What Next?

Private- but open to public- party in Sarasota March 14th- 6-9, Calle Florida Drive, just look for many old vehicles parked on the side of the short street, don’t remember the address. With Gab Evens on piano. No weapons.

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RELIGIOUS SOIREE Canceled due to Acute Laziness- this WED at CHEZ DUMP!

Due to an accelerated holday ennui, all bets are off, all invitations withdrawn, every artist for himself.  Let me offer you my Recession Stew Recipe, so that you can make it yourself.

4 lbs. Potatoes

6 lbs. onions

8  quarts chicken broth

1/2 pound salt

Heat, boil, scald and serve.

The Song List Grows..and grows


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 My trio and I are determined to never be stumped by a request.

 

 

As Time Goes By    C

A Train   Bb

After You’ve Gone  C

A Foggy  Day    Db

All of Me   C

All or Nothing at all  Em

Be Meir Bis Du Eb

Black Coffee  G

Body and Soul   Ab

Blue Skies  Am

But Beautiful   Ab

Boulevard of Broken Dreams  Em

Best is Yet to Come   E

Can’t Take That away from Me  G

Can’t Take that Away  G

Crazy he calls me  C

Cheek to Cheek   G

Don’t Explain

Don’t Worry Bout Me  C

Fascinating Rhythm   D

Funny Valentine  C

Give my Regards to Broadway  Eb

I get a Kick out of You  G

Fever   Cm

It’s Don’t Mean a Thing   Bb

I Can’t give you Anything but Love  Eb

I Love Paris   C

I Want to Be Happy  Eb

Get Happy  Ab

Let’ Get Away from it All   F

Lover Man   D

More than you Know

My Buddy  Bb

Making Whoopie   G

My Kind of Trouble is You   F#

New York, New York  Eb

Pennies from Heaven   C

Route 66   G

Smoke Gets in your Eyes  A

Stormy Weather   D

Summertime  Bb

Satin Doll  C

Sing, Sing, Sing   Em

Side by Side  G

Slow Boat to China

The Man I Love  G

Tomorrow   Eb

Night and Day    E

Moon River   D

Lazy Afternoon G

Strangers in the Night  A

Love and Marriage   Eb

Let’s Get Lost  Dmaj

Summer Wind   E

All or Nothing at All  Em

Embraceable You   Bb

Just in Time   Bb

My Way  B

Nobody does it Better  F

Don’t Get Around Much anymore   Bb

Who Can I Turn To?  Bb

Where or When  C

 

 

Very good year  C

Whiskey Bar   Dm

More  Db

Shadow of your Smile  Bb

Wee Small Hours  Ab

Luck be a Lady   F

Witchcraft  D

Second Time Around

A tisket, A Tasket  G

Am I blue   Bb

Beyond the Sea  C

Blues Skies  Bb

But Beautiful   Ab

Cry me a River

Fine and Mellow   F

Good Morning Heartache   Db

How Long has This been Going On

I’ll be Seeing You  C

I should care  Eb

My Buddy  Bb

Sentimental Journey C

Slow Boat to China   G

Summertime  Bb

Stormy Weather  D

That’s All  F

Where or When

On a Clear Day  Emaj7

Tuxedo Junction  Eb

Pennies from Heaven  Eb

Honeysuckle Rose   G

In the Mood   F

Cheek to Cheek  G

Bill Bailey   Eb

Do Nothing till you Hear from Me

Cry me a River

Funny Valentine  C

I’m Always Chasing Rainbows

Smoke Gets in your Eyes Ab

Fever  Cm

Night and Day  E

Juke Box Saturday Night

Hello Dolly   G

I Could have Danced all Night  D

Climb Every Mountain  Bb

Make Someone Happy  C

Moonlight in Vermont

Once in a While  C

Let’s get Away from it All  F

Me and my Gin

One Meatball

It Don’t Mean a Thing

Ain’t Misbehavin   G

That Old Feeling  C

Something Stupid   Bb

Strangers in the Night   A

Over the Rainbow

My Favorite Things  Bbm

But Beautiful   Bb

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend   C

Regards to Broadway    Eb

A Taste of Honey   Db

New York State of Mind   Ab

Pennies from Heaven   C

People will say we’re in love  Bb

Satin Doll  C

Till There was You  Bb

Unforgettable  F

Kick out of you   G

I’m all Smiles

Whiskey and Gin  Bb

Cement Mixer   C

Dancing on the Ceiling

The Parties Over

Chattanooga Choo Choo

When the Saints come Marching    C

When you Wish Upon a Star

Why Don’t you Do Right?

