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The Cabaret Chronicles: Tony DeSare (with a Paul McCartney sighting!) and Nicolas King!


Hello and happy weekend!

This past week has just flown...perhaps because I've been floating on air all week due to my encounter with Paul McCartney at Bemelmans Bar last Sunday evening!! Yes, that's right, THE Paul McCartney, who happened to drop by Bemelmans to catch one of Tony DeSare's sets! Now, both Tony and Sir Paul have headlined past articles of mine, so I think it's only appropriate that I got to see them both in the same room at the same time! Especially fun was the fact that Sir Paul (who was sitting right next to me!!), was making up little improvised lines along with Tony's songs, so every now and then, I'd hear that famous voice going, "Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh" right next to me. It was all I could do to keep from staring, but I don't think I was very successful at keeping the huge smile off of my face! I give Tony and his fellow band members (Steve Doyle on bass and Ed Decker on guitar) all the credit in the world for keeping their cool and showing themselves off beautifully! Tony did a few of his original tunes ("How I Will Say I Love You" and "Let's Just Stay In"), and also did his amazing solo piano version of "Autumn Leaves," which never fails to blow me away. Sir Paul responded enthusiastically, bopping and humming along, and I even heard him exclaim "Nice tune!" at the end of "How I Will Say I Love You!" After the set, he spoke with Tony and even took a CD with him! It was a truly remarkable night - it would have been great to start with, between the fantastic music and the wonderful atmosphere at Bemelmans, but it really turned into something special that I'll remember for the rest of my life!

The following night, I'd planned to go to Cast Party, but I found myself seriously crashing after the high of the "Paul McCartney Experience" and it was all I could do to get home and stagger to bed early that night! By Wednesday evening, though, I was fully recovered and ready for another night out, and boy, did I have a great one! Eighteen-year-old Nicolas King is a veteran of three Broadway shows, and to the best of his knowledge, has amassed 1,108 performances (spread out among theater, concert, and television) in the 14 years he's been performing! Being present at performance #1,109, I really felt like I was in on something special. Sure, he can sing, sure, he can act - that's a given. Given his Broadway credits, that's expected. But, given his age, one might not expect the maturity, charm, sophistication, and polish he brought to his solo cabaret act. Backed by a team of fantastic musicians (musical director Mike Renzi on piano, Jay Leonhart on bass, and Vinnie Pagani on drums), Nicolas seamlessly wove his way through showtunes, standards, and yes, even a little pop! He brought the house down with an obscure Kander & Ebb tune he'd found, called "Bobo's," and again with his swingin' "(You'll Have To Swing It) Mr. Paganini." Especially poignant was his pairing of "Where Is Love" with "Blame It On My Youth" - it was so refreshing to see these two songs sung with the innocence and starry eyed-ness that only a teenager could bring to them. Equally at home with musical theater and jazz, the young Mr. King had the charmed audience in the palm of his hand from the top of the show all the way through his second encore. This was a "one-night-only" appearance, but be on the lookout for a future show - I know I certainly will!

That's all she wrote for this week, folks! Next week, The Cabaret Chronicles will be on hiatus, as I'll be out of town, but look for a new and exciting article on Saturday, October 10th!

Where I'm going this week...

Sunday, September 27th: Tony DeSare at Bemelmans Bar. Yes, I'm going again! No, not just because I'm hoping Ringo Starr will show up this week! I'm going with my family as a birthday present for my mom - she's never been to Bemelmans, and it's such a terrific " New York " experience!

Monday, September 28th: Cast Party at Birdland. Hosted by Jim Caruso (actually, Scott Siegel is filling in as host again this week!), this fantastic open mic runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. but make sure you get there early to sign up if you want to sing!

Thursday, October 1st and Friday, October 2nd: I'll be out in Hollywood , singing at the M Bar! I'm joining forces with comedians Danny Leary and Leah Dubie to put on what should be a very fun 90-minute show! We're the 8:00 show on Thursday and the 10:00 show on Friday...and Friday evening, the 8:00 show is none other than the fabulous Terese Genecco, whom I've written about several times in this column! Yes, Hollywood , get ready for the NY invasion! Should be a fun time!

Pictured: Nicolas King





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From This Author Jenna Esposito

A true aficionado of NYC nightlife, Jenna Esposito made her cabaret debut in 2004 and continues to perform solo shows several times a year. She (read more...)