The popular cabaret series will celebrate the Great American Songbook next summer. Kicking off the series will be Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, who will play the intimate cabaret June 23, 2008. Another Tony winner, Barbara Cook, will perform July 7, and original West Side Story star Carol Lawrence will perform her evening of song Sept. 4.
In a statement Ravinia president and CEO Welz Kauffman said, "These three extraordinary performers are a compendium of Broadway history, each epitomizing the work of a different composer who redefined the art. Cats star Betty Buckley is the quintessential Andrew Lloyd Webber star; from her days in Follies, Barbara Cook will forever be associated with Stephen Sondheim; and Carol Lawrence originated the role of Maria in Leonard Bernstein's all-American masterpiece, West Side Story."
Betty Buckley offered acclaimed performances in Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776 and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Also a TV ("Eight Is Enough") and film (Tender Mercies) star, the actress-singer devotes much of her time to concert appearances around the world. Her solo CD, "Stars and the Moon: Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar Warehouse," was nominated for a Grammy Award and is available on the Concord Records label. The actress was also seen on the final three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series "Oz" as well as in the Lincoln Center revue, Elegies: A Song Cycle. Playbill Records will release "Betty Buckley 1967" on Oct. 16 and "Quintessence" on Valentine's Day 2008.
Barbara Cook has starred on Broadway in Flahooley, Candide, The Gay Life, The Music Man and She Loves Me. She received a Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man, and her one-woman show, Mostly Sondheim, was nominated for a Tony in the Best Special Theatrical Event category. Cook was most recently on the New York stage in Barbara Cook's Broadway. Both Mostly Sondheim and Barbara Cook's Broadway were recorded for DRG. Cook made her solo debut at the Metropolitan Opera, which was also released on DRG Records.
Carol Lawrence received a Theatre World Award and a Tony nomination for her performance as Maria in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. She has also starred in the stage productions of Saratoga; Subways Are for Sleeping; I Do! I Do!; and Sugar Babies. The actress-singer also appeared in an L.A. production of Follies and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tickets are now only available for the entire series, which is priced $180. Visit www.ravinia.org or call (847) 266-5100 for more information.
The complete Ravinia season will be announced March 13, 2008.