Aerosol scientists suggest that singing is an activity associated with an increased risk of audience exposure to the SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In order to minimize that risk, the singers in shows presented at Blue Strawberry starting this August will all perform from as far upstage as possible. Our stage is 10 feet deep, and they will perform at the very back of the stage next to the wall. Supporting musicians will all be masked. We will also pull back our front row of seats 4 feet from the lip of the stage. This will create at least 12 feet of space between the singer and the front row of audience members. We have also reduced our inside capacity from 100 to fewer than half that number.
Amid a world of distraction, Roger Schmelzer calls on the American Songbook to bring us closer
together. His infectious musical message of kindness and optimism, described as “a journey back to Old
World New York Cabaret,” is directed by the legendary Marilyn Maye.
Ms Maye says, “Roger makes it his business to entertain you. He is fun, festive, fervent, and friendly. His
love for the music is contagious and you’ll love the man who presents it!”
Since making a critically acclaimed NYC solo debut in 2017, Roger appeared at Carnegie Hall in a
Jerome Kern tribute presented by the Mabel Mercer Foundation and has performed at cabaret venues
across the country.
Roger’s 2008 CD, "About Now" was described by public radio as "Chock-full of the sorts of clever lyrics
and lush arrangements that characterize songs for intimate settings from the last century to today."
Musical Direction is provided by Jeffrey Harris who accompanies Ms. Maye, and has also music directed
for Jack Jones, Maureen McGovern and Lea Salonga.
As a patron of the arts, Roger serves on the board of the Great American Songbook Foundation founded
by Michael Feinstein and is past board chair for The Cabaret in Indianapolis. By day, he leads the
National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds (NCIGF) with members in every state who protect
insurance consumers in the rare circumstances of a property and casualty insurer failure. Roger and his
wife, Indianapolis actor Cindy Phillips have three grown children and a granddaughter!
What Others are Saying About Roger Schmelzer:
“Roger is confident, charming, and original…quickly connecting with his audience thanks to lively
arrangements of melodic tunes with clever or meaningful lyrics…” MYRA CHANIN, Theatre Pizzazz
“Roger is a singer with a charming and winning manner who has audiences in the palm of his hand. Enjoy
the kid glove treatment.” Sidney Meyer, Don’t Tell Mama, NYC
“A journey back to Old World New York Cabaret with a master of the American Songbook,” Arnaldo
Inocentes, Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association
“Roger Schmelzer’s “I Won’t Dance” bubbles with wry enthusiasm. Phrasing is excellent.” Alex Cohen,
Woman Around Town, NYC
“A consistently charming, engaging presence.” MICHAEL MIYAZAKI, CabaretScenes magazine