Art/Song Gallery Presentation for Jay Allan Zimmerman

This Weds, March 3rd and the Wednesday after that March 10th (both at 7:00pm) I’ll be singing original works by composer Jay Alan Zimmerman (the “Beethoven of Broadway”) in an extraordinary Art/Song exhibit in Times Square. The voices of singers will be actualized into visual representations via installations by artist Lisa Ingram.

As he describes it himself in his website, “It’s hard to explain, so start with the Broadway World article here: BROADWAY VOICES MADE VISUAL BY DEAF COMPOSER 2/23 – 3/16

Chashama times square
112 west 44th Street, between 7th & 6th avenues
Facebook event can be found here

Marquee Five in

Here’s a nice writeup of Marquee Five and other great events of the week by Jenna Esposito of (a great Cabaret artist in her own right!) regarding our Thursday Feb 25th, 2010 show at Don’t Tell Mama :

“A welcome addition to the NYC nightlife scene…terrific performers in their own right…and the blend of their instruments on tight, five-part harmonies is really something special! The five performers each got their chance to shine in various solos and duets, which added color and variety to the already-enjoyable evening. Each vocalist brought their own unique sound and style to the show, yet were able to blend beautifully on the group numbers…I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on board for Marquee Five next – it’s a welcome breath of fresh air in the cabaret world to have this type of ensemble show, and I’m sure there are more exciting things in store!”

-Jenna Esposito

Now “The Blogette” for Mark Janas – The Salon’s Blog!

I’m now taking on a second blog – that of, the official blog of The Salon, presented by the fabulous pianist, composer, music director Mark Janas and Producer Tanya Moberly, is a weekly open mic held currently at the Etcetera Etc restaurant. A cover and food/drink minimum will let you in on a great evening of singing, spoken word, workshopped performances, classical, musical theater, rock, opera, whatever! Everything is accepted, and there is even a weekly theme to help in musical choices. However, all material (on or off theme) is welcome.

I’ll be blogging about the performers and artists who attend the Salon and any information for upcoming Salon events. Please feel free to read and/or subscribe via email or RSS if you would like to keep in touch with The Salon!


TONIGHT! Marquee Five in “We Can Make It: the Songs of Kander & Ebb”

We’re in, Mom!



Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 8:30pm

Marquee Five returns to Don’t Tell Mama with “We Can Make It: The Songs of Kander & Ebb,” an exhilarating evening of your favorites from Cabaret, Chicago, Flora the Red Menace, The Rink, and more. Tight harmonies, clever arrangements, and an actor’s sensibility characterize this collaboration of singers Mick Bleyer, Adam West Hemming, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein, and Julie Reyburn.


“sublime harmony.”
–Rob Lester,

“Unbelievable, awesome vocals (and arrangements)…pretty perfect!”
–Stu Hamstra,


Joining Marquee Five on stage will be Dan Feyer at the piano.
Directed by Peter Napolitano
Musical Direction: Adam West Hemming

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
8:30 pm

$17 cover ($12 for MAC/Cabaret Hotline/Actor Unions) 2-drink minimum.


Don’t Tell Mama
343 West 46th Street (Restaurant Row, between 8th and 9th Avenues) in
New York City
Near the 42nd and 50th street stops of the A and C trains

Reservations and Information: 212-757-0788
After 4:00 PM daily – Open 7 days a week

More information about Marquee Five: //

“Make Believe” with Mark Watson at The Salon 02-21-2010

I had a terrific time at The Salon on Sunday the 21st. In tribute to the late Kathryn Grayson, I decided to sing from “Show Boat,” which Grayson starred in with Howard Keel. Mark Watson was gracious enough to jump into a duet of “Make Believe” with no rehearsal, but with the fabulous Mark Janas on the piano.

An mp3 of the song, recorded live, and my introduction to it can be found here.


