Joining DeLaria and Wopat for this musical salute are Terence Blanchard, Oleta Adams, Lou Rawls, Dianne Reeves, Jimmy Scott and Lizz Wright. Donna Murphy and Alan Cumming, who were originally scheduled to perform, have withdrawn due to other commitments.
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.
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.
Tom Wopat received a Tony nomination for his role as Frank Butler opposite Bernadette Peters in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, and he recently joined the company of the Tony-winning revival of 42nd Street as Julian Marsh. His other theatrical credits include I Love My Wife, Carousel, City of Angels and Guys and Dolls. Perhaps best known for his seven season run on "The Dukes of Hazzard," Wopat has also released several albums with CBS and Capitol Records. The Billie Holiday Tribute will begin at 8 PM at the Hollywood Bowl, which is located at 2301 N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood, CA. Call (323) 850-2000 for tickets; for more information go to www.hollywoodbowl.org.
—By Andrew Gans