Frank Dain's The Magic of Mathis, Featuring Johnny Mathis Classics, Will Play NYC's Don't Tell Mama
By Michael Gioia
Singer Frank Dain will bring his The Magic of Mathis solo show, which was recently seen at New York City's Metropolitan Room, to Don't Tell Mama for two performances in December.
Directed by Lennie Watts, Dain offers concerts, which celebrate the tunes made famous by Johnny Mathis, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 at 6 PM.
Audiences can expect fresh interpretations of such Mathis signature tunes as "Chances Are," "It's Not for Me to Say," "Wild Is the Wind," "Misty" and "The Twelfth of Never." The Magic of Mathis will also include infrequently sung jewels "99 Miles from L.A.," "Yellow Roses on Her Gown," "I'll Be Easy to Find" and "Photograph," all part of Mathis' 56-year career.
"This isn't an impersonation show," singer Dain previously told Playbill.com. "I couldn't sound like him if I wanted to. The Magic of Mathis is about the songs that resonated with me upon first hearing them. I use them, in part, to illustrate and celebrate Johnny's remarkable career. Sprinkled throughout the show are facts about his life and career that I found interesting and that some people may not know, such as his having to decide between attending the trials for the 1956 Olympics (he was a track star in high school and college) or moving to New York to start work on his first album."
Contributing creative arrangements is Dain's frequent collaborator, musical director Kathleen Landis. In addition to the aforementioned tunes, audiences can also expect covers of "Wonderful! Wonderful!" and "A Certain Smile," among others.
Dain added, "I discovered a connection to the [singer's] material that prompted me to delve deeper into the Mathis catalogue. This research revealed songs that, on the surface, had been presented as light, pop fare, but with lyrics that lended themselves to the interpretative, story-telling aspect of cabaret. I found that appealing and worth exploring."
Dain made his New York City Town Hall debut at The Mabel Mercer Foundation's summer cabaret convention entitled Grand Nights for Singing and performed at the Foundation's first cabaret convention in Philadelphia at the Prince Theatre. As a solo act, he has been seen at Don't Tell Mama, Steve McGraw's, Danny's Skylight Room and Judy's. He is also the recipient of the Jeff Matson Award for his contribution to cabaret as a performer, graphic designer, writer and editor. His debut CD is entitled "I Thought About You."
Don't Tell Mama is located at 343 West 46th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues). There will be a $20 cover plus a two-beverage minimum. For reservations, call (212) 757-0788. For more information, visit DontTellMamaNYC.com.
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