An email from Michael Kostroff – some more quotes on acting from the Audition Psych 101 method

Hey, all —
Several actors who attended recent “Audition Psych. 101” workshops have followed up with some quotes that support my approach. I thought you might find them encouraging:

This one was sent in by Barbara Fisher:

Actor Julie Benz (Dexter): “I look at it as, it’s literally your time to be an actor that day. And it’s a performance; that’s all it is. I don’t look at it as a job; it’s my time to play the part how I want to play it. And I throw my material away when I leave. You learn to love it.”

—From “Prime Time – Who’s in the Running: Television Actors” by Jenelle Riley, Back Stage, 11/18/09

And this one came from Ron Salmons:

Director Tom Robinson, director of, talking about actor Clayton Farris’ audition for the Glendale Theatre Center’s Kiss Me Kate:

“When he came in the door of the audition room, he had a commanding presence. The other actors were a little timid, didn’t quite know what to expect, but Clayton had prepared himself. He seemed to be such a confident individual and just came in with such a good presence and a warm charisma that made it pretty evident that we needed to see him some more.”

—From “Who Got the Part?” by Sarah McKinley Oakes, Back Stage, 2/16/10

(Ron adds: “Clayton must have been at one of your past workshops.”)


And here’s a quote from Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory”:

“I enjoy auditioning. My advice for getting through it, in all seriousness would be that this may be your only chance in these few minutes to play this part…it sometimes helps me to think about it like that. Like, whatever, you know? This is my take on it, this is what I’m doing with it and this is the only time I’ll have to get to do it.”


Happy auditioning!

Michael Kostroff

“Audition Psych. 101”

10 Acting-Theater-Life Podcasts (aka “no excuse not to be inspired!”)

When the subway gets too crowded to read a book on the acting biz or a current play I’m researching, I often turn to acting-related podcasts. Free (although they all probably accept donations, hint hint!), quick to download, all at the ready via my iPhone or mp3 player. They all provide information, research, inspiration, and sometimes that good old mental kick in the ass when the creative energies are low.

Here is a list of my favorite acting podcasts and links to their websites or affiliated sites. Some of them are can be considered “enrichment” podcasts, meaning they will enhance my understanding of humanity, real people, or unique characters that I might steal … ahem … be inspired by! If you happen to know of another podcast or videocast that you enjoy listening to that is not listed here, please comment below and add your recommendation!

And if you’re on twitter, follow many of them via: @MusicalTheatreT @Dinnerpartydnld @HowStuffWorks @DigitalActor @rcbl @Roz2010 @broadwaybullet @cdbaby @NPRamericanlife

Here they are:

