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ROCK CITY FALLS– Seth Sikes of whom NY Arts Review said, “may well be one of the saviors of the Great American Songbook” will make his 801 Supper Club at The Mansion at Inn debut on Thursday, June 23, for one performance only in his critically acclaimed show Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli & Friends, an evening of Minnelli’s most popular songs.
Hailed as “the best male singer of his generation on the cabaret scene” by Theatre Scene, Sikes will perform many of the show-stopping standards for which Liza is known along with some lesser known gems. Tickets for Seth Sikes are $60 and are available now by calling 518-885-1607 or visiting themansionsaratoga.com/supper-club/
Seth Sikes is one of New York’s best known nightclub performers and each of his appearances at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York have sold out. His previous show, which paid tribute to Judy Garland, was named Best Tribute Show by BroadwayWorld and Rex Reed said, “Sikes belted out small gems and big treasures alike to a sold-out house screaming for more. He’s already developing a fan base and there’s no telling how far Seth Sikes will go.”
Seth Sikes Sings Liza Minnelli & Friends debuted in March and garnered critical acclaim across the board. Theater Pizzazz said, “Sikes is not a Liza imitator and didn’t channel her persona, he just very ably performed the music that has made us love Liza all these years.”
Liz Smith said, “The place was packed and the crowd went wild. Just like, well — a Liza Minnelli concert!”
Nitelife Exchange said, “He somehow makes everything work together in the moment to create a magically compelling evening of entertainment.”
The evening was conceived by Sikes and Tony-Award winning Lyricist Lisa Lambert and will feature orchestrations by Matt Aument, Neil Douglas Reilly and Jesse Vargas.
Before becoming one of New York’s most talked-about performers Sikes worked in the theater behind the scenes. He was the Assistant Director of The Nance on Broadway (starring Nathan Lane and directed by Jack O'Brien), and of the Off-Broadway productions of Tribes (directed by David Cromer) and Pageant. His other Assistant Director credits include Sondheim: The Birthday Concert (directed by Lonny Price), and Sweet Bird of Youth (directed by David Cromer and starring Diane Lane).
He directed the original musical Bunked!, which won Outstanding Musical at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2010, as well as The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant. As a performer, Sikes performed in Fame on 42nd Street Off-Broadway.
Bailey’s New Ownership Poised to Elevate Landmark to a New Level
SARATOGA SPRINGS – This is a great story. It’s a local business story, and a ‘market moving’ trend story. It’s also a hospitality story, with food/beverage and entertainment thrown into the mix. But what makes this a great story is that it is, ultimately, an American story – the type of story America should be more about.
It is a story about two hard-working, highly credentialed local gents who once started as line staff, worked their way up for years, and are now getting the opportunity to take the reins of a landmark location and make it their own.
Chances are, if you are at all interested any aspects of Saratoga Springs nightlife, you already know these guys. Perhaps you are one of their thousands of FB friends and/or customers. But we are a newspaper of record, so let’s make it official:
Meet Sam Bottini and Matt Beecher: the new co-owners of Bailey’s Café - on the landmark corner of Phila and Putnam streets. And they can’t wait to show you what they have in store to make your good times greater – just in time for summer!
“I’ve been scouting out these two for quite some time,” noted Joe Richardson, former sole owner (and still a partner) with Sam and Matt. Indeed, like a savvy baseball general manager who just added Derek Jeter and Clayton Kershaw to his lineup, he can’t be more excited for the season to start. “These two will bring it all: Passion, dedication, and new energy. With them on board, we’ll be able to pursue things we have wanted to do, and take Bailey’s to a new level,” Joe said.
One of many cases in point: A new Sunday Brunch is already in effect. You can enjoy it this weekend from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Eggs Benedict and more, washed down with a Mimosa, or perhaps Sam’s signature Bloody Mary, or maybe Matt’s specialty Mojito or Margarita. “People have begged us for about five years to do this,” Joe Richardson stated, “and we now have the proper team in place to get it done.”
They certainly have the bona fides to know how to make a specialty drink special. For relatively young men, Sam and Matt have each built impressive hospitality resumes. Sam has done several jobs at Gaffney’s, starting as a service bartender and working up the ladder. He also had a stint at the prestigious Albany Country Club as a bartender, and most recently held several key positions at Putnam Den. Matt is a six-year veteran at Harvey’s and has had corporate hospitality training from international casual dining conglomerates.
In other words, they know what they are doing – and how to make sure you have the best experience possible.
