Raissa Katona Bennett - Actress, Singer, Producer http://www.raissakatonabennett.com raissakatonabennett.com Sun, 28 Jun 2015 19:27:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 June 24th Concert http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/06/16/june-24th-concert/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/06/16/june-24th-concert/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 20:24:17 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=2418 Concert-Poster-Web-June-2015

MUSIC AND ART FOR CITY GREENS continues Season 8 of Concerts to benefit Tudor City Greens. This free, outdoor concert series resumes on Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30 pm (Rain date: Thursday, June 25th at 6:30pm.) at Tudor City Greens.  This award winning series will once again feature professional performers from Broadway and the New York City cabaret, jazz, classical and opera scene.  More information can be found on our website at:  www.musicandartforgreen.org.

The June 24th concert will feature guest performances by:

Our Series Regulars return:

Why we do this:

Research shows that time spent in nature makes people healthier, happier and more creative, and that communities flourish where green spaces thrive.  But staying green requires green! City greens need constant attention, repair and upkeep.  Music and Art for City Greens helps by producing free professional music and art events to build community awareness and increase donations to spaces which otherwise might go wanting.

Since 2008, when Broadway actress and award winning cabaret veteran Raissa Katona Bennett first brought the joy of live music to Tudor City, thousands of people have enjoyed these concerts under the trees and have come away with new appreciation for and dedication to the green spaces in their midst.

Music and Art for City Greens is a 501c3 non-profit, and all performers and support people generously donate their time and talent for these events.  100% of all donations given by attendees at this summer concert series are collected directly by the Tudor City Greens organization for the upkeep of these spaces.


MUSIC AND ART FOR CITY GREENS invites you to join us again in the South Park at Tudor City (41st street between 2nd and 1st avenues – top of the hill turn left). The organization will continue to produce at Tudor City Greens, while actively promoting creative and inclusive uses of other public green spaces.

Weather Hotline: 347-868-7563

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Meet Pooh Bear and Lucy – our Chihuahua foster pups! http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/05/09/meet-pooh-bear-and-lucy-our-chihuahua-foster-pups/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/05/09/meet-pooh-bear-and-lucy-our-chihuahua-foster-pups/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 01:38:33 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=2365 Say hello to our new foster dogs, Pooh Bear and Lucy (L to R).  4 year old, 4.5 lb. very healthy, extremely adorable bonded pair of Chihuahuas.  We are helping them find their “furever” home.  To fill out an application, please visit: Shih Tzu Furbaby Rescue.  We can’t stop cuddling these two – brother and sister, they have been together their entire life and must be kept together.  It’s adorable to watch Lucy groom Pooh, and see him put his paw around her when they are on our laps!

Pooh Bear and Lucy - Pair bonded Chihuahua's

Pooh Bear and Lucy – Pair bonded Chihuahua’s

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Concert May 20th http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/05/08/concert-may-20th/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/05/08/concert-may-20th/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 20:22:43 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=2345 Concert-Poster-Web-May-2015

MUSIC AND ART FOR CITY GREENS presents Season 8 of Concerts to benefit Tudor City Greens. This free, outdoor concert series resumes on Wednesday, May 20th at 6:30 pm (Rain date: Thursday, May 21st at 6:30pm.) at Tudor City Greens.  This award winning series will once again feature professional performers from Broadway and the New York City cabaret, jazz, classical and opera scene. More information can be found on our website at: www.musicandartforgreen.org.

The May 20th concert will feature guest performances by:

Our Series Regulars return this year:


Why we do this:

Research shows that time spent in nature makes people healthier, happier and more creative, and that communities flourish where green spaces thrive. But staying green requires green! City greens need constant attention, repair and upkeep. Music and Art for City Greens helps by producing free professional music and art events to build community awareness and increase donations to spaces which otherwise might go wanting.


Since 2008, when Broadway actress and award winning cabaret veteran Raissa Katona Bennett first brought the joy of live music to Tudor City, thousands of people have enjoyed these concerts under the trees and have come away with new appreciation for and dedication to the green spaces in their midst.


Music and Art for City Greens is a 501c3 non-profit, and all performers and support people generously donate their time and talent for these events. 100% of all donations given by attendees at this summer concert series are collected directly by the Tudor City Greens organization for the upkeep of these spaces.



MUSIC AND ART FOR CITY GREENS invites you to join us again in the South Park at Tudor City (41st street between 2nd and 1st avenues – top of the hill turn left). The organization will continue to produce at Tudor City Greens, while actively promoting creative and inclusive uses of other public green spaces.

For more information, visit our website at: www.musicandartforgreen.org

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Raissa’s Spring/Summer 2015 Appearances http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/04/08/springsummer-2015-appearances/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/04/08/springsummer-2015-appearances/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 21:12:50 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=2313 Happy Spring and Summer!  In addition to hosting the 8th season of benefit concerts presented by our non-profit, MUSIC AND ART FOR CITY GREENS, I’m happy to announce my upcoming guest spots and shows.

