It’s especially gratifying when members of the theatre and cabaret communities come together for special causes, for those in need, for those who don’t have a voice and need someone to speak out for them.
That’s what occurred at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City last night when a fledgling non-profit organization had a benefit to raise monies for children living with HIV and AIDS. The room was alive with laughter as the man of the hour, song/dance/comedian, performer extraordinaire, Mark Nadler, strolled onto the stage beckoning with “Let The Good Times Roll.” Needless to say, it was more than a rousing beginning to an evening filled with talent and music that shook the room.
“People keep asking, why I’m so gorgeous,” remarked Nadler. “I drink a lot and do Bikram Yoga in a 104 degree room . . . doing things in moderation,” as he shows off his colorful tie with matching socks leading into “Ain’t Misbehavin’” – his nimble fingers flying across the black and whites. It’s a Nadler frenzy and the evening has only just begun!
His group of merrymakers included Jamison Stern (giving away some secret moments) then singing “On My Bedside Table” (John Bucchino), and then including his gorgeous little Pomeranian Gertie in the festivities “One More for the Road” – – – kiss, kiss. The ever delightful quiescence of Heather Mac Rae (she and Nadler have been making music together since 1988), took center stage, and she and Mark rocked the room with Paul Simon’s “Gone at Last” ( a Hallelujah! moment) and Mac Rae brought it back to a warm glow singing “You’re Clear Out of this World.”
A Diva, a singer and a happy housewife, you can almost always count on Marta Sanders for something cool . . . and raunchy, like the special material written for her by Michael Greer, “Hunk on the Bus” – hmmm delectable; and another specially written-for-Marta song “Been Around the Block” by Jay Jeffries and John MacMahon. Nadler kept the Great American Songbook alive with a Cole Porter Medley of yearning including a whispered intense “In the Still of the Night,” “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and “You’d Be So Easy to Love.”
The inspiring ending to the show was an ensemble “Brotherhood of Man” (How To Succeed in Business . . .).
Congratulations to Joseph Macchia who paved the way in 2005 as founder of this remarkable non-profit organization and, since then, has raised and distributed over $60,000 to 600 children in need in the metropolitan area. A Gala will be held on May 20th honoring radio personality Valerie Smaldone as recipient of the Spirit Award in appreciation for her continuous support of “Help Is On the Way Today.”