DIVA TALK: Andreas, Mason, Sondheim, Quotable Quotes and MORE!

DIVA TALK: Andreas, Mason, Sondheim, Quotable Quotes and MORE! CHRISTINE ANDREAS
Two-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas began her month-long engagement at New York City’s Cafe Carlyle this past Tuesday evening, where she is backed by a trio of musicians featuring musical director Lee Musiker on piano. Next week’s column will feature a chat with the former star of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and what follows is her current program at the Carlyle. Andreas performs Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 PM and 10:45 PM at the famed cabaret room, and there is a $60 cover charge but no minimum. Reservations may be made by calling (212) 744-1600.
“What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” M. Legrand/A. & M. Bergman
“Autumn in New York” V. Duke
“On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” A. J. Lerner/B. Lane
“Something That We Do” C. Black
“To Keep My Love Alive” R. Rodgers/L. Hart
“In a Sentimental Mood” D. Ellington
“Storybook” F. Wildhorn/ N. Knighton
“It’s Gotta Be Love” R. Rodgers/L. Hart
“What If We Went to Italy” M. C. Carpenter
“Love Is Good” T. Tanner/M. Silvestri
“He Loves Me” J. Bock/S. Harnick
“How Insensitive” & “I’m a Fool to Want You” A.C. Jobim & J. Wolf/J. Herron/F. Sinatra
“At the Ballet” M. Hamlisch/E. Kleban
“Listen Here” D. Frishberg
“And So It Goes” B. Joel

CHRISTINE ANDREAS
Two-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas began her month-long engagement at New York City’s Cafe Carlyle this past Tuesday evening, where she is backed by a trio of musicians featuring musical director Lee Musiker on piano. Next week’s column will feature a chat with the former star of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and what follows is her current program at the Carlyle. Andreas performs Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 PM and 10:45 PM at the famed cabaret room, and there is a $60 cover charge but no minimum. Reservations may be made by calling (212) 744-1600.
“What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” M. Legrand/A. & M. Bergman
“Autumn in New York” V. Duke
“On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” A. J. Lerner/B. Lane
“Something That We Do” C. Black
“To Keep My Love Alive” R. Rodgers/L. Hart
“In a Sentimental Mood” D. Ellington
“Storybook” F. Wildhorn/ N. Knighton
“It’s Gotta Be Love” R. Rodgers/L. Hart
“What If We Went to Italy” M. C. Carpenter
“Love Is Good” T. Tanner/M. Silvestri
“He Loves Me” J. Bock/S. Harnick
“How Insensitive” & “I’m a Fool to Want You” A.C. Jobim & J. Wolf/J. Herron/F. Sinatra
“At the Ballet” M. Hamlisch/E. Kleban
“Listen Here” D. Frishberg
“And So It Goes” B. Joel

KAREN MASON
How dare Karen Mason present such a flawless cabaret act? It makes critiquing her performance that much harder. For anyone interested in performing in the cabaret world -- or those looking for a wonderful evening of song -- I would suggest heading over to Arci’s Place (450 Park Avenue South) to see an artist in peak form. Mason’s program is perfectly balanced, carefully interspersing comedic moments along with more dramatic pieces.


The former Sunset Boulevard standby-to-the-stars opened her show with a terrific, belty medley of West Side Story’s “Tonight” and the Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen beauty, “Out of This World,” before sliding into a lively take of Irving Berlin’s “Steppin’ Out with My Baby.” She announced that the show would be her first-ever evening of standards, explaining that there are many definitions of a standard, but “we’ll go with mine.” “Some of you will get that a little later,” Mason deadpanned, “and you’ll love it.”


