Saturday, September 19 8 p.m.
$17 door / $14 advance Presented by SF Live Arts @ Cyprian’s
Since 1987, comic Merle Kessler and musician Joshua Raoul Brody have
been inviting a few dozen of their closest friends to each sing a song they’ve
always wanted to sing, but have never had the opportunity. The resulting show,
called An Evening Of Song, is an embarassment — some might call it a
humiliation — of riches, ranging from old chestnuts to new originals, jazzy
instrumentals to a cappella Bulgarian folk songs, sublime ballads to ridiculous
novelties, all accompanied by Brody’s stalwart Experimental Love Orchestra.
Most of the shows have themes (this one’s is Getting From Here To There: Songs of Transportation) Most of the singers ignore it, leaving genial host Kessler to try gamely to find a way to fit the song in. The singers run a huge gamut from seasoned professional to up and coming neophytes, with most falling somewhere in the middle. The result is a little bit Prairie Home Companion, a little American Idol, a little Gong Show, and a whole lot of
something you’ve never heard before.
Merle Kessler may be best known for his alter ego, fast talking social critic
Ian Shoales of NPR fame, which he created while in the Duck’s Breath
Mystery Theater comedy group. He is also a seasoned author with three
books and several plays under his belt; he currently writes for the radio
shows Bluesmobile and Philosophy Talk.
Joshua Raoul Brody is the go-to musician for most Bay Area improv groups,
as well as Tango No. 9, the big band Orchestra Nostalgico, and singers like
Mr. Lucky. He has accompanied Robin Williams, The Residents, Rick & Ruby, and many other acts that begin with the letter R.