Songs to Amuse

WHEN BYRON AND MALCOLM started performing the unusual songs they enjoy, the reaction from family and friends was immediate: “Can’t you go do that someplace else?” That seemed like an excellent idea.

Their cabaret show includes music hall-style songs by Flanders & Swann, the satire of Tom Lehrer and Tom Paxton, the sophisticated wit of Noel Coward and Cole Porter, and a slew of songs from the last century, including vaudeville knee-slappers, temperance ballads and Victorian chestnuts. They have also featured works by George M. Cohan, George Gershwin, and P.D.Q. Bach, an array of songwriters whose names rarely creep into a single sentence. And they’re known to liven a show with original material. It’s a lively program with an emphasis on comedy, with an occasional hint of scholarship sneaking in.

They have performed regularly at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz and Saratoga’s famed Caffè Lena; they’ve also sung at Schenectady’s Van Dyck, the Cohoes Music Hall, Cooperstown’s Otesaga Hotel, Albany’s Desmond Hotel, and many other area venues. They present a regular New Year’s Eve program at Albany’s Steamer No. 10 Theatre.