by Christine Perrelli
performers and production contact Christine@4theajproject.org
The iconic Astor Room located in the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens NY is making a name for itself as a premiere hotspot showcasing amazing singers, musicians and the occasional magician. Now you can add a monthly Burlesque Show to the mix. Starting Thursday, September 29th the Speakeasy Burlesque NY will debut in the new event space called Studio A. The evening will benefit a non profit for the arts called The AJ Project.
Produced by Director/Choreographer Steven Cardona in partnership with The AJ Project a 501(c)3 non profit for the arts, the themed shows plan on engaging the audience's through texting and emailing a secret password for entrance, drink specials and to receive the theme for the next months show. Guest are not required to dress the theme but if they want to play the part that is encouraged.
Montserrat L'umiere guest performs at The Astor Room on Thursday September 29, 2016
Photo credit: Giovanni Gellona
For their first show "Diva's" a variety of performers will take the stage. Steven's co-host this month will be comedian Liz Magee who performs stand-up all over New York City. The line up includes Loreto Astroza performing as Montserrat L'umiere who's credits as a dancer span both Chile and NYC. This gorgeous dancer has a background in Latin, Jazz and Salsa so expect a hot sexy performance. Featured dancers Milagros Simon as Lady Day and Kitty Perrelli offer a beautiful mix of performance and fun. To mix things up songstress Amy Rivard will perform and Joshua Warr as Stormy Weatherz brings a little Drag to the room.
The Speakeasy NY Burlesque NY will be at held the third Thursday of every month at The Astor Room located on 35th Ave and 35th Street in Astoria. Doors open 7pm/ $10 cover at the door.
The relationship with The AJ Project and The Astor Room began this past June when they co-hosted a Tony Awards Viewing Party. For 20 bucks (half going to the AJ Project!) guest watched the televised Tony Awards hosted by James Cordon on a big screen TV. They were entertained during commercial breaks by members of the AJ Project's tribe with song and comedy. Jarvis Green played the beautiful baby grand for singers Rachel Lauria, Haley Clair, Kitty Perrelli and Alexander Sage Owen. Co-hosted by Steven Cardona and Comedian Cate Wineberg, the audience was also given the chance to win prizes by answering trivia questions presented via video taken especially for the event from Broadway stars; Heather Parcells from Tuck Everlasting, Amanda LaMotte from Matilda The Musical, Jeff Blumenkrantz from Bright Star, Natalie Charle Ellis from School of Rock and Sam Rodgers from American in Paris. As part of the special evening guest were treated to a light menu & 1 free cocktail as well.
Because the night was such a success, viewing parties are on the schedule for Rocky Horror Live on October 20th and Hairspray Live on December 7th. Once again entertainment will be on the menu. Attendees will be encouraged to dress the part so make sure you sign up on the website to get more details.
In this world where live performers have fewer and fewer places to showcase their work, Manager Gjovalin "John" Nikci is a strong supporter of the arts. This is evident by the variety of opportuinities for entertainers to showcase their talents at The Astor Room. Besides the incredible food and signature drinks offered daily live jazz is on the menu at Sunday Brunch and also Friday and Saturday evenings. Tuesdays feature pop performers and Wednesday's Michael Mott & Friends presents a weekly cabaret style show where singers and the occasional magician come to the stage and perform anything from pop to broadway tunes.
You can check out the Astor Room calendar here.
It is with great pride, like that of a stage dad, that John boasts of the historic building that houses The Astor Room. Built in the 1920's this once commissary to the stars sits upstairs from the former Studio A music recording studio where greats like Billy Joel have recorded. With the recent renovation of Studio A to an event space, Nikci envisioned not only a great place to host meetings, weddings or Bar Mitzvahs, but had a specific vision of having a Burlesque Show. Once down the stairs through a non-descript hallway you enter a private venue that seats up to 100 has a full stage, lights and projection set up. It has a full bar and the ability to transform into any theme you can imagine. It is the perfect space for The Speakeasy Burlesque NY show.
The AJ Project is a 501(c)3 non profit organization for the arts located in Astoria Queens. Their mission is to create, cultivate and curate adults pursuing the arts as a career. The NPO was founded little over a year ago by Christine Perrelli, AJ's mother, to honor the memory of her son who was a dancer, actor and singer. He passed away in 2013 at age 26 from a head injury. Creating this monthly show is a win win for both The Astor Room and The AJ Project. The Astor Room is able to support a local non profit and host a spectacular evening filled with talent and The AJ Project can has a venue to cultivate the arts community. AJ used to say that "Adulting" as an artist is hard. It is the job of The AJ Project to find ways to make it easier. All of the $10 donation for the Diva Show will go to The AJ Project and their mission. If you would like to offer your creative services to future works of The AJ Project you can go to their website and join at www.4theajproject.org or email Christine@4theajproject.org. For performance info on the Burlesque shows contact SpeakeasyburlesqueNY@gmail.com.
