|Posted by Kevin Scott Hall, February 3, 2014 Edge Media Feature: Kevin On Kabaret :: Into the Awards Seasons|
As we head into Awards season, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Tanya Moberly, who will be bringing home her own Bistro Award when they’re given out March 4th. She takes home the honor for her theme show, “I Love New York Songwriters,” which she will reprise at Don’t Tell Mama on February 25th.I like to call Moberly the current MVP of the cabaret scene. For you non-sporties, that’s Most Valuable Player. Although Moberly has been performing regularly herself in the clubs since the late ’90s, she has become an asset to the movers and shakers around town.
Moberly has helped behind the scenes at the Bistro Awards, at the Concerts for City Greens at Tudor City Park every summer, and, most prominently, as producer of The Salon, an open mic at Etcetera, Etcetera (325 W. 44th Street), with Mark Janas as musical director, that gets an almost religious following of singers parading through its doors every Sunday night from 7-10:30 p.m. (singer sign-up begins at 6:30). As producer of the series, Moberly has won the MAC Award four times.”Salon really put me on the map,” Moberly told me. She took over after its tenure at the Oak Room. “I fell so much in love with it. I wanted to nurture it and I have all these administrative skills.”In fact, she recalls how one of her other jobs came about. “Raissa Katona Bennett [producer of Concerts for City Greens] saw me breaking down a set in my high heels and mini skirt and came over and said, ’I want you to work for me!’”
However, Moberly is thrilled to be getting her first award as a performer. “I’m so grateful to Sidney Myer, who gave me a home at Don’t Tell Mama. I’ve been singing there for fifteen years. Mama’s was my Salon before Salon was my Salon!”
The energetic and industrious Moberly was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but grew up in Rhode Island until her mother moved to New Jersey when she was about twelve.
“My Dad died when I was seven,” she said. “But when we were in New Jersey, my Mom had a boyfriend in Manhattan. I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
Tanya was enrolled in the famed Professional Children’s School in midtown, for kids who want to fast-track into the arts as a profession. “I was auditioning at age 15, and I skipped 11th grade to go on tour.”
Although she had early training in dance, Moberly was most moved by the acting and singing.
“I was auditioning a lot but not getting good work, so I put together a show called ’The Blonde Leading the Blonde’ with my partner back in 1997 as a benefit, and then it ran for several more performances,” she recalled. Moberly has since gone on to present several new shows, mostly around a theme.
Moberly has also become a sought-after director for cabaret shows. “My goal is to make my living in cabaret,” she said. “And I’m almost there.”
As for “I Love New York Songwriters,” she says, “My ideas come to me, and I listen,” she laughed. “Much of this show was inspired by Salon. I either met the songwriters at Salon or the songs were performed at Salon.”
Moberly continued, “There is a New York sensibility to the writing, and I think these writers love New York as much as I do.” She then let out another roar of laughter. “Basically, the show is about being lonely and horny!”
Songwriters featured in the show include Jeff Blumenkrantz, Tim Di Pasqua, Richard Eisenberg, Steven Lutvak, Jill Sobule, and many more. Catch Tanya’s show at Don’t Tell Mama on the 25th of February and picking up her Bistro at Gotham Comedy Club on March 4th.
Moberly, who is also an Associate Producer for the Bistro Awards, quipped, “I’m sure I’ll be changing my shoes and running up on stage to do my song!” . . .