One of the highlights of her hour-long program was a sultry, slowed-down rendition of George and Ira Gershwin’s “How Long Has This Been Going On?” It’s one of my very favorite Gershwin tunes, and Mason’s version ranks with the best of them: Just listen to the sly way she sings, “Kiss me twice, then once more, that makes thrice, let’s make it four.” Another high point was a stentorian version of Harold Arlen’s “When the Sun Comes Out” -- which smartly opened with a piece of “Stormy Weather” -- that Mason built to a dramatic ending, belting “It may not be long before there’s a knockin’ at my door, then you’ll know the one I love walked in, when the suuuuunnnnnn comes ouuuuuut!” The comedic offerings included the Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh charmer “When in Rome” and Mary Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim’s “The Boy From,” a hilarious take-off of “The Girl from Ipinima” that Mason mined for all its comic value. I also enjoyed her gentle, soothing delivery of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof,” which segued into one of the evening’s most moving moments, a heartfelt take on husband Paul Rolnick’s “We Never Ran Out of Love (We Just Ran Out of Time).”
Mason finished the evening with a pairing of the Beatles’ “Help” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Being Alive,” followed by the Peter Allen toe-tapper “Everything Old Is New Again.” Praise should also go to the two musicians who joined the singer/actress at Arci’s Place. Backed by musical director Christopher Denny on piano and Bob Renino on bass, it’s clearly evident the affection the three have for one another. Just watch the way Denny tenderly gazes at Mason while she duets with Renino on “Takin’ a Chance on Love.”


Mason offered “Look for the Silver Lining” as an encore, one more standard delivered beautifully. In fact, on Saturday Mason set her own standard, showing just how a cabaret act should be executed.

MORE SONDHEIM
Yesterday, I received a copy of the first recording to be released on the new Fynsworth Alley label, “The Stephen Sondheim Album.” Fynsworth Alley is the new musical theatre label helmed by producer Bruce Kimmel, who was responsible for Varese Sarabande’s critically acclaimed “Spotlight Series.” I’m looking forward to listening to the disc over the weekend and will have my thoughts for next Friday’s column, but I thought you’d like to see a list of the fab performers who are interpreting some oft-heard as well as lesser-known songs by the theatrical giant who is Stephen Sondheim. By the way, “The Stephen Sondheim Album” will be available in stores on Sunday, Oct. 1.
“Make the Most of Your Music” (Brent Barrett)
“Anyone Can Whistle” (Jane Krakowski)
“Everybody Says Don’t” (Liz Callaway)
“Sorry/Grateful” (Guy Haines)
“Another Hundred People” (Alice Ripley)
“Broadway Baby” (Lea DeLaria)
“It Wasn’t Meant to Happen” (Michele Pawk)
“Giants in the Sky” (Brian d’Arcy James)
“Children Will Listen” (Ruthie Henshall)
“Losing My Mind” (Dame Edna)
“A Moment with You” (Theresa Finamore and Andrew Lippa)
“So Many People” (Tami Tappan)
“You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow”/“Not a Day Goes By” (Christiane Noll)
“I’m Still Here” (Dorothy Loudon)
“With So Little to Be Sure Of”/“Who Could Be Blue?” (Norm Lewis)
Bonus Track: “I Must Be Dreaming” (Emily Skinner)

QUOTABLE QUOTES:


Dispatch theatre critic Michael Grossberg reviews Betty Buckley’s recent concert at the Southern Theatre in Columbus, OH:
“Betty Buckley is a jewel. Last night, her multifaceted radiance and rubylike heartfire filled the jewelbox known as the Southern Theatre. Expressing the inexpressive is the forte of this soulful Broadway diva, whose plangent voice trembles with feeling and ageless mystery . . . She set the stage wonderfully for her first-act finale, helping the audience visualize the scene where Norma Desmond arrives in illusory triumph at a Hollywood studio before delivering Lloyd Webber's ‘Goodbye’ with exquisite fragility and joy. Her rapturous rendition of ‘Never Never Land’ proved that Buckley has the right sound (as well as the right tomboyish haircut) for a Broadway revival of Peter Pan. Of the newer songs, the most intriguing was ‘Stars and the Moon,’ by Broadway up-and-comer Jason Robert Brown. Buckley sang and acted it with a born storyteller's sense of dramatic and comic pacing.”


New York Post critic Chip Deffaa reviews Cleo Laine’s cabaret act at Feinstein’s at the Regency:
“. . .Laine has been blessed with one of the most remarkable vocal instruments in jazz -- supple, full-bodied, and attractive throughout a startlingly broad range. And she’s never sounded better. . . She’s dramatic and she can convincingly put across songs as varied as Bessie Smith’s ‘Gimme a Pigfoot,’ W.C. Handy’s ‘St. Louis Blues,’ and a sweetly nostalgic, over-all-too-soon Vincent Youmans medley.”