Meet Our Cast
Steven Cardona - Host/Director/Choreographer Steven is from Orlando, Florida. His involvement with The AJ Project spans from Director and Producer of the Speakeasy Burlesque NY show to Co-host of the Tony Awards Viewing Party that was held in June. He graduated from Dr. Phillips High School and The Boston Conservatory. He received a BFA in Musical theater with an emphasis in Direction and Choreography. Immediately after college, he moved to New York City where he began to work as an Assistant and Associate Choreographer for Wendy Seyb. Additionally, Steven served as the Assistant Director to Wendy Seyb, Mark Adam Rampmeyer and Kent Nicholson. He now works as a Director/Choreographer, developing new musicals. Steven is currently creating several theatrical projects including book musicals and original dance narratives. http://www.stevencardona.com
Liz Magee - Co-Host - Comedian/Writer Liz performs stand up all over New York City. She co-hosts and co-produces “You Deserve It! A Stand Up Comedy Show Just For You" at The QED and “Samantha: Comedy At The Pleasure Chest.“ She has performed at many festivals including Ars Nova’s ANT-Fest, Brooklyn Comedy Festival, and Orlando Indie Comedy Festival. Liz is a contributing writer for CollegeHumor, Reductress, and Someecards, Inc. Her text messages receive rave reviews from friends, family, and acquaintances.
Catherine Perrelli - Kitty - Featured Performer Kitty has been on stage her life in one capacity or another. Currently she is the Pop Vocal Coach For Badiene Magaziner Vocal Studios. Her credits include dancer for Fogg Productions, E Three Productions and Chazzam and singer at The Astor Room. Her mezzo soprano voice leans towards Jazz, Pop and Broadway. Her latest ventures have included print modeling where she sat for David Zayas, Jr. Lindsay Rae and Marko Sovilj. She studies ariel silks in her spare time and is addicted to hot yoga. Kitty is the sister of AJ Perrelli for whom The AJ Project was founded.
Milagraos Simon -Lady Day - Featured Performer Milagros is an accomplished dancer in Latin, Jazz, Salsa, Ballet & Hip Hop. She is currently working on a show in Philly with ROX Republic, performed in NBC upfront as a Samba Dancer and held the lead role in serenade and immersive musical. She is a graduate of the William Esper acting program. Her studies in Ariel Arts have become a passion.
Loreto Astroza - As Montserrat L'umiere - Guest Performer Loreto is an accomplished dancer with credit both in Chile and New York. She earned her degree in dance with a minor in pedagogy from the Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano. She is trained in Latin Jazz/Salsa, Ballet, African, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, House, Locking, Popping, Bailes Folckloricos Chilenos. Her film credits include Dancer in “The First flight of Manutara”. In Chile she could be seen in live productions, television and the Manos Arriba Dance Company. Her work in New York has included works with Choreographers Myriam Gadri, Maria Malicia and Fran Arnaud.
Joshua Warr - As Stormy Weatherz - Guest Performer Joshua is an award-winning actor with credits ranging from New York theatre (Thank You For Being A Friend: The Unauthorized Golden Girls Musical; Love, Genius and a Walk; sExtOrtiOn; Pride River Crossing; The Revival; The Servant of Two Masters; Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens) to film, TV and web series (The Americans, Law & Order: SVU, All That Glitters, PX This: the series, Hunting Season, Dinner Takes All) As a nightclub entertainer, Warr is a MAC and BroadwayWorld Award nominee for his shows Sing No Evil and Joshing Around. His autobiographical show Love & Warr premiered at Feinstein's / 54 Below to rave reviews and sold out houses. Warr is also the Associate Artistic Director and Director-in-Residence of Ruddy Productions. www.JoshuaWarr.com
Amy Rivard has travelled the world singing with shows such as Riverdance, Celtic Woman, Camelot and more. She performed at Tokyo Disneyland on SilverSea Cruises and originally hails from the Great White North..Canada, eh?!
Can't make the event? You can still help. Here's how.
The AJ Project is a 501(c)3 non profit organization. Help us continue to produce this monthly event. By becoming a sponsor of Speakeasy Burlesque NY or making a tax deductible donation of any size to The AJ Project, you will help us to continue creating resources for adults pursuing the arts as a career. To do so, either click here or contact Christine@4theajproject.org
Show Your Support as a Sponsor ($25, $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, $1,000)
All sponsors will be listed on our website, website event page, Facebook event and all other social media.