A Most Unexpected Honor.
On Broadwayworld.com, a new article by Stephen Hanks includes me in the list of "The Best (and Favorite) 20 Shows and Performances (So Far) of 2014."
Given the fact that I'm listed alongside such cabaret present legends as Ann Hampton Callaway, this is really, as my folks would say, walkin' in high cotton.
I don't think I ever thought of myself as a cabaret performer. To me, a stage is a stage. An audience is an audience. And most of the best stages in this city host cabaret perfermers, which is alive and thriving like crazy in New York despite not exactly being in the middle of the current electronic cultural stream. And the definition of "cabaret" has morphed to encompass a simple singer/songwriter like myself as well as the more traditional and jazz performers. The American Songbook is dead if it's not also growing and adding.
Also, all the electronics, pre-records or auto-tunes in the world will never match the emotional intensity of a human being connecting with a live audience in a small space with great acoustics.
I only booked myself, you might recall, out of frustration that I wanted more of my songs sung in this city. As a relatively new arrival on the scene, getting the word out is tough! And if others aren't singing them, I would do it myself. Why not?
I more or less secretly invited Stephen Hanks, who reviews everyone in this town, to my show because I knew he didn't really know my music and I wanted to see how a stranger with great ears would react.
Little did I know what I was in store for when he finally wrote his mind-blowing review.
And now this:
Steve Schalchlin: Tales From the Bonus Round, Metropolitan Room/Urban Stages--Schalchlin presented this intensely personal set of original songs in two different venues between late October and March, and it was arguably one of the surprisingly satisfying shows of the year (the CD was a 2013 BWW Award nominee). Many numbers chronicled the songwriter's emotions when he was near death from AIDS in the 1990s, but the set was also uplifting and life affirming, and he delivered his own songs with clarity and passion. Projected BWW Award nomination category: Best Male Vocalist