  1. Everything Acting Podcast – Actresses, producers, voice-over actors Darbi Worley and Rosalyn Coleman bring all they can about acting. From the website: “Each episode you will hear tips and information from legitimate industry insiders. Casting directors, agents, producers and directors will offer insights on pictures, resumes, auditions, reels, and what happens when you get the job. Get inspiration from real life audition stories; find out who got the part and how they got it! Join us as we inform, inspire and demystify the actor’s journey. Brought to you by Darbi Worley and Red Wall Productions.”
  2. Inside Acting Podcast – inspired by Everything Acting, this podcast is produced and co-hosted by actors Trevor Algatt and Albert Meijer, they delve into all aspects of artists, not just acting, and provide interviews with artists of many ventures. From the website: “Inside Acting is a free, weekly audio podcast for artists, by artists. Each episode of brings you tips and insights from Los Angeles-area casting directors, agents, producers, writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers, personal finance gurus, and more. Get insider information on marketing yourself, creating your own work, and booking the gig — straight from the people who’ve been there, done that, and are doing it again.”
  3. Musical Theatre Talk with Trish Causey – an online radio show/podcast of heavy-hitters of Musical Theater both on and behind the stage. Singers, coaches, vocal health experts, stars, composers, you name it! From the website: “Being active in Musical Theatre through her online radio show, trish is keeping her Broadway dreams alive as she interviews the best in the biz. The impressive guest list includes phenomenal artists on stage and backstage, the creators, the designers, the performers, and the technicians who make it happen… and make it all appear to happen magically.”
  4. Broadway Bullet – A long-running podcast and blog about Broadway, Off-Broadway, NYMF and more! From the website: “a weekly podcast with interviews, musical performances and commentary with the everyone from the brightest Broadway talent to the rising stars of the New York theatre scene and beyond!…Contributing Writers/Producers: Tyler Stein, Alison Lea Bender, Renee Michele, and Dmitri Russell.”
  5. The CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast – Members Kevin Breuner, Robert Bolton(aka Chris Bolton) and Chris Robley produces this audio interview podcast show for musicians. From their Facebook page: “We interview artists and professionals in the industry to help our fellow musicians navigate the choppy waters of the new music industry, and find success with their music.”
  6. Martini Shot with Rob Long – Mr. Long reads us funny, biting, sometimes sad essays of his experiences from the trenches of the Hollywood sitcom writer. Via
  7. The Moth Podcast – brought to us by writer Andy Borowitz, The Moth is a podcast of many recordings of spoken monologues by people from many cities about true events, told unscripted and without notes, by anyone who wishes to stand up on stage and tell a story. From their website: “The Moth is dedicated to promoting the art of storytelling. We celebrate the ability of stories to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection. We do so by helping our storytellers to shape their stories and to share them with the community at large. One goal of The Moth is to present the finest storytellers among established and emerging writers, performers and artists; another is to encourage storytelling among populations whose stories often go unheard…Today, The Moth conducts eight ongoing programs and has brought more than 3,000 live stories to over 100,000 audience members.”
  8. The “Stuff” Podcasts – or that’s how I call them, is a series of podcasts made by the folks from How Stuff Learn about previously unknown history, science, music, and any other topics. These podcasts enhance an understanding of humanity, and is a great source of ice-breaking topics at your next networking event. Okay, it might not, but as an actor it does us well to be well-rounded overall! My favorites are the Stuff from the B-Side (music), Stuff Mom Never Told You (women), Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know (conspiracies), Stuff You Missed in History Class (history), The Coolest Stuff on the Planet (travel, nature), and the Stuff You Should Know (general topics) podcasts. They have many others, so check out their master list and try others out as well.
  9. This American Life – by Chicago Public Radio, hosted by Ira Glass, a weekly interview-story-audio pastiche radio show based on a general theme. From the website: “There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but, like we said, it’s sort of hard to describe.” It’s always interesting, though – these stories are always edited incredibly well and since it’s usually a story about regular people or extraordinary things happening to regular people, it’s a great resource for actors to hear how people talk when interviewed and how they live their lives.
  10. The Dinner Party Download – A general overview of some interesting tidbits of information of the week’s events, jokes, great artist interviews, and always-fascinatingly-tantalizing alcoholic drinks based on “this week in history” segments. Hosts Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano strive to help you “win the dinner party”… and what actor doesn’t want to do that?!?

Join me for the Big Night Out Open Mic – This Thursday, NYC!

Thursday – BIG NIGHT OUT!
Upstairs at Etcetera Etcetera Restaurant
325 West 44th Street (b/w 8th and 9th aves)
A fabulous evening of cabaret featuring the song stylings of maestro Bill Zeffiro, sparkling guest host Vicki Van Tassel and YOU singing your favorite song, your new song, or just that song you’d never get to sing otherwise.

$10 cover/$12 minimum
($5 if you are MAC/AEA/SAG/ECC!)

Marquee Five (clip) sings “A Quiet Thing” at Don’t Tell Mama – Dec 23, 2009

Marquee Five is eligible for a MAC Award Nomination!

The MAC Award season is upon us, and Marquee Five is in the running for a nomination for Best Vocal/Instrumental Duo/Group! Check out the MAC Website for a downloadable PDF (we’re on page 5). If you’re a MAC voter, please consider nominating us once you receive your list of potential nominees in the mail!

The nominees will be announced the day after my birthday, March 25th – let’s just hope I get a day-late birthday present! 😀 The info on the nomination announcement is listed on this Facebook Event.