This holiday season BWW has been featuring some of Toronto’s wonderful Cabaret artists who are celebrating the holidays in glorious cabaret style. One such artist is Micah Barnes (formerly of The Nylons) who will be presenting some of our cities hottest young talent in a special ‘Singer’s Playground’ showcase this Tuesday at Hugh’s Room.
Micah spent some time talking with BWW about what cabaret means to him, his holiday favourites and how he chose the young stars who will appear in his show.
What can people expect from your show?
It's a concert featuring young rising stars that I've had the privilege of coaching at Singers Playground and also a chance to see a sneak preview of the new Jazz Cabaret songs on my upcoming recording.
You're going to be featuring some young up and coming stars - could you tell us a bit about who they will be and how you chose them?
I wanted to focus on singers who I've worked deeply with these past few years and who are also already out there playing shows and making a name for themselves in the business.
16 year old Rebecca Codas is a very powerful young Broadway belter who made the top 20 Dorothy's in the recent CBC TV casting show "Over the Rainbow". Her sassy brassy style was a must for this concert. Mike Butler is a really fun and engaging country rock guy and 16 year old singer/songwriter Ivy James recently won the Toronto Indie Award for Best Young Songwriter.
I also wanted to feature 19 year old JP Saxe both because I've been working with him since he was 13 and because his soulful dedication to both his music and his audience has already made him one of the stand out artists of his generation.
What does Cabaret mean to you and how to you tweak your show to make it suitable for the holidays?
Cabaret as an intimate performance experience is parallel to none in the entertainment world. I always approach even my concert shows as a Cabaret, linking the songs thematically, creating a narrative and emotional through line for the audience and hopefully building the kind of relationship with them that engages the listener on a deeper level.
Presenting the next generation of up and coming artists at Singers Playground was a holiday tradition in Los Angeles and now that I've expanded the business to Canada it seems a wonderful way to celebrate the season here as well. We will be singing a few holiday favorites of course!
What's your favorite holiday song and why?
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is so heartfelt and simple. It seems to express the feeling we want from the holidays in the purest of forms.
Which holiday song do you feel needs to be retired for a little while?
Santa Baby. Unless you are Thom Allison!
Where you naughty or nice this year?
Amazingly I actually was nice for most of the year. This may be a first. And it felt really good!
What is the number one reason people should come and check out this show?
I'm debuting the next recording in it's entirety for the first time!! My last disc was called "Domesticated" and so naturally the new songs are all about the complications of long term relationships. I started writing the tunes in New York City while my partner was on Broadway and they're filled with the bustling musical traditions of the Big Apple.
When and Where?
Micah Barnes at Hugh’s Room
December 11th at 8PM
Tickets are $17/$19 at the door. Online reservations can be made at http://hughsroom.com/2012/09/micah-barnes-and-the-singers-playground or by phone at 416-531-6604.