2024 SoloFest 2
March 8 – 10
Stories of Dysfunction and Redemption from Park Avenue to Havana.
Written and performed by Adelaide Mestre
with Doug Oberhamer at the piano
Directed by Coco Cohn
From pre-revolutionary Havana to Manhattan’s Upper East Side and back again, Adelaide Mestre spins an autobiographical tale of family, trauma, and triumph that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even…sing!
Top Drawer is writer and performer Adelaide Mestre’s award-winning show about her journey to Cuba to seek out her deceased father’s piano left behind when her family fled during the revolution. The show takes place in both past and present, as the audience follows her on her quest to reclaim her family’s heritage. In flashbacks, she chronicles her life growing up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with her mother, a thrice married, opera-singing socialite with impossible top-drawer standards and her father, a gay, manic-depressive concert pianist. In story and song, she shares about her parents doomed love affair, her father’s struggle with his homosexuality, and his eventual tragic suicide. With sentiment and humour she spins a tale of dysfunction and redemption and, ultimately, shares her discovery that art can be a kind of alchemy that transmutes loss and abandonment into freedom.
Adelaide Mestre is an award-winning actress, singer, writer and solo show performer. In her work, she mines the autobiographical material of her childhood and family history, chronicling the trials and tribulations of growing up in an eccentric family among artists and other big personalities. She has performed in numerous theatrical productions, musicals, cabarets, and films, including Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives. Adelaide has written and performed several solo shows including: Dead Mosquito at Emerging Artists Theatre’s One Woman Standing Festival and Out of Step at Where Eagles Dare Theatre. Her ten-minute play, It’s My Amygdala was produced at the Estrogenius Festival and the SoHo Playhouse. Her full-length musical memoir, Top Drawer premiered in the New York International Fringe Festival and has since enjoyed multiple productions at theatres in New York and cities around the country. In 2017 Adelaide received the Bill Bowers Award of Excellence at the SaraSolo Fesival in Sarasota, Fl and in 2018 performed to sold out shows in Miami at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora. Most recently her show was produced at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor and the Cultural Center in Southampton.
Doug Oberhamer has been involved in musical theater for over 25 years with Music Directing credits ranging from Broadway and Off Broadway to National and International Tours. He also works as a composer, arranger, orchestrator, music producer, and vocal coach in New York and abroad. Most recently, Doug was the Music Director, Conductor and Orchestrator for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Production of Man of La Mancha. He was also the Music Director, Composer and Arranger for Reel to Real for Broadway Asia/Warner Brothers in Beijing and the Edinburgh Festival. Other Music Directing Credits include: Swing! (Broadway,NationalTour,JapaneseTour,MarriotLinconshire), Thoroughly Modern Millie (National Tour), My Vaudeville Man (The York Theatre, Arr./Orch.), Wanda’s World (45th Street Theatre), Flight of the Lawnchair Man (37 Arts), Crazy For You (National Tour), Frankenstein (Casino Rama), Nunsense (Fallsview Casino), Seeing Stars, (The York Theatre), Saturday Night Fever (AMD – National Tour), Doug can also be found in the cabaret world as a Music Director, Arranger and Orchestrator. He has performed at Birdland, The Zipper, The Triad, Joe’s Pub, Feinsteins, Don’t Tell Mama’s, and Rose’s Turn with shows such as: Steppin’ Out, Little Death, Foreign Currency, Love Stories and many others. He can be heard as the featured trumpet soloist on the Sony Classics Grammy nominated recording of Swing! (Original Broadway Cast recording) as well as MCA Records Vanessa Daou “Slow to Burn”. He was nominated for a Jefferson Award for his work on Swing! in Chicago and won a Bistro Award for excellence in Musical Direction and Arranging/Orchestrating for Little Death.
Coco Cohn (Director and Collaborator): is an NYU graduate with a background in musical theatre. She spent a decade+ in Los Angeles, directing and developing original musicals for her critically-acclaimed theatre company, Neurotic Young Urbanites. Coco built a successful private coaching business while in LA, working mostly with kids and young adults. She served as on-set coach for clients on shows such as The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, iCarly. and Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. She is currently serving as Adjunct Professor at Pace University and on the teaching and directing staff at A Class Act NY. She is also the actor, Lauren Cohn!