Cabaret event SONGS OF VISCERA will premiere at Stage Left Studio, 214 W 30th Street, 7:30 pm. The one-night event is the brainchild of Emmy-nominated composer Garth Koren, Drama Desk-nominated character actor Frank Blocker, and the producer Cheryl King, and is (not unconsciously) scheduled for the night before the Mayan calendar ends.
In a counter-holiday-programming move, the show promises stalkers, loners, killers, and the end of the world, but absolutely no Christmas music. Visceral selections and interpretations mirror the grittier days of cabaret sans jazz hands, feather boas and lace gloves.
Song sources include country, alternative, jazz, folk and Kurt Weill, all reinterpreted musically by Koren and performed in character-style by Blocker.
Koren is a composer, jazz pianist and improvisation specialist whose influences run the gamut of edgy jazzist John Medeski to the classical Michael Steinberg. He composed the music for best-selling children's book The Kissing Hand and received an Emmy-nomination in 2007. Blocker is best known for comedy and character roles. He's most recently performed as a vocalist for AG Contemporary Art in Soho and appears regularly with Forbidden Kiss LIVE! at Stage Left Studio as a vocalist and comedian. Blocker's current solo play Stabilized Not Controlled goes on hiatus from 9-month run as he prepares to reprise both Southern Gothic Novel (2009 Drama Desk nominee) at The Underground Theatre/Hollywood while also play Larry Parrish in Hollywood premiere of David Bertolino's The Deep Throat Sex Scandal at The Zephyr Theatre.
SONGS OF VISCERA performs Thursday, December 20, 2012, 7:30 pm, at Stage Left Studio, 214 W. 30th Street, 6th Floor. TICKETS are $20 and available through www.StageLeftStudio.net (For tickets, click HERE.) The performance is billed as a fun end-of-the-world party celebrating this mortal coil.
Garth Koren (piano) is a jazz improvisationist who enjoys a wide range of musical collaborations, having studied with the John Medeski and Michael Steinberg. He toured with LeeAnne Savage, helms the Garth Koren Trio with bassist Marco Accattatis and drummer?Piergiorgio Marchesini, and was a member of the pop/soul band blue number nine, circa 2000. He composed music for bestselling children's book The Kissing Hand audio CD, and received a 2007 Emmy nomination for scoring the "Beautiful Lengths" campaign, represented in the Community/Public Service Announcement category. Look for Garth to appear at gigs in New York City in the coming months, including a guest spot for Stage Left Studio's Forbidden Kiss LIVE! New Years' Eve Musical Comedy Love-In.
Frank Blocker (vocals) is an actor and playwright who, by the way, sings. He regularly appears at Forbidden Kiss LIVE! dueting with the likes of chanteuse DeeAnne Gorman and amazing lyricist Gaby Gold, and has enjoyed invitations to sing at AG Contemporary Art functions in Soho. Musical roles include Peachum in Peculiar Works Project's Beggar's Opera, the devil in Damn Yankees and the wicked witch in The Ruby Slippers. As an actor he has appeared at Fringe Fests, made the requisite L&O appearance, received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Solo Performance, won great acclaim for his penis monologue in The Deep Throat Sex Scandal and screamed bloody murder on the streets as a proud cast member of Obie-winning West Village/East Village Fragments (Peculiar Works). As a playwright his work includes Stabilized Not Controlled, Southern Gothic Novel, Eula Mae's Beauty, Bait & Tackle, Patient Number, The Wisconsinners, and book to the musical Alice (composer Wm. Wade). He is a member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA, and Dramatists Guild of America. He will appear in L.A. productions of Southern Gothic Novel late nights, while reprising his role in Deep Throat January through March 2013.
Cheryl King PRODUCTIONS (producer) was formed in 2000 by Cheryl King. The company has produced several acting retreats, over 300 showcases, and three years of V-Day events. She is the creator of the Left Out Festival, an annual festival of gay performance art, which has been presented since 2008, and is a benefit for Bailey House and GMHC. For her work in promoting gay performance, she was chosen as one of the 100 Women We Love in GO Magazine's June 2008 Annual Pride Issue. In November 2008 she was chosen "Person of the Year" by nytheatre.com. She also created the Women At Work Festival, now in its fifth year, which contributes funds to The Girl Effect. Ms. King has curated solo shows for the Estrogenius Festival at ManhattanTheatreSource since 2005. In October 2010, she inaugurated the Mama Drama Festival, a festival of theater about mothers, at Stage Left. Cheryl King is currently starring in Sally Lambert's Grapefruit at Stage Left Studio, directed by Teresa Gambacorta.