"I don't sing because I'm happy. I'm happy because I sing." - William James

…on November 7, I heard the two-year old Marquee Five perform a show called “8-Track Throwback,” a five-part harmony homage to the music of the 1960s and ‘70s. In Marquee Five, I knew I’d found my Manhattan Transfer for the new millennium…“Marquee” is the appropriate moniker for this group of smooth, synchronized and powerful singers who seamlessly blend together for a magical musical brew. There’s little doubt their names will be showcased above a theater entrance somewhere very soon.

– Stephen Hanks, Times Square Chronicles, November 12, 2011

Read the rest of this wonderful review/”history of” Marquee Five in the Times Square Chronicle by Stephen Hanks.  Makes me so proud to be in this group! If you haven’t already, order our “8-Track Throwback” CD (and maybe a Tshirt!) by downloading and mailing in this order formAmazon.com and iTunes links to come as well.

Also, the wonderful live-performance photographer Adam Jason (www.adamjasonphotography.com) captured us having fun on stage – check out our full gallery of photos on Marquee Five’s Facebook album.

Photo by www.adamjasonphotography.com

From Playbill.com:

“D.B. Bonds and Burke Moses will be nothing without each other in Goodspeed Musicals’ new production of City of Angels, the sexy noir musical comedy about a mystery writer named Stine and his famous gumshone/alter ego, Stone.

The jazz-inflected, 1989 Tony Award-winning show with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel and book by Larry Gelbart will play Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, Sept. 23-Nov. 27. Opening night is Oct. 19.

City of Angels will be directed by Darko Tresnjak, the new artistic director of Hartford Stage. Tresnjak returns to Goodspeed where he directed Carnival!, Amour and A Little Night Music…

…The “Angel City 4” — a harmonic vocal group — will be played by Mick Bleyer, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein and Adam West Hemming. All four actors are members of the 2010 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) award-winning vocal group, Marquee Five.”

To read up about the entire cast, click here.

 And from the Hartford Courant:

Mick Bleyer, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein and Adam West Hemming — members of the 2010 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) award-winning vocal group, Marquee Five — will play the Angel City 4″

Posted today, an article and photo coverage at BroadwayWorld.com of James Barbour’s opening performance at Birdland. I was a guest singer, as well as pianist/composer Andrew Mancilla and, of course, Broadway vet Merwin Foard.


Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

As read in a previous blog entry, Sue Matsuki reviews for Cabaret Hotline Online. She came to see “Twist of Fate,” the show I’m currently performing in for artist Kevin McMullan. Read the entire article here.

The back up singers: Adam West Hemming, Sierra Rein & Dara Seizman are all STARS in their own right but here they exercise restraint to be exceptionally good supports in this show with knock out vocals and harmonies. Special “props” also to the lovely Dara for her Gypsy Ballet … it was stunning.

I had a terrific time last night, performing in a double-header of musical endeavors (“The Good Girl” at The Snapple Theater Center, then Kevin McMullan’s show “Twist of Fate”). And I was happy to read over my morning coffee today that Sue Matsuki was kind enough to highlight me in her column section on Cabaret Hotline Online, reviewing The Salon Open Mic (which I attend and blog about on a weekly basis!):

“Everyone was great but I look at and hear some of the Broadway types that do The Salon on a regular basis and I think, “How much more talented does one have to be to make it on Broadway?” Some of the singers of this caliber. There are singers of all levels and genres which makes the night an eclectic one. They also have a theme every week which adds yet another fun layer.

There are too many folks to “highlight” on nights like this but I do want to mention one gal in particular because every single time she steps on a stage, she blows me away. I am speaking of Miss Sierra Rein who sang a tune I think was called “A Diva’s Work is Never Done” in what was a pure, operatic/theatrical voice and performance worthy of a Tony. When I first met Sierra, she was performing with a puppet. Then I heard her do the “Only Make Believe” duet from Oklahoma with another wonderful singer at Salon and THEN, I was shocked to hear her wailing our a Janis Joplin tune in the latest Marquee Five show. This girl can literally sing anything.”