6/11/15 through 61908470_10155051904405221_6848420482433782045_n27/15 at various times – DEVIL AND THE DEEP – Most exciting for me, I must admit, is that I begin rehearsals on May 12th for a limited engagement Off-Broadway run of a brand new musical, DEVIL AND THE DEEP, a musical reimagining of “Treasure Island” with music and lyrics by Katie McGhie and AIR SUPPLY’S Graham Russell (yes, one of my favorite groups!), book by Melissa Bell and direction by Lisa Devine. I’m over the moon that I get to continue in the role of “Mother Hawkins” I created in a workshop we did at the Abingdon of this piece several months ago. I have 3 amazing songs, 1 of which Graham wrote for me – can you believe it!?  Please come see! Presented by Theatre East, please visit their website for tickets and show times, which are Mother, Jim, Mizzy, Long Johnquite varied.



6/11/15 through 6/27/15 various times at The Mint Theatre, 311 West 43rd Street, NYC – DEVIL AND THE DEEP.


7/7 at 7 pm at THE METROPOLITAN ROOM , 34 West 22nd Street, NYC – 212-206-0440. The 25th ANNIVERSARY GALA OF CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE.  The show will also celebrate the 76th Birthday of Stu Hamstra. Tickets are $20 for all – plus a 2-drink minimum. Starring:  Raissa Katona Bennett (July 7th is also Raissa’s Birthday!)Bruce Clough, Cynthia Crane, Sammy Goldstein, Kevin Scott Hall (July 6th is also Kevin’s Birthday), Loli Marquez-Sterling, Sue Matsuki, Carolyn Montgomery-Forant, Warren Schein, Marcus Simeone, and more TBA. Musical director is Tracy Stark and hosted by Bernie Furshpan.

7/8 at 7 pm at 54 Below – 254 West 54th Street, NYC.  646-476-3551 – 54 Below Celebrates Irving Berlin.  Produced and hosted by T. Oliver Reid – I’ll be doing a great solo PLUS a wonderful duet with my pal and Tony Award Nominee, Willy Falk!

5/20, 6/24, 7/29, 9/2/2015 at 6:30 pm – THE CONCERTS FOR CITY GREENS 8th Season! 

We are putting together our fabulous line up for the warm season – artists to be announced soon!

4/11/2015 at 1 pm at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street – 212.206.0440 – IT’S JUST A NUMBER.

Kenneth Gartman and I will perform a duet in IT’S JUST A NUMBER hosted by Bobbie Horowitz – In each show Bobbie will honor a person age 50, 60, 70 or beyond. The debut of this series honors ALICE FISHER, Director of Community Outreach at the office of NYS Senator Liz Krueger. Alice is the founder of The Radical Age Movement. We’ll be joined by Jim Brochu & Steve Shlachlin, Adam Shapiro, Carly Ozard ,Warren Schein, Barbara Malley & Bob Diamond, Timothy Oliver Reid and Kelly Karel as Hillary. Ticket Price: $20.00 – $115.00

5/12/15 at 6 pm at The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street – 212.206.0440 – THIS IS YOUR NIGHT, RUSS WEATHERFORD, hosted by Bernie Furshpan.  I’m delighted to honor my good friend Russ, along with 29 other fantastic Cabaret and Broadway stars.  Russ has been huge supporter of our non-profit concert series, always taking pictures for us and doing whatever was needed – a great man to celebrate. Black Tie optional.

5/14/15 at 7 pm – 54 Below Celebrates Julie Wilson with a cavalcade of singers who loved and adored this one of a kind woman. Julie was an inspiration and guiding force to everyone in the cabaret community – she encouraged me and came to my earliest shows and it meant the world.  Although she left us just a few short weeks ago, her spirit and love live on in all of us lucky enough to have known her.  I’m so proud to honor her with so many of my esteemed colleagues. At 254 West 54th Street, NYC.  646-476-3551.

5/16/15 at 7 pm at Unity Center of Norwalk, 3 Main Street (above the Ford Dealership!), Norwalk, CT – Unity Center Open Mic Honors DAVID FRIEDMAN.

Host Kenneth Gartman has invited lots of surprise fabulous guests to honor our friend David Friedman, preceded by our monthly open mic.  $10 cash cover – all are welcome

5/28/15 at 7 pm – Ramscale Studio South, 463 West Street, NYC – I’m thrilled to be asked to do the musical tribute to this year’s Laurette Taylor award honoring Elizabeth Parrish, by the Yale Alumni Association and Theatre East – and I’ll be in great company!  Kate Mulgrew is presenting the award and Meryl Streep has done the written tribute – this wonderful evening will benefit Theatre East who’s wonderful mission statement I must share here:  We serve to advance the dialogue of the shared human experience through works that utilize simple storytelling, providing our community with a platform to deepen its understanding of themselves, each other and the world we share.