Sleepin Bee  B

That Old Feeling  C

When Sunny Gets Blue

Who can I Turn To

Deep Purple  G

It was a Very Good Year   Ab

I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good

Is you or Is you Not my Baby

Just One of those Things

Old Devil Moon

Polka Dots and Moonbeams

Swing Low Sweet Chariot   B

Just you, Just me

How High the Moon  B

Im a fool to Want You

You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves you

Hit the Road to Dreamland

Until the Real Thing Comes Along

The Good Life

I Wanna be Around

Smile

Up a Lazy River

Gimme A Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer

I’ve been working on the railroad

Always

I’ll never be the same   Eb

I’m All Smiles

Deep Purple  G

I Believe in You

Running Wild

Another Opening, Another Show

I Can’t stop Loving You  G

Nevertheless, I’m in Love with You

Zing, went the strings  C

Spring is Here  Db

A Good Man is Hard to Find

After the Ball is Over

Here’s that Rainy Day

Hello Ma Baby    C

Don’t Go to Strangers

Rawhide   A

Im Beginning to See the Light   F

You’d be So Nice to Come Home To   Eb

Johnny One Note

Keepin out of Mischief Now

I Don’t Know Enough About You  Bb

Let the Good Times Roll

Good Morning Heartache  Db

I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy  F

Pizza Every Night   F minor

I should Care   Eb

Get Happy

Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe

Big Nobody

La Vie En Rose   C

Nobodies Sweetheart Now   Bb

New York State of Mind   Ab

I’ll Never be the Same   Eb

Stout Hearted Men

 

The Song List Grows..and grows


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 My trio and I are determined to never be stumped by a request.

 

 

As Time Goes By    C

A Train   Bb

After You’ve Gone  C

A Foggy  Day    Db

All of Me   C

All or Nothing at all  Em

Be Meir Bis Du Eb

Black Coffee  G

Body and Soul   Ab

Blue Skies  Am

But Beautiful   Ab

Boulevard of Broken Dreams  Em

Best is Yet to Come   E

Can’t Take That away from Me  G

Can’t Take that Away  G

Crazy he calls me  C

Cheek to Cheek   G

Don’t Explain

Don’t Worry Bout Me  C

Fascinating Rhythm   D

Funny Valentine  C

Give my Regards to Broadway  Eb

I get a Kick out of You  G

Fever   Cm

It’s Don’t Mean a Thing   Bb

I Can’t give you Anything but Love  Eb

I Love Paris   C

I Want to Be Happy  Eb

Get Happy  Ab

Let’ Get Away from it All   F

Lover Man   D

More than you Know

My Buddy  Bb

Making Whoopie   G

My Kind of Trouble is You   F#

New York, New York  Eb

Pennies from Heaven   C

Route 66   G

Smoke Gets in your Eyes  A

Stormy Weather   D

Summertime  Bb

Satin Doll  C

Sing, Sing, Sing   Em

Side by Side  G

Slow Boat to China

The Man I Love  G

Tomorrow   Eb

Night and Day    E

Moon River   D

Lazy Afternoon G

Strangers in the Night  A

Love and Marriage   Eb

Let’s Get Lost  Dmaj

Summer Wind   E

All or Nothing at All  Em

Embraceable You   Bb

Just in Time   Bb

My Way  B

Nobody does it Better  F

Don’t Get Around Much anymore   Bb

Who Can I Turn To?  Bb

Where or When  C

 

 