The song title in question was “This Place is Mine” from Maury Yeston’s Phantom. Thanks, Sue!

October 28, 2010
REVIEW: Cabaret Hotline Online, by Sue Matsuki.

“…every single time she steps on a stage, she blows me away. I am speaking of Miss Sierra Rein…a pure, operatic/theatrical voice and performance worthy of a Tony…and THEN, I was shocked to hear her wailing out a Janis Joplin tune in the latest Marquee Five show. This girl can literally sing anything.”

To read the full text, click here and scroll down to “THE SALON”

Stu Hamstra has a great quote in his Cabaret Hotline Online newsletter regarding Kevin McMullan’s Cabaret show “Twist of Fate” (which I’m singing in!)

“OH, wow, did I see a great cabaret show on Saturday afternoon (October
23rd)! Kevin McMullan and his great creative team served up a show you
simply must see: TWIST OF FATE at the LAURIE BEECHMAN. It’s described in the
listings below – it plays this Thursday, October 28th at 9:30 pm. I’m not
going to review it here – I want to give Sue Matsuki first divs on writing
the review in her column, but I will tell you this: do not arrive late (as I
did, thanks to the MTA’s messed up Saturday subway schedule), because the
opening number is incredible – in fact the whole show is incredible. I’m
going to have to return, since I missed the first 2 songs of this magical,
mysterious, scary opening medley. There’s singing, there’s dancing, there’s
storytelling, a glorious band, incredible arrangements (by Mark Janas) and
the best darned violin solo ever heard in cabaret! I’ll probably see you
there Thursday night!”

-Stu Hamstra/Cabaret Hotline


Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Sue Matsuki (who is a Cabaret performer of the highest esteem and who I highly respect), has started writing for Cabaret Hotline Online. Marquee Five’s latest show, “8-Track Throwback,” was chosen by Sue in her first run of reviews for the online site. And once again, I cannot be prouder of this show! You can read the review from the website itself here, or just read the following.

And a REMINDER – OUR LAST SHOW is on October 16th, 2010 at 6pm, Don’t Tell Mama. Call 212-757-0788 or go online to make reservations!!!

MARQUEE FIVE in 8 TRACK THROWBACK – Singer/Songwriters of the 60’s & 70’s

October 2nd 2010 – Don’t Tell Mama

This award winning team of singers, Mick Bleyer, Adam West Hemming (arranger), Vanessa Parvini, Sierra Rein & Julie Reyburn collectively called Marquee Five have yet another hit show on their hands!

Great music by Wonder, Mitchell, King, Joplin, Dylan … you know the GREATS … by 5 very special and incredible voices. Just GO SEE THIS SHOW! It’s like no other you will see out there. Music we all know done SO differently that it may take you a few minutes to realize what you’re listening to. (This can be a good thing or a not so good thing but most of the time, in this show, it’s a good thing!)

Beautifully played by Mark Janas on piano, Matt Scharfglass on bass, Tony Romano on guitar and directed by Joseph Ward, this is a fast moving, dynamic trip down memory lane … and speaking of a “trip” …

When I say Janis Joplin, I’m sure the first person that comes to mind is Sierra Rein, right? Here’s this beautiful, classy looking woman rasping out to Joplin’s Move Over in a jaw dropping performance that made me look at Sierra in a whole new light. The audience went wild for this number.

On A Case of You I was first thrown by the tempo of the song having known it no other way than how most sing it but in Vanessa Parvin’s hands and lovely voice, and with Adam’s super arrangement, it was like hearing a new story on a song I thought I knew well. Brava Vanessa!

Let me just say this, to do a show like this where the arrangements are yet another “star” in the show, it should be noted that the entire cast seemed to have an individual acting connection or point of view with each of the tunes that they were the lead on – also impressive in ensemble work.

