Mychelle Colleary and Harold Sanditen
Open-mic at Crazy Coqs still goes on strong with Harold Sanditen at the helm, and occasionally deputised by the fun-loving and droll Mychelle Colleary. I have sung at a few times myself lately and always glad of the opportunity to do it.
One of the spin-offs from the Open-mic is an occasional highlights evening, which gives a few people a chance to do a little more than one song and start to form a programme. Such experience when working on a new cabaret is, as you would imagine, invaluable for the singers and a great opportunity for the audience to see a selection of artists and potential shows in development.
The next Open Mic Highlights Show is on Monday 2nd November and will feature lovely jazz singer Melissa Cantzlaar, Alex Affolter– also a jazzer, the sweet and quirky Robert Jerome and singer-songwriter Suzanna Woods.
Go – you’ll enjoy it.
About Fiona Jane Weston
I am Fiona-Jane Weston and as well as being a performer myself (see website), I write reviews of and features on shows, mainly on the London cabaret and theatre scene.
I have worked in theatre for many years, but decided to embark on a new direction in cabaret in 2009, when I produced 20th Century Woman: The Compact Cabaret. Not wanting to neglect my love of spoken word, particularly drama and verse, I made the conscious decision to include these elements in the programme, as well as wonderful songs, to tell the story of women's changing status and preoccupations throughout the 20th Century and up to now.
I was invited to audition for the renowned Cabaret Conference at Yale, run by the late legendary Erv Raible, and that was thrilled to be one of only 26 accepted that year, where I was taught by the masters of the genre. Amanda McBroom (composer of the Bette Middler hit "The Rose" and the poignant "Errol Flynn"), Laurel Massé, original member of Manhattan Transfer, Sally Mayes, Tony Award nominees Sharon McNight and Tovah Feldshuh, and New York cabaret veteran Julie Wilson were all on the faculty. We were also treated to the musical direction of Alex Rybeck, Hubert Tex Arnold and the now late Paul Trueblood.
With the benefit of their insightful teaching and great encouragement, I took my show to The Duplex in New York, where I was delighted with the response.
Since then, I have produced Loving London: The Capital Cabaret, using the same format of songs, poetry and drama, in various London venues, including Leicester Square Theatre and The Crazy Coqs.
2014, the centenary of World War 1, saw the launch of Wartime Women: the Khaki Cabaret to a sellout house at St. James Theatre, London, garnering great notices, including from The Times and Musical Theatre Review. I have since been touring the show to Belgium and throughout the UK.
I hope these reviews and interviews entertain and educate at the same time, and if please do leave comments in the box. It's great to engage in a conversation about the Arts.
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