The Raw Deal

June 5 - 15, 2003
Thursday - Saturday 10:00pm
Sunday 5:30pm
The Club

performed by: Coby Koehl
directed by: Vic DiMonda
musical director: Brandon Ethridge

THE RAW DEAL is a new cabaret evening performed by singer-songwriter Coby Koehl. Funny, yet intense and moving, it will be an evening of Koehl singing from the heart, in what he describes as "a Gay Pride show, but not in name."

Coby Koehl is a singer-songwriter who has performed numerous times at cabarets in New York (including headlining at Don't Tell Mama and Rose's Turn a half dozen times), as well as at clubs like the Tunnel, Limelight, Mother, Stonewall and others. He performed in Soppin' Juice at Dixon Place and also produced and performed East Infection, his Sunday Night extravaganza at Flamingo East. Koehl's musical style ranges from R&B to pop, jazz, soft rock, house, alternative, folk, Broadway and standards. He has done voice over and commercial work including the European campaign for the fragrance "WISH" for which he supplied both the original composition and vocals. He can also be heard on numerous dance music recordings. He appears solo and regularly at The Stonewall, where he was discovered and invited to La MaMa by Nicky Paraiso, Cultural Minister of The Club.

Koehl has done cabaret since '96, but doesn't consider himself in the cabaret world because he doesn't follow the "Broadway model" (i.e., very few songs from shows). Last fall, he made his La MaMa debut in a workshop production, "Survival of the Fetus," which was an autobiographical musical about a young gay man, born two months prematurely in Israel, who must overcome obstacles and naysayers as he finds his own self. Now he says, self-effacingly, "Fetus was a workshop; here I know what I'm doing."

Vic DiMonda has directed and choreographed productions of Carousel, High Society, The All Night Strut, The Taffetas, Forever Plaid and Smokey Joe's Café. He has choreographed The Roar Of The Greasepaint…., Mame,, Grease, Do I Hear A Waltz?, and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Each year Vic choreographs The Financial Writers Follies at the New York City Marriott, Midtown. Other regional credits include Kiss Me, Kate, How To Succeed…., Peter Pan, Cinderella, The Music Man, West Side Story, Fiddler On The Roof and A Perfectly Normal Boy. He is an artist-in-residence for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and spent two years at the Central Park Wildlife Center as a member of their education department's theater staff. He is a faculty member of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he teaches Jazz and Theater Dance, and at Alvin Ailey, where he teaches Tap. He is also the artistic director for the Harkness Dance Center's Tap Team. He staged Koehl's "Survival of the Fetus" last fall.

Musical Director Brandon Ethridge is collaborating with Koehl for the first time.

The title, "The Raw Deal," is meant to combine the essential lament of the Torch Song. ("I'm really a torch singer," he says. "I want to be like Bette Midler, but early Bette Midler. She sang a lot of ballads.") But it's also meant to connote minimalism, as in the raw essentials--" just me and the piano," he says.

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