Posts Categorized: Showtunes Night

Elaine Brier Live at Don’t Tell Mama NYC

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After you go to a show and have dinner in NYC, the only place to go if you want to sing a long for a while longer is Don’t Tell Mama. Don’t Tell Mama is a sing a long piano bar with a ton of fun cabaret performers and talented singers like Elaine Brier. When I was there a couple weeks ago Elaine was working and ended up performing as well.

She performed a ton of her new songs from her album Jique De Soleil (pronounced Jerk De Soley like Cirque de Soleil) including You F*cked Up My Life as well as other songs like the Deli Song that everyone loves. Not only does she get the audience going, but she gets everyone to sing a long and sway and have an amazing time. That is what I love about her random performances and her cabaret acts. She is fun to watch, fun to listen to, extremely fun to sing a long with and best of all she encourages you to do it all. Some cabaret artists in NYC get pissed off when you join in or sing a long. Not only can that be a huge turn off for your audience, but it takes down the level of fun that the audience has and removes part of what makes cabaret, cabaret.

I don’t mind if the performer wants quiet for a few songs and when they are telling stories, but during the show or at the end they need to have some sort of audience participation. Performers like Matt Yee and Elaine Brier are experts at having the right mix of sing a long vs. listening and that is one of the things that makes their cabaret shows so much fun and their performances more memorable. One of the other things I recommend when you go to these shows is to buy the cds they have for sale.

Not only do the cds let you remember the show when you get home, but they help to give the performers extra money but more importantly, extra exposure to new potential fans. They push them a bit during the show, but you have to remember they don’t always get paid much if they even get paid for performing at all. Some only get the money from their cd sales and others only get the tips they get while performing or have to split them with the piano player. They work extremely hard to help give you an awesome show and buying their cds is one of the ways you can say thank you. Here is Elaine Brier performing live at Don’t Tell Mama.

Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar, NYC Reviews

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On a recent visit to New York City with my cousin, his wife and my youngest daughter, Clementine, we traveled from our hotel on the lower east side to Broadway to see the magnificent musical “On a Clear Day you can see forever” starring Harry Connick, Jr. It was a Saturday night and although we had a fantastic time at the show and wonderful early dinner in a little Italian bistro in the West Village, I was ready to go back to the hotel and crash. My cousin, however, had a different plan in mind. He took us on a tour of restaurant row, which ended at a small piano bar and restaurant named ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ on 46th street.

The place was hopping but we walked in and were welcomed by the hostess who made it her mission to find us somewhere to sit. The one room was really crowded and we didn’t want to sit in the restaurant and have a full meal. However, it turned out that our timing was perfect. The ‘Show Tunes’ room had just opened for the night and we were one of the first groups in. We were seated close to the piano and gradually the place started to fill. The pianist was extremely talented and entertaining. He sang and played many tunes including an amusing version of ‘Part of My World’ from The Little Mermaid and a rousting rendition of ‘Caberet’ which had everyone in the room joining in. The ambiance was relaxed and very friendly. Our waiter and barman also had incredible voices and took turns entertaining us as well as supplying us with great cocktails and delicious desserts. Several of the audience, including my daughter, Clementine, signed up to sing at the ‘open mic’ and the quality of the talent did not disappoint. We didn’t leave until 2am and it was well worth staying up late for. All in all a great place to end a fantastic Saturday night in NYC!!

Added in by Adam:

This was the night before I went to see Priscilla Queen of the Dessert and while I was having fun with my ex-boyfriend and his friends at Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC, the talent didn’t stop with just the piano player. The Bartender sang a great version of I’m Alive from the show Next to Normal and other members of the audience, including myself who had laryngitis at the time gave an effort to completely destroy a There’s a Fine Fine Line from Avenue Q. One person in the audience happened to be Julie’s Daughter Clementine.

Clementine sang a few songs from Once Upon a Mattress and did an excellent job for someone who is only 16. She has a great voice and is learning how to make a connection with the audience. Once she learns how to give eyes, sing out and how to turn a song into her own, she will be absolutely ready to hit a school for musical theatre or even start auditioning for shows. Clementine Harvey could make it if she learns how to really push herself out there and I am very happy to say that her Mom who wrote the top part of this review about Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC, gave me a couple of videos of Clementine Harvey singing to share with you.

Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC is one of my favorite places to go. Not only do I get to meet tons of fun theatre lovers every time I go, but I also get to hear people who are trying to make it on Broadway. It is absolutely fun and I highly recommend you stop by and sit in the showtunes room at Don’t Tell Mama Piano Bar in NYC.

On My Own from Les Mis by Clementine Harvey.

Shy from Once Upon a Mattress by Clementine Harvey.