6/2/15 at 7 pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street @ 9th Ave., NYC – 212-352-3101 – ROBIN’S NEST – A Benefit for Help Us Adopt – One of my bestie’s, Robin Westle, has created this wonderful series where she “helps to FullSizeRenderbuild families, one song a time”!  I couldn’t be prouder of what she has accomplished and I’m thrilled to be her special guest star this month along with Broadway’s amazing Mandy Gonzalez. Please come support this mission and be moved by the performances and stories you’ll hear from families and performers.





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Our rescue history – abridged! http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/02/01/2244/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/02/01/2244/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:24:14 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=2244 We’ve been involved with Shih Tzu Fur Baby Rescue for a little over 3 years, and active in dog rescue since 2001 when we adopted our first fur daughter, Brandy Alexandra Bennett, from Toy Fox Terrier Rescue.  Yesterday was the 3 year anniversary of her transition, so I write this in her honor.  Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and bless her, because she is the one who got us on this band wagon.  She was 7 when we adopted her and ever since, I’ve had a particular passion for helping to adopt out “senior” dogs or middle aged ones.  All of mine are.

We’d had Brandy 1 month when we were approached to help temporarily foster a 15 year old long haired chihuahua named Goldie.  It’s a long story that I’ll save for a later blog. But suffice it to say, Goldie stayed with us and had the happiest last 11 months of her life and SHE’S the one who got me into Animal Communication and for that, I had to learn to meditate.  All the gifts our babies give us, right? We then fostered for the ASPCA of NYC for a bit and I volunteered there as an adoptions councillor, assistant to the behaviorist in dog training and I started initially volunteering there by walking the dogs.

We lived in Birmingham, AL for a year while my husband was doing a fellowship, and while there, we fostered for the Humane Society and I learned to be a dog trainer and worked at the Birmingham Dog Training Center teaching puppy classes, but the focus of our fostering, was working with dogs with behavioral “issues”, though I’m by no means an expert – somehow, it comes somewhat naturally along with lots of reading and hands on.  We fostered a chihuahua for 4 months who was a bit of a “devil dog” when we got him.  The humane society will foster your dog for you for a bit if you have and emergency.  Otie’s human Mom had to have brain surgery, so we had him for that time.  1.5 years after he went back to her, the Humane Society called us to take him again – for good – we were back in NYC, but happened to be going down for a visit, so we said we’d take him back and then get him ready for adoption, because at 15, Brandy had told us she was done with helping to foster new dogs. However, we got Otie home to NYC and within a day, Brandy told us to keep him.  Again, I’ll write more about that on another blog.

As Brandy neared 17, we knew she was getting ready to leave us, but she didn’t want to go until Otie had another buddy.  That’s when I started searching Petfinder for a “10 lb or under Toy Fox Terrier  or any mix or breed, not fluffy) and up popped a picture of “Princess” from STFBR.  She was exactly what we were looking for – 5 “ish”, being fostered in Brooklyn and she looked EXACTLY like Brandy (see below).  That was just the icing on the cake.  We filled out foster paperwork, because we had to be sure she and Otie would play together – no problem.  We adopted her officially a month later and she chose the name Phoebe, in honor of her foster mother, Phoebe Kincaid!

Brandy transitioned 3 months later, and we were all very sad, but Phoebe helped Otie through it and they became the best of friends.  Phoebe took over his barking at everything near the door duties, and began to vocalize with me when I sing high.  (There’s a youtube video of it on my channel, called “Phoebe sings”).

We started helping STFBR with transports and then I called Meredith about a year later and told her we were ready to foster again – our timing was perfect, because she had a transport coming up and what did I think about fostering a 9 to 11 year old female Havanese?  Well!  Otie’s favorite breed and his first girlfriend in NYC was a Havanese, so we said yes!  We had her a week later and she is our official first foster failure – Miss Molly had been a Bennett dog for 1.5 years now and she and Otie are inseparable and the 3 of them together are a blast, but a handful – literally. So now we have 7 year old Phoebe, 11.5 year old’s Otie and the fluffy one, after all, Molly.

Three months after getting Molly, I drove Terese Genecco and Shaynee Rainbolt out to Brooklyn to pick up CeeCee for them to foster temporarily in an emergency.  She is now my favorite fluffy niece and official furbaby of the ladies – CeeCee gets to visit with the Bennett pack often, and they have a blast.

So that’s our story – having 3 makes it harder to foster in NYC, but I do home visits, transports, process apps write my blog on dog rescue, work on fundraising and we can do short term emergency fosters.