Very good year  C

Whiskey Bar   Dm

More  Db

Shadow of your Smile  Bb

Wee Small Hours  Ab

Luck be a Lady   F

Witchcraft  D

Second Time Around

A tisket, A Tasket  G

Am I blue   Bb

Beyond the Sea  C

Blues Skies  Bb

But Beautiful   Ab

Cry me a River

Fine and Mellow   F

Good Morning Heartache   Db

How Long has This been Going On

I’ll be Seeing You  C

I should care  Eb

My Buddy  Bb

Sentimental Journey C

Slow Boat to China   G

Summertime  Bb

Stormy Weather  D

That’s All  F

Where or When

On a Clear Day  Emaj7

Tuxedo Junction  Eb

Pennies from Heaven  Eb

Honeysuckle Rose   G

In the Mood   F

Cheek to Cheek  G

Bill Bailey   Eb

Do Nothing till you Hear from Me

Cry me a River

Funny Valentine  C

I’m Always Chasing Rainbows

Smoke Gets in your Eyes Ab

Fever  Cm

Night and Day  E

Juke Box Saturday Night

Hello Dolly   G

I Could have Danced all Night  D

Climb Every Mountain  Bb

Make Someone Happy  C

Moonlight in Vermont

Once in a While  C

Let’s get Away from it All  F

Me and my Gin

One Meatball

It Don’t Mean a Thing

Ain’t Misbehavin   G

That Old Feeling  C

Something Stupid   Bb

Strangers in the Night   A

Over the Rainbow

My Favorite Things  Bbm

But Beautiful   Bb

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend   C

Regards to Broadway    Eb

A Taste of Honey   Db

New York State of Mind   Ab

Pennies from Heaven   C

People will say we’re in love  Bb

Satin Doll  C

Till There was You  Bb

Unforgettable  F

Kick out of you   G

I’m all Smiles

Whiskey and Gin  Bb

Cement Mixer   C

Dancing on the Ceiling

The Parties Over

Chattanooga Choo Choo

When the Saints come Marching    C

When you Wish Upon a Star

Why Don’t you Do Right?

Sleepin Bee  B

That Old Feeling  C

When Sunny Gets Blue

Who can I Turn To

Deep Purple  G

It was a Very Good Year   Ab

I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good

Is you or Is you Not my Baby

Just One of those Things

Old Devil Moon

Polka Dots and Moonbeams

Swing Low Sweet Chariot   B

Just you, Just me

How High the Moon  B

Im a fool to Want You

You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves you

Hit the Road to Dreamland

Until the Real Thing Comes Along

The Good Life

I Wanna be Around

Smile

Up a Lazy River

Gimme A Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer

I’ve been working on the railroad

Always

I’ll never be the same   Eb

I’m All Smiles

Deep Purple  G

I Believe in You

Running Wild

Another Opening, Another Show

I Can’t stop Loving You  G

Nevertheless, I’m in Love with You

Zing, went the strings  C

Spring is Here  Db

A Good Man is Hard to Find

After the Ball is Over

Here’s that Rainy Day

Hello Ma Baby    C

Don’t Go to Strangers

Rawhide   A

Im Beginning to See the Light   F

You’d be So Nice to Come Home To   Eb

Johnny One Note

Keepin out of Mischief Now

I Don’t Know Enough About You  Bb

Let the Good Times Roll

Good Morning Heartache  Db

I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy  F

Pizza Every Night   F minor

I should Care   Eb

Get Happy

Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe

Big Nobody

La Vie En Rose   C

Nobodies Sweetheart Now   Bb

New York State of Mind   Ab

I’ll Never be the Same   Eb

Stout Hearted Men

 

Tough Economy Got You Down?

Laurel makes everyone relax

(excerpted from Get Magazine, Mike Ritz, 11/08)

“Cold Weather clouds blocking your sun?  Looking for a stress reliever?  Experience Laurel Casey.”

“Laurel doesn’t just sing or put on a cabaret show, she creates a nightly experience that engages the audience on a level usually found at an AA meeting.  Speaking of which: We’re addicted to Laurel!  Come see the show that never stands still!

“Laurel’s voice is filled with emotion and beauty.  Her 1920s – 1930s depression era songs are exquisite.  Her comedic diatribes hones, bold and hilarious.  If her unpredictable behavior and passionate voice don’t have you on the edge of your seat, nothing will.”

 — Get R.I. Magazine

Strange Bedfellows

what wuz I thinkin?

Buddy, Artin, Dawn struggle to comprehend Cabaret

one meatball
Meatballs? Easier to understand and they taste better.