Showtunes Night in Baltimore at The Hippo

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So I finally gave in and went up to Baltimore Maryland for Showtunes Night at the Hippo bar and lounge. I absolutely love the Hippo for dancing on Saturday nights, but I was a bit curious to see how they would do showtunes. Sure you have a ton of gays in Baltimore and they love theatre just as much as everyone else, but could Baltimore have an actual showtunes night? The answer is Yes!

I have to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite showtunes event at a bar when we first got there. The VJ kept on playing Glee after Glee after Glee. Then we saw Lea Michele in Ragtime and then another thing about Glee when he announced the show spin off. The Glee over and over got old and annoying fast. I love Glee like no tomorrow, but at a showtunes night I want to hear showtunes and that is where I really enjoyed showtunes night at the Hippo.

Instead of playing a million mainstream songs, the VJ played a few hits, but also many lesser known songs from shows. With La Cage Aux Follies, instead of playing a little more mascara or I am what I am, he played a huge dance routine and a lesser known yet equally as fabulous song. Instead of Children will listen from Into the Woods, he played the song about the couple who wanted a child. I loved the fact that the VJ played a good mix of well known and lesser known showtunes. It not only helps to show people that there are more than just ballads and belters on broadway, but it also helps to get people to love new songs. My only complain about playing lesser known casts is that he would line up a cast singing a song from a show, then play another outtake from the show, then a song from the movie version of the show. That got old fast. When I’m at showtunes, I don’t mind two songs in a row if one is a parody, but two or three songs from the same show in a row and none of them are parodies or unique, that’s a bit much.

So overall, Baltimore has a pretty kick ass showtunes night at the Hippo Bar and Lounge. The audience is awesome and loves to sing. The bartender is cute as heck and serves awesome drinks. The showtunes are great, but repetitive and overall it is worth going to. I give it around a 4 out of 5 stars as far as showtunes nights go. If you are in Baltimore on a Tuesday night, check out the Hippo Bar for Showtunes and then come back here and leave a comment with what you think. Thank you again Hippo for having me and everyone that I met. You guys have a great showtunes night that is definitely a great time.

The Top Ten Broadway Sing A Long Songs

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There are certain shows on Broadway that everyone knows and loves. We watched them when we were kids like Mary Poppins and we grew up singing them in elementary school. When we are adults and we go to the theatre and one of these songs comes on, you might find yourself singing along with it and not even realizing it. Some songs are just fun to sing and when you hear them in a broadway show, it becomes a sing a long broadway song. Here is my top ten list of popular sing a long broadway songs. They are almost all songs that people end up humming or actually singing during the show. Feel free to add your favorite to this list in the comments section below.

Broadway Sing a long Songs

Do Re Me from The Sound Of Music.

Not only is Do Re Me from the Sound of Music one of the top sing a long broadway songs, but they even re-released the Sound of Music into a Rocky Horror styled Sing a Long Sound of Music version. The one song that almost everyone is guaranteed to know from this show is Do Re Me. It’s the song that our music teachers in elementary school used to teach us how to sing on key and the song that Julie Andrews used to teach the Von Trapp family kids what each note was. I dare you to listen and not want to sing a long with it. When you are at the Sing a Long Sound of Music it is almost impossible to not sing a long either.

Getting to know you from The King and I.

Getting To Know You from the King and I is another one of those songs that they drill into your head when you are a kid. I think almost everyone in the US and even the UK was forced to sing this song when they were growing up. Getting to know you is one of those songs that everyone also remembers and ends up teaching to their kids. Then when you go to see the King and I you end up singing along during the show.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins.

I guess Julie Andrews is one of those voices and people that we all remember for a reason, her songs are impossibly to forget and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is one of those songs. The word looks scary and probably scared the crap out of her the first time she tried to read it, but Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious quickly became one of the most popular songs from Mary Poppins probably for the same reason. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is one of the most fun songs to sing and everyone usually ends up singing along when it comes on.

Don’t Stop Believing from Rock of Ages.

I think just about everyone loved Don’t Stop Believing when it came out. When Glee used it as their trailer it made everyone fall in love with it again and when it hit Broadway in the show audiences starting singing along with it as well. Don’t Stop Believing is one of the most popular songs in Rock of Ages and definitely gets everyone to want to sing along. You’ve probably ended up singing a long if you heard it in the car or even during Glee.

Grease Summer Nights.

I couldn’t figure out which song was more of a sing a long from Grease with Summer Nights or We Go Together, but with all of the people who sing Summer Nights at Karaoke, it definitely beats out We Go Together. Summer Nights is one of those songs that people can’t help but to sing a long with. We all remember watching it on tv with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John and when you see it in the theatre you usually end up singing a long as well.

I Feel Pretty from West Side Story.

