Just Do Art, Jan. 9, 2013
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | THE CAROLE BAYER SAGER PROJECT: ALBUM ONE | Whether you don’t recognize the catchy name or have had her albums on rotation for decades, this chronological on-stage performance of the “ten perfect pop songs” from Carole Bayer Sager’s 1977 debut album is poised to make the argument for her relavance and legacy while serving up a generous portion of nostalgia.
Creator and director Thom Fogarty, who’s been active in the Downtown theater scene since 1977, calls the evening a “loving recreation of a particular time in the lives of those who came to NYC in the era of Studio 54 and punk music. The vibe of this album was a rite of passage into love, surviving love and love lost.” Crystal Rona Peterson stars as Carole, with Jenny Selig and Micah Bucey as The Carolettes. Michael Conley provides the musical direction. Old fans and new converts can take some comfort in a telling word within the evening’s title: “Project” implies that after this tribute to 1977’s self-titled debut, Fogarty and crew may return with gavel-to-gavel coverage of 1978’s “Too” and 1981’s “Sometimes Late at Night.” And why stop there? Apart from her three solo efforts, Bayer Sager found great commercial success (along with pop song immortality) for her collaborative efforts — most notably, 1987’s Grammy Award-winning Song of the Year (“That’s What Friends Are For,” written with then-husband Burt Bacharach) and 1981’s Oscar-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” written with Bacharach, Peter Allen and Christopher Cross.
Free. Fri., Jan. 17 at 8pm. At Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, btw. Thompson & Sullivan Sts.). Then, Sat., Jan. 18 at 7pm — at The Duplex Cabaret and Piano Bar, 61 Christopher St., at Seventh Ave.). $15 cover, two-drink minimum. For reservations: 212-255-5438 or theduplex.com.
THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND: A GOLDEN GIRLS MUSICAL PARODY
After suffering the month-long indignity of being bumped from the schedule in favor of running those horrendous, holiday-themed movies, “The Golden Girls” are back on Hallmark Channel — but the real return-to-form news is playing out live, on a stage near you. Not-so-hot on the heels of sold-out runs in 2009 and 2010, “Thank You For Being A Friend” makes the great leap from its former East Village digs (at The Kraine Theater) to within walking (or walker?) distance of Broadway. Booked for a six-week run at W. 42nd St.’s Laurie Beechman Theater, this unauthorized musical parody suits up three original cast members in their best 80s fashions, for another go as thinly veiled versions of the iconic 60+ Miami roommates.
Luke Jones is towering, brainy Dorothea, Chad Ryan is prolific vixen Blanchette and Nick Brennan (who wrote the book and also directs) is lovable airhead Roz. Joined by wisecracking elder Sophie, the four dead ringers must negotiate a plot as thin as the set’s two-dimensional wicker furniture. Emboldened, perhaps, by his recently announced divorce, next door neighbor Ricky Martin is casting a pall over the Girls’ cheesecake-scarfing gabfests with his noisy outdoor sex parties. A musical variety solution presents itself, in the form of the upcoming Shady Oaks Retirement Home Talent Show. If the women win, the parties stop — and if the gays take the crown, the gals become the party’s cleanup crew. High culture it ain’t — but for lovers of the cult TV show who like a little good, clean, gay-friendly raunch, this one’s a Hump Day must.
Wed., at 7pm, through Feb. 12. At The Laurie Beechman Theater (407 W. 42nd St., at Ninth Ave.). For tickets ($20, plus $15 food/drink minimum), call 212-352-3101 or visit spincyclenyc.com.