by Sandi Durell . . .
Sidney Myer is a tradition. Many know him as Don’t Tell Mama’s 30+ years lovable booking manager who has encouraged every singer coming through those famous portals. But it’s only in more recent times that Sidney has returned to his own performing roots to the uproarious pleasure of the cabaret community and, most importantly, his very own.
Pangea, a sexy little cabaret boite in the East Village, was jammed with fans to welcome Sidney Myer on opening night November 8, the first of four Mondays where this performing magnet will be in residence.
Myer is a unique performer who finds the unusual, many times wacky, funny and most times emotionally charged songs with lyrics (as in his opening bouncy tune “I’m Perfect by Phillip Namanworth) that declare “I’ll push all your buttons and you can push mine,” (think double entendre – a Meyer specialty) such as “Pheromones” (Joan Cushing) a favorite of Myer’s and his audience.
It’s Myer’s deadpan and oft times sassy delivery that grabs you, with his wry and dry sense of humor . . . priceless in songs “I Am Your Man” (Bonnie Lee Sanders & Susan Green) or Chuck Prentiss’ “Mary Cohen” (the most famous lady in Latin America/most called for Gringo in Santo Domingo/most famous Mary in Buenos Aires . . .) or the marching tempo beat of “Charge!” (Jackie Burnett) . . . just charge it all at Bergdorf’s or Saks, Tiffanys or Macys… a story that filled the room with laughter. Where does he find them?
But it’s not all risqué, fun and games as Sidney Myer, an ultimate storyteller, wears his heart on his sleeve and delivers songs with great emotion, i.e. “When I Just Wear My Smile (Tom Lane/Sharon Pulley) blended with “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (Martin Charnin/Charles Strouse) or Johnny Mercer/Gene DePaul’s ballad of love “Namely You,” or the exceptional “Dance With Me” (Mark Sonnenblick from the off-Broadway hit Midnight at the Never Get) that glowed with wonderful emotional surges.
Encore + encore had Myer mischievously, charmingly singing “It’s So Nice to Have a Man Around the House” (Jack Elliott/Harold Spina) with a finale by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch’ “Good Advice” (thanks to Otis we have an elevator and not a room going side to side and to the Wright Bros. not a washing machine with wings to hang clothes out to dry and thankfully Benjamin Franklin also got some good advice!)
Sidney Myer is the man of songs driven by lyrics – many, many lyrics. He chooses material because each song has a special meaning for him which is why his delivery is so spot on.
Together with the impeccable Tracy Stark at the piano and as arranger, Skip Ward on bass and David Silliman on drums this couldn’t be a more perfect evening of sublime entertainment. And made more sublime by his favorite girl in the audience – Marilyn Maye.
The Essence of Sidney Myer
If you can get a reservation (and I surely hope you do) here are remaining dates November 15, 22 and 29 at 7 pm. There’s a nice dinner menu as well. www.pangeanyc.com 178 2nd Avenue, NYC.
Thanks to Magda Katz for Photos that catch the Essence of Sidney Myer