February 2016

Join the DC Cabaret Network!
Join now for 2016
Please send your dues to
DC Cabaret Network
P.O. Box 6259
Washington, DC 20015
or through PayPal at: www.dccabaretnetwork.org/membership.html
Membership Dues:
$45 through 12/31/2016
Our Annual Membership Party to formally introduce the Terri Allen Legacy Fund will be held at a Virginia (Metro-accessible) location on March 6. The previously announced date of Feburary 7 conflicts with a small sports tournament in San Francisco celebrating its 50th annual event.
DCCN Members, watch your email box for your invitation!

DCCN Open Mic
The Open Mic for February has been cancelled. The next Open Mic will be in March!
Downstairs at
The Black Squirrel
2427 18th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-1011
The Black Squirrel is located in Adams Morgan between La Fourchette and the Amsterdam Falafelshop
Monday, March 7
8:00 p.m. start
Music Director: Cory Davis
$15 singers
$10 non-participants
Food and drinks are available. Social hour begins at 7:00 p.m.
Bring a friend for a $5 discount!

DCCN Merchandise Now Available via CafePress
Show off your DC Cabaret Network swag with DCCN t-shirts, tote bags, water bottles, mouse pads, hoodies, and more.
Check out the selection of merchandise available from our CafePress shop, and let us know if there are other products you'd like to see!
Link to store: http://www.cafepress.com/DCCN

Maggie's Cabaret - "The S* Show: Music of Sinatra, Sondheim, and Streisand"

Maggie's Cabaret - Friday, February 5th, 2016
Please come to the next Maggie's Cabaret when 10 members of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, with Alex
Tang at the piano, will present their popular revue "The S*Show."  (Sinatra, Sondheim and Streisand). What a fun way to spend a cold
winter's night!  
Maggie's is located at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
in upper Dupont Circle.  Doors open at 7:15 and the music starts at 8:00 pm.  Please plan to come and bring a friend!


Tony Ziesat: The Roller Coaster of Love

Tony Ziesat and Stef Scaggiari: "The Roller Coaster of Love" at Germano's in Baltimore, March 12, 2016
Is there anyone who is a total stranger to the emotional peaks and valleys of romance? 
Poets have been musing over this phenomenon for centuries, and the lyrics of many of the songs from the golden era of standards involved metaphors for the mercurial aspects of love, including  hot vs. cold, high vs. low, exuberance vs. despondence, clarity vs. bewilderment, supernatural trance, intoxication, the symbolism of the seasons, and the sheer madness of the “dizzy, dancing way you feel.” 
Witness the Ikaros-like imagery in “The Shadow Of Your Smile”: “Our wistful little star was far too high ...”   And imagine a young Sinatra, who once had “the world on a string” but later lies awake “in the wee, small hours of the morning,” thinking about the girl and undoubtedly feeling “bewitched, bothered and bewildered.”  Paradoxically, as Rodgers and Hart point out, the lover can even be “glad to be unhappy.”
Join vocalist Tony Ziesat and renowned jazz pianist Stef Scaggiari aboard the roller coaster.  Fasten your seatbelt~
The cabaret dining room will open at 6:00 p.m.  The music will begin at 7:30 and will end at 9:30.
Ticket price:   $25.
To purchase tickets, call (410) 752-4515.  Or tickets may be purchased online, via the following website:   http://germanospiattini.com/events/

Classes, Workshops, and Instruction

George Fulginiti-Shakar offers private vocal coaching sessions and is also teaching a performance class at Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. George has worked with many singers helping them to develop vocal technique, audition material, cabaret acts, piano arrangements and transpositions of songs in the "right" key. Daytime and evening times are available.

Email to GeoFulShak@aol.com or call 202-332-7570.

Cindy Hutchins is currently offering private lessons in vocal & performance technique for teens and adults.

Learn the basics of healthy singing; increase your knowledge of music theory/sightsinging, and discover new song repertoire for auditions, cabaret shows, or just for fun.  Cindy is an experienced performer, teacher, and producer.

