HOUSTON -- A rose is a rose is a rose, Gertrude Stein more or less wrote.
But is it? Singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom might know: she composed the hit song "The Rose" made famous by Bette Midler in the 1979 film of the same name. Sweeping Houston audiences off their feet, McBroom, who's also a stage actress and a writer of musicals, will sing this standard and others for two shows only on -- when else? -- Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. Her cabaret act is being sponsored by Society for the Performing Arts.
Speaking of cabaret acts, McBroom has had songs interpreted by legendary chanteuse Barbara Cook, along with Judy Collins and Barry Manilow. She has recorded five albums in her own right, the latest, Amanda McBroom Live from Rainbow and Stars, being produced live during a sold-out engagement at the storied nightclub atop the Radio City building in New York. She also had a regular gig writing lyrics for the experimental television musical series Cop Rock.
In the theater, McBroom has appeared on Broadway in Seesaw and off Broadway in several companies of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
Her musical, Heartbeats, has been produced throughout the U.S. at such respected venues as the Old Globe in San Diego, the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, the Cleveland Playhouse in Ohio, and, mostly recently, the Pasadena Playhouse in California. Amanda McBroom brings her cabaret act, courtesy of the Society for the Performing Arts, to Jones Hall in Houston on Feb. 14 for two performances only, at 7 PM and 10:15 PM. For tickets, $35, call (713) 227-ARTS or 1-800-828-ARTS
-- By Peter Szatmary