"I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing"

Sue Matsuki (who is a Cabaret performer of the highest esteem and who I highly respect), has started writing for Cabaret Hotline Online. Marquee Five’s latest show, “8-Track Throwback,” was chosen by Sue in her first run of reviews for the online site. And once again, I cannot be prouder of this show! You can read the review from the website itself here, or just read the following.

And a REMINDER – OUR LAST SHOW is on October 16th, 2010 at 6pm, Don’t Tell Mama. Call 212-757-0788 or go online to make reservations!!!

MARQUEE FIVE in 8 TRACK THROWBACK – Singer/Songwriters of the 60’s & 70’s

October 2nd 2010 – Don’t Tell Mama

This award winning team of singers, Mick Bleyer, Adam West Hemming (arranger), Vanessa Parvini, Sierra Rein & Julie Reyburn collectively called Marquee Five have yet another hit show on their hands!

Great music by Wonder, Mitchell, King, Joplin, Dylan … you know the GREATS … by 5 very special and incredible voices. Just GO SEE THIS SHOW! It’s like no other you will see out there. Music we all know done SO differently that it may take you a few minutes to realize what you’re listening to. (This can be a good thing or a not so good thing but most of the time, in this show, it’s a good thing!)

Beautifully played by Mark Janas on piano, Matt Scharfglass on bass, Tony Romano on guitar and directed by Joseph Ward, this is a fast moving, dynamic trip down memory lane … and speaking of a “trip” …

When I say Janis Joplin, I’m sure the first person that comes to mind is Sierra Rein, right? Here’s this beautiful, classy looking woman rasping out to Joplin’s Move Over in a jaw dropping performance that made me look at Sierra in a whole new light. The audience went wild for this number.

On A Case of You I was first thrown by the tempo of the song having known it no other way than how most sing it but in Vanessa Parvin’s hands and lovely voice, and with Adam’s super arrangement, it was like hearing a new story on a song I thought I knew well. Brava Vanessa!

Let me just say this, to do a show like this where the arrangements are yet another “star” in the show, it should be noted that the entire cast seemed to have an individual acting connection or point of view with each of the tunes that they were the lead on – also impressive in ensemble work.

The boys … oh my stars … Mick Bleyer’s take on Elton John’s Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word with Adam West Hemming’s take on All is Fair in Love was STUNNING! The pain in Mick’s voice as the “younger” man played against Adam’s more mature perspective of pain with a little “oh well” thrown in – it gave me chills. Another audience favorite and one of my favorite moments in the show.

Disclaimer: Julie Reyburn and I are friends, good friends but I have “reviewed” many of her shows by postings to various places so it will be no surprise to anyone when I write:

Music is to Julie Reyburn what a Tech Director is to the stage … Music IS Julie’s light. It’s like the minute she opens her mouth, she has a pin spot on her. Her Tangled Up in Blue and then later taking the lead on Will You Love Me Tomorrow showed me, once again, that this era of music seems to be Julie’s “heart music” being the daughter of two hippies and all. She can sing anything but I love her doing this music.

A long review because there are so many notable moments and each singer is a star in their own right. There’s a line in Jolene that said, “You can have your choice of men” and here we are seeing three women realizing Jolene has done exactly that, chosen all of their men … the girls really deliver on this tune as well. Listen, I could go on and on but you should just go to see their last show which is:

Saturday, October 16th at 6:00 pm at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street (Between 8th & 9th) – Reservations: 212-757-0788 – $20 Cover / 2 Drink Minimum, Cash only. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Sue Matsuki, Sue’s Views, Reviews & News on www.CabaretHotlineOnLine.com – Oct. 4th 2010


Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Just got this from Stephen Hanks, Board President of the Musical Mondays Theatre Lab!


THE GOOD GIRL Launches 2010-2011
Musical Mondays on Theatrical Thursdays Season

Dear Fans of Musical Mondays Theatre Lab,

Our exciting new fall season is upon us and we wanted to send you this “Save the Date” email so you can be sure to catch the preview of the new musical THE GOOD GIRL, playing on Thursday, October 28th at 6:30 PM at the Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street. Single admission is $15.00. For reservations, call 212 989-6706 or email reservations@musicalmondays.org.

THE GOOD GIRL tells the story of a conscientious, middle-aged, middle-school math teacher who finally jumpstarts her long-idled love life moments before her mother drops dead, leaving her to care for her father. And then her mother sings to her from a jazz club in the great beyond. Music & Lyrics are by Mary Liz McNamara (a MAC-award-winning songwriter and solo performer whose songs are sung by theater and cabaret artists across the country. Mary Liz is also a four-time ASACP + award winner for songwriting and a recent winner of the Dottie Burman songwriting award)/ The book is by Mary Liz and Arden Kass (an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who divides her time between Philadelphia and New York). The director is Lucie Tiberghien (A Small, Melodramatic Story-LAByrinth) and the Musical Director is Annie Lebeaux (Split Ends).

THE GOOD GIRL cast includes Raissa Katona Bennett (Christine in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera), Carl Danielsen (Enter Laughing, The Big Voice: God or Merman), Ritt Henn (MAC Award, Backstage Bistro Award Winner) composer Mary Liz McNamara, Sierra Rein (MAC Award winner for Marquee Five) and Tracy Sallows (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”).

THE GOOD GIRL is being developed in the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

Under the guidance of Artistic Directors Bick Goss and Frank Evans, Musical Mondays Theatre Lab is celebrating its 11th anniversary presenting a first look at new musicals. Previous shows include Next to Normal under the title of Feeling Electric, as well as the incoming musical Wanda’s World. Previous seasons introduced Off-Broadway’s See Rock City, Cupid and Psyche, Abie’s Island Rose, regional productions of Calvin Berger as well as new work by Amanda Green, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx.

Musical Mondays Theatre Lab is also thrilled to announce the naming of its first Board of Directors, including Stephen Hanks (President), Susan Heart (V.P), Phyllis Weiss Haserot (Secretary), Linda Burson (Treasurer), and Anne L. Bernstein, Jeffrey Liberty Simno, and Brad Bond (Board Members).

Musical Mondays’ next new musical preview will be YO, VIKINGS! on Thursday, November 18, 6:30PM, based on the book by best-selling author Judith Byron Schachner, and the real-life adventure that inspired it with music by Sam Willmott and book and lyrics by Marcus Stevens.

We hope to see you all at THE GOOD GIRL on October 28!

Stephen Hanks
Board President
Musical Mondays Theatre Lab
my cell: 718-753-1323
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Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James