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TESS VIGELAND: Last weekend, we spent some time on the show going over the lessons we all should have learned from the Bernie Madoff scandal. It’s been a year since his arrest. For most of us it’s hard to imagine what it was like to be an actual victim of that multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. But now one of his victims is finally getting some pay-back.
Cabaret singer Cynthia Crane lost her life savings to Madoff. Millions. Of course, she wasn’t alone. The list of victims included the estate of country music legend John Denver.
Crane’s one woman show in New York is called “John Denver, Bernie Madoff and Me.”
Cynthia Crane to audience: “Well is there anyone out there who doesn’t know who Bernie Madoff is? The guy who put the “P” in Ponzi, the Bull in Bull Market and the Scum in Scumdog Billionaire.”
Well my name is Cynthia Crane. I am a cabaret jazz singer and I wrote this show…
Crane, singing: Won’t you step into my parlor said the spider to the fly…
…”John Denver, Bernie Madoff and me.”
Crane, singing: I’ve a cozy little spot here.
There are about 15 songs in the show and then I do some specifically related to Madoff.
Crane to audience: Well you know, Woody Allen said crime pays. The hours are good and you get to travel a lot.
I say Bernie Madoff was really rich when he made off with our money and everyone says,
Audience: How rich was he?
Crane: Well, he was so rich that every house had two swimming pools — one for rinsing. He was so rich that he bought a new yacht, every time one got wet. He was so rich that he bought a summer place up north, Canada!
Crane, singing: How big can you get, can you get, can you get?
We’re broke, in a word. It isn’t funny but that’s the fact of the matter. Everything we had was with Madoff. But my show is not about that. My show is a good time and people laugh. And forget, actually, all the ramifications of Bernie Madoff’s bizzaritude behavior.
Crane: My husband has worked out this tremendous new budget. Of course, one of us will have to go. But we really have saved up enough money to last as the rest of our lives, unless we want to buy something.
Vigeland: That’s cabaret singer Cynthia Crane in her one-woman show “John Denver, Bernie Madoff, and Me.” Sally Herships produced our story.