Due to a strong sense of self respect and the inability to kiss ass, I will not be at the Sidebar again. It isn’t that they weren’t generous for a couple of months and also quite kind — It’s just that they don’t get it.  I felt myself getting more stupid as the weeks passed.  And, vise versa, I didn’t get them. You know what I mean.  I tasted the meatballs. To me, they’re just rolled up Hamburgers.  Undigestable. It isn’t that anyone was wrong, it was just a bad match. You can go into the Sidebar on Saturday nights and see the perfect music/restaurant match. Don’t forget to snap your fingers to “Fly Me To the Moon!” ….  Meanwhile,  I am invited to New York to be interviewed for some strange Russian TV program about Jazz which is shown in 17 countries. Hopefully I will get a gig in Siberia!   Google “Oleg Frish”….!! Will visit old friends at Don’t Tell Mama – and see if any previous pianists, for example, the great Paul Trueblood, are in the city, monitor my brain and see if I have it in me to go back permanently.  Old friends in a loft on West 38th Street offered me their spare bedroom. But truthfully, I feel beaten down at the moment. Beat. Like a Beatnik.  Christmas. Its ability to remind us of a previous Christmas, when we knew we were safe and Santa was coming. Be patient, Santa will return! Meanwhile, I’m singing at Ricardo’s in Lowell, MA for New Years Eve with Odie and Todd — Spending Christmas in D.C. with daughter – back to a  couple of comedy clubs I worked last winter. Then, to New Orleans for two weeks  – Newport is on the horizon and Boston, too, due to a reconnection with Joshua Jansen, Boston’s Gay Sweetheart and friend of nightclub owners all over Bean Town.   It’s got to be around here somewhere.  p.s. Check out Le Scandal in Manhattan, google them, I’m talking to Bonnie, there, about a spring fling.

Thanks to smarter nightclubs owners, live entertainers continue to eat well during this economic downturn. It was during the Great Depression that Cabaret and Vaudeville got their start as people swarmed into the pubs to forget their troubles for a few hours. The cost/value ratio of live entertainment suits the recession pocket book and mind-set. If you stay home and wallow about your wallet, you’ll soon find yourself in the emergency room for a failed suicide attempt, chronic depression or Epstein-Barr Virus. Without health insurance, your stress-related illness will cost you upwards to $1,000 dollars. A night out in a cabaret will run you about $50 to $75.  I rest my glass of champagne.xx

Apres Doris Duke

 

 

             Front and center on Page One of the entertainment section, a photo of me sitting on a grand piano above Doris Duke’s wigged head. The caption: “Local Cabaret Singer performs at Doris Duke’s Birthday Party.”

The morning after, my phone started to ring. Two bit agents from Worchester to Woonsocket who’d ignored my phone calls for years suddenly wanted to “sign,” “book, and/or “coach” me.   

 “Been troyin’ to catch yup wid ya” said Bert of the Bert Benson Theatrical Agency. “How’s it going? Got your press kit awhile ago. Got some ideas for us.”

            “Hey babe.”  Some guy from Taunton.  “I’ve been talking to my Boston people. You know the Starlight Room at the Ritz Hotel? Laine Kazan? She’s played there. I booked her there.”

             It had taken me thirty years of entertaining in ill suited second-rate venues to realize that I didn’t want to perform in ill-suited second rate venues. It didn’t suit my temperament or I.Q. 

Generally, singers are, for lack of a better word, dumb. Except for a very small percentage, people in the entertainment industry are vapid, narcissistic, vain, and moody, with lousy S.A.T. scores.  Perpetual denial and the worthlessness of their pursuits make them mean-spirited.  Two percent of show biz types make a living, the rest of us become assholes for a hundred bucks a night.

            Fed up, I told Bert Benson that I wanted such and such amount of money for a gig.  

“Nobody gets that price around here” said Bert. “The stars of the Newport Jazz

Festival don’t get that price.”

 

I repeated the price. I said it was non-negotiable.

 “You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re a nobody! You’d be lucky to get—“

I hung up.

It felt good, not wanting a gig and not feeling guilt for giving up. People asked where I was singing, and I would say, “Nowhere, I’ve failed.”

 “Nobody fails unless they stop trying.” I was reminded.

“Fine. I’ve stopped trying.”

 

 I had a couple of great weeks at home thumbing through grad school catalogues, not taking a shower, making diet quiche, watching Disney movies with my daughter. Then I got a call from the owner of an Italian restaurant on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.  Donna, with a heavy accent, had seen the newspaper photo. She offered me Friday nights for three months, good money, a contract, and was willing to advertise in the Globe. Soup to Nuts Dinner and drinks were included, which meant I could entice my best musicians. She wasn’t a booking agent and didn’t call me “Baby,” so I accepted.  

             My first Friday at the restaurant went on the books as the hottest night in Boston since 1898. At seven in the evening, it was 97 degrees with 100 percent humidity.  Donna decided to set up a make-shift cabaret in a renovated basement that looked like a dentists waiting room with a bar. She covered a dozen little tables with red checkered cloths, lit candles and turned off the fluorescent lights. 