If you want to get involved, check out Shih Tzu Fur Baby Rescue.


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Why Adopting Takes a Little Longer http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/01/17/why-adopting-takes-a-little-longer/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2015/01/17/why-adopting-takes-a-little-longer/#comments Sat, 17 Jan 2015 20:00:45 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=2215 Those of us active in animal rescue often hear complaints regarding how long it takes for the adoption process.  There are many good reasons for this:  1 – Rescue organizations are staffed completely by volunteers, or larger institutions like the Humane Society and ASPCA are minimally staffed by paid workers who depend on a large number of volunteers to work with them.  2 – We want to be sure that the animal is a good fit for your home and vice versa – it’s very difficult on the humans and animals when there needs to be yet another “re-homing”/  3 – We need to insure the safety of the animal and provide it with basic training.  4 – We need to be able to provide as much information about the animal to the future home, so that everyone is prepared.

It’s easy to go into any pet store, plop down your money and walk out with a pet.  They don’t require you to prove you will give the animal a good home – they just want your money.  And most reliable REAL breeders, will never sell their animals to a pet store, so if you go into one, 99.9% of the time, you are buying a dog (most often) from a “Puppy Mill” – an inhuman way to breed dogs just for profit.  They are often stacked one atop the other in wire cages, especially the breeder dogs.  They often never get their paws on the soft earth.  Aside from the cruelty aspect of this, you are very likely to get a dog with a lot of health issues.  Sometimes you get lucky, often you don’t and the dog never does.

This also means that the thousand and thousands of “used” and unwanted dogs, get killed, simply because there are TOO MANY of them!

So please, opt to adopt – be patient, do your research to find out the best breed or mixed breed for your family, learn how to take care of your puppy, dog, cat or whatever, BEFORE you get it.  They rarely come to you (especially as babies) trained – you need to teach them.

And VOLUNTEER – become a part of the solution to aid in the quicker adoption of all animals, educate yourself about why the worst thing you can do is buy a dog from a pet store – we need to put puppy mills out of business.

Go to my links page to find several animal rescue organizations.

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Winter News & Recommendations http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/12/04/winter-recommendations/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/12/04/winter-recommendations/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:05:10 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=1921 BIG NEWS – I’m nominated for two 2014 Broadway World Awards!  More on that in a moment – because I want to welcome you to my newly renovated site and blog, Raissa Recommends. Under my blog, (which is where you are right now!) you’ll find recommendations for some of the best performers and shows in the NYC area. Under Brandy’s Page, you’ll find my blog about animal rescue, adoption and care.  Keep checking back – I add recommendations to the Calendar of Events as they come in, and soon my Facebook and Twitter feeds will be featured along the bottom of each page of this site.

Won’t you take a moment and please vote for me and the Concerts for City Greens as Best Variety Show or Recurring Series and Best Host of a Variety Show or Recurring Series?

