|Posted by Parker Scott, February 4, 2014 Cabaret Reflections with Parker Scott|
Tanya Moberly – “I ♥ NY Songwriters”
with Steven Ray Watkins on Piano, Matt Scharfglass on Bass and Bradley Bosenbeck on ViolinPerformance of Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm
DON’T TELL MAMA (343 West 46th Street, NYC – 212-757-0788)Okay – Let me get this out of the way. I just have to say it … I friggin’ love Tanya Moberly! To quote Billy Joel – “She’s got a way…” Her ability to give support and love – to the cabaret community, to her friends and to her colleagues is something beautiful to see. She is an amazing and talented lady!In her current show – I ♥ NY Songwriters – as the title suggests, Tanya Moberly sings the songs of New York songwriters. Intelligently constructed, the cabaret gives exposure to some lesser-known songwriters on New York’s cabaret scene. Each individual song tells a story, and Ms. Moberly is such a lovely storyteller. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, she is at times vulnerable, at times cynical and at other times, ballsy.The emotions on display are as varied as are the songs that have been chosen. Well into the show, I realized that all these individual stories were part of the show’s bigger through line. The vocal colors uncovered throughout the show matched the dramatic intention of the songs’ stories – from big and brassy to soft and tender – she is able to tug at your heart strings with the sound of her voice.Ms. Moberly’s cabaret – I ♥ NY Songwriters – has recently been named Outstanding Theme Show by the Bistro Award committee. She will receive the Bistro Award at the annual Bistro Awards ceremony on March 4, 2014. The honor is well deserved.I had the opportunity to ask one of cabaret’s busiest ladies some questions.Her answers were thoughtful, succinct and to the point.Why Cabaret?Because I don’t have to wait to be hired in order to perform. It’s a pro-active art form. I also love that I don’t have to answer to anyone. I get to do what I want how I want.
You perform at Don’t Tell Mama a lot. And shows you direct, appear there as well. What is it about the club that makes you want to be there?Two words: Sidney Myer.
You are “the” modern cabaret renaissance woman! I don’t think there is anything in the cabaret world that you haven’t done. Is there a goal in cabaret that you have to achieve?
There’s plenty I haven’t done, and plenty I’ve yet to do. It’s not a goal, it’s just that I have an unending flood of ideas for shows, but basically can only afford to do one idea at a time. I do however ‘vault’ my shows and keep each one of them in shape, ready to pull out at any time. If I could, I would do a different show every single week.
My advice would be to make sure your show is YOU. Directors and Musical Directors are hired to guide you, not dictate to you. YOU are the client. Always remember that the show you are working on is yours and make sure the final product is fulfilling the vision you intended.
My songs choose me. As do my show ideas. I can’t really eplain it. Like I said, I have an unending flow of ideas. I just listen to the voice inside myself that tells me which idea is the next idea, and then based on that idea – I start gathering material. The material rules the process.
I have 4 MAC Awards for producing The Salon, which I am extremely proud of. I have had 2 MAC Award nominations as a performer but have yet to win. The awards stuff is fun, but I don’t take it too seriously. It’s an honor to be recognized, but I don’t sing to win awards or get reviews. I sing because it’s what I love to do. (Editorial Note: Since this interview, Ms. Moberly has been named as the recipient of the 2014 Bistro Award for Outstanding Theme Show. See above.)
I consider it my job – to convey humanity. It’s a craft that requires constant practice, and I do find it thrilling when I am able to succeed at it.
2 – Most memorable live cabaret performance you have attended?
There are so many. In the last year or so, I would say Lennie Watts & Amy Wolk.
3 – Book that influenced your life?
Again, so many. Biographies for sure: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Carol Burnett, Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin.
4 – Historical figure with whom you would most like to have an adventure?
John, Paul, George & Ringo.
5 – Dream city that you have yet to visit?
All of Europe.
6 – Mountains or Beach?
7 – Favourite curse word?
8 – If I could, I would…
Pay my rent on time.
9 – Most obvious guilty pleasure?
10 – Past life era in which you “have lived before”?
Probably several. The 1890’s come to mind.
11 – Living person with whom you would like to share a meal?
12 – Dogs or Cats?
13 – Cabaret artist who has inspired you?
14 – Favourite adjective?
15 – Music that makes you cry?
16 – Favourite lazy afternoon activities?
17 – Recent film you loved?
18 – Olympic Sport in which you would like to win a Gold Medal?
19 – Cabaret’s most underrated (or underperformed) composer?
Every songwriter in my current show.
20 – “I have a secret crush on…..”
None of my crushes are secret. Have you heard my opening number?
Bonus Question – Favourite song ever? And YES! Only 1!!!
Don’t Rain on My Parade.