New York Times writer Stephen Holden reviews Maureen McGovern’s current program at the Algonquin:
“It takes a special combination of qualities for a singer nowadays to be able to carry off the big inspirational ballads of Rodgers and Hammerstein without seeming either too saccharine or too grandiose, since these Broadway warhorses already tend to push the envelope of sentimentality. But Maureen McGovern, whose newest cabaret show, a tribute to Richard Rodgers, opened at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel on Friday evening, is one of the few singers with the sensibility and vocal capacity to put them over . . . In another high point Ms. McGovern, accompanied on piano by Jeff Harris, adopts a chilly English accent to deliver ‘To Keep My Love Alive,’ Rodgers and Hart's word- perfect comic monologue of an upwardly mobile serial murderess. Her versions of ‘It Never Entered My Mind,’ ‘This Nearly Was Mine’ and ‘You've Got to Be Taught’ (wound around a fragment of Stephen Sondheim's ‘Children Will Listen’) find an ideal balance between clarity and a wistful lyricism. It all builds to a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs exalting hope and perseverance that begins with ‘A Cockeyed Optimist’ and culminates with ‘Climb Ev'ry Mountain’ and ‘You'll Never Walk Alone.’ Here the secret is restraint. Ms. McGovern's beautiful semi-operatic voice, perfect enunciation and innate sense of propriety prevent her from turning the songs into gushy showcases for a phony show business empathy. In allowing the songs to breathe, she brings them to emotional life.”

IN OTHER NEWS A few more Barbara Cook concert dates were recently announced, and they include: Oct. 24 through Nov. 25 at Feinstein’s at the Regency in New York, NY; Nov. 1 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY (“The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner” with June LeBell, Peter Howard and others) and Jan. 12 at Alice Tully Hall (“The Music of Arthur Schwartz” with Maureen McGovern, John Pizzarelli and more) . . . Broadway Beat, Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s weekly half-hour program devoted to the New York City entertainment scene, begins its 11th season this Monday, Sept. 25. Beat’s first program will feature an interview with the legendary Debbie Reynolds; upcoming shows include a feature on Chita Rivera in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Anything Goes; Seussical in rehearsal; the final performance of Cats; and the Broadway Flea Market. Beat airs in NYC on Time Warner Cable (Channel 67) at 1 AM. For air times in Connecticut and Brooklyn, go to www.broadwaybeat.com . . . She was featured on Broadway as one of the “talented and gorgeous Ednaettes” in the laugh-riot Dame Edna: The Royal Tour. Now, Roxane Barlow will star in the title role of Cy Coleman’s Sweet Charity at the North Shore Music Theatre (in Beverly, Mass.) from Oct. 3-22; call (978) 232-7200 for tickets . . . If you’re in the metropolitan area this weekend, be sure to check out the annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction (in Shubert Alley). Of special interest to diva fans is Richard Skipper’s “Actors’ Fund Wheel of Divas.” Skipper will once again “man” this wheel, dressed as that Hello, Dolly! gal, Carol Channing. You never know what you might find at this day-long event, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

REMINDERS:

CHRISTINE ANDREAS
Andreas will make her debut appearance at the famed Cafe Carlyle (in the Carlyle Hotel) for a month-long engagement beginning Tuesday, Sept. 19. The Cafe Carlyle is located at 35 East 76th Street, and Andreas will perform shows on Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 and 10:45 PM. There is a $60 music charge but no cover. For reservations, call (212) 744-1600. You can also visit the official Christine Andreas website at www.christineandreas.com.

