The Wit and Wisdom of the 70's, a new cabaret show created by and featuring MAC Award-winning cabaret artist Karen Mack and pop music's Michael Holland, makes its New York debut Oct. 25 at Don't Tell Mama.
The show — whose title some might consider oxymoronic — was commissioned earlier this year by The Storefront to be performed as part of their Arts for AIDS project in southern Indiana. After playing to standing-room-only audiences there, the Storefront producing organization (devoted to cabaret shows and new musicals) also presents the Manhattan bow on scattered dates Oct. 25-Dec. 13.
Developed by Mack and Holland, The Wit and Wisdom of the 70's is "an overview of the music from the era of platform shoes and big earrings." Included in the evening is the work of legendary singer-songwriters ranging from the Carpenters to Billy Joel to Abba and Joni Mitchell. Classics such as "Jackie Blue," "Yesterday Once More," "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" and a hot rendition of Mitchell's "A Case of You" are performed within the context of newly-arranged (by Holland) medleys, as well as solo pieces.
Mack is the recipient of dual 2000 Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets (MAC) Awards for Best Pop/R&B Vocalist and Outstanding Song of the Year for her composition "I Am Home" (for which she also won an ASCAP Award). She also won the 1999 MAC Award for Outstanding Female Debut. Her critically acclaimed show, Serious Fun, played to praise in New York earlier this year.
Composer and pianist-guitarist-vocalist Michael Holland wrote, performed and produced the acclaimed album, "Darkness Falls," as well as his earlier recordings, "Everybody's a Jerk" and "Thank You for the Afghan." He is the co-founder of the vocal group Comfortable Shoes, which made its Carnegie Hall debut in May 1999. In spring 2001, he received the Blockbuster MP3 Award for Favorite Male Performer. There is a $10 cover charge, and a two-drink minimum. No credit cards are accepted. Don't Tell Mama is at 343 W. 46th St. in the theatre district. Performances are 8:30 PM Oct. 25, 10 PM Nov. 1, 9:15 PM Nov. 5, 8 PM Nov. 24, 8 PM Dec. 13, with additional dates expected to be added. For general reservations, call (212) 757-0788.
— By Kenneth Jones