Industry’s Diva Mondays Continues to Shine

Marty Thomas’ Diva Mondays is running full-speed ahead in its second year at Industry Bar. The weekly performance features three dynamic women – Anne, Kelly and the show’s newest cast member, Marissa – singing live and blending in perfect harmony. These ladies are incredibly varied, spectacularly talented and always wonderfully clad in full-length gowns and jewels. If you haven’t experienced Diva Mondays at Industry in Hells Kitchen yet, high tail it over there. The show is, in a word, diva-licious!

Congratulations on your one-year Diva anniversary at Industry!

Thank you! We had a capacity audience at the one-year celebration. The entire original DIVA family performed. Shoshana Bean’s performance was epic, and we also pulled fellow Wicked-alum Eden Espinosa onstage with us. It was an awesome night!

Original DIVA cast member Kat Hennessey’s tribute to Whitney Houston was powerful.

Whitney was the first diva we paid tribute to when we began the show a year ago, mainly because we were all so inspired by her. It’s devastating that we were resurrecting the tribute in such sad circumstances, but the turnout and response to our most recent Whitney Houston night was quite telling of how the world will miss her.

What inspired you to create Diva?

I love talent and I love live vocals. I wanted to create an experience with live vocalists where New York nightlife could meet New York theater life, and we could show the city just how much incredible talent is bubbling around us. I’ve been inspired by everything from Broadway to Miss America to Divas Live on VH1 to our sister show at Industry, QUEEN. Gay men have always been drawn to the great divas. It’s so much fun to explore all of my favorites, and discover new ones. We recently did a ‘50s wedding song medley for Valentine’s Day, paying tribute to Darlene Love, the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Ronettes and the Dixie Cups. We’ve also had tributes to Mariah, Aretha, Gaga, Etta, Kelly Clarkson, and I’m excited about all of the new tributes coming up.

The newest diva, Marissa Rosen, is adorable!

Ironically enough, Marissa and I met dancing around the pool table at Industry a year ago. We didn’t even know that the other was a singer. A few weeks later we were cast together in the off-Broadway play My Big Gay Italian Wedding. We had so much fun together, and when we started harmonizing together, it sealed the deal.

What happened to BE A DIVA contest winner Jennifer McGill?

She is in Nashville recording her debut album, her first single is already on iTunes!

Any plans for another contest?

We had such a huge response to the first BE A DIVA competition we might just have to do a Part 2! No dates planned for it yet, but watch our website for information.

What’s your take on the NBC show SMASH?

Pretty much anything that incorporates musical numbers and belting divas will get my attention. I love the show, the concept and the cast. We regularly see SMASH cast members in our audience at DIVA.

Any chance Katharine McPhee might be a special guest?

I’ve never met Katherine, but she is definitely very high on my wish list of guest divas. Katharine, if you’re out there, call me!

What’s next for Diva Mondays?

We have tributes coming up for divas from Lady Gaga to Dolly Parton! We also have special guests lined up like Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray, the movie), Alysha Umphress (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Ramona Keller (Smokey Joe’s Cafe) and Christina Bianco (Forbidden Broadway). It’s going to be an exciting year! Oh, and we have started a new periodical series called DIVA Discovery where we feature undiscovered talent from around the city. These are the voices that are sure to be huge names in the near future.

Just between us, is Industry owner Bob Pontarelli a diva?

Everyone in New York knows that Bob is the sweetest man alive, as well as a shrewd business man. Bob and the sorely missed Stephen Heighton believed in our show and put everything into DIVA to help make it successful. I’m grateful to both of them for the opportunity. And, yes, of course he is a bigger diva than me and my entire cast put together. That’s why we love him!

Follow Diva Mondays @martysdivas


Marty Thomas hosts Diva Mondays at
Industry Bar (355 West 52nd Street)
Curtain rises promptly at 11 p.m.


By Mike Longo

Get Out! Contributor

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