             “You see?’ she said. “I make magic!”   
         As my pianist, Ken and his friend the bass player stuffed themselves with pasta and fine red wine, Donna and I lugged a sandwich board with my name on it to the sidewalk.

           “It is all about advertisement” she explained. “Look, people are already here.”

Although early, several people were waiting at the front entrance, sweating.

            Donna, a fire hydrant in her bright red Chanel suit, waved her arms above her head.  “Come into Ze Cabaret, my friends!”

           Desperate for relief from the evening heat, the people filed into the foyer but hesitated when they felt hotter air hit their faces.

              “No worries! I will turn up air conditioner! Come in, Come in” said Donna.

The air conditioning system had exhausted itself. Buttery tepid air smelling of garlic and Clorox spewed out as people funneled down the stairway and stuffed themselves into the café chairs at the tiny tables, hip to hip and knee to knee. More chairs were brought down by the one waitress and bartender. More people arrived. Many more. They sat on the stairs, on the floor, on laps, fanning themselves with napkins, unfastening buttons and ties, whining for drinks. Italian opera blared from the Muzak speakers. Donna, balancing precariously on her Italian leather spikes, toddled from table to table with trays of ice water. The crowd was miserable and it was time to get up and sing.

 I opened with “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Sighs from the audience. Donna and the waitress rushed to refill the water glasses and took drink orders.  The chef and prep cook hurried down from the kitchen with plates of steaming calamari and mini-pizzas.

“All is on the house!” screamed Donna. “Eat and drink!”

The bartender poured booze freely into lines of plastic glasses, barely keeping up with the  hands grabbing them off the bar.  

After a few ballads and several stiff drinks, people gave up. Drunk and punchy, swaying in the suffocating heat, they seemed to converge into a boiling sea of human soup. The dead air was tense with sensuality, a mix of cologne, crotches, booze and olive oil. No one got up to leave. With people using the exit stairs as bleachers, there was no subtle way out. It was too hot to move anyway.

 Bra straps unfastened, shirts unbuttoned, skirts hiked to thighs, the room was a co-ed steam-bath. Gay and lesbian couples, aroused, grinned and held hands. The more staid Bostonians kept their heads down and their drinks to their noses.   

Two handsome gay men at a front table sang along as I began Cole Porter’s ‘Too Darn Hot.’ I skipped to the ice machine and filled a bread basket.  I dropped a cube down my front of my dress. Big response. Big cheers.

“Well, according to the weather report, every average man you know.

Likes to take his lovely dovey to court when the temperature is low.

But when the thermometer goes way up, and the weather is wickedly hot,

Mr. Pants and his romance, are not, because its, Too Darn Hot!”

I danced around the room dropping ice cubes down people’s backs. I swept at their hot necks with my cold fingers. Giggles of delight, a couple of chuckles. Temporarily cooled down, the audience realized how miserable they were. They were trapped in a sweltering, suffocating basement with a blocked entrance eating bad pizza and drinking triple strength alcoholic beverages. Why? They’d seen an ad in the Boston Globe, something about Doris Duke, jazz, Northern Italian food. 

The collective attitude of the audience shifted. They hadn’t signed on for this. They crossed their arms and legs and sat back in their seats. They were ready for a spectacle, a performance worthy of their suffering. As the ice cubes melted down their hot backs, down their legs, into shoes, they were not only hot but wet.  Donna filled more bread baskets with ice.   

  I tried to keep the ice trick going awhile longer, thinking I could win the audience back. I dropped a piece of ice down the back of a large, thick man with a crew cut and skin tight polyester bowling shirt.  He let out a grunting shriek of outrage, pushed himself away from his table, stood up and threw his beer bottle across the room. People screamed and ducked. He turned, kicked the table of two gay men holding hand and put his big face very close to the smaller of the two.

 “What the fuck did you do to me, keep your fucking hands off me!  You’ve been fucking with me all night!” He tried to shake the ice cube out of his shirt, ripping at it, scratching violently to be free of it.   I touched the man’s shoulder and said,  “Sir! Sir…I did it! I put the ice down your back!  He grabbed the small man by the collar and lifted him off his seat,  screaming,“You fuckers are taking over the fucking world.  I’m gonna rip your fucking dicks off.” With that comment, the gay man’s partner fought his way through the people on the stairs and ran onto Commonwealth Avenue, screaming for the police. Donna, moaning, limping, followed him.  She’d broken a heel. The little gay guy ducked under his table. The large man, confused, stood tall and very still for a moment. .He couldn’t figure out where the little man went.

