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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Longest Holiday: Almost Here!

Keep on Plugging Dept.: My latest press release for Friday’s holiday show at Caffè Lena, and I’m leaving it in the third person although, when it comes to self-promotion, I’ll be the first person to tell you how good this show is going to be.


Musical theater veterans Byron Nilsson and Amy Prothro present a Scrooge-free holiday show of song and story – “for and against the holiday season,” as Byron puts it, at 8 PM Friday, Dec, 19 at the legendary Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs.

Byron recalls that he “grew up with this awful record by the Harry Simeone Chorale blasting in my ear each December, and when I got older, I worked in a restaurant where one of the writers of the horrid but ubiquitous song ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ played cocktail piano for tips in order to pay the bills. In other words, I’ve never had any illusions about the Christmas season.”

The program includes songs by Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser, and Stephen Sondheim, with some anti-Christmas songs by Tom Lehrer, Loudon Wainwright, and Bob Gibson, among others. When Nilsson and Prothro bring their show to the Caffè’s small stage, it becomes the most intimate form of black-box theater, but with the spirit of American song behind it.

Making it all the more appropriate to salute some of the best songwriters of the American musical. Berlin is known for his holiday songs, and the inclusion of Sondheim recognizes the imminent opening of the film version of his “Into the Woods.”

“And where else,” says Amy, “do I get to be a prince?”

This special holiday edition of Songs to Amuse was directed by Byron and Amy, with musical direction by Malcolm Kogut, and has one performance only at 8 PM Friday, Jan. 19, at Caffè Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, NY. Tickets are $15 and are available at this website.

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