SARAH BRIGHTMAN
U.S. Concert Schedule:
Sept. 22 in New York, NY at the Theatre @ MSG
Sept. 23 in Atlantic City, NJ at the Mark G. Etess Arena
Sept. 24 in Wallingford, CT at the Oakdale Theater
Sept. 26 in Providence, RI at the PAC
Sept. 27 in Lowell, MA at the Memorial Auditorium
Sept. 29 in Philadelphia, PA at the Mann Center
Sept. 30 in Washington, DC at the Patriot Center
Oct. 2 in Norfolk, VA at the Scope Arena
Oct. 4 in Miami, FL at the AA Arena /Nat. Car Rental Arena
Oct. 5 in Tampa, FL at the Ice Palace
Oct. 6 in Atlanta, GA at the Civic Center
Oct. 8 in New Orleans, LA at the Saenger Theatre
Oct. 9 in Dallas, TX at the Reunion Arena/Starplex Amph.
Oct. 10 in Houston, TX at the Aerial Theatre
Oct. 13 in Columbus, OH at the Nationwide Arena
Oct. 14 in Detroit, MI at the Palace
Oct. 15 in Cleveland, OH at the CSU Convocation Centre
Oct. 17 in St. Paul, MN at the Minn. Wild Arena
Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand
Oct. 21 in Santa Barbara, CA at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Oct. 22 in San Diego, CA at the SDSU Open Air Theatre
Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, CA at the Universal Amphitheatre
Oct. 26 in Sacramento, CA at the Arco Arena
Oct. 27 in San Jose, CA at the San Jose Arena
Oct. 29 in Portland, OR at the Rose Garden
Oct. 31 in Seattle, WA at the Paramount/Key Arena
Nov. 5 in Spokane, WA at the Arena
Nov. 7 in Salt Lake City, UT at the Delta Center
Nov. 8 in Denver, CO at the Magness Arena
Nov. 11 in Chicago, IL at the Arie Crown
Nov. 13 in St. Louis, MO
Nov. 14 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Van Andel Arena
Nov. 15 in Milwaukee, WI at the Riverside Theatre

BETTY BUCKLEY
Several new concert dates have been added to BB’s always-growing schedule:

Oct. 6 & 7 Scottsdale Center for the Arts Theatre in Scottsdale, AZ
Oct. 28 Univ. of Texas Cowan Fine & Perf. Arts Center in Tyler, TX
Nov. 10 & 11 University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
Jan. 5, 2001 Koger Center for the Arts (Univ. of SC) in Columbia, SC
Jan. 6 Georgia Institute of Technology Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA
Jan. 19-28 Florida Condo Tour in Florida
March 3 at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA
May 12 at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts in Staten Island, NY
June 17 at the Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, LA

BARBARA COOK
Cook’s concert itinerary follows:

Sept. 21 & 22 at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 at the Orange County Perf. Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA
Oct. 20 & 21 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
Dec. 5 at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ
Feb. 2, 2001 at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Feb. 23 and 24 with Michael Feinstein at the Cerritos Center for the Perf. Arts in Cerritos, CA

LINDA EDER
Eder in concert:
Sept. 26 at the Jones Hall w/Houston Symphony in Houston, TX; call (713) 224-7575
Oct. 29 at Symphony Hall in Boston, Ma. (617) 266-1492
Nov. 3 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA (215) 572-7650
Nov. 17 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ; call (732) 246-SHOW
Nov. 18 at the State Theatre in Easton, PA; call (610) 252-3132
Nov. 19 at the Strand-Capitol Theatre in York, Penn.
Dec. 6 at the Ordway Center for the Perf. Arts in St. Paul, MN (651) 224 4222
Jan. 12 & 13, 2001 in Charlotte, NC at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; (704) 372-1000
Jan. 20, 2001 with the Boca Pops at Florida Atlantic Univ in Boca Raton, FL; go to: www.bocapops.org
Jan. 21 in Naples, FL at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts; (941) 597 1900
Feb. 1 & 2 in Phoenix, AZ at the Orpheum Theatre
Feb. 3 at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek, CO; (888) 920 2787
Feb. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; (202) 467-4600
Feb. 23 at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, NY; call (516) 334 0800
Feb. 24 at the Community Theatre in Morristown, NJ; (973) 539-8008 March 8 in Clearwater, FL at the Ruth Eckerd Hall; (727) 791-7400
March 9 in Sarasota, FL at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; www.vanwezel.org
March 10 in Melbourne, FL at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts; (407) 242-2219
May 31-June 3 in Pittsburgh, PA at Heinz Hall; call (412) 392-4900

