HOWARD MC GILLIN MAKES OAK ROOM DEBUT IN “ISN’T IT ROMANTIC” WITH CHARM AND CONGENIALITY

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Best known for his record-setting performances as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Howard McGillin has enjoyed a varied career on both Broadway and London stages. Mr. McGillin, has a winning way with his audience and a lovely and cultured tenor voice that has made him the quintessential leading man in theatre.

At his eagerly awaited Oak Room debut, (From September 13-24),  McGillin presented an evening of love songs that aptly answered the question, “Isn’t It Romantic?” Howard offers a program, with appealing patter, that explores a variety of romantic experiences, highlighted by a rendition of “All The Things You Are,” (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II) that was simple and without embellishments, proving that a great song needs nothing more than to be sung with sensitivity to make its point.

A combined arrangement of “A Foggy Day IN LONDON TOWN” (George and Ira Gershwin) and the lovely “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” (Eric Maschwitz; Manning Sherwin; Jack Strachey)  gives Howard the opportunity to fill us in on his adventures, when living in London, and a neat duo pairing, a rollicking “SHE LOVES ME” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) with a subtle version of “Dear Friend” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) from the same show, allows Mr. McGillin to demonstrate his dramatic range and vocal finesse.

The high point of the evening was a stunning rendering of “Putting It Together” (Stephen Sondheim) that was eclipsed by the beyond-beautiful “Good Thing Going” (Stephen Sondheim), demonstrating that some of the best theater songs come from shows that are less than memorable.

“Time” (Barry Kleinbort; Joseph Thalken), offered an appealing contemporary touch, while “Two For The Road” (Henry Mancini; Leslie Bricusse) was the perfect encore.

Beautifully accompanied by Joseph Thalken at the piano and Richard Sarpola on bass, Howard McGillin is easy to like, easy to listen to and brings a thoroughly pleasant evening of entertainment to the Algonquin’s legendary Oak Room.  

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 pm and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm. There is a $50 cover charge plus either a $60 dinner at 7 or $30 food and beverage minimum. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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EMILY BERGL OPENS OAK ROOM SEASON WITH A BANG IN “KIDDING ON THE SQUARE”

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In her Oak Room debut August 30,  brilliant young actress singer Emily Bergl, star of Broadway (Nora Ephron’s "Love, Loss and What I Wore,"), film (“The Rage: Carrie 2”) and TV’s Royal Pains and Desperate Housewives, roars into the Oak Room with more gusto than Hurricane Irene in the her exhilarating act: ”Kidding on the Square.”

A theatrical cabaret-act that transports the audience on a fast-paced ride through love, heartbreak and everything in between, ”Kidding on the Square” is told from the perspective of a modern girl and the eccentric characters she inhabits,

Something old (the Boswell Sisters “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye”; something new (Peter Brown & Robert Rans “Material Girl" by way of Madonna); something borrowed ( "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" as an evolving Judy Garland); and something blue (as in Bergl’s deliciously compelling version of “Billy Barnes jazz classic Something Cool,”); the show features a rich array of songs that include Roy Orbison’s “Cryin’,” Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” a poignant characterization of Rodgers & Hart’s “Ten Cents a Dance as a down-and-out hostess,” Dietz & Schwartz’ Confession” and an unexpected opening number, interpreting Noel Coward’s “Mad About the Boy”  with a serious bent: the lady gets truly angry.

In ”Kidding on the Square,” Bergl does what she does best, which in the case of this hour and fifteen minutes appears to be everything. It comes as no surprise that her acting, where, comedic, dramatic or character is a paragon of perfection, but she looks terrific is a slinky gray “pull apart” gown, that becomes a sexy dress and finally morphs into leotards and tights. Her movement is as controlled as possible in these small quarters. But the big kicker is the voice: A luscious lyric soprano that can go into a metallic chest, when the material demands, as in an hilarious rendition of the vintage Andrews Sisters“Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” that is worth the price of admission.

High points test Ms. Bergl’s. comedic, dramatic and vocal abilities, which she passes with grade “A” marks. Memorable Moments: Pink Martini’s song "Sympathique" from the 1997 album Sympathique,  and you needn’t speak French to get the nuanced meaning.”

Kidding on the Square”  is beautifully directed by Sarna Lapine with G. Scott Lacy as musical director and receives outstanding backup from pianist Jonathan Mastro (Musical director of the hit revival of "Our Town,)" with the talented Ritt Henn on bass and ukulele.

After a fun closing (“Dream a Little Dream of Me,”) Ms. Bergl encores with a heart-wrenching version of the Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is.“ And indeed, this is one of the few times in recent memory, we felt that way too about a cabaret act: Absolutely electrifying and not to be missed. Reserve now! The show will run through Saturday September 10th.

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm.   The cover charge is $50 per person plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or a $60 prix fixe dinner.  Reservations:  212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com

 

Note: The new menu features an amazingly tender and moist Berkshire pork chop that is in step with making the Algonquin kitchen on a par with the atmosphere, entertainment and service one encounters in this truly great New York institution.

