Cabaret Beats Cancer:  A Benefit for Erin Cronican has been a huge success in helping Erin.  Our many thanks  to those who have contributed to Erin Cronican, either by attending one of the two benefit cabaret performances at Dont Tell Moma or by contributing to the Crowdrise Fundraiser.   

But first let me say that I met Erin the first time I showed up to sing at the open mic called “Salon”. I’d been trying my hand at cabaret singing for about a year, and had heard about Salon from Judy Kurzer and Allan Yashin, a delightful couple who were in the first cabaret performing workshop I’d gone to. They kept saying, “Hey there’s this very cool open mic you should go to. It happens most Sunday evenings at 7PM at a restaurant on West 44th Street called EtceteraEtcetera.

It’s across from Birdland, but closer to 9th Avenue. So I asked them. “Well guys, have you ever sung a song there?” “oh, are you kidding? Not on your life! No, no! We just go to watch. The people that sing there are way to good! Why a lot of them are just about professional! Or, they could be. Anyway…NO! But you should go!” “What do you mean?” I said, begging for a compliment 🙂 “Come on. You know you’re got this voice! You should go. Maybe we’ll see you there.” So probably about three months later I found myself wandering down 44th St around 6:45PM with some sheet music in my case. When you walk in off the street there is a bar right in front of you and tables where people were sitting having dinner in the back. I guess I look puzzled, cause one of the waiters asked if I was looking for the music and pointed me to the stairs near-by. As I walked up I could hear a piano playing and the din of much conversation going on, but the main thing I was aware of were the butterflies in my stomach. When I turned the corner and stepped in the room, I almost turned right around and left. What stopped me was this friendly hello from a young woman sitting just inside the door at what was the registration table. “Hi, is this your first time here? Welcome! What’s your name? Oh, its Rob! Well Rob, I’m Erin and you’re going to have a great time! Are you going to sing a song? Great! The cover is $10.00, and let me introduce you to Adam to get the information about your song. Hey Adam, come and meet Rob.”

And thus I was swept into Salon by this extremely friendly and very nice person named Erin. I was to learn later that evening that she was also an immensely talented singer. As I got to know her over the ensuing months I also learned  about the award winning theater company she had started, her work as a director, actress and coach, and how adored she was by everyone who knew and worked with her. I was shocked when I heard she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She could have easily passed for 28, but there was no way she could be older than early thirties. Breast cancer??? I began following her blog in which she described what was going on with her body and medical treatments in the rawest terms. As I read about and witnessed (she still showed up at Salon to sing on every Sunday evening she could) her hair loss and weight gain, how difficult it had been to maintain her work schedule to pay bills, the stress she was experiencing, it occurred that someone should pull people together and do a fund raising show for her benefit to try and raise her fighting spirits and pay some bills. When I asked Erin’s permission to see if I could make it happen, and she agreed with a big smile on her face, I knew I was on the right track.  And thus was born “the Committee For the Preservation of Erin Cronican”. I soon came up with the moniker “Cabaret Beats Cancer”, and the goal to “Crush The Cancer Beast”. Then Life’s magic happened in the persons of Tanya Moberly, Adam Shapiro, Stephen Hanks, Richie Eisenberg, Steve Bustamante, Sidney Myer and many more.

Cabaret Beats Cancer:  A Benefit for Erin Cronican