by Peter Haas


Every seat was filled in Don’t Tell Mama’s intimate Brick Room on a Sunday evening in April as friends and fans gathered to enjoy the talents of two of cabaret’s most distinctive performers. On stage: guitarist Sean Harkness and singer Marcus Simeone, launching a new series of song-filled performances.


Their opening show carried as special poignancy: It was Marcus’s first appearance following the death of his partner of many years, graphic designer Gregory Kennell, who was a key contributor to the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) in its early days.


The duo’s performance, directed by Lina Koutrakos, was easy-going, warm and rich in song classics as well as original works – some 15 songs in all. Among familiar numbers, offered by Marcus in his distinctive high tenor, were a medley of “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Here’s That Rainy Day;” “Blue Side,” “Losing My Mind,” “Angel Eyes” and “Mood Indigo,” while Sean – Marcus’s sole accompaniment – also took the spotlight in guitar solos of “When Sunny Gets Blue,”  his arrangement of ”My Favorite Things and an original piece, “Holy Days.”


For a finale, Lina joined the pair onstage as the three sang Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly.”


Their show comes back to Don’t Tell Mama on Sunday evenings, at 7 PM, on May 28, June 18 and July 23.