Click Here To Visit Emily Bergl’s Official Website

Click Here To Visit Website of Oak Room Supper Club

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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ANDREA MARCOVICCI GREETS THE HOLIDAY SEASON

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Andrea_1813RT ANDREA MARCOVICCI GREETS THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A“BLUE CHAMPAGNE” TOAST

NOVEMBER 16-DECEMBER 30

OAK ROOM PRESENTS

ANDREA MARCOVICCI GREETS THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A

“BLUE CHAMPAGNE” TOAST

Blue Champagne Cocktail $20.00

1 OZ Blue Curacao

Top with Veuve Clicquot

andrea champagne Picture1 

For her record-breaking 24th year at the famed Oak Room Supper Club of the

legendary Algonquin Hotel, the “Queen of Cabaret,” Andrea Marcovicci, returns to her first love—the torch song! “Blue Champagne: The History of the Torch Song” runs November 16th -December 30th, with Shelly Markham on piano and Jered Egan on bass. To honor the occasion, the Algonquin has created the “Blue Champagne Cocktail,” its newest signature drink (combining Blue Curacao and Veuve Clicquot Champagne).

“Blue Champagne: The History of the Torch Song” not only revels in the heartbreak inherent in this most vulnerable genre of music, but the show is carefully balanced with zany numbers in a quest for comic relief from unrequited love songs, as well as wonderful stories of the legendary ladies of torch…Helen Morgan, Ruth Etting and Libby Holman, among others. With her latest show, Andrea brings her unique insight to this tale of longing, losing and gunplay!

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Highlights: After a striking opening of “The Red Dress,” a Dorothy Parker poem, the glamorous Marcovicci combines  “Someone to Watch Over Me,” with the lesser known “Mr. Right,” by Alan Jay Lerner and Kurt Weill. From that instant the audience is under her spell, While her voice was never her strongest asset, it has mellowed with the years and she has gained control over her range and has softened the rough edges. It does what it is meant to do . . . serve as a vehicle for her superb acting and indestructible delivery.

Other poignant moments include a spellbinding interpretation of “Love Me or Leave Me,”  and a laid back version of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” which acts as a foil to Irving Berlin’s “Say It Isn’t So,” which is arguably the high point of the evening. “Body and Soul,” “Just Like A Man” and “Shakin’ the Blues Away” round out the 19 song beautifully researched act.

If you are an Andrea Marcovicci fan, you will be delighted with her Oak Room flight, which will add special holiday matinees, so inquire. A legend in her own time, don’t miss one of the world’s three finest cabaret performers.

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Shows are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11, with a $60 cover charge weeknights and late weekend shows and $65 for early weekend shows, plus either a $30 minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner. Reservations: (212) 419 9331 or bmgurn@algonquinhotel.com

There will be special holiday shows Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas at 7:30 pm, matinees at 2:00 pm December 22nd and 29th, and Monday December 27th at 7:30 pm. The Algonquin is inaugurating “New Year’s Eve Eve” December 30th at 8:30, an end of the year annual festive evening featuring camaraderie, great food and matchless entertainment, with Andrea hosting another Algonquin First.

Dubbed “a heartbreaker” by PEOPLE magazine, while the San Francisco Chronicle was “seduced by a temptress.” The New York Times stated, “She has a masterly balance between poignancy and wit,” and to the New Orleans Times-Picayune “she sings so beautifully that you find tears stinging your eyes.” Andrea Marcovicci has sold out Carnegie Hall and appeared in concert with numerous orchestras and at the White House. She has acted in films, television and theatre. Costars include Danny DeVito, Woody Allen, Sir Michael Caine, Sir John Gielgud and Sam Waterston. Her latest film, Irene in Time, has recently been released on DVD, and she has created more than 30 nightclub acts.

http://www.andreamarcovicci.com/

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JACK JONES RETURNS TO THE OAK ROOM OCTOBER 26TH FROM WORLDWIDE “GREATEST HITS” TOUR

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jack jones cdcover%20copy The legendary Algonquin is delighted to welcome back double Grammy Award winner Jack Jones for his annual exclusive three-week Oak Room engagement. From October 26th through November 13th, Jack will offer classic renditions of the timeless standards that have made him an international superstar in an age of rock and hip-hop.

Musical director/pianist Mike Renzi will be ably assisted by Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums. Shows are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:30 with no late shows. There is a $75 cover charge per person Tuesday through Thursday and $100 Friday and Saturday, plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner, with dinner seating at 7 pm. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

Born in Hollywood to singer and film star Allan Jones (“A Night at the Opera,” etc.) and actress Irene Hervey, Jack Jones made his professional debut at 19 with his father in Las Vegas and soon thereafter signed a recording contract which produced his fist hit, “This Could Be The Start of Something Big.” His two Grammys were for the singles “Lollipops and Roses” and “Wives and Lovers,” which was also nominated for Song of the Year. With more than 50 recorded albums (17 of which made Billboard’s Top 20), Jack Jones continues to charm audiences worldwide with his wit, sensitivity and amazing vocal power. Jack’s credits include guest performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the White House. He recorded the theme songs for the film Love With a Proper Stranger and the hit TV show, “The Love Boat.” A recent release, Jack Jones Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett, pays homage to a friend and influence, a group that also includes Mel Tormé (who called Jack ‘the greatest pure singer in the world), Billy Eckstine and Frank Sinatra. His latest release is Love Makes the Changes: The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman.