Broward News and Entertainment Today

Colony Hotel plans a Song-Filled Summer

Top Cabaret Stars Will Appear in the Royal Room’s Supper Club
Every Weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day

Baby Jane Dexter, Maude Maggart, Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano,
Johnny Rodgers, Avery Sommers, Tony DeSare and Sheera Ben-David

The Colony Hotel – which The Palm Beach Post has hailed as “probably the best place for cabaret on the planet” – plans another sizzling, song-filled summer with some really hot performers straight from Manhattan’s leading cabarets – all of them returning favorites for loyal fans of the Royal Room Supper Club.
“Once again the snowbird season in South Florida may be over, but the songbird season continues in full voice at The Colony,” says Roger Everingham, the hotel’s general manager, who personally listens to and selects all of the Royal Room performers.  “Every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day, The Colony will be filled with music – with another impressive line-up of musical stars.  If you love cabaret, then we invite you to enjoy The Colony’s House Party weekends all summer long.”

Under The Colony’s House Party weekend package, a guest can stay three days and two nights for only $400, and receive dinner and show in the Royal Room Supper Club, plus free admission to Motown Friday Night and Rob Russell’s world famous Saturday Night Cast Party, both in The Colony’s Polo Steakhouse.  The $400 price is based on double occupancy for guests arriving on Thursday or Friday night, valid May 22 through September 4, 2009.

The Royal Room Summer Cabaret Series
Widely considered to be one of the top cabaret venues in the country, The Colony’s Royal Room Supper Club has scheduled an audience-pleasing line-up of performers. Each of the summer cabaret headliners will do an 8 p.m. show on Fridays and Saturdays, with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. for dinner.
The cost for dinner and show in the Royal Room Supper Club is $85 per person and $50 for show only.  To make reservations, please call the hotel box-office at 561.659.8100.  The Colony is located at 155 Hammon Avenue in Palm Beach.

May 22-23 & 29-30
Baby Jane Dexter
Back By Popular Demand!

Baby Jane Dexter

Baby Jane Dexter

The 2009 Nightlife Award Winner, Baby Jane Dexter has headlined top clubs in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Washington and Los Angeles. At The Colony’s Royal Room, Dexter will perform her critically acclaimed show, IF…(what might have been… what could have been… what is!)  The program includes selections by songwriters as diverse as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Leslie Bricusse, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Harry Nilsson, Lucinda Williams and Kander & Ebb

Reviews of Baby Jane Dexter:
+ Stephen Holden of The New York Times:  “The phrase ‘keeping it real’ and all it suggests certainly applies to Baby Jane Dexter, a longtime cabaret performer whose booming pop contralto is one of the more formidable voices on the New York nightclub stage.”
+ Cabaret Scenes:  Baby Jane is a “spirited and exuberant personality (and) a thoughtful performer of deep sensitivity… She proves again to be one of the rare singers who provokes emotions buried deep in our memories… forging a connection that makes her one of the exceptional artists in the intimate venue of cabaret.”
+ Jazz Times: “Dexter’s brand of entertainment is arguably the most compellingly, refreshingly hone there is.”
+ Rex Reed: “She is in better shape than ever, both physically an vocally… and she does it all with a humorous heart and a smile as wide as the Mississippi.”

June 5-6 & 12-13
Maude Maggart
Back by Popular Demand
Perhaps cabaret superstar Andrea Marcovicci said it best: “I’m crazy about Maude Maggart. She has the voice of a 1920s torch singer: tender, tremulous and true.  She’ll move you to tears one moment and to laughter the next.  Don’t miss her!” Coming to The Colony straight from her critically acclaimed gig at the Algonquin Hotel’s celebrated Oak Room, Maggart was the 2005 recipient of the Time Out New York MAC Award for Special Achievement in Cabaret, and the MAC award for Best Female Debut. She recently performed with Garrison Keillor for a second time on A Prairie Home Companion at the Hollywood Bowl.

Reviews of Maude Maggart:
+ Stephen Holden in The New York Times: “Maude Maggart conjures the ghosts of yesterday…. (She) suggests a shadowy film-noir siren: the bewitching, under-age daughter of a wealthy, upright family who secretly moonlights as a nightclub chanteuse and consorts with gangsters. As she tosses her head back voluptuously, her voice keening and swooping in phrases that come out as extended sighs, Ms. Maggart channels a character to whom other singers only refer.”
+ Stephen Holden in The New York Times: “Ms. Maggart acts a song with a fluid body language that lends everything she sings an added dramatic intensity… she wields old-time Hollywood glamour to cast her seductive spell.”
+ The Wall Street Journal: “Ms. Maggart sings conversationally, heart on sleeve, in a soprano that is both cool and full of yearning.”
+ New York Magazine:  “Maggart’s languorous vibrato allows a song’s lyrics to speak for themselves, and the effect is haunting.  It can transport an audience beyond the staid room – which is what the Great American Songbook’s idiom was meant to do.  It’s live performance at its artistic best.”

June 19-20 & 26-27
Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano
Back by Popular Demand
Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano are the New York nightclub world’s most celebrated team, and equally respected in jazz and cabaret circles.  Their recent show at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room – Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams won unanimous critical praise. In 2007, Comstock and Fasano received an unprecedented three awards from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.  Barbara was honored with awards for Outstanding Female Vocalist and Record of the Year for her CD, Written in the Stars, and together they shared the award for Best Vocal Duo.  Individually, they have garnered critical acclaim both as performers and recording artists. Pianist, vocalist, raconteur, Eric (the co-creator and star of the hit revues, Singing Astaire, Made for the Movies and Our Sinatra, has been called “an icon in the making” (The New Yorker) and has been praised for his “ingenious musical wit” (The New York Times). Barbara has been called “one of the coolest singers in town” (Time Out New York) and “a gorgeous, soulful singer who has an actor’s intensity in whatever she sings” (New York Post). Their recordings have been played on radio stations around the world, and together they headline in nightclubs and concert halls coast to coast, as well as at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, The Oak Room at the Algonquin and Birdland.

Reviews of Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano:
+ Stephen Holden in The New York Times: ” Meet the new fun couple on the cabaret block .  Mr. Comstock and Ms. Fasano are turning the neighborhood into a hotbed of pleasure.”
+ The New York Post: “Their joint venture is a capital idea.  When they sing together the evening is transformed from collaboration to alchemy.”
+ Critic Elizabeth Ahlfors: The sophisticated Nick and Nora of cabaret are getting better all the time.”

July 3 & 10-11
Johnny Rodgers
Back by Popular Demand
Fresh from the Broadway smash hit Liza’s at the Palace, in which he backed-up Liza Minelli, Johnny Rodgers is returning to the Royal Room after a six-year absence.  The Miami-born Johnny Rodgers is an award winning singer-songwriter who has shared the stage with such diverse luminaries as Paul McCartney, Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Bottom Line, Birdland and The Metropolitan Room. In 2008, Rodgers won the ASCAP Foundation’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Award, the 15th Annual Billboard World Song Contest, the MAC Award and Backstage Magazine’s Bistro Award.

Reviews of Johnny Rodgers:
+ Rex Reed in New York Observer: ” A finger-popping pianist with range and style.”
+ Show Business Weekly:  “A combination of Elton John, Billy Joel and James Taylor rolled into one.”
+ Chicago Tribune: “A first-rate singer-songwriter with robust vocals and exuberant pianism.”

July 17-28, 24-25, 31-August 1 & 7-8
Avery Sommers
Back by Popular Demand
Local favorite Avery Sommers wowed the Royal Room audiences for four weekends last summer.  She starred on Broadway in the long running, critically acclaimed musicals Ain’t Misbehavin’ with Nell Carter and Showboat, and in two national tours: Chicago with Joel Grey and Chita Rivera and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Ann-Margret. A frequent co-star of Burt Reynolds (B.L. Stryker, The Man from Left Field), she also starred in Menopause, the Musical and as Bloody Mary in South Pacific.  In addition, she produced and co-starred in the film Hiding Victoria with Anita Gillette.

Reviews of Avery Sommers:
+ Hap Erstein in The Palm Beach Post: “Big-voiced, large-framed Sommers threatens to overpower the intimate Royal Room, but for every booming showstopper, she knows how to counterbalance with an understated ballad… She may tend toward the blues in her song choices, but (her) buoyant, upbeat personality beams through…. Success in cabaret is at least as dependent on charisma as vocal ability and Sommers excels at both.”
+ Skip Sheffield in Boca Raton News: Avery Sommers is “hard to miss: an imposing and voluptuous African-American woman with mesmerizing green eyes and a raise-the-rafters voice… (She is) truly loved.”

August 14-15 & 21-22
Tony DeSare
Back by Popular Demand
Returning to The Colony directly from concert engagements in Manhattan, London and around the world is swinging singer/pianist Tony DeSare, an elegant, young crowd-pleaser whose singing style ranges from dreamy pop standards to boogie-woogie and R&B. Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness, and robust musicality. His takes on classic standards and sophisticated original compositions have earned him a reputation as one of country’s hottest young performers. His sound is romantic, swinging and sensual, but what sets Tony apart is his ability to write original material that sounds fresh and at the same time blends seamlessly with the Great American Songbook. Tony has the capability to glide from a standard by George Gershwin to a contemporary classic by Bob Dylan or Phil Collins to one of his inventive original songs with ease.

Reviews of Tony DeSare:
+ The New York Times:  “A lean baby Sinatra with burning brown eyes and flashing teeth…his sly performance establishes the kind of connection to a younger generation that has helped make Michael Bublé a heartthrob among upscale women in their teens and early 20s…his intonation and enunciation are impeccable.”
+ USA Today:  “DeSare belongs to a group of neo-traditional upstarts stretching from Harry Connick, Jr. to Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum. But this singer/songwriter/pianist’s approach is refreshingly instinctual, blending Connick’s smooth virtuosity with a rugged, relaxed quality… DeSare covers old and newer pop and jazz standards without smothering or over-thinking the material. And on a few classic-style originals, he exhibits a similarly breezy charm as a tunesmith.”

August 28-29 & September 4-5

Sheera Ben-David
Back by Popular Demand
The recipient of the 2007 Ira Eaker Bistro Award for Special Achievement from Backstage in recognition of her weeklong engagement at the Algonquin Hotel’s legendary Oak Room, Sheera Ben-David also wowed cabaret fans at NYC’s hot new Metropolitan Room.  One reviewer praised her “big voice and big personality” and her “saucy confidence and winning honesty.”  Time Out NY gushed over Ben-David’s many selections by the tormented Belgian troubadour Jacques Brel – to whom she devoted her 2001 debut album,” as well as her irreverent patter and comic numbers.”

Reviews of Sheera Ben-David:
+ The New York Times:  Sheera Ben-David’s cabaret show “is a compelling exploration of the power of singing to change consciousness, not only her own, but yours and mine… Whether it is whistling a happy tune or vocalizing, the act of making music is a positive assertion of willpower with communal reverberations that can change the energy in a room, which is exactly what Ms. Ben-David accomplished.”
+ Sharon McDaniel in The Palm Beach Post: “Saucy, irreverent and theatrically savvy, the cabaret star has created a buzz with each Manhattan appearance. Her wide-ranging repertoire runs from Gershwin to Sondheim, Jacques Brel to Tom Waits and beyond.”

Polo Presents Motown Friday Nights with Memory Lane

Friday nights have become Motown nights at The Colony.  The hotel is now featuring the soul-stirring sounds of Memory Lane in Polo every Friday night from 9 p.m. to closing.  It is music from the Temptations, the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye — all the Motown favorites from the 60s to the 80s — and it is bringing the house down every week.  People are dancing, singing, rocking away — right here in Palm Beach.  In fact, The Colony is making a huge success with R&B, just as it has with the songs from the Great American Songbook in the Royal Room.  The Colony really has become Music Central in Palm Beach as the hip and happy localites and socialites bebop the night away!

Polo Presents Rob Russell’s Cast Parties on Saturdays

Offering a bouncy, upbeat mixture of good times and great music – ranging from rock and pop, classic love songs to dance-happy disco tunes – Rob Russell, The Colony’s own man-about-town, gets people movin’ and groovin’ every Saturday night.  Even more exciting, the big name cabaret stars appearing in the Royal Room Supper Club will frequently stop by for a music-filled Cast Party.

About The Colony Hotel – Palm Beach

Host to Presidents Bush and Clinton, the Windsor’s and other royalty, The Colony has been the center of Palm Beach society for more than 60 years, An intimate, friendly boutique hotel with British Colonial flair, it is just steps away from shopping on world famous Worth Avenue, and about 100 yards from a beautiful Atlantic Ocean beach. This landmark hotel recently completed an extensive $15-million renovation and offers guests the choice of charming hotel rooms, luxurious suites, spectacular penthouses and spacious two bedroom villas – plus beautiful grounds and Frette linens.

The Colony’s popular restaurants include:
+ Polo, which is now Palm Beach’s number one steakhouse, offering dining al fresco in the hotel’s newly remodeled Palm Court by the pool
+ Royal Room, which is widely considered to be one of the top five cabarets in the country
+ Café 155, which is perfect for breakfast, lunch and delicious box lunches for busy people on the go.
In 2008, The Colony Hotel once again was awarded the prestigious “4-Diamond” rating from AAA.

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