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Marissa Mulder climbs from Syracuse church basement to NYC spotlight

Downtown After Dark

Marissa Mulder sings Van Heusen tunes Sunday at the University Sheraton.

Marissa Mulder sings Van Heusen tunes Sunday at the University Sheraton. marissamulder.com

Van Heusen tribute

Mulder returns to her old stomping grounds this weekend to perform a tribute to yet another Syracuse native, legendary songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen. Her show, “Look to Your Heart,” is slated for 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel Ballroom, 801 University Ave.

Van Heusen’s swinging melodies are heard in standards such as “Come Fly with Me,” “High Hopes,” “Going My Way,” “Swinging on a Star” and the iconic “Ring a Ding Ding.”

When he was born in Syracuse in 1913, Van Heusen’s name was Chester Babcock. A handful of his surviving relatives now live in Skaneateles.

CNY Jazz Executive Director and drummer Larry Luttinger calls Van Heusen’s tunes “joyous and life-affirming.” Luttinger likes the idea of a Syracuse gal singing the songs of a Syracuse guy: “There’s no better way to celebrate Chet’s considerable catalog than invite an up-and-coming cabaret star back to her home town to perform songs that have become part of America’s—no, let’s say the world’s—musical heritage.”

Sunday’s show is the third in CNY Jazz’s 2011-2012 cabaret series. An instrumental set will kick things off at 5 p.m., and Mulder’s one-hour show starts at 6 p.m.

Tickets cost $30 at the door, and $12 for students with ID. Sheraton SU will offer a cash bar and buffet stations. All attendees will receive validated parking in the Sheraton SU garage; 479-5299; cnyjazz.org.

‘The Drunkard’ sings

What’s all that noise coming from Baldwinsville on weekends? It’s the sound of delighted audiences booing the bad guy and cheering the hero as Baldwinsville Theatre Guild stages a musical version of the ageless melodrama, “The Drunkard.”

The cast of 17 sing, dance and drink their way into your hearts.

Maxwel Anderson, who last graced the BTG stage in the title role of “Othello,” affirms his range here as our hero, Edward Middleton. While Anderson’s Othello was serious and restrained, his Edward bounces all over the stage battling the demon alcohol. His knees knock, his hands tremble, his face contorts and his eyes bulge. His resonant baritone is showcased on several numbers including Act 3’s “Garbage Can Blues.”

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