Afternoon and evening times are available.  Dupont Circle location accessible to metro.  Email:  cindy711@verizon.net or call 301-717-4665 for more information.
James K. McCully offers Professional Level Training for Opera, Musical Theater & Cabaret.
James is a former National Endowment for the Arts' Opera Musical Theater Fellow & On-Site Evaluator of Professional Opera and Musical Theater Companies and their Emerging Artists Training Programs across the nation.
He has taught on the voice faculties of Catholic University of America & National Conservatory. His students perform with AGMA Opera Houses/AEA Theatres, National/International Tours, PBS, The White House for Presidents & Her Majesty, The Queen, National Cathedral,  and the Armed Forces.
Washington DC Eastern Market Metro Vocal Studios:     www.VoiceLessonsDC.info
Northern Virginia Vocal Studios:      www.VoiceLessonsNoVA.info
Email:  Maestro@JamesKMcCully.org      Voice   (202)683-7874 or (703)354-8623

Backstage with…Steve Cupo

How did you come to direct cabaret shows?
Well, I wish I could say it was the inspiration of the DC Cabaret Network that set me on that path, but the Fates had it all play out quite differently.
In 1997, I did a musical at Source Theatre called "The Harvey Milk Show" with George Fulginiti-Shakar (who would eventually have an influence on me in the world of cabaret, but not at that juncture).
Jumping ahead a few years, through working with George, I was recommended to direct a music revue for the Catholic University Singers, which was going to be presented in Chicago for the Catholic Cardinals Conference. At that time, a dear friend and a very talented singer/actress, named Jane Pesci-Townsend, was teaching at the music theatre department at Catholic. All of the students in the revue were in her classes.
After Jane saw the work I did, she told me she was going to be presenting a cabaret at Signature Theatre and asked if I would consider helping her with the staging and be "an extra set of eyes". I loved Jane and was delighted to help. After that experience, a few other actors around town such as Sherri Edelen and Will Gartshore, who knew of my work, asked me to "help" them as well. Well, one thing led to another and soon I was known among my peers as a director of cabarets, with a fairly substantial resume to boot.

When does a performer need a director, and what kind of preparations should the performer make in advance?

I am a firm believer a performer always needs a director.  If, for no other reason, to make sure the overall vision the singer has is being presented as they would want it to be presented. As we all know, just as in normal life, how we perceive ourselves isn't always the same as how the "outside world" sees us. This is magnified to a greater degree on the stage.
A director will help create that vision. She or he can also assist the performer find a thematic "focus". So often, even the best of singers with the best of songs can't "build" an emotional arc into an evening without the assistance of another person. That "extra set of eyes" Jane spoke of, can really make or break the expressive success of a performance.  In addition, a true director helps the singer find the truth in each song; without which, it isn't truly cabaret.

Prepping in advance can mean finding songs that mean something to a performer. If a song is simply pretty, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be good material for the cabaret. The lyrics, in particular, need to MEAN something to the performer. Find A LOT of songs. It is easier to winnow material than it is to be "short-shrifted". The other VERY important thing is to find a music director that you can work with and, even more importantly, who is willing to work with you. That is not always the easiest notion to realize.

The singer/pianist relationship is just that ... a RELATIONSHIP. If the best of accompanists is rigid or doesn't understand you as a person, DON'T go there. It is important to take your time and do your research in order to find the person who best "clicks" with you.
One last thing, a cabaret performance is a marathon. You need to train for it just as you would any event. That means daily vocalizations/voice classes to build up vocal stamina. Breathing exercises also help. Never think, because you are a good singer, you can sustain an hour's worth of singing and talking without physical preparation. Doing it will make ALL the difference in the world.
Where will we next see and hear your work?

I have been very fortunate to have been quite busy in the past year directing several cabarets; at one point, two at once! SO I am winding my schedule down to balance out my previous commitments. I am directing one more show at Maggie's Cabaret on Connecticut Avenue NW on May 6th. It will be two "new" singers, Annie Elliott and Heidi Mayor, who are just now "dipping their toes" into the world of cabaret. I had taught them both in my cabaret class at The Theatre Lab, so it is exciting for me to see how they have developed.  

It has been so gratifying for me to help guide them down this artistic and revelatory path they are choosing. And, just as I've said, I teach a class on "creating your own cabaret " with my pal and fellow DC Cabaret Network Board Member, George Fulginiti-Shakar. Our next class is in the April/June session. And, of course, I host the monthly Open Mic at The Black Squirrel. We are taking a hiatus for February, but will be back on March 7th at 8:00pm. So come join us!