Other signs that Bailey’s, which took the market by storm when it was first founded in 1999 and into the first years of this millennium, is poised for a big-time revival are starting to coalesce. For one thing, the outdoor patio has been glammed-up with some new furniture and general sprucing – the place just looks brand new, and that all leads to…
Destination: Clam Bake
Check it for yourself: A perfect opportunity to meet the new owners and crew is coming on Saturday, June 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Bailey’s inaugural clam bake. $12 gets you a dozen clams plus potatoes and corn, but for those that like to indulge it’s 2 for 1 clams for the same price. It promises to be a festive afternoon with giveaways galore. They are still gathering some really good prizes that I’ve been sworn to secrecy about – but these are examples of what they’ve already lined up for the day:
- A Shipyard Brewery tour, plus a gas card from Saratoga Eagle to get you to Shipyard HQ in Portland, Maine
- A Corona CanJam game. Those in the know will want this one
- Four general admission tickets to Blue Oyster Cult at the American Music Festival – September 24 in Lake George
If there’s one thing I know, these gents are mighty motivated. Expect this list to grow substantially before showtime.
Looking ahead a bit, we find a few summer music anchors are in place as well. Bailey’s has always had the physical layout to put on well-attended performances, but it was the performing lineup that packed the place.
One who will tell you, if you ask him, that Bailey’s helped to launch his career into the realm of the mega-mega and mighty, is none other than Garland Nelson, The Soulist/Visionary behind the powerhouse Soul Session, and all it has become. Write him in the music lineup for ten consecutive Thursdays, beginning in late July. So that kinda adds a Willie Mays here: a legend at the top of his game.
Also, an interesting pickup is the “Dark Day Blues” franchise on Track Tuesdays, a treasured staple in many venues to date, and administered by the textbook texture and talent that comes out of George Fletcher’s Folding Money – George’s secret desire has always been to be Ichiro – and now he is.
Overall, everything to report at this point from Bailey’s indicates progress is being put in motion, by a new management team that gives it a real shot to reclaim a valued nightspot on the local scene. Indeed - an opportunity to elevate it to new heights, in short order.
Its no stretch to forecast that there will be a sea change in the hospitality market this summer. And that sea’s current will flow to the intersection of Phila and Putnam Streets.
For more information about everything, visit baileyscafe.com or call 518-583-6060.
Burnt Hills Native Returns to Northshire for Third Novel Release
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Kara Storti has been blessed with the gift of articulation – the ability not only to communicate – but to reach into her own soul, and touch yours. This has been evident since her high school (Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake) days, when, as a young songwriter, she dazzled audiences with her original, introspective lyrics, a sweet, yet powerful voice, and melodies that grabbed you and wouldn’t let go.
It was obvious that, despite not being old enough to buy a drink at some of the places she played music (such as Gaffney’s, during songwriter nights) with her band, or solo behind the keyboard, that she could more than hold her own with seasoned veterans twice her age, maybe more. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that saw her perform that she would be a pro – and a successful one at that.
Fast forward just over a decade, and we find that Kara done just that – become a professional who has taken her craft of writing to a new level, with the publication of her third novel, Tripping Back Blue, that will have its New York release next Thursday at Northshire Bookstore. This ‘homecoming’ to her native area will include reading, Q + A, and book signing.
In addition to being a novelist, Kara has applied her craft to professional outlets. After high school, she migrated to Boston (her current home), where she logged a stint at Harvard University’s office of correspondence for Harvard’s then-President Lawrence Summers, and currently does medical writing for Vortex, a pharma company that develops drugs to combat cystic fibrosis.
“I love medical writing,” Kara noted, “After Lawrence Summers left/got booted at Harvard, I stayed around for a bit during the search for his successor in the Provost’s office, but I needed to get more stimulation from writing.” This came from the medical field, but more importantly from writing fiction as well.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, and in the same vein, don’t let Kara’s sweet persona and her good-natured sense of humor (laced with a nice bit of deadpan sarcasm) fool you – this is gritty writing in the realism mode. In Tripping, set in the urban, mostly inner-city areas of the Capital Region, Kara writes from the perspective of Finn, a male drug dealer and his own personal struggles with addiction, and life in general.
“The inspiration for this was real,” Kara said, “I was in a relationship with a guy from Burnt Hills who struggled with a drug problem. I had started to develop some of the themes of the book before I became aware about his battling these demons. Actually, the main character began as a female, sort of a female Harry Potter, who defeated dark forces with components of magic. But once I did learn the truth about him, the words just flowed in a different direction. It turned out to be a catharsis of sorts for me.”