So won’t you please take a moment and click here to vote for me and your favorite alumni? It would mean a lot to us all. You’ll have to hurry because voting ends on Dec. 31st  – it’ll only take a few minutes and registering to vote is just to get your email/name so they can monitor people attempting to vote more than once. Winners will be announced just previous to the awards show on Feb. 23rd at 6:45 pm at Joe’s Pub.
Ok – here are some great recommendations and announcements from our Parks Concert Series alumni:
Dec. 22nd at 7 pm at the Laurie Beechman Theatre – PCS Alumni Julie Reyburn, Eric Michael Gillett, Karen Mason, Scott Coulter and Raissa Katona Bennett appear in a benefit for Broadway Unplugged and the Nightlife Awards produced and hosted by the multiple award winning Carolyn Montgomery-Forant also starring Tony Award Winners: Tonya Pinkins, Beth Leavel and Bill Irwin and TV Star Kevin Spirtas. If you come to the 7 pm benefit, you can stay for the 9:30 show “Visible Phoenix” starring Carolyn Montgomery-Forant for only $10!
Jon Weber – Joplin to Jarrett- Metropolitan Room – 12/23, 1/5 & 6th at 7 pm
Will & Anthony Nunziata in Concert 54 Below, Jan. 10th at 9:30 pm
Bobbie Horowitz – “Guiness World Records Official Attempt” – Metropolitan Room – Longest Variety Show Ever – Bobbie’s slot: 1/2 at 12:30 pm
Stacy Sullivan – “On the Air: Songs for Marian McPartland”- Metropolitan Room – Jan. 16th at 9:30 pm
David Auxier – starring as Captain Corcoran in “HMS Pinafore” -Skirbald Center, 566 LaGuardia Place (on Washington Square S), Dec. 26 – 31 – show times and tickets at 212-769-1000 – www.nygasp.org
Marcus Goldhaber with the Jon Davis Trio – New Years Eve at Fabio’s – 9 & 11 pm –  $150 Prix Fixe (15% off with code: FABIOMARCUSNYE)  214 East 52nd Street – reservations:  212-688-5200 and Jan. 28th at KITANO at 8 & 10 pm
Carole Demas – “No One Is Alone” Benefit Concert – Lower Hudson Valley Youth Chorus, other singers – Inserra Theater, 40 Chestnut Ridge Road, Montvale NJ 07645, 12/21 at 6:30 pm – BTW.BOOKTIX.COM – 201-788-2320
Carole Demas & Paula Janis – “A Magic Garden Christmas” – WPIX-TV, Channel 11- December 21st, 1:00pm EST – streamed worldwide www.PIX11.com
Baby Jane Dexter – “Rules of the Road Part 3″ – Dec. 20, 26 & 27 at 7 pm – Metropolitan Room – Baby Jane will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs at the 2015 MAC Awards at B.B Kings on March 26th!
Rev. Yolanda Mapes – “Guinness World Records-Longest Cabaret Show ” – Metropolitan Room, 1/2 at 1:45 am and “Witti Repartee’s Broads, Bawds and Bachelorettes”, Proceeds to benefit Iris House: a Center for Women with HIV – Metropolitan Room, 1/10 at 9 pm and his World Premiere video “You Are An Idea” words, music and graveside performance art by Rev. Yolanda NOW streaming online at http://youtu.be/d_758YVOgow?list=PLED916E0E586A65DC and Rev. Yolanda-The Movie,The Rocky Horror Show of Country Gospel Music-  trailer and details: www.goyolanda.com
Christina Connors – “A New Soul Song Productions” announces it’s first song release: “We Can Be Kind” (words & music by David Friedman) – click hereto hear the song!
Tanya Moberly – “Songs I Feel Like Singing ” – 4 Different Shows with 4 Different Musicians: with Mark Janas on January 9th at 7pm and January 20th at 9:30pm – with Sean Harkness on February 20th at 9:30pm and February 25th at 7pm – with Ritt Henn on March 20th at 7pm and March 31st at 9:30pm and with Steven Ray Watkins on April 17th at 7pm and April 29th at 9:30pm – all at Don’t Tell Mama
Kenneth Gartman and Raissa Katona Bennett – “3 Decades In The Dark – Raissa and Kenneth Go To The Movies – 70’s, 80’s & 90’s” – Laurie Beechman Theatre – Feb. 10th, 12th, 17th, 19th at 7 pm and 21st at 4 pm.

MARK JANAS and TANYA MOBERLY host The Salon, a unique weekly open mic, most Sunday nights from 7 to 10:30 at Etc. Etc. – 352 West 44th Street @ 9th Ave., NYC


BILL ZEFFIRO is at La Mediterranee, 947 2nd Ave. @ 50th St. most Tuesday nights from 8 to 11




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October 2014 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/10/04/october-2014/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/10/04/october-2014/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 23:29:41 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=1816 Well, it’s only a year and a half since I posted here, although I have been faithfully posting all of my recommendations on the Calendar of Events.  Most of the recommendations are for appearances of our Parks Concert Series Alumni, and then there are those who have yet to perform with us, that i can unreservedly recommend to you as well.

Now here are a few other types of recommendations:

As many of you know, I’m active in Metaphysical Spirituality and a chaplain/platform assistant at Unity of Norwalk.  As such, I’m blessed to meet and work with many spiritual teachers and masters and Anna Raimondi is one of them.  You’ll have a rare chance to experience her in an intimate setting in NYC at the Metropolitan Room on this October 26th at 3 pm – 212-206-040 for reservations which ARE A MUST!  This tiny powerhouse SOLD OUT the 500 seat Ridgefield Playhouse in CT last year, but by seeing her in such an intimate venue, your chances of her honing in on your energy and giving you a reading, are greatly increased! This is her only appearance in NYC this year – GO!Anna Raimondi Metropolitan Room

Last January was the roll out of  the  “Raissa Recommends Event Calendar” which you can find on a new, drop down menu tab, on this page.  There, you have “one stop shopping” for the best that NYC Nightlife has to offer.  As we took the time to create this list, we were incredibly proud to see that as our 7th season comes to a close, we have featured over 175 different performers!  All of our Parks Concert Series Alumni who have shows in the Tri-State Area, have been invited to post their information on our Facebook Alumni Page.  When they do so, we will cross post it on my fan page and the Parks Concert Series Fan Page, as well as in our events calendar, so you can keep up with their performances.  This way, when time does not permit me from posting  my recommendations for the week or month, you can be sure to find a great show to see, by visiting this page: Recommended Events.  Once you click on the event, a box with graphics and information will pop up.  Go check out the events now, and see all the fabulous shows that are coming up in the next few weeks.  I’ll tweet them as well, as a reminder, so follow me on twitter and check the Fan Pages regularly.

