Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"Musical Mondays" at Hell's Kitchen, January 2017

What better way to ring in the new year than with Musical Mondays at Hell's Kitchen? This monthly cabaret series, featuring great local talent singing a selection of showtunes around a common theme, can always be counted on for a fun and celebratory evening. Last night's show, with a theme of new beginnings, was just what I needed to mark the turning of the year. We had a lovely "goodbye 2016" song and a hilarious and terrifying election response song. But most of all there was a feeling of hope that if we continue making and supporting theater, music, and art, and coming together as a community, we can make 2017 better than 2016.

This month featured six entertaining performers with accompaniment and music direction by the fabulous Kyle Picha, hosted as per usual by everyone's favorite BFFs Sheena Janson and Max Wojtanowicz. Here's where you can see them next:
  • Jim Detmar - History Theatre's new play The Highwaymen in February (which is about the building of Interstate 94 through the Rondo neighborhood, not the country music supergroup), one of my favorite musicals West Side Story at the Ordway in April (I'm impatiently waiting for the full cast announcement!), and the new musical Fly By Night at the Jungle this summer
  • Mollie Fischer - currently in the "musically thrillingMillion Dollar Quartet at Old Log Theatre, up next West Side Story at the Ordway and Ghost: The Musical at Old Log this summer
  • Heather McElrath - the Capri Theater Legends series in February and Ghost: The Musical at Old Log this summer
  • Jordan Oxborough - Grease at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, opening in March
  • France Roberts - working behind the scenes on Artistry's Little Shop of Horrors (January 21 - February 19)
  • Kelli Foster Warder - working at her day job as Hennepin Theatre Trust's director of education
  • Kyle Picha - music directing Minnetonka Theatre's Titanic and Ghost: The Musical at Old Log this summer
  • Sheena Janson - Ten Thousand Things' Fiddler on the Roof (February 16 - March 19 at various locations)
  • Max Wojtanowicz - Children's Theatre Company's original musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches (February 7 - March 26)
Here's the songlist from the show, which is always posted on Musical Mondays Facebook page:
  • Everybody’s Got the Right To Be Happy (Assassins) - all
  • The Old Red Hills of Home (Parade) - Jordan
  • Don’t Cry Out Loud (The Boy From Oz) - Kelli
  • I Am Changing (Dreamgirls) - Heather
  • People Like Us (The Wild Party) - Jordan & Mollie
  • Who Can I Turn To (The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd) - Jim
  • When Love Is Gone (The Muppet Christmas Carol) - Sheena
  • Mister Cellophane (Chicago) - France 
  • Woman (The Pirate Queen) - Mollie
  • There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This (Sweet Charity) - Heather & Kelli
  • Hello To The New Me (by Drew Gasparini) - Mollie
  • Put On A Happy Face (Bye Bye Birdie) - France
  • Any Dream Will Do (Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) - Jim
    [with new post-election lyrics]
  • No Time At All (Pippin) - Kelli
  • We Can Do It (The Producers) - Jim & France
  • Beautiful City (Godspell) - Jordan
  • Love Will Stand When All Else Fails (Memphis) - Heather
  • Bring On Tomorrow (Fame) - all
Last but not least, Musical Mondays usually includes a preview of an upcoming show. This month we were treated to two: the one-night-only staged reading of Last Five Years featuring Adara Bryan and Eric Heimsoth (Sunday January 15 at Bryant-Lake Bowl), and Artistry's Little Shop of Horrors with a dynamite cast (January 21 - February 19). Both shows look fantastic so get your tickets now!

The next Musical Mondays is on February 6 and will feature the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Watch their Facebook page for details.
the cast of Musical Mondays (photo courtesy of Musical Mondays)