ Willard Beckham

§ 8 strings and a whistle (Suzanne Gilchrest, Matthew Goecke, Ina Litera)

§ Machine Dazzle w/Viva DeConcinii

§ Kimilee Bryant

§ Justin V Bond

§ Gay Marshall

§ Bess Morrison

§ Oklahoma: Mary Testa, James Davis, Mallory Portnoy (Oklahoma). (W/Nathan Koci

§ Carol Lipnik

§ Stew (Stewart) and Heidi Rodewald

§ Barbara Bleier

§ Penny Arcade takes over as MC

§ Debbie Harry w/Barb Morrison and Matt Katz Bohan

§ John Jarboe

§ Martha Graham Cracker

§ Miguel Guttierez

§ Roseana Vitro

§ Sanda Weigl

§ Pamela Winslow Kashani

§ Sofia Rei w/JC Maillard

§ AJ Gustern

§ Barbara Maier Gustern Speaks


§ Heather Liteer Susanne Mack Payot

§ Ali Babs

§ Salty Brine

§ Judy Seplowin

§ Jill Cohen-Wilson

§ Betsyann Faiella

§ Adrian Truscott

§ Tulis McCall

§ Bushwick Book Club : Susan Hwang, Larry Krone and Jim Andralis

§ Serene Jost

§ John Sannuto and Basil Horn

§ Elizabeth Tomboulian

§ Molly Pope

§ Diane Hoffman

§ Morgan Jenness

§ Hector Ubarry

§ Stephn Said

§ Carlos Ponton

§ Viva DeConcini

Pianists both Joe's and Pangea

§ Tracy Stark

§ Paul Greenwood

Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid Cabaret fan in NYC? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.

Related Articles View More Cabaret Stories

More Hot Stories For You