Showtunes and Sneakers
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 8:53AM
Matthew Carey in Melanie Kann, Running, The Metropolitan Room, The Metropolitan Room, interview

 

I guess when you’re married to your musical director that little voice that sits on your shoulder and says “why don’t you put together your own show” also sits on your sofa and hangs out in your kitchen.

Melanie Kann’s husband (pianist, composer and musical director Jason Loffredo) had been on her case for ten years, asking when she was going to make her cabaret debut. It wasn’t until she found herself at a loose end after a bunch of summer gigs fell through that she set to work on Songs for Square Pegs which debuted last September.

The decision was actually made after having drinks with another composer friend who said “You should do your own show.” When she went home and told Loffredo he threw his hands up and said “I’ve been telling you for years!”

The New Yorker’s experience playing at the Metropolitan Room was a very positive one. “It was so much fun, I have no idea what I was so afraid of”, she says. “I knew some people who’d done shows there and so I emailed them.” The venue is always so supportive of their artists. “They’re always asking themselves: What else can we do? How else can we highlight the people that we have? They keep us in the loop constantly, ‘hey we’ve got these dates, who’s got a show?’ and then help you fill the house.”

  

Melanie was invited to be part of the Metropolitan Room’s New Year’s Marathon Variety Spectacular 

“The World Record thing was wacky! I saw a lot of acts that I probably wouldn’t have seen ordinarily. That was kind of fun. I definitely didn’t expect to be up after a woman who did unmentionable things with a balloon animal balloon. But why not?” 

Songs for Square Pegs is returning to the Metropolitan Room this Wednesday. There aren’t any major changes to the show since it’s initial outing last September but it comes out a bit differently every time. “You’re always in a different place when you sing the songs and I’m finding that they have a different meaning now than they did three or four months ago. I’ve swapped out one Billy Joel song for another and stuff like that, but it worked really well the first time around and I’m keen to see what happens now I officially know what I’m doing.”

Melanie enjoys the variations that come with each new performance. “I think my favourite part is interacting with the audience and all the unplanned things. I’m an OCD OMG Virgo through and through but I think my specialty is having a plan then abandoning it and just letting whatever happens happen. Every time you sing a song it lives a little differently and I like that.”

 

When she’s not acting and singing, you’ll find Melanie running. “I’ve run 15 marathons and an ultra.” She’ll receive her running coach certification soon and has just started working with a great youth organisation called Run for Fun - with little ‘teeny tiny’ kids. She’s also looking at starting a blog called Showtunes and Sneakers.

“I just left my job of nine years with Weight Watchers so I’m excited to throw myself back into performing and identify myself as an actor. An actor who runs a lot of miles.”

Ultimately Kann would like to play Songs for Square Pegs in various rooms around New York and tour outside the city. “My parents live in Georgia. They’re always saying ‘you should bring your show down here - we’ve got lots of friends who’d love to see you.’” 

“I’ve got a lot of inappropriate jokes that I’m going to have to re-think.”

 

Visit Melanie Kann’s website and follow her on Twitter.

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Songs for Square Pegs
Metropolitan Room NYC
Wednesday Mar 11, 2015 9.30pm
General Admission $22.50
VIP Silver & Gold Packages available

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Article originally appeared on Cabaret Confessional (http://cabaretconfessional.com/).
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