DIVA TALK: A Tribute To Courage, Plus Patti & Peters in Concert

News   DIVA TALK: A Tribute To Courage, Plus Patti & Peters in Concert FIRST YOU DREAM: A TRIBUTE TO COURAGE
What an emotional evening the tribute to Christopher Reeve and Bran Pace turned out to be this past Tuesday night at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Titled “First You Dream: A Tribute to Courage,” the fundraiser for The Actors’ Fund of America and The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation paid tribute both to Reeve, who was injured several years ago in a tragic horse-riding accident, and Bran Pace, a young dancer who is now paralyzed, following a horrific mugging and shooting while he was out-of-town with the musical Jolson. The most emotional moment of the evening came at the very end of the nearly three-hour program when the youthful Pace wheeled himself onto the stage and was surrounded by the dozens of performers who had entertained the sold-out audience. Completely overcome by the cheers and the standing ovation from the crowd, the young man could barely contain his emotions, although he managed to draw laughs from the audience when he joked, “Did you notice the difference in production values for Christopher Reeve’s video versus mine?,” referring to two video presentations shown earlier in the evening. Pace then thanked those in attendance, explaining he was too emotional to speak further.

FIRST YOU DREAM: A TRIBUTE TO COURAGE
What an emotional evening the tribute to Christopher Reeve and Bran Pace turned out to be this past Tuesday night at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Titled “First You Dream: A Tribute to Courage,” the fundraiser for The Actors’ Fund of America and The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation paid tribute both to Reeve, who was injured several years ago in a tragic horse-riding accident, and Bran Pace, a young dancer who is now paralyzed, following a horrific mugging and shooting while he was out-of-town with the musical Jolson. The most emotional moment of the evening came at the very end of the nearly three-hour program when the youthful Pace wheeled himself onto the stage and was surrounded by the dozens of performers who had entertained the sold-out audience. Completely overcome by the cheers and the standing ovation from the crowd, the young man could barely contain his emotions, although he managed to draw laughs from the audience when he joked, “Did you notice the difference in production values for Christopher Reeve’s video versus mine?,” referring to two video presentations shown earlier in the evening. Pace then thanked those in attendance, explaining he was too emotional to speak further.


It was an evening filled with wonderful moments -- highlights included a suite of dances performed by Desmond Richardson, Karine Plantadit-Bageot, Julio Bocca and Cecilia Figaredo; the rousing tones of Broadway’s Inspirational Voices on “I Still Say ‘Yes’”; Sherie Rene Scott’s low-keyed but heartfelt interpretation of Randy Newman’s “He Gives Us All His Love”; the baton-twirling magic of Chicago’s Jeff Shade; Marin Mazzie’s riotous rendering of Kander and Ebb’s “Ring Them Bells,” perhaps the finest version of this song I’ve encountered; the artistry of Kitty Lunn, a paralyzed woman who has reinvented the meaning of dance; Kristin Chenoweth’s comical delivery of “Glitter and Be Gay”; and Heather Headley’s soaring rendition of Sarah McLaughlin’s “Angel.” For those interested in making a donation to either the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation or The Actors’ Fund of America’s Catastrophic Care Program, call, respectively, (800) 255 0292 or (212) 221-7300.


The complete program for the evening follows:
“I’m No Angel” performed by Virginia Woodruff, Donna Lynne Champlin and Company of dancers and singers
“You Can Always Count on Me” performed by Carolee Carmello
“The Soldier and the Washerwoman” performed by Bebe Neuwirth
“I Still Say ‘Yes’” performed by the Broadway Inspirational Voices under the direction of Michael McElroy
“Solo” danced by Desmond Richardson
“Episodes” danced by Karine Plantadit-Bageot
“Piazzolla En Concierto” danced by Julio Bocca and Cecilia Figaredo
Bran Pace Video Presentation
“He Gives Us All His Love” performed by Sherie Rene Scott
“Hot Honey Rag” baton twirling performed by Jeff Shade
“Ring Them Bells” performed by Marin Mazzie
“Stress” performed by James Naughton
“How Lucky Can You Get?” performed by Julia Murney and dancers
“The Last Night of the World” danced by Kitty Lunn and Christopher Nelson; sung by Scott Beck and Julie Danao
“Heart On My Sleeve” sung by Idina Menzel
“All That Jazz” performed by Sharon Lawrence and Chicago dancers
“Glitter And Be Gay” performed by Kristin Chenoweth
“Into the Fire” performed by Bryan Batt and male vocalists
“The Music That Makes Me Dance” performed by Dana Reeve
Christopher Reeve Video Presentation
“First You Dream” performed by the company of dancers/singers
“Angel” performed by Heather Headley and Company

