Pamela Whipp and Michael Davison
Ava Victoria kicked off the first public performance of San Francisco StageWorks with "An Evening of Cabaret" on October 21, 2002. This sold out event was a benefit performance that marked the beginning of a San Francisco exclusive one-year contract with San Francisco StageWorks for future performances to help raise funds for the company and for its musical projects specifically.
Along with the help of some very talented musicians, Ava made the evening more than memorable with 4 sets of uninterrupted entertainment. Ava's first set focused on musical theatre with accompaniment provided by Naomi Sanchez. Along with two selections from her CD "Hybrid Songbird", Ava premiered "Cottage by the Sea", a song featured in the brand new musical "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" which is being written by Bay Area writers and developed and produced through San Francisco StageWorks.
Ava takes us into different styles of music and moods seamlessly due to her quick wit and delightful patter. The second set of music brought in the talents of jazz pianist Ken Fishler, who accompanied Ava on songs ranging from Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington to Hoagy Carmichael.
For her third set, Ava surprised and delighted the crowd by playing the guitar with hilarious specialty pieces that rocked the room! "Why Him", from Lane and Lerner's "Carmelina" provided one of the evenings funniest moments with people rolling in their seats.Before Ava moved into her fourth set, she surprised the audience once again by bringing pianist Jim Murdock up to the stage. Their rendition of "Come in from the Rain" sparkled and gave us an idea of their performing history and the musical chemistry that the two share with each other.
Pianist Naomi Sanchez returned to the stage as Ava finished the evening with a final round of musical theatre and the show stopping "City Lights" which ignited the audience to a standing ovation and welcomed Ava back to the stage to sing her final song for the evening, "I Won't Send Roses". This selection from "Mack and Mabel" is one of the audience's favorites and can also be found on her CD "Hybrid Songbird". There is a wonderful story involving writer/composer Jerry Herman and Ava regarding how this particular version of the song developed from their conversations. We will let Ava tell you the story when she takes the stage again for her next benefit performance.
We are delighted to be working with Ava in the future on more of these types of events that help raise money for San Francisco StageWorks and projects such as "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir". Don't miss her next performance. Thanks again Ava! Visit San Francisco StageWorks Website for my future benefit performances for them.*Please visit WSAM (Hartford, CT) and send a thank you for playing "Words She Doesn't Say" from the CD Hybrid Songbird. Tell them which selection is your favorite from the CD.