In Tune With June
by June Sturz
May 04, 2011 | 3516 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
My favorite form of musical entertainment is cabaret. It’s so intimate. At a cabaret one sits close enough to the performer to see at times the sweat on his brow or the runs in her hose. At any rate, these days “come to the cabaret” requires taking out a second mortgage. Generally, admission includes a music charge, a dinner minimum, and a seating fee. But here’s a scoop for those of us lucky enough to be living in Bayonne. At Networking Café on Broadway and 19th Street, the place is occasionally transformed into an enjoyable cabaret for the price of a cup of coffee or tea (and the tea is my favorite, Tazo). In addition, parking is easily available. On my last visit, the Marcus family from Maryland joined us to attend the launching of a new CD by Barbara Beeman (vocals), Bill Bannon (guitar), John Parrott (vocals, guitar, bass), and Franklin Byers (bass). The Networking Café was comfortably packed with an amiable, happy, friendly crowd. Many seemed to be friends and supporters of the Beeman, Bannon & Parrot Band (count me in, too). It was a happy group that came together to enjoy the band’s music on a Saturday night. I’m especially partial to the singing of Barbara Beeman much as I enjoy the singing of the late Blossom Dearie. Oh, yes, the new CD is titled “Plenty of Time” and includes four additional musicians. Barbara does an especially great vocal on “You Got To See Momma Every Nite.” Two other favorite songs of mine are included in the CD: “Why Don’t You Do Right?” and “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You.” The host of the Networking Café is a very genial David Jiji. I inquired and was told that the Beeman, Bannon & Parrot Band’s next appearance there will be May 21. I’m putting it on my calendar. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

If you want to get away from your daily environment, if you want a change of pace but don’t want to blow your bankroll, I have a suggestion. Actually, it’s what I do and I would like to share it with you. My change of space is in the heart of Manhattan and I find it to be a great neighborhood. I’ll give you a few hints. Its upper floors are home to corporations around the globe. Yet, there’s waterfront dining, shopping, and entertainment. Are you guessing? Here’s more hints: It has more than 40 retailers, restaurants, and specialty stores (so special I even had my eyebrows shaped there). Here’s a plus: there’s an award-winning free arts program – yes, free – in addition to gorgeous views of the Hudson River. Have you guessed? Yes, it’s the World Financial Center. Actually, there’s no good reason to go anywhere else. With more than 300,000 square feet of public space, it includes a European-style courtyard, the spectacular Winter Garden, and a place with the best waterfront views (including the Statue of Liberty). There are dozens of parks and green spaces with flowers this season that are as gorgeous as any botanical garden. I enjoy walking along the five-mile-long Hudson River waterfront esplanade. Arts World Financial Center uses the public space of the World Financial Center through visual and performing arts programs – and all events are free – no tickets required. This month there’s theater titled “The Attendants,” an interactive multi-media work. Audiences communicate with the performers via text messaging from their mobile phones. There’s an exhibition of examples of teen-produced work in the area of film, photography, sculpture, poetry, painting, fashion, drawing, short stories, video-game design, and more. Am I gushing? Yes! There’s even a place where crafters are provided with yarn, patterns, and expert instruction to create projects with a purpose (made me think of Una from the “Healthy Bones” class). So-o, how do you get from Bayonne to this wonderland? If you take the bus or the Light Rail to the PATH and get off at the last stop, you’ll find yourself in a most vibrant, exciting world. Once more, perhaps I’ll see you there.

My astute 15-year-old grandson, David I., told me that his favorite movie was the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio-Tom Hanks “Catch Me If You Can.” I, too, enjoyed that film about a youthful con man who becomes a whiz at cheating banks while retaining his boyish appeal, and the middle-aged FBI agent who relentlessly pursues him. My goodness, the real-life scam artist, Frank Abnagale Jr., grew and prospered as a law-breaker. How did he learn the talent (and it definitely is a talent) of forging and passing bad checks while pretending to be an airline pilot, doctor, and lawyer. Wow! So, with such a tale to tell, you would assume that “Catch Me If You Can” would translate easily to a great Broadway musical. We eagerly purchased tickets in advance and looked forward with great anticipation to enjoying the show. It does have a lively opening scene and there is one show-stopper: “Don’t Break The Rules.” Well, if a lot of gorgeous, leggy chorus girls are your thing, then you would find this musical enjoyable. The show has many musical flashbacks with its unbelievably true story. Perhaps my reaction was hindered by the fact that I enjoyed the movie and attended the show with too much anticipation. Leaving the theater you might feel that “Catch Me If You Can” had all the possibilities of being first-rate. It’s shiny, well-acted but ineffectual. Plus, its music didn’t make me hum. Or perhaps I simply wasn’t in the mood.

I just learned something. I learned that there are many very beautiful get-well cards. How did I learn this? Ask my mailman. He has been overburdened with delivering all the thoughtful ones I’ve been receiving. The cards have made me feel very good and each one of you deserves a special thank you. However, since I am almost totally incapacitated as a result of my nasty fall, this is my way of saying thank you, thank you. All the cards are prominently displayed and I enjoy looking at them over and over again. So, one mo’ time, thank you, merci, danke, gracias, toda, komawoyo, grazie, dziekuje, go raibh maith agat – you get the idea!

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