Love and Light,



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Raissa’s Fall/Winter Appearances 2014/2015 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/10/04/raissas-fallwinter-appearances-2014/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/10/04/raissas-fallwinter-appearances-2014/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 21:55:12 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=1811 February 10th 12th 17th & 19th at 7 pm and February 21st at 4 pmLaurie Beechman Theatre – “3 Decades in the Dark – Raissa and Kenneth Go to the Movies!”
Raissa & Kenneth Go to the Movies

3 Decades in the Dark – Raissa and Kenneth Go to the Movies

Kenneth and I are excited to be presenting  our first duo show “3 Decades in the Dark – Raissa & Kenneth Go to the Movies”  at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, with Matt Scharfglass on Bass.  And, this is the first time we are working with Lennie Watts  as our director!

407 West 42nd Street at 9th Avenue (downstairs at the West Bank Cafe) – $25 cover ($20 for MAC & Cabaret Hotline), $20 food/bev minimum.  visit the Laurie Beechman Theatre or call 212-352-3101 for reservations.

February 28th – Cabaret in The Country – “Aspects of Andrew Lloyd Weber” – Philipstown Depot Theatre.

Director Phil Geoffrey Bond has asked me to appear in this special regional version of the hit show I appeared in at 54 Below last season.  I’ll be singing several of  my favorite ALW solos – John Fischer will be Musical Director and the rest of the cast stars my talented friends and colleagues: Brian Charles Rooney (who I’ll be singing a duet with),  Scott Coulter, Kelli Rabke Agresta, Lennie Watts, Rob Maitner,  and Lothair Eaton. More info and tickets here.

January 15th – 6:30 pm- “The Good Girl” at the Snapple Theatre, 1627 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 (corner of 50th)

I’m thrilled to be reprising the role of “Meg” which I’ve been creating in Mary Liz McNamara’s show in progress.  It’s produced by Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab and is directed by Laura Brandel, Musically directed by Beth Falcone, and the cast features: Jen Blood, Penny Fuller, Ritt Henn, Nick Reynolds, Faith Sandberg,  and James A. Stephens. Our stage manager is John Michael Crotty.  Click here to purchase tickets.

January 18th, 2015 – 7 to 10:30 pm – The Salon at Etcetera Etcetera, 352 West 44th Street between 9th and 8th Ave., NYC

Kenneth Gartman and I will be co-hosting this wonderful and supportive open mic, hosted by Mark Janas and produced by Tanya Moberly. The Salon is an ongoing open entertainment event in which singers, writers and musicians share their talent with each other and audience members.  Please come and enjoy and perform if you wish!  $10.00 cover and $15.00 food/beverage minimum.

January 21st, 2015 – 7 pm – “Once In Love With Amy” – A Benefit for Amy Beth Williams at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Ave., NYC

Journalist and performer Kevin Scott Hall is producing and hosting the event, which will feature: Raissa Katona Bennett and Adam Shapiro, along with Donna Elliott, Kenneth GartmanJanice HallTanya HoltLaurie Krauz, Quincy Marr, Tanya Moberly, Sidney Myer, Vickie Phillips, Parker ScottFred Tessler, Kailey Winans, and Lauri Young & the Wagner College Theater Fans of Amy, along with a possible surprise guest. The evening’s musical director is Daryl Kojak.

There is a $20 cover/2-drink minimum for the event. For reservations, call: 212-757-0788 after 4:00 pm

Our good friend and PCS Alumni, Amy, was struck by a car resulting in two broken legs, leaving her unable to walk for more than three months. The show will help replace the funds Williams has lost during her extensive recovery.


January 10, 2015 – Showcases APAP Center Productions/Team Agent Network Showcase Room -The Gibson Suite, 2nd Floor, New York Hilton, 6th Ave. @ 54th St. – Free!

7:20 – 7:40 pm      Raissa Katona Bennett – “CAN’T HELP SINGING-THE MUSIC OF JEROME KERN”

9:40 -10:00 pm     Raissa Katona Bennett and Kenneth Gartman – “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD”

10:40 -11:00 pm   Raissa Katona Bennett & Kenneth Gartman  –  “CELEBRATING THE MAGIC OF THE MOVIES”

Dec. 22nd at 7 pm – “Christmas Carolyn” – at the Laurie Beechman Theatre –

I’ll be a featured guest of the fabulous Carolyn Montgomery-Forant along with other PCS Alumni Julie Reyburn, Eric Michael Gillett, Karen Mason & Scott Coulter when we appear in a benefit for Broadway Unplugged and the Nightlife Awards produced and hosted by the multiple award winning Carolyn Montgomery-Forant also starring Tony Award Winners: Tonya Pinkins, Beth Leavel and Bill Irwin and TV Star Kevin Spirtas. If you come to the 7 pm benefit, you can stay for the 9:30 show “Visible Phoenix” starring Carolyn Montgomery-Forant for only $10! You bet I’m staying – join me!  407 West 42nd Street at 9th Avenue (downstairs at the West Bank Cafe) –  tickets range from $30 to $75 with a $15 food/bev minimum.  Call 212-695-6909 for reservations.

