Songs for the Season

Unique Musical Programs

Archive for the month “October, 2015”

Santa Songs revival in the works!

With Halloween looming our attention is already turning to the 2015 revival of our Christmas show: Santa Songs.  For video highlights of last season’s rendition please see the tab above.

Here are some comments from previous season’s sponsors:

“Premier Arts is proud to have been involved in the gestational stage of Santa Songs: A Christmas Cabaret, a unique musical entertainment that ‘tells the truth’ about Santa Claus in a most amusing way.”

Craig Gibson Executive Artistic Director Premier Arts

“Daniel Johnson lit up our Restaurant at Amish Acres with his cabaret! Our patrons were mesmerized by his vocal prowess, and the heart-warming atmosphere he created while they enjoyed their meal.  He truly helped ring in the holiday season for us!”

Jeremy Littlejohn, Artistic Director Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres

“Daniel Johnson is a consummate entertainer. His Santa Songs, the profits from which he generously donated to our organization, truly makes the Yuletide season sparkle by providing a delightful evening of song and story. His fine vocal talents, his selection of material, and his stage presence combine to bring Santa to life for audiences of all ages; he even has the Jolly Elf’s twinkle in his eye! Daniel’s talent and showmanship will certainly brighten the day of anyone fortunate enough to see one of his shows.”

James Kollenbroich, Past President Chicago Temple, Brotherhood of the Phoenix

For 2015 I’m happy once again to be working with the accomplished and popular music director Mark Burnell with whom we will be perfecting this tried and true holiday entertainment. We have chosen a more accessible time and venue at PianoForte, Sunday, December 6:  for more details on this year’s offering please visit Brown Paper tickets at .


How’d It Go?

David Stephens thinks that what makes my cabaret approach somewhat unique is that I try to bring “theater to cabaret and cabaret to theatre”. My sense is that I’m attempting a genre that is as much a small ‘one-man show’ as a cabaret set.

The experience of my audience at the Wilde and Woolley premiere bore this out. The almost universal response I received in feed-back was “what a story-teller you are”.  The audience appreciated the event as story and I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment in that I succeeded in presenting a coherent story in song and dialogue from beginning to end.

In addition to the “tell me a story” appeal, my intent was to explore the issue of how the closet affected these two pre-Stonewall gay artists. This also seemed to come across.  When they saw the show people no longer puzzled about what the “Wilde” was doing in the title.

As a try-out I learned that my program can be expanded. In the debut I had an enthusiastic audience response but came in about ten minutes short of an hour.  I cut the show to fit the demands of the one-hour only format and it worked.  However I gave short shrift to several story aspects (and songs) that I think can be added back to advantage.

The Porter novelty material works like gang busters. I’m proud to have brought rare ‘gems’ to the program, but not for its own sake.  I think that the main reason songs like ‘Football King’, ‘Kling-Kling Bird’ and ‘Pets’ aren’t that much done is because they are material for comedian/actor rather than chanteur and I have the entertainment chops to work them. That also makes my program unique.

I’m also proud that I managed to act/sing the ballads successfully. Even with a voice impaired by Rhinitis the ballads worked in the debut because they were motivated by the story and served the emotional truth of it.

So as far as self-evaluation goes, I was most pleased with my accomplishment as a writer and mostly pleased with myself as a performer. I very much look forward to continue with this project.  I think it has ‘legs’.

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