The boys … oh my stars … Mick Bleyer’s take on Elton John’s Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word with Adam West Hemming’s take on All is Fair in Love was STUNNING! The pain in Mick’s voice as the “younger” man played against Adam’s more mature perspective of pain with a little “oh well” thrown in – it gave me chills. Another audience favorite and one of my favorite moments in the show.

Disclaimer: Julie Reyburn and I are friends, good friends but I have “reviewed” many of her shows by postings to various places so it will be no surprise to anyone when I write:

Music is to Julie Reyburn what a Tech Director is to the stage … Music IS Julie’s light. It’s like the minute she opens her mouth, she has a pin spot on her. Her Tangled Up in Blue and then later taking the lead on Will You Love Me Tomorrow showed me, once again, that this era of music seems to be Julie’s “heart music” being the daughter of two hippies and all. She can sing anything but I love her doing this music.

A long review because there are so many notable moments and each singer is a star in their own right. There’s a line in Jolene that said, “You can have your choice of men” and here we are seeing three women realizing Jolene has done exactly that, chosen all of their men … the girls really deliver on this tune as well. Listen, I could go on and on but you should just go to see their last show which is:

Saturday, October 16th at 6:00 pm at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street (Between 8th & 9th) – Reservations: 212-757-0788 – $20 Cover / 2 Drink Minimum, Cash only. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Sue Matsuki, Sue’s Views, Reviews & News on www.CabaretHotlineOnLine.com – Oct. 4th 2010


Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

CabaretScenes.org just posted this stellar review by Sandi Durell regarding “8-Track Throwback,” Marquee Five’s latest show highlighting singer-songwriter favorites from the 60’s and 70’s.

I gotta just quote the whole thing here, I’m so excited!

Soaring on the success of their debut show, We Can Make It: The Songs of Kander & Ebb, which earned the group a 2010 MAC Award for Best Vocal/Duo/Group, Marquee Five isn’t leaving any dust in their wake as they forge ahead in this latest creation. 8-Track refers to music on magnetic 8-track sound recordings popular in the ’60s and ’70s, eras that produced many of the greatest hits of all time.

Reminiscent of The Modernaires, the 1940s quintet with the Glenn Miller Orchestra who recorded “Make Believe Ballroom Time” for WNEW, the tight harmonies of Marquee Five are, indeed, top-notch spectacular. Impressive, too, are the talents of the individual singers who comprise the group: soprano Vanessa Parvin; mezzo Julie Reyburn; alto Sierra Rein; and the two smooth-sounding males, Mick Bleyer and Adam West Hemming, the latter responsible for the clever arrangements and musical direction.

From group numbers like “Moondance” and the smart, witty “Copacabana”(that intermingles “Oye Como Va,” “Them from The Pink Panther” and “Theme from Sex and the City”), to individual highlights—including Hemmings’s rich and beautifully phrased “A House Is Not a Home” underscored with “Honesty,” Rein’s strong and expressive “Move Over,” Reyburn’s intense rendition of time and love “Tangled Up in Blue” and the juxtaposing duet of Bleyer and Hemming’s pairing “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” and “All in Love Is Fair”—there isn’t a dull moment. The musicians are a unique combination of talents: Mark Janas (piano); Matt Scharfglass (bass guitar); John Benthal and Tony Romano sharing dates on acoustic/electric guitar. Joseph Ward directs. Special thanks to Father Jeffrey Hamblin who produces Marquee Five.

Sandi Durell
Cabaret Scenes
September 17, 2010


Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

On Marquee Five:

“When the five of them harmonize, they’re reminiscent of the reception choir stationed directly inside the Pearly Gates. The five of them are Julie Reyburn, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein, Mick Bleyer, and Adam West Hemming, the latter of whom apparently does all the arranging. They also divvy up in various, usually rewarding ways throughout their set. Not too many quintets make a go of this sort of thing; this ensemble deserves attention.”

-David Finkle, VillageVoice.com


Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James