Diva Talk: A Very Betty Summer Plus Patti And Lea

Diva Talk: A Very Betty Summer Plus Patti And Lea BETTY BUCKLEY
Many projects are on Betty Buckley's plate following her participation in this year's Tony Awards broadcast June 7 and her "Rosie O'Donnell" appearance June 3.

First up is the salute to the Tony Award-winning librettist Peter Stone that was mentioned in last week's column. Betty Buckley will be one of the many stars on hand to honor Stone, who is scheduled to receive the Oscar Hammerstein Award at the York Theatre Company's annual gala benefit on Monday, June 8 at 7:30 PM (in the sanctuary of Saint Peter's Church). Others who will provide entertainment for the evening include Tony Roberts, Lauren Bacall, Dee Hoty, Larry Gatlin, Denny Dillon, Marilyn Cooper and Harry Goz. Tickets range $100 to $500; for more information call (212) 935-5820.

BETTY BUCKLEY
Many projects are on Betty Buckley's plate following her participation in this year's Tony Awards broadcast June 7 and her "Rosie O'Donnell" appearance June 3.

First up is the salute to the Tony Award-winning librettist Peter Stone that was mentioned in last week's column. Betty Buckley will be one of the many stars on hand to honor Stone, who is scheduled to receive the Oscar Hammerstein Award at the York Theatre Company's annual gala benefit on Monday, June 8 at 7:30 PM (in the sanctuary of Saint Peter's Church). Others who will provide entertainment for the evening include Tony Roberts, Lauren Bacall, Dee Hoty, Larry Gatlin, Denny Dillon, Marilyn Cooper and Harry Goz. Tickets range $100 to $500; for more information call (212) 935-5820.

Next, comes the long-awaited recording session for Buckley's recent Broadway musical, Triumph of Love. On June 13 and 14 the Triumph cast will reassemble in New York to record the Jeffrey Stock/Susan Birkenhead score for Jay Records. I will attend one of the recording sessions that weekend and will give you a full report the following Friday.

Then, on Wednesday, June 24 shooting will begin for the independent feature film, Vanilla Fog, in which BB co-stars with Sarah Michelle Gellar (of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" fame) and Sean Patrick Flannery. Mark Tarlov is set to direct this mystical tale about a young girl (Gellar) who is left on her own to run a restaurant and the magical powers of a soup recipe provided by a mysterious friend (Buckley).

In July Betty will tape the narration for a PBS special focusing on women composers and lyricists who reached their peak during the first half of this century. Titled Yours for a Song: The Women of Tin Pan Alley, the program will salute such talents as Dorothy ("The Way You Look Tonight") Fields, Kay ("Can This Be Love?") Swift, Dana ("You Oughta Be in Pictures") Suesse and Ann ("Willow Weep for Me") Ronell. This Lumiere Productions program will air during the winter pledge drive on most PBS stations around the country.

And, a final note. . .the Betty Buckley documentary, which has been discussed before, is going full speed ahead. Although no air date has yet been scheduled, Buckley has completed a lengthy, eight-hour interview with the filmmakers, and interviews have also been taped with Stephen Schwartz, F. Murray Abraham, Ellen Burstyn and Roger Hess. The program will include clips from these interviews as well as footage from Buckley's recent, sold-out engagement at The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village.


PATTI LuPONE
Patti LuPone graces the cover of this week's InTheater magazine and discusses her views on the three Ms--musicals, motherhood and Mamet. What follows are some of La LuPone's choice quotes from her interview with writer Melissa Bernardo:

* about people who say that Mamet doesn't give women a fair shake:
"They're out of their minds. I've been working with David for 20 years. He writes intense women. I think his men are just so macho that you assume he can't write women. David might not always find actors willing to give themselves to him. You have to accept the material and have the technique to know how to interpret and play it. Even some of the male performances I've seen--they're too intimidated by the rhythm of his language to investigate further."

*about upcoming projects:
"I am talking to my wonderful producer, Carole Shorenstein Hays, about two separate musicals. It's more who I want to work with than what I want to do. I want to work with Sam Mendes; with Peter Riegert; with David Mamet again; with this duo in London, Stephen Daldry and Ian McNeil. I would rather work with directors that come to me, instead of me saying, 'I would like to do this.'" * about her son's interest in her work:
"Josh has been to every single show. I have so many wonderful images of him backstage. He hangs out with the crew. The stage doorman at the Golden taught him how to play poker during Master Class; the carpenter in Master Class in London taught him how to play chess. Now, therein lies the difference in our cultures! But listen to this: I said, 'Joshie, I'm coming home.' He wants shows to close because he does miss me. He said, 'When is the show closing?' And I said, 'Saturday night.' He shot up and said, 'I want to see that performance.' So Josh has a seat; [my husband] Matt is hanging out backstage. Josh is so well-behaved in a theater. My husband took him to see Sunset Boulevard; [Josh was] only three. And Matt said that 20 minutes into the show--I haven't even made an entrance yet--Josh turned to Daddy and said, 'This is good!' Isn't that sweet?"