December 6th – 54 Sings MAME! at NJPAC at 6:30 & 8:30 and December 7th – 54 Sings MAME! at 54 Below at 7 & 9:30

Sun, Dec 7 7:00pm $45/50/55/90 Doors 5:15pm Buy Tickets
Sun, Dec 7 9:30pm $40/45/50/75 Doors 8:45pm Buy Tickets

*Pricing subject to change at any time.

*Tickets on the day of performance after 2:00pm are only available by calling 646.476.3551.

Light the candles! Get the ice out! 54 Below presents tunes from one of the most cherished musicals in the history of Broadway, just in time for the holidays. Join a glittering cast that includes the brilliant Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd), Eric Michael Gillett (Kiss Me, Kate), Annie Golden(Violet, Orange is the New Black), Dee Hoty(City of Angels), Pamela Myers (Company) Lee Roy Reams (Hello, Dolly!) as we pay homage to this great Jerry Herman score. With Music Director John McDaniel (Annie Get Your Gun) and his brassy trio, we’ll coax the blues right outta the horn as we cover all the hits from Bosom Buddies to If He Walked Into My Life. Be there for this special, annual holiday soiree. Because after all, We Need a Little Christmas!

Mame 54

54 Sings MAME covers numbers from “Bosom Buddies” to “If He Walked Into My Life” with the talents of Raissa Katona BennettKlea BlackhurstAnnie GoldenLewis GrossoCady HuffmanMatt LeahyKaren MackKaren MasonSean McDermottMiles PhillipsMolly PopeLee Roy ReamsBrian Charles RooneyLisa Sabin and Lucia Spina.

Conceived/Directed/Hosted by Phil Geoffrey Bond
Music Direction by John McDaniel

Two Performances at NJPAC
Friday, December 6th at 6 & 8:30 PM

Two Performances at 54 Below
Saturday, December 7th at 7 & 9:30 PM

December 3rd at 1pm – Midtown Jazz at Midday at Saint Peter’s Church -“Have Yourself A Merry Little Big Band!”

I’ll be appearing with the legendary Terese Geneco and her Little Big Band – a nominal donation to cover presentation costs is requested at the door. Held in the Sanctuary of Saint Peter’s Church, these popular midday concerts feature well-regarded artists. The programming is overseen by jazz pianist Ronny Whyte. Once again, I’m a guest in Terese’s holiday show which also features multiple award winning vocalist, Shaynee Rainbolt along with 7 of the best musicians on the planet!”

November 29th at 7 pm – Laurie Beechman Theatre – “Love Makes the World Go Round” – Benefit Concert for Zani’s Furry Friends – The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street at 9th Ave.

I’m delighted to be participating once again in an evening to benefit our furry friends produced by Sarah Rice and Broadway Direct.

If you can’t be there in person, you can tune in on Broadcast Window from your computer, ipad or phone – here’s the link:

November 30th  at 3:00 pm – Music at the Mansion –  Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center is located at 240 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ.

Kenneth Gartman and I will be presenting excerpts from our new show, along with 2 other acts.  The afternoon is hosted by the wonderful Stearns Matthews who is pinch hitting for Corinna Sowers-Adler, the producer and creator of the series.  Tickets for “Music at the Mansion” are $10 per person and are available at the door. Seating begins at 2:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact info (at) corinnasings.com or call Oakeside at 973-429-0960.

November 10th – 7 pm, November 11th – 1 pm – DEVIL AND THE DEEP – Abingdon Theatre – 312 West 36th Street between 8th & 9th Ave.  Presented by Theatre East

For information & reservations click here: it’s free!

Devil and The Deep

Devil and The Deep

I’m thrilled to be creating the role of Mother Hawkins in this new musical adaptation and reimagining of the classic TREASURE ISLAND –  Music and Lyrics by GRAHAM RUSSELL of Air Supply and KATIE MCGHIE, Book and additional Lyrics by MELISSA BELL.  Direction by LISA DEVINE, Musical Direction/Arrangements by JOSH FREILICH.  Artistic Director/Executive Producer:  JUDSON JONES of Theatre East.

Here’s the whole cast list!