Some brief excerpts tell the tale:
“All I’ve got to do is just get through this ordeal. Push through it; be a man…
“Stupid car. Stupid neighborhood. It’d be one thing if I lived in New York City, where there’s violence, sure, but tons of opportunity to become a better man. Not the case here. Instead I’m north of Albany, in rotten Dammer-f-ing-town, where there is no other side, where no great life is waiting for me, where the earth threw up and walked away.”
- From ‘Tripping Back Blue’
By Kara Storti
Published by Carolrhoda Books - April 1, 2016
I asked her if she still composed songs. “I still write them, from time to time, when I can,” she said. “I find that it is good to combat writer’s block – switching disciplines can unclog the mental log jam.”
These and other tips will be shared with a Saratoga Springs High School Senior class earlier that day, while you get to enjoy the finished product of her hard work and effort later that evening.
As a music programmer, Kara Storti made me look like a very discerning, smart judge of talent. You will feel the same way if you recommend her appearance next week, as an accomplished author, to friends. As big a thrill as it is to spot a young person with a gift, it’s even a bigger thrill to check in later on, and see how that ability and flair has blossomed. And that, simply, is what you have before you next Thursday.
Speaking of which, if you read this far, you have migrated to our PULSE section, where Rebecca Davis does a great job letting her talent blossom. I highly recommend that you read the rest of this section as long as you are here - always a nice counterpoint to the dreary news of the day.
“An evening with author Kara Storti” will take place at Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway in Saratoga Springs next Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m. Kara will be conducting a Q & A, reading and signing copies of her new novel – “Tripping Back Blue” – which is suitable for mature teens and adults.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Though shortened by weather conditions, Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA) dominated the medal count at 2016 New York State Scholastic Rowing Association Championships on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 on Fish Creek.
- 20 Championship Medals in side-by-side competition
- 11 additional medals based on earlier time trials (due to weather cancelling side-by-side heats)
- 31 medals total
- SRA first-place finishes:
- Sprint Racing: - Womens Freshmen Quad - Final 1
- Mens Freshmen Eight - Final 1
- Womens Varsity Pair - Final 1
- Womens Varsity Single - Final 1
- Womens Varsity Single - Final 2
- Mens Varsity Single - Final 1
- Mens Varsity Single - Final 2
- Womens Freshmen Eight - Final 1
- Mens Freshmen Quad – Final 1
- Womens Varsity Eight - Final 1
- Womens Lightweight Eight - Final 1
- Womens Juniors Four - Final 1
- Womens 2V Eight - Final 1
- Mens Juniors Quad - Final 1
- Mens Lightweight. Quad - Final 1
- Womens Varsity Quad - Final 1
- Womens Lightweight Quad - Final 1
- Womens Juniors Quad - Final 1
- Womens Juniors Double – Final 1
- Mens Lightweight Eight - Final 1
- Time Trials: - Womens Freshman Quad
- Mens Freshman Eight
- Womens Jr Four
- Womens 2V Eight
- Womens Freshman Eight
- Mens Freshman Quad
In a word – unreal. Afterwards, SRA announced that they were sending 73 rowers who qualified at States to Nationals (SRAA National Championships) in Zanesville, Ohio next weekend, May 27 and 28.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Senior Blue Streak baseball players, along with friends and family take the field for Senior Night at East Side Rec. on Saturday, May 14. Everyone celebrated as Saratoga romped over Schuylerville, 22-2 in their last regular season home game - closing out the season with four straight wins, and five of their last six, heading into the post-season vs. Niskayuna on Tuesday, May 17.
Senior team members pictured with their families are (L to R): Jake Kerr, Brendon Frank, Nick Kondo, Cory McArthur, Danny Hobbs, Shane Barringer, Danny Coleman and Brendan Coffey. Photo by MarkBolles.com
In that opening round contest, Saratoga, seeded sixth, was victorious over #11 Niskayuna, 5-0, and squared off versus #3 Ballston Spa on Thursday evening.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Jockey Wayne D. Wright, who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in separate years and was America’s leading rider in 1934 and 1936, and the 19th century racehorse Tom Ochiltree, winner of the 1875 Preakness Stakes and numerous prestigious handicap events, have been elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame by the Museum’s Historic Review Committee.
Wright and Tom Ochiltree join contemporary selections Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Ramon Dominguez and Steve Asmussen in the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The Pillars of the Turf selections will be announced later this month. The induction ceremony takes place Friday, August 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.
Along with his wins in the Triple Crown races, Wright won three races aboard Triple Crown winner War Admiral, including the Whitney Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup. He also won the Dwyer and Arlington Classic with Triple Crown winner Omaha. He rode a third Hall of Famer, Eight Thirty, to victory in the 1938 Flash Stakes. Wright also won the Travers Stakes (1937), Saratoga Cup (1935) and Saratoga Special (1945).