If you're a fan of the music from Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, then the next three Monday nights at Ovations nightclub are where you'll want to be as Paul Hope Cabaret presents the music of Frank Loesser.
Hope, the former artistic director of Bayou City Concert Musicals which sank under the financial demands of its own success, is continuing to make his way chronologically through "the Great American songbook" highlighting the work of songwriters whose work appeared on Broadway.
Back at the intimate Ovations night club, Paul Hope Cabaret will be spotlighting the work of Frank Loesser "from Hollywood to Broadway" for its September series of Monday night appearances. As it turns out, before his success on Broadway, Loesser was a Hollywood lyricist "collaborating with Hoagy Carmichael, Burton Lane, Jimmy McHugh, and Jule Styne on such song classics as “Heart and Soul”, “Two Sleepy People” and “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You.”
On hand will be a stellar group of singers including Grace Givens, Whiney Zangarine, Seth Daniel Cunningham, John Gremillion, Brian Chambers, Tamara Siler, and Katie Fridsma covering the years from 1938-1949 — with a special performance by Krissy Richmond, the Houston-based, award-winning choreographer who was formerly a principal dancer with Houston Ballet.
"She’s our guest star. She’s doing a Betty Hutton number," says Hope who will serve as emcee for the evening's proceedings, introducing each act and filling in the audience with some behind-the-scenes insights about the highlighted artists and their music.
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Hope says he keeps doing what he does because he feels it is important "keeping the great American songbook alive for audiences." The Broadway musical and jazz are uniquely American art forms a lot of the people who wrote for Broadway particularly in the early years also jazz writers, he says.
People who've never been should come knowing that what they'll find is "a lot of fun," Hope says. "The thing about the song literature that we’re doing is the literacy and the wit of it; there's a lot of comedy. They’re hearing great music and they are also walking away hearing some stuff about the entertainment industry during that period."
The entire troupe is composed of Houston performers, Hope says. "It's all local and we do this on Monday night’s now which is the way we originally formatted it because it is the actors’ night off. It's also a time when there's nothing else going on in town Monday night so if you're wanting to extend your weekend it's a great way to do so."
Performances are scheduled for September 16-30 on Mondays only at 7:30 p.m. at Ovations Night Club, 2536 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-522-9801 or visit paulhopecabaret.ticktleap.com. $20-$30.