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Tuesday, February 25 News

ASAP! to hold cabaret benefit

ASAP! in Washington, which serves northwest Connecticut, will present a cabaret Feb. 16 at the Litchfield Distillery in Litchfield.

The “still room” at the business will be transformed into a cozy setting for the audience.

The event will include cocktails, a gourmet meal catered by Community Table and a musical program titled “Children Will Listen,” named after the iconic Sondheim song.

Three respected Great American Song Book interpreters, Grammy winning pianist and arranger Billy Stritch, Tony nominee and cabaret royalty Sally Mayes, and nine-time Grammy winner Cheryl Bentyne from the Manhattan Transfer, will perform.

Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz scenes.

A chance meeting with Liza Minnelli led her to ask him to create vocal arrangements for the record-breaking Liza Stepping Out at Radio City.

In addition to their 25-year collaboration, Stritch toured with Tony Bennett as Tony’s pianist and musical director.

He has performed his own shows, including tributes to Mel Torme and Cy Coleman, in concert halls and nightclubs nationwide.

Stritch is also co-writer of the Grammy Award-winning song “Does He Love You?” recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis.

When he’s not on the road, he is pianist for Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at New York’s Birdland Jazz Club every Monday night.

He can also be heard every Sunday night at Bemelman’s Bar in Manhattan’s fabled Carlyle Hotel.

Mayes made her Broadway debut in Cy Coleman’s “Welcome To The Club,” winning critical praise and a Theatre World Award and Outer Critics Circle nominations one of Broadway’s Outstanding newcomers.

She is best known for her performance in the Roundabout Theatre revival of” She Loves Me” for which she won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Circle nominations.

Her nightclub performances have earned her 12 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Award nominations (MAC Awards) and she received two Back Stage BISTRO Awards for excellence in cabaret and recording.

Bentyne, a winner of multiple Grammy Awards, is a jazz singer well known for being a member of world-famous Manhattan Transfer since 1979.

A solid solo career has also yielded 14 albums to date including her most recent re-Arrangement of “Shadows: The Music of Stephen Sondheim,” “Let’s Misbehave: The Cole Porter Songbook,” and “The Gershwin Songbook.” among others.

A two-time cancer survivor, Bentyne holds a firm belief that music brings comfort to anyone in distress with an illness.

Tickets for the event are $225 and are available at www.asapct.org.

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