For one night only, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center will transform into old Las Vegas, decorated in the glitz and glamour of 1950’s Las Vegas. Lucky In Love, a benefit concert for the Miners Foundry, is an intimate, Rat Pack style cabaret show featuring sultry songstresses Tamara Fouyer, Krista Thomas, and Monica McKey, with special guest Evan Brienza, backed by a three piece cabaret band led by Joe Hammel on the piano, Dylan McConnell on bass, and Bob Thomas on drums. To round out the evening, Ken Getz (best known for his work with Sierra Stages) will accompany the singers on piano as they perform a collection of popular Broadway songs. Immediately following the cabaret show, attendees will be treated to late night dancing to the six piece big band sounds of the Swing Time Jazz Combo, led by Joe Hammel and featuring songs by Tamara Fouyer. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their finest for this glamorous event.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m., small plates will be available for purchase at 6:30 p.m., and the music begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 / person for Cabaret seating and $100 / person for Reserved Table seating. All ticket prices include dessert a complimentary glass of champagne. A limited number of Reserve tables are available and include an etched Miners Foundry wineglass per patron and a bottle of wine for the table. Tickets are available online, in person or by phone at the Miners Foundry Box Office.
Tamara Fouyer is a longtime Nevada County resident and lives in Grass Valley with husband, Jason Fouyer, and their two young children. As a child, she had the fortune to study classical voice and piano under Laura June Breen, who influenced her in life and in musical style. She inspired in Tamara a love of many forms of music, from classical opera, Broadway, jazz and American Standards. In college, she studied in Spain, and loves to incorporate songs of the Romance languages. She gravitates toward songs that touch the heart and possess melodies that endure. She has performed with Cabernet Duo at various local venues and now with jazz pianist, Joe Hammel and his Big Band, Swingtime.
Krista Thomas began performing as a soloist in her church choir in downstate Illinois when as a child. She has been performing in musicals and small vocal groups ever since including Sierra Stages’ productions of Side by Side by Sondheim, The World Goes Round, and The Producers. Krista got her first taste of producing in 2000 when she brought some friends together and created a musical showcase, Hot Chicks and a Few Cool Cats. Since returning to Nevada County in 2014 Krista has been looking for an opportunity to produce cabaret shows. She is very happy to be performing with and helping to produce tonight’s show with her friends in support of the Miners Foundry.
Monica McKey has been active in performance since moving to Sonoma, California, in 1981 from her native Texas. Entertaining people is just about her favorite thing. In addition to a wide range of theatrical roles, she has enjoyed doing staged readings, cabaret performances, and singing with a number of vocal groups. Most recently, she performed a one-woman show that she wrote about her theatre experiences, as part of Sonoma Arts Live’s Showcase series. During her two years (2006-2007) as a resident of Grass Valley, she played Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof, Louise in Father’s Day, and Lili Von Shtupp in the “Sultry Ladies and Red Hot Mamas” cabaret show. Last year, she was invited to return to do Sierra Stages’ staged reading of Fortune. She’s tickled to reunite with her dear friends Krista & Bob Thomas and Ken Getz for this show. When not performing, Monica enjoys shooting pool, playing bocce and ping-pong, going to movies and live performances, and generally serving as Activities Director for her close friends.
Evan Brienza is originally from Nevada County. He graduated from Bear River High School where he performed with Starlite Express and did many community theatre productions in the area. After graduating, he attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Music Business and Vocal Performance with a minor in Musical Theatre. While in college, he appeared and performed on many TV shows including MTV’s “Next,” a Los Angeles finalist in “American Idol,” and a featured backup singer to Barbara Streisand at the Emmy Awards. After USC, Evan attended an elite program at the Manhattan School of Music to earn a Professional Musical Theatre Certificate. While living in New York, he performed in many regional Equity Theatre Productions such as “The Who’s Tommy,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He moved back to Northern California for a short period of time where in performed in Sacramento’s production of “Rent” and even played Chip in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” right here at the Miner’s Foundry. For the past 3 years, Evan has been performing on Norwegian Cruise Line, entertaining and seeing the world. He is thrilled to be able to attend this fundraiser in his hometown while on vacation!
Ken Getz spent his working career as a software developer/technical writer/trainer. Since retiring from that career, he spends most of his time tackling musical endeavors, including singing in the Sierra Master Chorale, and acting as musical director for local theater company, Sierra Stages. He is also half of the Tech Tip Guys, heard/seen locally on KNCO and in The Union.
Joe Hammel, Swingtime‘s founder and pianist, spent over fifty years in the field of education, including Secondary and University teaching, and a Deanship at Sierra College. Dr. Hammel is a songwriter, and from early lessons at age five has evolved into an accomplished pianist focused on, and enchanted with, the music and “swing” beat of the 20’s – 40’s. His band Swingtime, his entertaining at Senior Citizen residences, hours in the gym, and his newest artistic interest painting, keep him very busy!”
Philadelphian Dylan Sherwood McConnell has been a working bicoastal musician for over 25 years, writing/recording/producing literally thousands of songs in both solo and collaborative contexts. He was most recently tenured as Associate Creative Director for the Black Lodge Ensemble as well as resident composer for WDCD Radio. Since relocating to Nevada City in 2010, McConnell has performed and participated regularly with a number local projects such as Trio Jazz, Yuba Rio Hot Club, Jazz in Tandem, The Instrumentalists, Tritone, and Bossa Pasado. Regardless of the idiom, his approach is nuanced and courageous, always endeavoring to pioneer new perspectives on works past and present.
Robert M. Thomas has previously appeared at Portland Center Stage in Portland, Oregon in Anna Karenina, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Receptionist. Stage appearances in California include Arms & The Man, Marvin’s Room, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and Wait Until Dark at the Sonoma County Repertory Theatre in Sebastopol, California; also Glengarry Glen Ross, Harvey, The Dining Room, Inspecting Carol, Little Shop of Horrors, Mere Mortals, Beyond Therapy, Narnia and The Road to Mecca at Theater on the Square in Sonoma, California; and Jules Feiffer’s Hold Me!, The Odd Couple, The Philadelphia Story and Seascape at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, California. He also plays jazz drums, sometimes.
The “Swingtime”Jazz Combo
Joe Hammel, Lead and Pianist
Bob Burbridge, Bass
Jerome Ali, Guitar
Evan Rashby, Sax
Ralph Remick, Trumpet
Steve Woolsey, Drums
Tamara Fouyer, Vocalist