Metropolitan Room Sets Record to Achieve "Longest Variety Show Ever" With Roster of 26
By: Ellis Nassour
They did it! And who doubted they wouldn’t? After all, this is New York, New York – and if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Over the end-of-year/beginning of the year holiday weekend, the Metropolitan Room hosted a mind-boggling 265 individual acts in a competition to win the Guinness World Record title "The Longest Variety Show Ever."
Artists came and went, all day and night — 60 continuous hours — and sang, played, joked, sizzled, and amazed. The marathon ran from 7 P.M. New Year day, all-day Saturday, and through 7 A.M. Sunday far eclipsing – in fact, totally obliterating — the old record [a measley 12 hours, eight minutes] with razzle-dazzle showmanship that Florence Ziegfeld and David Merrick would have envied.
There were names [including a Broadway star], tried-and-true troupers, and up-and-comers from the field of burlesque, cabaret, comedy, drag, jazz, magic, radio/TV, recordings, and, of course, theater.
The standing record was officially broken at 7:09 A.M. Friday, but that didn’t stop ‘em. This amazing group of dedicated artists kept it going with great vitality through 7 A.M. Sunday.
TV and talk show legend Joe Franklin, who holds the Guinness Book of World Records Longest Continuous Talk Show Host honor, served as grand marshal and opened and closed the marathon.
Among the battalion of very dedicated performers from the wide world of entertainment leading the non-stop charge around the clock were Emily Bergl, Devin Bing, Eddie Brill, Jim Brochu, Tony Danza, Delilah, Jamie deRoy & Friends, Baby Jane Dexter, Kevin Dozier, Elli, Eric Yves Garcia, Daryl Glenn, Harrison Greenbaum, Jeffrey Gurian, Sean Harkness, Jeff Harnar, Shauna Hicks, Bobbi Horowitz, Hedda Letuce, Maxine Linehan, Jeff Macauley, Luba Mason, Sue Matsuki, Marilyn Maye, Marissa Mulder, Michael Six Muldoon, Doreen Montalvo, Victor Neufeld, Christine Pedi, Richard Pryor Jr, Jay Rogers, Steve Ross, Marcus Simeone, Joe Sirola, Stone & Stone, Billy Stritch, KT Sullivan, and Aaron Weinstein.
Singer Lina Koutrakos had the honor of opening the marathon, with jazz singer Laurie Krauz having the distinction of closing it.
Music directors were Rick Jensen, Barry Levitt, Bobby Peaco, Tracy Stark, and Jon Weber.
Segment hosts included Doug Adler, Bill Boggs, Sandip Buch, Danny Cohen, Ken Dashow, Theresa DeGaetano, Peggy Eason, Joanne Furshpan, Tom Gamblin, Robin Kradles, Erik Levi, Randie Levine-Miller, Dana Lorge, Charles McBee, Joseph Macchia, Matsuki, Tym Moss, Warren Schein, Lori Sommer, and Nicky Sunshine.
The Metropolitan Room’s Bernie Furshpan produced the marathon and led the troops – a long list of volunteers [including timekeepers, tech crews, and wait staff].
Audience members also got in the act, vying for the most combined attendance recorded over three days. They had to remain wide awake, as posted signs warned Sleeping Will Not Be Permitted in the Showroom. Cabaret stalwart and photographer Maryann Lopinto was audience champ, on hand for 46 hours.
The Metropolitan Room hosted a complimentary pre-marathon party with a Mariachi band, Champagne, guacamole, and salsa; and complimentary continental breakfasts Saturday and Sunday at 7 A.M. to artists and ticketholders.
The variety show marathon was webcast worldwide on www.livamp.com, where it will be archived. For a complete line-up of participating artists, visit the site.
Event sponsors were BXL Zoute, Cabaret Hotline, Cabaret Scenes, Fursh Media, GroundLink, JP- Perreaux, Matsuki Productions, P&W Press, Theater Pizzazz, and Livamp.