Cumming, Luker and DeLaria Headline Billie Holiday Tribute April 22

News   Cumming, Luker and DeLaria Headline Billie Holiday Tribute April 22 Several Broadway and pop artists will celebrate the late Billie Holiday on April 22 at Carnegie Hall.

Several Broadway and pop artists will celebrate the late Billie Holiday on April 22 at Carnegie Hall.

Tony winner Alan Cumming and former Music Man star Rebecca Luker are among the celebrities who will interpret the songs associated with the legendary jazz performer in an evening titled "Broadway Artists Sing the Songs of Billie Holiday." Others who are scheduled to perform include Annie Get Your Gun's Tom Wopat, Oleta Adams and Jimmy Scott. The Terence Blanchard Quintet will also take centerstage at the famed hall.

Billie Holiday was born in April 1915 and became one of the first and greatest jazz singers of all time. In the 1930's "Lady Day" became a sensation at New York's jazz club, The Apollo, and some of her signature tunes include "Fine and Mellow," "God Bless the Child," "Good Morning Heartache" and her biggest hit, "Lover Man." Her addiction to heroin and opium as well as excessive drinking sparked a rapid decline in health, and the multitalented but troubled Holiday died tragically in July 1959.

Rebecca Luker, who replaces Donna Murphy — Murphy had to withdraw from the concert due to scheduling conflicts — was last on Broadway in the revival of Meredith Willson's The Music Man, earning a Tony nomination for her work. She has also appeared on Broadway in Show Boat (Tony nomination), The Sound of Music and The Phantom of the Opera, and she will star as Clara in the upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion at the Kennedy Center.

Alan Cumming made his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cabaret — a role he created at London's Donmar Warehouse — and received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He was last on The Great White Way opposite Jennifer Ehle and Dominic West in a revival of Noël Coward's Design for Living. The Scottish actor who trained at the Royal Scottish Academy also has numerous London theatrical credits including a starring role in the Royal National Theatre's production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist for which he won an Olivier Award. In the past few years Cumming has also appeared in several high-profile Hollywood films including Tom Cruise's Eyes Wide Shut, director Julie Taymor's feature-film debut Titus, the blockbuster Spy Kids and the Spice Girls flick, Spice World. Lea DeLaria received an Obie and a Theater World Award for her work in the Public Theater's revival of On the Town. She also starred in the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show and the City Center Encores! presentation of Li'l Abner. Her other theatrical credits include Chicago, The Boys From Syracuse, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and As You Like It. An acclaimed stand-up comic, DeLaria is also an accomplished jazz singer, and her first solo recording, "Play It Cool," is available on Warner Bros. Records.

Tickets to the one-night-only event range from $21 to $79 and can be purchased by calling Carnegiecharge at (212) 247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue.

—By Andrew Gans