Raissa Katona Bennett  as Mother Hawkins
Lynn Craig as Mizzie Hands
Remy Germinario as Jim Hawkins
Adam Hadas  as Rick/Blind Man
Kimberly Hirst as Parrot Light Side
Emily Verla as Narrator/Pirates
Courtney Shaw as Benita
Luke Tudball as  Long John Silver
Scott Moss as  Billy Bones
Ben Rauch as Tom/Parrot Dark Side
John Haggerty as Capt. Smollet

October 26th – 9:30 pm – ASPECTS OF ANDREW – 9:30 PM – 54 BELOW


This sunday night at 9:30 I’ll be doing 2 songs in ASPECTS OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBER at 54 below.  I did one song in this series back in July and it’s one of the best nights of cabaret I’ve ever been involved in.  The talent was extraordinary and several of the same performers will be in this with me again – Phil Geoffrey Bond, the creator, is an amazing host and archivist and has a very dry sense of humor.  I’m completely enamored of his talent.

Aspects of Andrew

Aspects of Andrew at 54 Below

October 5th – 9:30 pm –  54 Below – Broadway Loves Len:  Cariou at 75.

I’m thrilled to be sharing the stage with this wonderful man and so many friends and stars! Read on….

‘Attend the tale of Broadway legend, Len Cariou! A bevy of Broadway’s best honor this great gentlemen of Broadway on the occassion of his 75th birthday, including appearances fromNathan Lane, Betty BuckleyLiz & Ann Hampton CallawayLiz RobertsonVeanne CoxLee Roy ReamsSarah Rice & many more! From his Tony award-winning role in Sweeney Todd to his creation of roles in A Little Night Music, Applause & Dance a Little Closer among many others, Broadway has been in love with Len for nearly 50 years. Now, 54 Below is delighted to celebrate his 75th year with a star-studded tribute to this great thespian. Expect tributes, musical and otherwise, from some of the many stars who’ve shared the stage & screen with him, & maybe even a tune from the man of the hour himself!

October 19th, November 9th & 23rd, December 14th & 21st – 10 am – at Unity Center of Norwalk

I assist Rev. Shawn Moninger as a chaplain and Platform Assistant at Unity Center of Norwalk, where all are welcome and Sundays are Fun!  And how could they not be, with Kenneth Gartman there as musical director as well?


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Raissa’s Spring and Summer 2014 Appearances http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/05/05/raissas-spring-and-summer-2014-appearances/ http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/2014/05/05/raissas-spring-and-summer-2014-appearances/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 21:40:19 +0000 http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/?p=1688 May 13th, 7:00 pm at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 42nd Street at 9th Avenue: 


Raissa & Kenneth's "Faux Show"

Raissa and Kenneth’s “Faux Show”

Join us for an evening of casual cabaret and fun as we present highlights of 2 brand new shows: “What a Wonderful World” and “Songs of the Silver Screen”.  The purpose of  the evening is to get a good video recording for our agents. So….there will be no cover charge, but you still need to meet the $15 food/bev minimum.  Call 212-695-6909 soon and make your reservation.

May 28th, June 25th, August 13th & September 10th (rain date is the very next day),  6:30 pm at Tudor City Greens, 41st Street at 2nd Avenue:

I host and perform in our multiple award winning series THE PARKS CONCERT SERIES

June 10th, 9:30 pm at 54 Below, 54th Street at 8th Avenue:

I’m excited to perform in Scott Siegel’s fabulous series:  The Broadway Ballyhoo

There will be approximately 6 performers, each singing 2 famous show tunes.  If the series does well at 54 Below, it will continue there, so please come support it!  I’ve done these shows before and they are WONDERFUL!   I can unreservedly promise that you will enjoy all the top notch performers.

July 20th, 9:30 pm at 54 Below:

I’m thrilled to join the cast of one of Phil Geoffrey Bond’s newest series, Aspects of Andrew Lloyd Weber. The Phantom of the Opera. Evita. Jesus Christ Superstar. Starlight Express. Sunset Boulevard. Aspects of Love. Song & Dance…. the list goes on. 54 Below tip’s their hat to the artistry of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, the celebrated composer who has left an indelible mark on Broadway, the West End & popular music. Featuring a rotating cast of some of Broadway and cabaret’s best, Aspects of Andrew runs the gamut from the humor of Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat & By Jeeves, to the high flying (adored) diva tunes that populate some of the most beloved musicals of the past half century.

August 24th, 7 pm at 54 Below:



This summer marks the debut of the NYC CABARET FESTIVAL at 54 Below, produced and directed by my good friend and award winning colleague, Phil Geoffrey Bond.  We’ll be musically directed and accompanied

by the Barry Levitt Trio – 3 nights with 2 completely different casts and shows each night – August 17th, 24th, and 31st.  Broadway and Cabaret Royalty are featured in every single show – I’m honored to appear with them on August 24th at 7 pm – check out this link to find out about discounts and multiple show packages – you will want to see them all!

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