   Up the stairs, commotion, in the room, dead silence.

“Sit down, you idiot” yelled the fat man’s wife, but he continued to stand, wavering drunkenly. .             “Where is that turd ball?” He collapsed on his tiny chair with a thud. Chest heaving, he realized he was the center of attention. His wife squeezed his beefy arm affectionately and wiped his shirt with her napkin. Pushing her beer in front of him, she said, nonplussed, “You silly dumb boob, drink up.”  She was used to him. The friends at their table were, too. They asked the stunned waitress for more chicken wings.    

 The bass player had disappeared, but Ken continued to play as though he were an organist accompanying a slap stick silent movie. The large man, now red-faced and swelling from drinking beer in the heat, pushed away his wife’s arm. A couple of people made comments under their breath. “What an idiot.” “He should be thrown out.” I thought the man might become violent again, but he froze when he heard the sound of police sirens. There was a loud crash upstairs and some shouting. The people sitting on the stairs stood and made way for me. 

“Guess you’d like to see what’s going on” a nervous man said. 

“Don’t worry” said another. “I’ll keep an eye on Brutus”.    

 Several flashing red and blue lights pulsed through the front window. Donna sat on the rim of a potted tree, holding her broken shoe.  A policeman patted her shoulder. Another policeman filled out a police report. The gay man, visably shaken, grabbed my arm.

“Where is he? is he alright? I shouldn’t have left him!”

“I think he’s under the table, I’ll go check.”

 Another police car arrived, sirens blaring.  Donna’s face, mascara smeared, was the color of her suit.  “I have to talk to you.” she said.  I nodded and went back downstairs.

No one had budged from their seats except the large man and his entourage. They’d disappeared, leaving two plates of untouched chicken wings and the check. Everyone else sat erect and alert; soldiers waiting for orders. The bass player hunched over his bass, disgusted. Ken was doing yoga stretches at the piano. All eyes were on me, demanding explanation.  

“Is that man still under that table?” I asked.

“He’s okay, he’s in the bathroom.” someone said.

I sang what came to mind.

“People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.

There were murmurs of understanding. Some oh’s and ah’s.

“What’s it all about, Alfie?’ Is it just for the moment we live?”

I segwayed from song to song, senselessly.

“Make someone happy, make just one someone happy.”

People were tearing up, riveted, as they tried to make sense of the song mess.

A policeman appeared on the stairs. Hand on his gun, he leaned against the railing behind me, an appropriate back-drop for the finale. The gay man came to the railing and I pointed to the bathroom.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…”

I turned and raised my arms to the policeman.

“I am guilty, arrest me! Guilty of indifference, guilty of cynisicm, guilty of greed, guilty of ignorance, guilty of guilt! Take these hands and bind them with your cuffs!”

The policeman laughed and went upstairs.

“That saved a wretch like me….”

I walked through the audience…”With ice cubes, you were rebaptized tonight. You have another chance at salvation. I say, go now, go and sin no more!”

I was was lost but now I’m found

was blind but now I SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I do see, and I DO know, and—-“

Ken cut the song short, grabbed the microphone and said, “That’s the show for tonight, folks, thank you.”

  There was a splattering of timid applause as people collected their extraneous clothing items from floor and chair. Suddenly a woman stood and shouted “Brava, Brava! I have not seen such cabaret except in Berlin! Brava!” She pulled other people to their feet instigating a standing ovation. People stood in line to shake my hand.

“That was real theater” said a young woman as she squeezed my hand. “It all looked so real.”

A bald man in tweeds asked “Is this your regular troupe of actors? Are you interested in the college circuit?

“I would love to bring our parents. Are you doing this show again next week?”

 “Thank you for bringing me back to God.” 

The bass player marched up, car keys in hand, his bass in its bag.    

 

“You forgot the lyrics to some of the songs” he said. “And when you change tempo in the middle of a song, you got to let me know, I can’t real minds.”

“This was improvisational Cabaret.”

“I thought it was a straight ahead jazz gig. I only do straight ahead. Ken, you told me this was straight ahead.”

“I lied” said Ken.

 Donna, limp and limping, tottered down the stairs, shaking the hands of departing guests.

“I cannot do it” she said. “I cannot do this. I have a restaurant. I have not big insurance.

I am very sorry.”

 What part of the evening upset you?” I asked.