Also, LuPone and Peter Gallagher recently taped "An Old-Fashioned Wedding," their wonderful, show-stopping number from the recent Annie Get Your Gun concert, for the "Rosie O'Donnell Show." Rosie is busy taping many programs in advance so that new shows will be able to run during her summer hiatus. Look for the LuPone airing sometime this summer.


LEA SALONGA
In honor of the release of the upcoming Disney animated film, Mulan, to which Lea Salonga lends her beautiful singing voice, I thought you would like to have a complete discography of this Tony-winning performer. A loyal diva fan in France and fellow Playbill correspondent, Stephane Ly Cuong (lycuong@club-internet.fr) assembled the following list, which we both hope is complete. Happy hunting! . . .

Solo work:
Small Voice (Tape--songs recorded by Lea as a child)
Tomorrow (Tape--songs recorded by Lea as a child)
Lea Salonga (Filipino album, includes a duet with Menudo)
Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal
Lea Salonga (US Album)
The Best of OPM, Unplugged (one song performed by Lea only:
acoustic version of "Nandito Ako")
The Best of OPM 2, Unplugged (one song performed by Lea only:
acoustic version of "Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal")
Ryan Cayabyab, The Silver Album (two songs performed by Lea)
I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (a CD compilation of songs
from Small Voice and Tomorrow plus one new song recorded
in 1997) and coming soon: In Love (a collection of Filipino love songs
to be released by BMG Philippines)

Cast recordings and soundtracks:
Miss Saigon Original London Cast
Little Tramp Concept Album Recording with Petula Clark
The King & I Studio Cast Recording with Julie Andrews and Ben
Kingsley
Aladdin Soundtrack
People, A Musical Celebration of Diversity Concept Album
Recording (one duet with Peabo Bryson)
Les Miserables Tenth Anniversary Concert Recording
and coming soon: Mulan Soundtrack


SWEET CHARITY
Here are the names that appear on the invitation to the upcoming all-star, one-night-only production of Sweet Charity on Monday, June 15: Debbie Allen, Carol Arthur, Hinton Battle, Betty Buckley, Carol Channing, Jim Dale, Dom Deluise, David Dinkins, Helen Gallagher, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Goulet, Pamela Isaacs, Ed Koch, Marla Maples, Donna McKechnie, John McMartin, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles Nelson Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and Lillias White. (Wow!) The concert will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; for more information, call (212) 806-1733.


IN OTHER NEWS
Some of cabaret's finest performers, including Weslia Whitfield, Julie Halston, Deborah Rath and Cynthia M. Scott will take part in a two performance salute to the beauty of women's lives. Titled Moments...Listening to a Woman's Heart, the program will include both sung and spoken words and will be held at the 92nd Street Y at 1395 Lexington Avenue on Saturday, June 27 at 8pm and 10pm. Tickets range from $30-$35 and can be ordered by calling (212) 996-1100 . . . I had a bit of a chuckle watching the 11 o'clock CBS News on Thursday. While reporting on the recent Manhattan Theatre Club/Terrence McNally uproar, the anchorman explained that McNally is represented on Broadway this season for the book for Ragtime (based on E. L. Doctorow's novel), and then proceeded to show a clip from that musical. However, the clip aired was of Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley singing from Side Show ! By the way, I hope you caught those two talented ladies on "Rosie" this week delivering a thrilling, "non-conjoined" version of "I Will Never Leave You."


REMINDERS:

LIZ CALLAWAY
Rumor has it that Liz Callaway and her sister Ann Hampton Callaway will bring their cabaret act, Sibling Revelry, to London's Donmar Warehouse from August 17-29.

JENNIFER HOLLIDAY
The Dreamgirls star will join Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone and host Rosie O'Donnell in the opening segment of the Tony Awards on June 7.

JUDY KUHN
The revival of As Thousands Cheer will star Judy Kuhn, Howard McGillin, Paula Newsome, Mary Beth Peil, B. D. Wong and Kevin Chamberlin. The musical revue will be directed by Christopher (Jeffrey) Ashley, and performances begin on June 2 with an official opening on June 14 at the Greenwich House Theatre, located at 27 Barrow Street (near 7th Avenue South). Tickets are only $12 and may be purchased by calling (212) 541-8441.

FLORENCE LACEY
Florence Lacey will be returning to Broadway in An Evening with Jerry Herman, which will also star Lee Roy Reams and the Tony Award-winning composer himself. The musical revue, which traces Herman's Broadway career, will begin performances at the Booth Theatre on July 15 with an official opening on July 28. Call Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200 for tickets.