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:
Sept. 23 at the University of Maine in Orono; (800) 622-8499
Oct. 7 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama; (205) 458-8401
Nov. 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
Jan. 5-7, 2001 at the Morton J. Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX (214) 871-4000

KAREN MASON
What follows is Mason’s up-to-date performance schedule:
Now through Oct. 15 Returns to Arci’s Place, 450 Park Avenue South; NYC; (212) 532-4370
Oct. 10 Karen joins editor Sherry Eaker at book launch party for the Cabaret Artist’s Handbook at Don’t Tell Mama
Oct. 16 Gala Opening of the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC
Oct. 17 Appearance at ASCAP evening at the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC
Nov. 1-12 Appearance at The Plush Room in San Francisco’s York Hotel; (415) 885-2800
Nov. 5 Special appearance at MaraLago in Palm Beach, FL
Dec. 6-10 Karen performs her Christmas Show at Davenports in Chicago, IL (773) 278-1830
Dec. 15-17, 22-23 Karen celebrates Christmas with conductor John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis, MO
March 17 Appearance at 92nd Street Y with Craig Carnelia in New York, NY

AUDRA McDONALD
Audra McDonald’s most recent concert listing follows:
Sept. 28-30 with the National Symphony Orchestra
Oct. 7 in Atlanta, GA (venue to be announced)
Oct. 14 in Hershey, PA (venue to be announced)
Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, CA at UCLA’s Royce Hall
Oct. 22 in San Diego, CA (venue to be announced)
Oct. 28 in Fort Worth, TX (venue to be announced)


MAUREEN McGOVERN
Now through Oct. 14 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, NY
Oct. 23 Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation Benefit Concert with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Dec. 8-11 Holiday concert with the Oregon Symphony in Portland, OR
Dec. 12 Holiday concert with the Oregon Symphony in Salem, OR

CHRISTIANE NOLL
Former star of Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde, Christiane Noll will be hitting the concert circuit, performing throughout the USA. Noll will join other Broadway names in this concert tour, backed by some of the world’s greatest orchestras. Her complete schedule follows:
Sept. 23 with the Nashua Symphony in Nashua, NH; (800) 639-3101
Oct. 14 with the Cape Symphony Orchestra at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis, MA (508) 362-1111
Dec. 2 with Doug LaBrecque and Michael Maguire and the New London Symphony in New London, CT
Dec. 7-17 The Magic of Christmas with the Portland Symphony in Portland, ME; (207) 842-0800

BERNADETTE PETERS
The two-time Tony winner will conclude her run in Annie Get Your Gun on September 2, when she will begin a U.S. concert tour:
Sept. 22 at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia
Oct. 6 at the Einsenhower Hall Theatre in West Point, NY
Oct. 7 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ
Oct. 13 at the OnCenter War Memorial in Syracuse, NY
Jan. 5, 2001 at PAC in Tulsa, Oklahoma (with symphony)
Jan. 11 at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee
Jan. 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)

LILLIAS WHITE
Tony Award winner Lillias White will return to the cabaret stage of Hollywood’s The Cinegrill (7000 Hollywood Boulevard) for four special performances on Saturdays, Sept. 23 and 30 (8 and 10PM shows). Tickets for White’s shows are $20 each with a two-drink and/or food minimum. Call the Cinegrill at (323) 466-7000 for reservations.

SONGBOOK SERIES: BILL FINN
Carolee Carmello, Wanda Houston, Norm Lewis and Stephen DeRosa will perform the works of composer William Finn in Infinite Joy: Songs of William Finn. Part of Joe’s Pub’s Songbook Series, the evenings -- Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 at 8:30 PM -- will feature “mostly unknown songs written recently and not so recently” by the Tony-winning composer of Falsettos. Finn will also take part in the evening, performing some of his own work. Yadim Fleichtner will serve as musical director and piano accompanist, and tickets may be purchased at the Public Theater box office or by calling (212) 239-6200; all seats are $25.

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

By Andrew Gans