It was either this or one of the other famous songs. The reason I think I Feel Pretty from West Side Story should make the list is that the song gets parodied on numerous tv shows and everyone knows it. The thing that most people don’t know is that I Feel Pretty is from the show West Side Story. It isn’t much of a sing along, but it is definitely a hum along and know the chorus song.

MatchMaker from Fiddler on the Roof.

Who doesn’t know the tune from Matchmaker? I think everyone sings along in the theatre when Tevya’s girls start singing MatchMaker MatchMaker make me a match. Find me a find. Catch me a catch. MatchMaker is a song that tons of kids learn when they are younger because it is easy to sing, easy to remember and fun to perform because everything is a rhyme.

The Time Warp from Rocky Horror.

If there was one show that the audience loves to participate in it has to be The Rocky Horror Show. Not only is this one of the original audience participation broadway shows, but everyone knows and loves to get to do the Time Warp. The version from the movie and the show are a bit different but the dance is still the same and the audience loves to get up and sing a long.

The Internet is for Porn from Avenue Q.

I couldn’t decide if Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist or The Internet is for Porn from Avenue Q was more catchy. I think that the audience reacts and sings along with Trekkie Monster a bit more though in the Internet is for Porn song. There are a ton of great sing a long songs from Avenue Q, but The Internet is for Porn is probably the one that gets more of the audience singing the word Porn. The show is amazing and the songs are also a lot of fun to sing a long to.

Jersey Boys – You choose the song!

I don’t think there is a person in the theatre that doesn’t start cheering and singing along to these amazing and classic songs. Jersey Boys was made for the audience to sing a long and have an amazing time. When I saw it in Chicago there wasn’t a single person not singing a long. Jersey Boys is a show that won’t leave you in your seat. You choose whichever song is your favorite because each one is a sing a long broadway song.

Those are ten of the top sing a long broadway songs. There are a ton more to add like Popular from Wicked and Together Wherever We Go from Gypsy or even Suddenly Semour from Little Shop of Horrors. Regardless of which one is your favorite, each one is fun to sing a long to. Feel free to comment below and leave your favorite broadway sing a long song.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reviewed

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With Halloween around the corner I thought the only appropriate show to review, well not the show but the movie version of the Rocky Horror Show (which is in musical form again), would be to review the Rocky Horror Picture Show and why it has lasted for such a long time.  The funny thing about the Rocky Horror Picture Show is that it actually isn’t supposed to really have to much of a plot and is just an insane running around of nothing in particular, but then again it can actually be seen as a love story and a story about helping to stop a mad scientist from taking over the world.  So what is the Rocky Horror Picture Show and why did it become so famous and why is it still running.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a movie musical created in the 70’s I believe.  It is the story of a young couple who decides to get married and because they get engaged at their friends wedding they get the idea to visit their old professor whose class they had met in.  On their way to visit their old professor, who is also a friend, they get a flat tire and need to go for help.

The couple comes across a castle which is the home of Dr. Frank N Furter and also ends up being a spaceship and that is when they meet a cast of characters that includes aliens, groupies and even rock n roll star Meatloaf.  Brad and Janet, the happy couple, go through a crazy night of sex, watching a man be brought to life and watching servants take over and murder their master.  They get sat to dinner and end up eating a human and also experience lesbian and gay sex.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a movie ahead of its time and became one of the very first cult films (films with a large following like Star Wars, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Wizard of Oz, Napoleon Dynamite, Night of the Living Dead or A Clockwork Orange).  Featuring an all star cast with Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf as well as an excellent soundtrack with the Halloween classic the Time Warp, the Rocky Horror Picture Show flopped as a mainstream movie but became an overnight (literally) hit with midnight showings.  What really made it famous though was when the same groups of people starting coming back week after week for midnight showings and eventually actually started showing up in Rocky Horror Picture Show costumes as well.

If the costumes weren’t enough, they eventually started to communicate with the screen.  Not only did The Rocky Horror Picture Show become one of the first audience participation movies, but eventually people started to bring in props and throw things in the theatre.  They brought playing cards to toss when Dr. Frank N Furter says “Cards for sorrow, cards for pain” and acts like he is dealing a deck or cards or toast to throw when the character on screen yells a toast but the people who would show up in costume started to form a cast and act out the film in front of the screen and in sync with it. Because of the obsession and making the Rocky Horror Picture Show an audience participation phenomenon, it picked up into the main stream movies and society by bringing in acting students, college students, high school students and audiences of all ages for halloween shows.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a classic example of how a cult film or a random film about nothing can become a success and still sells out in many cities to do this day for midnight showings on Halloween and most other weekends in many major cities.  Do a Google search for Rocky Horror Picture Show and type your city’s name after it to see if there is a showing or local cast page for the city you live.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Here is the live show version