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54 Below

A Nonprofit Cabaret Venue

Michael Brown was an American composer, lyricist, writer, director, producer and performer. This program is a retrospective of some of the songs he wrote and performed during his cabaret career, as well as those he wrote for other performers.

Mr. Brown’s musical career began in New York in the late 1940s. As a singer of his own songs at the legendary New York cabaret, Le Ruban Bleu, in his very first engagement he broke the house record, appearing for 54 consecutive weeks.  This phase of his career culminated at the Savoy Hotel in London, where the press dubbed him “the American Noel Coward.”

Throughout the ’50s, Mr. Brown contributed material, season after season, for Julius Monk’s famous revues at Plaza 9 and Upstairs at the Downstairs. Mr. Brown’s first work on Broadway, New Faces of 1952 , caused  a sensation with “Lizzie Borden,” probably his best-known song.

Mr. Brown’s stories and songs about Santa Mouse have sold more than two million copies, with the first book in the series cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best-selling children’s books of all time. A new edition of Santa Mouse is now available in bookstores. 

Michael Brown died in 2014 at the age of 93 in New York City.

Working with Harold Arlen, he wrote the lyrics to the show-stopping “Indoor Girl” for Pearl Bailey in the 1954 Broadway musical House of Flowers. Mr. Brown also created the score for the English musical Is There Intelligent Life on Earth? and a production number for the Carol Channing company of Sugar Babies. In 1972, he wrote the book, music, and lyrics for Broadway’s Different Times, which led The Hollywood Reporter to call him “a prodigious talent.”

The New York Times has called Mr. Brown “polished, urbane, suave, witty, persuasive” and The Daily News said he was “a most talented man, the very essence of the word cultivated.” In the 1970s, he also wrote and extensively toured his one-man show Out of Step about American eccentrics. For this he gathered such praise as “one of the most gifted artists in America.”

The evening will feature:
Michele Ragusa
T. Oliver Reid
Matthew Scott
Deborah Tranelli

The band includes Michael Lavine as Music Director on piano, Marc Daine on guitar, Chip Fabrizi on drums, and John Loerhke on bass.

Past Performances

  • Sun, Dec 8 :2:30 pm
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