Great American Songbook: Cabaret nights in La Jolla draw a musical crowd
If you go
■ What: Monday Night Open Mic Cabaret
■ When: 6:45-10 p.m. Mondays
■ Where: Hennessey’s Tavern, 7811 Herschel Ave.
■ Info: (858) 232-1241 or bit.ly/lajollacabaret
■ The Great American Songbook: A canon of the most important American popular songs of the 20th century, principally from musical theater (1920-1950).
By Pat Sherman
For the past three months, a group of vocal locals has been gathering to sip wine and take a stab at any number of popular standards and songs from the Great American Songbook.
During a recent Monday Night Open Mic Cabaret, held at Hennessy’s Tavern on Herschel Avenue, a La Jolla mother and daughter duo got the crowd singing along to their rendition of “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music.”
“I knew you had some good music tucked under your arm as you walked in here tonight; how’d you like to come to the microphone and dish it up again?” event organizer Tim Moore encouraged Point Loma resident Sheron Doll, who obliged by performing George Gershwin’s 1938 jazz standard, “Love is Here to Stay.”
The group meets from 6:45 to 10 p.m. Mondays, offering a safe, nurturing environment for people to share a song. The event usually draws between 20 to 40 music-lovers — from amateurs to local professionals wishing to try out new material.
“It’s an opportunity to give it a shot,” Moore said.
Rotating pianists are provided for accompaniment, including Welk Theatre’s Music Director Justin Gray, Joni Yriba and Richard James. Guests are asked to bring sheet music from any theater or American Songbook standard and give an introduction to the song that states the singer’s connection to it, with some brief information about the song, composer or lyricist.
“They must deliver that song in a way that each listener feels personally touched by it — you know, cabaret-style,” Moore said.
Prior to meeting at Hennessy’s, the group met for four years at Tango Del Rey in Pacific Beach.
The evenings sometimes include a 30- to 40-minute feature set by a local cabaret singer. On Sept. 30, Joyce Marco will deliver a set titled, “Music, Memories and More.”
“I make it a habit of bringing in cabaret artists who perform locally to perform their shows,” said Moore, who organized a Beatles theme night last week.
Wine is $4.50 a glass during the event, which is held in a private room with couches and a cozy atmosphere. Dinner is also available.
For more information, call Moore at (858) 232-1241.
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