PHILADELPHIA CABARET ARTIST TYLER HOUCHINS TO DEBUT JUDY GARLAND SHOW ON THE STAR’S 100TH BIRTHDAY AT DON’T TELL MAMA NYC
DOWN A YELLOW BRICK ROAD
DON’T TELL MAMA
June 10, 2022
Philadelphia cabaret performer Tyler Houchins has announced his upcoming debut performance at Don’t Tell Mama NYC, titled Down A Yellow Brick Road, celebrating the 100th birthday of the legendary actress and vocalist Judy Garland, June 10, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
The show takes audiences over the rainbow with a selection of greatest hits from Garland’s catalogue—in a retrospective of the star’s life, on the day of her 100th birthday. Audiences will hear favorites like “The Trolley Song,” “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart” and “For Me and My Gal,” in this performance featuring Houchins and music director Mark Hartman.
“So much of her better-known material is classic Americana,” said Houchins. “There’s something very American and nostalgic about her catalogue. It’s good, classic material that, the more it ages, the better it gets. And it’s universal—looking at ‘Over the Rainbow,’ we all have wants and desires that seem unachievable … and we’ve all had that thought—‘what is that next step?’ ‘What is that next hurdle I have to get over to find what I’m striving for—to bring me happiness?’”
The performance also falls during the City’s celebration of Pride Month. Garland became an influential figure in the LGBTQ+ community and is widely regarded as a gay icon, owing in part to her star role in The Wizard of Oz. For many, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz mirrored the struggles that those in the LGBTQ+ community face. Some have also identified parallels of Dorothy accepting those who are different and creating a chosen family of her friends in Oz. The term “Friend of Dorothy” became a popular self-identifier, particularly for gay men. Garland’s performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” contributed to the rainbow’s status as a gay symbol, later becoming the basis of the LGBTQ+ flag.
“There is something about the way that she sang that felt like she was crying … it was very open and raw. Growing up, as a young gay kid in the south—not really knowing how I should feel, hearing someone sing their emotions so unabashedly gave me an outlet. That’s only grown since I’ve gotten older. Now I can appreciate the artistry that went into what she was doing,” Houchins said. “She was so present and so vulnerable in her singing and performing. For that time, she was the only one that was doing that. That’s what draws me to her.”
Houchins, who is based out of Philadelphia, has been performing for close to his entire life—starting in elementary school with roles in community theater, moving into professional singing in high school. He went on to attend Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. As a cabaret artist, Houchins has been performing for seven years, and recently made his NYC cabaret debut at Birdland Jazz Club on March 8, 2022, with actress and Broadway performer Susie Mosher.
“For some people, their favorite singer or actor can seem like such a small thing. It’s important to celebrate and find happiness in these things—especially in the times we’re living in,” Houchins said. “I want people to come out of the show feeling uplifted and inspired to spread good around the world.”
Down a Yellow Brick Road premieres Friday, June 10, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at Don’t Tell Mama NYC—located at 343 W 46th St New York, NY 10036. Tickets are $30 at the door (cash only), with a two-drink minimum. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Proof of vaccination is required for entry into the venue.
More details available at www.donttellmamanyc.com
About Tyler Houchins
Tyler Houchins is a Philadelphia-based cabaret artist and actor. Originally from Prince George, VA, Tyler made his way to Philadelphia to study Musical Theatre at The University of the Arts. Upon graduation, he became involved in Philadelphia’s theatre community as an apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre, and has performed with the Arden Theatre Co., REV Theatre Co. and the Walnut Street Theatre.
Since Tyler’s first love is music, he took the leap into the cabaret world to combine his passions for music and storytelling. Tyler has found much success with his cabaret act, Down a Yellow Brick Road: The Music of Judy Garland, with two sold-out Philadelphia engagements. Tyler has also appeared in other cabaret acts such as Bacharach to the Future and two appearances with Tom Wilson Weinberg’s Cabaret Vérité.
About Don’t Tell Mama NYC
Established in 1982, Don’t Tell Mama is celebrating over 40 years as a world-famous entertainment destination. Located on renowned Restaurant Row in the heart of New York’s theater district, Don’t Tell Mama is one-of-a-kind – a veritable nightlife mall with four individual spaces: a piano bar, a restaurant and 2 separate cabaret showrooms: a cineplex of cabaret!
Countless luminaries have come through our doors such as Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Rosie O’Donnell, Chita Rivera, Kathy Griffin, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Mario Cantone, & Cuba Gooding Jr., to name but a few!