poor baby bree - photo by Kristine Walsh

Bree Benton (creator) has been performing as "Poor Baby Bree" since 2005, after a lifetime of collecting period sheet music and studying vaudeville and its performers.  Her first one-woman show as Poor Baby Bree, Weary River, earned awards from Time Out New York and BackStage. Her following show, I Am Going to Run Away, was presented at "The Club" at La MaMa E.T.C. in 2010, and will return in Spring 2012 as part of La MaMa's 50th anniversary season, after a March engagement at Red House Arts Center in Syracuse, New York.  In Fall 2010 through Spring 2012, she has presented Ragmen, Ragtime, and Ragamuffins: Historic Songs of the Lower East Side in a monthly residency at Bowery Poetry Club. Guest appearances include Laurie and Friends (BAM, curated by Laurie Anderson), Our Hit Parade (Joe's Pub), A Tribute to Harrigan and Hart (Symphony Space), and An Irish Christmas (Irish Arts Center), as well as educational programs at CUNY/Lehman College and benefit performances for the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and The Actor's Fund.

Franklin Bruno (pianist/musical director), in addition to his work with Poor Baby Bree, has released over a dozen albums of original songs since the 1990s, as a solo artist and member of Nothing Painted Blue and (currently) The Human Hearts.  He is a frequent collaborator with The Mountain Goats's John Darnielle, both as a multi-instrumentalist on the acclaimed albums Tallahassee and The Sunset Tree, and in the collaborative duo The Extra Lens.  His book on Elvis Costello's Armed Forces was published in Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series in 2005, and his critical writing has appeared in The Nation, Oxford American, and The Believer, as well as two editions of Da Capo's Best Music Writing annual.