PATTI LuPONE
A host of new concert dates for La LuPone were recently announced, including several “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” performances, the concert act she premiered to a sold-out Carnegie Hall audience in November. The new listings follow:
July 29 ("Matters of the Heart") at the Long Island Summer Festival at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY; (516) 922-0061
September 9 ("Matters of the Heart") at the Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio; (419) 242-2787
September 23 at the University of Maine in Orono; (800) 622-8499
October 7 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama; (205) 458-8401
November 3 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra in Louisville, Kentucky (502) 583-4555
April 8 ("Matters Of The Heart") at Duke University’s Page Auditorium in Durham, North Carolina; (919) 684-4444 BERNADETTE PETERS
It’s looking more and more likely that Bernadette Peters will star in a production of Gypsy next summer in London. This would be Peters’ West End theatre debut, although she has performed in concert in the U.K., which was taped live for a PBS broadcast and video release. Peters, who will conclude her run in Annie Get Your Gun on September 2, also recently announced a host of new concert dates, which follow:


September 15 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (with symphony)
September 22 at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia
October 6 at the Einsenhower Hall Theatre in West Point, NY
October 7 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ
October 13 at the OnCenter War Memorial in Syracuse, NY
January 5, 2001 at PAC in Tulsa, Oklahoma (with symphony)
January 11 at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee
January 13 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
March 29 at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, NY
April 6 at the Bass Perf. Hall in Fort Worth, TX (with symphony)
April 7-8 at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX
April 19 at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto (with symphony)
April 28 at the Pasquerilla PAC in Johnstown, PA
May 11-12 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN (with symphony)
May 18-20 at the Myerson Hall in Dallas, TX (with symphony)

IN OTHER NEWS In conjunction with her run at The Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room from June 20 through July 8, vocalist Julie Budd will release a new CD entitled “If You Could See Me Now.” The 14-track recording includes such tunes as “When October Goes,” “This Nearly Was Mine,” “No Moon at All,” “For All We Know,” “Being Alive,” “Home Alive” and the title track, “If You Could See Me Now.” The recording is available on the After 9 label, and for reservations for Budd’s new act, call the Algonquin (59 W. 44th Street) at (212) 840 6800 . . . Another cabaret chanteuse, Lisa Asher, who is the recipient of a MAC Award and a Back Stage Bistro Award as well as a Cabaret Hotline Critic’s Choice Award for her solo work in cabaret, will return to the intimate stage at Don’t Tell Mama (343 W. 46th Street) on June 17, 24 and 30. Tickets are priced at $15, and there is a two-drink minimum; call (212) 757-0788 for reservations . . . In the June 8 issue of Time Out New York, Audra McDonald had this to say to writer H. Scott Jolley about her work in the recent Sweeney Todd concert: “Ohhh, it was incredible! You would be talking to [Stephen Sondheim], taking the notes he’s giving you, and thinking, Yeah, yeah, that’s right, I’ll work on that. Then, all of a sudden you go, ‘Oh my God! Do you know who you are?!?’ I mean he is Stephen Sondheim, the god of the musical theater. But he’s completely easy to work with. He was never for a minute unapproachable or inaccessible. I never felt like I had to bow before I asked a question or call him ‘Maestro.’ You could just say, ‘Steve, I have a question.’” . . . New Zealand diva Delia Hannah, who has appeared in Australia and/or New Zealand in Chess (Florence), Evita (Eva), Chicago (Roxie), Aspects of Love (Rose) and Les Miserables (Fantine), has just released a new solo album, “Down Stage Centre.” Hannah is accompanied only by piano and sings such theatre tunes as “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Someone Like You,” “Hold On,” “Marry Me a Little,” “Tell Me on a Sunday,” “Heaven Help My Heart,” “Easy Terms,” “With One Look” and others . . . On Monday, June 26 Rita Gardner, Marcia Lewis, Karen Mason, Mary Testa, Melanie Vaughan, Brent Barrett, Lewis Cleale and Eric Michael Gillett will celebrate the lyrics of Barry Kleinbort at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in the West Bank Cafe. Featuring musical direction by Christopher Denny, The Kleinbort Collection will begin at 8 PM. There is a $20 cover plus a one-drink minimum; for reservations call (212) 695-6909.

