Monday, 26 September 2011

Musical Inspirations and Beauty 'Saloons'

I know I've spent a lot of time in New York City of late but for those of you who visit every now and then or have never been there is a lot on offer that's a little different to what you would normally expect.  New York like London is home to many theatres and productions .. the choice is varied and almost limitless!  It stands to reason then that there are talented actors, singers and dancers who aren't always in regular work.  From this talent pool there are many who work in bars, not necessarily as bar attendants but as performers in their own right - playing piano, singing and creating shows of infinite variety.  I attended one such show last night in a bar at 343 West 46th Street, in the heart of the theatre district "Don't tell Mama Piano Bar and Cabaret".  There is a regular slot in one of the rooms out the back called "Hole-o-matic" which features Michael Holland (currently doing the orchestration and vocal arrangements for the upcoming Broadway revival of Godspell) and Karen Mack. They perform medleys of well known songs chosen at random by members of the audience from a roladex on each table at the start of the evening. I couldn't put it better myself so I extracted a review written by Darron Cardosa which reads as follows ... 

"... expect lush vocals and comic mayhem in what is always a spontaneous and one-of-a-kind musical experience. The show is an all request evening so each week the performance is completely original. The two sing medleys (or "mash-ups" for you Glee fans) of songs from the 70's and 80's and each one is creatively arranged by Holland. Some of the songs are solos, some are duets, for some he plays the piano for others the guitar...but all of the songs are great. Holland and Mack explain that neither one of them ever knows the complete lyrics to any one song so their only choice is to do bits and pieces of a lot of songs."

There is no cover charge and the only stipulation is that you buy a minimum of 2 drinks per person ... and I should warn you that the cocktails are quite lethal!!! When the show was over we moved into the main restaurant/bar to hear some more music and grab a bite to eat. Such a fun night and thoroughly recommended if you like that sort of thing!

The Beauty Bar
Another great idea which will probably catch on everywhere if it hasn't already is the "Beauty Bar"  situated at 231 E14th Street and at other locations around the US .. quite literally a Bar which was originally a Beauty Salon 40 years ago! A lot of the original features are still visually intact (although of course not in use) and you can even have a martini and a manicure for $10!  Whatever next??!!

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