The works of both Marvin Hamlisch and Harry Warren (1893-1981) will be celebrated during this weekend's concerts at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the Campus of Cal State University Los Angeles. David Galligan directs Two on the Aisle with musical direction by Gerald Sternbach.
The Harry Warren tribute will kick-off with a spectacular tap-dance number led by the granddaughter of Ruby Keeler, Sarah Lowe; Keeler starred in the film version of Warren's 42nd Street. Forty tap dancers will surround Lowe for the 42nd Street title number, and Fayard Nicholas and wife Katheryn will then be joined by Patrick Cassidy and Carole Cook for "Lullaby of Broadway." Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne will also oversee a film presentation that showcases Warren's work. Among the Warren tunes concertgoers can expect to hear are "You’ll Never Know," "That’s Amore," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe" and "Jeepers Creepers."
The Hamlisch portion of the evening will include the reunion of several original A Chorus Line cast members, including Patricia Garland, Ron Kuhlman, Nancy Lane and Tony Award winner Sammy Williams, who created the role of Paul. Hamlisch's "Through the Eyes of Love," "They’re Playing Our Song," "Disneyland," "I Still Believe in Love," "Better Than Ever," "Ordinary Miracles," "Nobody Does It Better" and "The Way We Were" will all be presented during the concert.
Among the other artists scheduled to appear are Ian Abercrombie, Paul Ainsley, Susan Anton, Anastasia Barzee, Christopher Carl, Mary Jo Catlett, Kevin Chamberlin, Christalee, Tyne Daly, Loretta Devine, Kevin Earley, David Engel, Betty Garrett, Bill Hutton, Alvin Ing, Dale Kristien, Lorenzo Lamas, Joan Lanier, Rod McKuen, Linda Michele, Lisa Mordente, Karen Morrow, Michelle Nicastro, Jack Noseworthy, Valerie Perri, Tonya Pinkins, Linda Purl and Joan Ryan.
Marvin Hamlisch is the Tony-winning composer of A Chorus Line. His other Broadway credits include They're Playing Our Song, Smile, The Goodbye Girl, Sweet Smell of Success Imaginary Friends. He also penned such songs as "The Way We Were" and "Nobody Does It Better" as well as the film scores for "Sophie's Choice," "Ordinary People," "Three Men and a Baby" and "Ice Castles." Harry Warren's songs have been heard on Broadway in 42nd Street, Swing!, Fosse, Dream, Big Deal, Dancin', Shangri-La, Swingin' the Dream, Chamberlain Brown's Scrap Book and The Laugh Parade. Among his most popular titles were "Lullaby of Broadway," "That's Amore," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Jeepers Creepers."
The most recent S.T.A.G.E. benefit concert was presented Nov. 6, 2004, at Cal State University Los Angeles' Luckman Fine Arts Complex. That evening was devoted to the work of Cy Coleman, who passed away just weeks after the star-filled performance.
The first S.T.A.G.E. benefit took place in October 1984, honoring the music of Leonard Bernstein. Subsequent presentations have paid tribute to Stephen Sondheim (1985, 1987, 1996), Jule Styne (1988), Jerry Herman (1989), John Kander and Fred Ebb (1990), Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein (1991), Irving Berlin (1992), George and Ira Gershwin (1993), Harold Arlen (1995), Cole Porter (1997), Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe and Burton Lane (1998), Richard Adler, Jerry Bock and Cy Coleman (1999), Charles Strouse, Arthur Schwartz and Stephen Schwartz (2000), Jerome Kern (2001), Johnny Mercer (2002), Frank Loesser (2003), Andrew Lloyd Webber (2004).
Ten of the benefits have been recorded and are available on CD through the stagela.com website. They include Stephen Sondheim: A Musical Celebration; Jerry Herman: Tap Your Troubles Away; George Gershwin: A Musical Celebration; Harold Arlen: Over the Rainbow; Cole Porter: A Musical Toast; (Alan Jay) Lerner (Frederick) Loewe, (Burton) Lane & Friends; ABC (Richard Adler, Jerry Bock, Cy Coleman); Jerome Kern: Life on the Wicked S.T.A.G.E.; Kurt Weill: The Centennial; and Johnny Mercer: Dream.
The concerts will benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles and GLASS. The former is the largest AIDS service organization in California and provides support services to all those living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. GLASS offers residential treatment and case management for Los Angeles County's youth.
For ticket information, call (323) 656-9069 or visit www.stagela.com. Show times are March 11 and 12 at 8 PM and March 13 at 3 PM.