on May 1, 2009
If you live in New York City and love Broadway show tunes, cabaret style singing and improv, there are a dozen competing venues. In the Berkshires, it is less common, and usually available only in the summer in connection with the Barrington, Berkshire and Williamstown theatre operations. So it comes as great news that the leader of the pack in Manhattan - the gorgeous and ridiculously talented Brandon Cutrell - is going to provide our own Spring Awakening on May Day.
Thanks to the MCLA Presents! program, he is arriving in the Berkshires - North Adams - for an evening that promises to be the most fun in ages.
Not only will you get to hear this marvelous tenor sing obscure songs that will break your heart, but there also will be an open mic for Berkshire fans of Stephen Sondheim, Kander and Ebb and other songwriters of the stage and screen to show they have what it takes to belt out a song. MCLA alumna Katie Johnson '07 is expected to make an appearance, so we know there are surprises in store.
And this show isn't at a cavern of a theatre, but in an intimate and friendly cabaret setting especially created for this occasion - at Taylor's Fine Dining, 34 Holden Street in downtown North Adams, just off Main Street. The May 1 show begins at 9 pm (earlier if you like dining on the steak and seafood this restaurant is famous for) and to reserve your tickets call 413-662-5204.
I spoke with Jonathan Secor about this unusual booking and he told me that he and a group of MCLA students have been making regular forays to he Big Apple to sample real cabaret performances, and that there is a pent up demand for such experiences in the Berkshires. He is so right. If you enjoy cabaret-style singing and performances, this evening is a must.
Brandon Cutrell - An Artist Worth the Trip
In Europe, the Michelin Guide rates restaurants by the star system, saving its multiple stars for establishments that are "worth a detour" or even "worth a special trip". Brandon Cutrell is both. Brandon Cutrell is a Bistro Award and two-time MAC Award winner. His New York credits include Broadway By The Year at Town Hall, The 2nd Annual Broadway Unplugged at Town Hall, Pippin (where I first saw him with Ben Vereen and Rosie O'Donnell), La Gioconda at TheatreSource, David Friedman's King Island Christmas, and Liz Swados' Waiting For Lefty. Nationally he has appeared at the Theatre of the Stars, Goodspeed Musicals, the Human Race Theatre and with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
Brandon's self-titled debut CD was released on June 4th, 2007 at Feinstein's. You can find out more about all his activities and performances in detail on his website, Please visit www.BrandonCutrell.com.
There are dozens of video excerpts of Brandon on YouTube, and his music can be downloaded via iTunes as well.
For nearly two years, Brandon was the original host of the MAC Award nominated show, Mostly Sondheim. In December of 2005, Brandon made his debut in the world-famous Oak Room at The Algonquin Hotel. In June of 2006, he made his solo debut at Feinstein's, New York's legendary nightclub on Park Avenue. Currently, Brandon can be seen every Friday night at The Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street as the host of The After Party, a weekly open-mic, musical theatre soiree. Every Monday from June to August, Brandon is the host of Brandon & Ray's Broadway at the Beach, a musical theatre party at the Ice Palace in Fire Island's Cherry Grove.
This is Brian's first trip to the Berkshires, and - following his appearance here - you can read our interview with him next week on our Arts America blog.