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Girls Ahoy!

Saul Tannenbaum is back

Bring a lady friend to Saul Tannenbaum's stupendous song spectacular "Girls Ahoy!

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Saul Tannenbaum, as many of you know, is a traveling vaudeville performer who stops in Olympia several times a year - including this weekend for Girls Ahoy!

Since his first show here a year and half ago, Tannenbaum has become well known for his way with a musical medley, his mixed-up sense of history and his big tinted glasses.

And although Tannenbaum has his own Facebook page, many of you know he's a fictional character, played by actor-pianist-director-composer Josh Anderson and created by Anderson and sidekick/scriptwriter Christina Collins.

Many of you know this. But there does seem to be a little bit of confusion on the matter.

"There's a huge part of Saul that's me," Anderson says. "When I have a full beard, people won't refer to me by my name. They'll say, ‘Hey, Saul, how's it going?' If I wear sunglasses and I have a beard, then it's all over."

Maybe those people are joking? Anderson has another story.

"I was talking to a local artist, and we commissioned some stuff from him for the show," Anderson says. "He said: ‘So do I get to meet Saul? When is he getting in town, because I'd really like to meet him?' This is someone that I've known and worked with for a couple of years.

"I had to stop and say, ‘Thank you, that's a wonderful compliment.' "

Among the other compliments Tannenbaum has received was a Best of Olympia award from the Volcano for his way with a medley.

And yes, Girls Ahoy! - which will feature songs "by ladies and about ladies and for ladies," Anderson says in Tannenbaum's voice - will have more of those delightful blends.

"You know sometimes when you listen to a song, you think, ‘There are only about 45 seconds of it that are actually good,' " Anderson says. "You pull out enough of those, and it's my philosophy that you should mix them together."

In the mix will be songs by Irving Berlin and Cole Porter - but also Liz Phair and Sleater-Kinney.

Tannenbaum himself is a bit of a medley, with hair and clothing that look as though they'd be out of place in any era.

It's a wardrobe that certainly doesn't fit with the glamorous getups worn by his feminine companions, including perpetual special guest Mona von Horne (Collins) and the Champagne Sisters, Irene (Lauren O'Neill), Rosemary (Katie Youngers) and Olive (Stephanie Nace, who's new to Tannenbaum's world but familiar to theatergoers from her roles in Capital Playhouse's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Nunsense).

So successful has Tannenbaum been that he has two big gigs coming up. He'll perform Sunday, June 12, as part of Olympia's Capital City Pride Festival, and he has shows Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, at Seattle's Re-Bar.

To what does Anderson attribute his alter ego's popularity?

"Because entertainment has become so multiplatform, it's kind of nice to have a real person that you can go and see in real life and attach to the things that you find entertaining," he says.

But he's not a real person. Right?

"He almost becomes - well, he's kind of a real person," Anderson says. "I think it speaks to the appeal of the character. We kind of all get to pretend that he's a real guy, and he's pretty cool, you know?"

Saul Tannenbaum presents the Champagne Sisters in Girls Ahoy!

Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, 8 p.m.
$12 in advance, $15 at the door
The Olympia Eagles Club Room, 805 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia

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Comments for "Girls Ahoy!" (1)

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alec clayton said on May. 13, 2011 at 12:37pm

Saul and Mona Van Horne and others will also open for award-winning singer/songwriter Steve Schalchlin at his benefit shows for PFLAG-Olympia July 29 and 30 at SPSCC.

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