PATTI LuPONE

Patti LuPone will perform in concert on August 28 and 29 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Tickets will be available shortly by calling 562-916-8500. You can also hear LuPone a bit earlier at a benefit for the Kent Land Trust, which will be held at the Kent School in Connecticut. The benefit is scheduled for June 27, and tickets, which are priced between $40 and $1,000, are available by calling 860-927 3936 . . . LuPone will join Betty Buckley and Jennifer Holliday for the opening segment of this year's Tony Awards broadcast on June 7.

KAREN MASON
Karen Mason is scheduled to star in the Sundance Institute's production of Gypsy on their outdoor Eccles Stage in Sundance, Utah, from June 24 through August 29. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Sundance Box Office at 801-225-4100. MAUREEN McGOVERN
Maureen McGovern will join the national touring company of The King and I on May 29. Following is the tour schedule to date:

May 19-31 in Los Angeles, CA at the Pantages Theatre (213-468-1700)
June 2-7 in Portland, OR at the Portland Civic Auditorium (503-248-4335)
June 9-15 in San Diego, CA at the San Diego Civic Theatre (619-615 4100)
June 19 - July 5 in Chicago, IL at the Auditorium Theatre (312-431-2395)

ELAINE PAIGE
Tickets are available to The Misanthrope by calling 011-44-171-287 0464. . .On June 7 and 8 EP will take part in the charity concert Hey Mr. Producer. . . .And, Paige will appear in concert at the Hampton Court Palace Festival on June 19. Tickets may be purchased by calling 011-171 344-4444

BERNADETTE PETERS
On June 7 and 8 Bernadette Peters will be among the many stars who will take part in the charity benefit, Hey Mr. Producer, which will celebrate the work of producer Cameron Mackintosh. Then, from July 29 through August 2, Peters will perform in concert at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Concert schedule for BP:
May 30 in Phoenix, AZ at the Orpheum Theatre
June 2 in Toronto, ON at the Roy Thomson Hall
July 4 in St. Louis, MO at the Fair Saint Louis
July 17 in San Francisco, CA at the Louise Davie Hall
August 11 in Philadelphia, PA at the Mann Music Center
September 11-12 in Nashville, TN at the Andrew Jackson Hall
October 10 in Spring, TX at the Centrum
October 16-17 in Atlanta, GA at the Rialto Theatre
February 13, 1999 in Birmingham, AL (venue to come)
February 20 in Toledo, OH (venue to come)
April 9-10 in Kansas City, Kansas (venue to come)
December 31 in Colorado Springs, CO (venue to come)


DIVAS PLAY CARNEGIE
On June 16 and 17 at 7:30 PM Lorna Luft will host a tribute to her mother, the late Judy Garland, in an evening titled "Carnegie Hall Celebrates the Music of Judy Garland." . . .On Monday, November 9 at 8 PM theatre and concert star Barbara Cook will grace the stage with her long-time friend Wally Harper as musical director and conductor. . .For more information and for ticket reservations to any of these great events, call (212) 247-7800.


I LOVE NEW YORK
Janet Metz
and Heather MacRae will be joined by Bryan Batt and Lewis Cleale in the musical celebration I Love New York at Rainbow & Stars beginning June 2. Rainbow & Stars is located on the 65th floor at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. There is a $40 entertainment charge; call (212) 632 5000 for reservations.


A SWELL PARTY
A plethora of performers will unite this June for a three-evening extravaganza that celebrates the art form that is called cabaret. Titled "A Swell Party," the celebration will take place on June 8, 9 and 10 to benefit The Mabel Mercer Foundation. On the first evening, June 8 at 6 PM, a host of newcomers will be welcomed onto the stage of Town Hall. The second evening will pay tribute to the legendary Cole Porter, and those who will warble his songs include Ann Hampton Callaway, Claiborne Cary, Paula Laurence, Marcia Lewis, Marin Mazzie, Liliane Montevecchi, Patricia Morrison, Sidney Meyer, Abe Reybold, Steve Ross, Jon Soleather, David Staller, Elaine Stritch, Margaret Whiting, Julie Wilson and Gretchen Wyler. The final evening commemorates what would have been Gertrude Lawrence's 100th birthday. Donna Murphy will be joined by Jeff Harnar, Celeste Holm, Alix Korey, Andrea Marcovicci, Patricia Morison, Christian Nova, Phillip Officer, KT Sullivan and many others. Ticket orders are accepted only by mail ($10 per performance; send checks made out to "The Mabel Mercer Foundation" to Finell Enterprises, 301 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021), and further information is available by calling (212) 980-3026 or (212) 980-3109 during regular office hours.

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching!
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By Andrew Gans
e-mail me at andrew_gans@playbill.com