Thursday, August 21, 2008

1930's Idol - A Night to Remember


I woke up this morning with the biggest, curliest head of hair in my life. I had clunked into bed at 2am with my curls still bouncing from the 1930's hairstyle I put together for the 1930's Idol night. Couldn't run a comb through it, but it looks fantastic.

The night at the Broadway Baby Bistro club was great - lots of fabulous singers, great humor, some butterflies, wonderful costumes and just an overall positive appreciation and celebration of Dorothy Parker and her era of music. I heard old standards which rang familiar to me, but was also introduced to some songs I had never heard of (which I will probably steal for my own use in the future). Reminds me, I have to look into Noel Coward - his work has eluded me all these years.

Hostess Jennifer Wren, who sported more than one fabulous outfit change during the evening, modeled hats from The Village Scandal and kept the evening flowing from one song to the next. Bill Zeffiro was at the piano, and introduced the birthday celebration with an original song in honor of Dorothy Parker. Then, jazz great Daryl Sherman took the piano for two numbers.

The first round was a lightning-fast rotation through 20 contestants. There was such a lovely variety of voices, styles, comedy, pathos, high notes, belts, guys and girls...it's hard to imagine judges Adam Feldman (writer, singer, president of the New York Drama Critics' Circle) and Kevin C. Fitzpatrick (writer, founder of the Dorothy Parker Society) honing them down to a final 5. There was also a lottery and an audience poll for the audience favorite prize.

The contestants were (in the order they sang in): 1 Misty Coy 2 Mark Brignone 3 Sarah Rice 4 Janice Hall 5 Johanna Weller‐Fahy 6 Jen Morris 7 Gabrielle Enriquez 8 Sigali Hamberger 9 Nancy Evans 10 Elizabeth Ulmer 11 Emily Edwards 12 Danielle Grabianowski 13 Courtney Walton 14 Aja Nisenson 15 Jaye Maynard 16 Eric Hoffman 17 Nick Melillo 18 Natalie Wilson 19 Sierra Rein and 20 Sharon Taylor. For the first round, I sang a medley of "Say it Isn't So" into "Down in the Depths." There was a moment of deliberation, and I was announced as one of the 5 final contestants! Yay! The final five turned out to be Sarah Rice, Janice Hall, Sigali Hamberger, Danielle Grabianowski and I. We had 4-5 minutes to sing a song and have a little bit of an interview with the judges to talk about ourselves and answer some questions. I sang my medley combo of "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "The Joint is Really Jumpin' in Carnegie Hall."

Then the winners were announced. All of these recieved gift certificate prizes to shopping locations, show and cabaret tickets, and restaurant meals for two. Audience favorite went to Danielle Grabianowski, first runner-up went to Sigali Hamberger and the ultimate winner of the night went....back to Danielle, so the audience and judges were in complete agreement. (Pete and I concurred as well - Danielle has a wonderfully unique vocal sound and a strong, sexy, playful and powerful presence.) A few final songs from Jennifer & Bill and a hearty "Happy Birthday" to Dorothy Parker rounded out the evening. Pete & I went home tired, but thoroughly entertained. I took a moment to have Pete take some pictures of me in full 20's regalia on the subway platform and train. Took my pincurls out, laughed at the boing-boing curles at my forehead, and took more pictures. On the train, we traded some conversation regarding Star Trek movies and the debate whether any 4th movie in a franchise is any good with some other obvious Star Trek/movie geeks. Then, we went home.

Today, I am going to visit the Algonquin Salon open mic again; hopefully, some of the winners and singers of last night will attend to either recreate last night's songs or bring new ones to the table. I think I might go in with "Where or When" or the fabulous rock song "I Feel The Earth Move." Or both!



With runner-up Sigali Hamberger




With hostess (rowr!) Jennifer Wren




Talking with winner Danielle Grabianowski




With Music Director/Writer/Pianist Bill Zeffiro



The winners circle: Sigali, Kevin, Jennifer, Adam, Danielle, & Bill. Lots of red up there!



1 comment:

Mark Baratelli said...

This looks like fun night. I went to college with Danielle. We barely know each other. I dropped out her sophomore year. She was good back then, too.