REMINDERS:


BETTY BUCKLEY
June 30 & July 1 John Drew Theatre (Guild Hall) in East Hampton, NY
July 24 Martin Theatre (Ravinia Festival) in Highland Park, IL
August 21-September 3 Donmar Warehouse in London, UK
September 16 Stranahan Theatre in Toledo, OH
October 6-7 Scottsdale Center for the Arts Theatre in Scottsdale, AZ
October 28 Univ. of Texas Cowan Fine & Perf. Arts Center in Tyler, TX

BARBARA COOK
I recently received a few new concert dates for theatre/cabaret legend Barbara Cook, which follow:
June 13 at the Playhouse Theatre, Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Del. (302) 656-4401
July 28 and 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA
September 14 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts in Poway, CA (619) 748-0505
September 21 & 22 at the Sydney Opera House (in concert with David Campbell) in Sydney, Australia 011-61-2-9250-7777
September 28-October 1 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA (714) 556-2787

LINDA EDER
Eder in concert:
July 8 with Michael Feinstein & The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, GA; (404) 733-4801
July 14 with Feinstein at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA; (206) 628-0888
July 15 with Feinstein at Schnitzer Hall in Portland, OR; (503) 274 6564
July 16 with Feinstein at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, CA; (415) 551-2000
August 5 at the Wildflower Music Festival in White Mills, PA
August 6 with Feinstein at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ; (732) 335-0400
August 8 with Feinstein at the Mann Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA (215) 336-2000
August 9 with Feinstein at the Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, VA; (703) 218-6500 or 1-800-955-5566
August 19 at the John Drew Theater of Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY (631) 324-4050

August 25 with Feinstein at The Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL; go to www.ravinia.org

August 26 Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser at The River Center w/ Michael Feinstein in Minneapolis, MN
September 26 at the Jones Hall w/Houston Symphony in Houston, TX; call (713) 224-7575
November 4 at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, NY; call (516) 334-0800
November 17 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ; call (732) 246-SHOW
November 18 at the State Theatre in Easton, PA; call (610) 252-3132

PATTI LUPONE
Several concert dates have been added to Patti LuPone’s ever-growing schedule. What follows are La LuPone’s confirmed concert appearances as of this week:
July 8 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA (with Audra McDonald and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra); (323) 850-2000
January 5-7, 2001 at the Morton J. Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX (214) 871-4000 KAREN MASON
Sept. 5 - Oct. 14 Arci’s Place, 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY; call (212) 532-4370.
June 12 Marilyn Bergman salute at the Pierre Hotel
July 18-23 World Premiere of White Christmas at the St. Louis MUNY Opera
June 25 The Bradstan Country Hotel in White Lake, NY (914) 583 4114
September 5-14 at Arci’s Place in New York, NY (212) 532-4370

AUDRA McDONALD


June 17 in Dayton, OH with the Dayton Philharmonic; (937) 228-2323 July 4 in Washington, DC with the National Symphony/Independence Day broadcast
July 8 in Hollywood, CA at the Hollywood Bowl (with Patti LuPone); (323) 850-2000
July 15 in Cleveland, OH at theBlossom Festival/Cleveland Orchestra; (800) 686-1141
July 21 in San Fransisco, CA with the San Fransisco Symphony; (415) 864-6000
August 6 in Detroit, MI at the Meadowbrook Festival/Detroit Symphony; (313) 576-5111
August 16 in Chicago, IL at the Ravinia Festival; (847) 266-5100
September 28-30 with the National Symphony Orchestra


Well, that’s all for now. Happy diva-watching!

By Andrew Gans