B.J. Ward's Bway-Bound Stand-Up Opera Indefinitely Postponed

News   B.J. Ward's Bway-Bound Stand-Up Opera Indefinitely Postponed B.J. Ward's one-person tribute/spoof of opera, Stand-Up Opera, which was to begin a 12-week run Oct. 9 at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, has been indefinitely postponed, said a spokesman at press rep Bill Evans' office (Sept. 23).

B.J. Ward's one-person tribute/spoof of opera, Stand-Up Opera, which was to begin a 12-week run Oct. 9 at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, has been indefinitely postponed, said a spokesman at press rep Bill Evans' office (Sept. 23).

The official reason was "scheduling conflicts," though it was unclear whether that referred to Ward's schedule. Evans' office said producers hoped to bring the show in for the spring. Lee Moskof is producing the show with Gene Wolsk, Daryl Roth and WM Productions. Ward's husband, television and stage director Gordon Hunt, will direct.

Ward, an actress and voice-over artist best known as the current voice of Betty Rubble on the animated cartoon "The Flintstones," staged the show for a week last November at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She recently brought the show to Long Island, NY as well. Moskof said soprano Ward is most easily described as "the Victor Borge of opera."

The show takes an irreverent look at opera in between 12 or 13 arias, which Ward will deliver straight. "She's honoring the music and poking fun at different aspects of opera at the same time," said Moskof. According to the Bill Evans press office, Ward ribs not only the operas themselves, but such peripheral necessities as divas, scandals and "Puccini's anti feminist politics."

No microphone will be used during the roughly 90 minute show, which features piano accompaniment by Joseph Thalken and a set design by James Noone. Moskof said Ward become hooked on opera several years ago. After taking serious study, the actress began to stage casual recitals in her living room under the title "Opera and Omelettes," eventually moving her act to a cabaret space. After transforming the piece into a theatrical evening, she performed Stand-Up Opera at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1992. Since then, she has presented the show in Chicago, Sante Fe, Sarasota, Des Moines, Winston-Salem and elsewhere.

Ward's other credits include Merrily We Roll Along at the La Jolla Playhouse, the original workshop of Into the Woods and the television shows "Dallas," "Beverly Hills 90210," and "Mad About You."

-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz

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