Elise's 50th Birthday Bash!



Thanks to everyone who helped make my Birthday Bash such a great success!

Monday, March 19th was a fabulously fun evening filled with songs and food!

The shameless premise of the evening was that I was using the occasion of my 50th birthday (I know, I know – I don’t LOOK like I have a daughter in college!) to fundraise money to extend my eight-month contract at ANMT.

The party was free to attend – but anybody who wanted to perform had to make a donation to ANMT of $25. For only $50, you could “buy” five minutes of my time and I would sing whatever you wanted me to sing! (I’ve got some nerve, don’t I?!)

The event turned out to be a blast – and a very successful fundraiser. Thanks to you my eight-month contract is now TEN months!

Many many thanks to all of you who made this possible!



The Main Hall at ANMT was jam-packed with my crazed and adoring fans! Many thanks to Terri Weiss for the fantastic sound system!
Andrea Press, Evelyn Halus, and Anna Stone planned and set up a great spread – including some fabulous food provided by chef Lindsey Mixon (a former ARCtor!).

The evening saw the world premiere of Der Strunkenwhitenlieder, a chamber opera in eight movements for Ordinary Baritone and Transubstantial Soprano, with book & lyrics by Scott Guy and music by Liza Lehmann (Scott’s favorite kind of composer – a dead one).

Scott sang the role of “Joe”, and I was “Apostrophe”.

At the piano all evening long was the absolutely extraordinary Ed Martel.

If you ever need an accompanist or music director for anything whatsoever – contact this amazing man!

Throughout the evening, in keeping with the crassly monetary tone I had set for the event, I encouraged audience members to make donations in support of the songs I was singing – with the promise that at the end of the evening I would encore the song that had earned the most money.

It was a tight race, with Mitch Glaser and Larry Klug’s Discinclined coming in a close second, but the winner (and, therefore, the number I encored) was Jack’s House by Cathy Elliott. What made this especially memorable for me is that Cathy’s musical Fireweeds was the first show that I ever got involved in as a dramaturge. (I also directed the world premiere of Fireweeds in Canada in 1992, and Cathy is still one of my best friends.)


I got to sing a lot of great songs – most of them written by writer members of ANMT. Here’s a list of the songs, and the writers – along with recordings from the evening.

I'm Not My Grandmother's Fifty

by Nance Crawford and Bonnie Janofsky

Angry Words

by Randi Wolfe and Sari Miller | from "So Happy I Could Scream: A musical celebration of motherhood"

You've Flown

by Cheryl Ceprati and Marylou Dunn

Jack's House

by Cathy Elliott | "Fireweeds" (requested by Sally Conerton)

Der Strunkenwhitenlieder

by Scott Guy and Liza Lehmann | a chamber opera in eight movements for Ordinary Baritone and Transubstantial Soprano


by requested by Frank Sheftel | owner of The Candy Factory

Full-Fledged Woman

by CJ Ver Burg and Nikos Tsakalakos

The World Is Changing

by Leslie Arden | The House of Martin Guerre

Tall People

by Bill Berry and Bill Johnson | based on Randy Newman's "Short People"

I was also serenaded by some wonderful folks who graciously shared their talents with the assembled crowd!

Veronica Scheyving (who also sang a song written by Carla Porter)

Erica Stux

Robert Hecker

Sandy Shanin

Terri Weiss (by way of her lovely student!)

Ken & Dottie Reiner

Neville Johnson

Jeffery Lyle Segal

Adam LeBow and friends (are you ever sorry you missed this one!)