Home / Culture and Society / Arts / Cabaret Review (LA): Jayme Lake and Harley Jay in Avant Garde at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitellos

Cabaret Review (LA): Jayme Lake and Harley Jay in Avant Garde at Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitellos

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Michael Sterling continues to present up and coming local talent at his beautiful supper club, Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello's. Sometimes the talent is known to me but in the recent case of Jayme Lake and Harley Jay, I was not acquainted with their work. Sterling discovered them over a year ago in a local production of Footloose. Lake and Harley met in the production and have since become a couple. But it took them a year of hemming and hawing to get up the act that they call Avant Garde that celebrates Broadway past and present.

Jayme Lake comes to us from Pacific Conservatory of The Performing Arts, a theatre program at Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria. The excellent program, designed to be away from the hustle and bustle of a major city, has, nonetheless, produced some bona fide stars. Jayme went on to perform Off Broadway in Hillary Agonistes (about Hillary Clinton) and more locally in the well received Songs for a New World at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre. Her best numbers were two first performed by the group Queen: "Somebody to Love" and "Who Wants to Live Forever."

Harley Jay, a gawky, six-foot, 140-pound rock singer, has appeared in Vegas in Forever Plaid and most significantly in Rent on Tour and on Broadway, appearing after 18 auditions as the lead character Mark Cohen. Oddly his rendition of "One Song Glory" was strangely uninvolving, but then it is hard to perform a song out of a context a performer gets used to. His best work came in his own compositions from his new CD Without Wax. He accompanied himself on guitar (he's an even better guitar player) singing "The Fall I Fell For You" and "Stuff Packed Up."

The real highlight of the evening was not provided by either of the two singers, as good as they were. Rather it was the guitar stylings of Laurence Juber, who had been the leading guitarist for Paul McCartney and Wings. Juber is a masterful musician and technician; his performance set a level that the younger performers could only dream about. But Juber is friends with the couple and kindly agreed to perform with them. Avant Garde was performed on April 3rd at
Sterling's Upstairs at Vitellos.

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About Robert Machray

  • Mary

    I just came across the article you wrote about Harley Jay and Jamie Lake as I was researching where I might see them again. These two were wonderful at the Avante Garde show. The humor and talented voice of Mr. Jay was fantastic to watch and listen to. His album is one I have listened to many times and extremely enjoy. Miss Lake was adorable and we enjoyed her also.
    I would also assume Mr Juber would be a highlight for you since he has, I would suppose 40 years of guitar and performance years under his belt.
    Lets not sell Harley Jay short, he is a fantastic talent, and has been very successful in his short professional life. I am hoping to see more from this (thin), yet personable, and dynamite performer. Miss Lake will also be someone to keep your eye on.
    Mr Juber has aligned himself with a very talented duo.