DIVA TALK: Betty, Patti and Bernadette — Who Could Ask For Anything More?

News   DIVA TALK: Betty, Patti and Bernadette — Who Could Ask For Anything More? BETTY BUCKLEY
The multi-talented Betty Buckley will open the fourth season of Lincoln Center’s popular American Songbook series -- dedicated to the American song -- on Sept. 19 and 20 at 8 PM. Buckley will perform songs from her new CD, "Stars and the Moon," which was taped live at London’s Donmar Warehouse and is scheduled for release on Concord Records next month. (The video and DVD will be released concurrently from Image Entertainment.) You can expect to hear Buckley wrap her golden vocals around tunes by Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim as well as works by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lisa Loeb, Jason Robert Brown and Ricky Ian Gordon. Tickets are priced at $50 and $65 and are now available at the box office, by calling (212) 721-6500 or by visiting www.lincolncenter.org . . . Buckley is also one of the many performers who have been confirmed to perform in the second season of “Food for Thought- Lunch Hour Theatre,” a unique series that offers one-act plays by the world’s most renowned playwrights performed by top actors from the worlds of stage and screen. Others who will participate in this season’s one-acts include Mary Alice, Blair Brown, Kate Burton, Barbara Feldon, Cynthia Harris, Earle Hyman, Judith Ivey, Anne Jackson, Simon Jones, Judith Light, Robert LuPone, Anne Meara, Rita Moreno, Brian Murray, Patricia Neal, Campbell Scott, Marian Seldes, Eli Wallach and many others. The series will play Sept. 24 through Dec. 13 at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). Tickets priced at $27 and $29 can be purchased by calling (212) 362-2560; for more information, go to www.foodforthoughtproductions.com.

BETTY BUCKLEY
The multi-talented Betty Buckley will open the fourth season of Lincoln Center’s popular American Songbook series -- dedicated to the American song -- on Sept. 19 and 20 at 8 PM. Buckley will perform songs from her new CD, "Stars and the Moon," which was taped live at London’s Donmar Warehouse and is scheduled for release on Concord Records next month. (The video and DVD will be released concurrently from Image Entertainment.) You can expect to hear Buckley wrap her golden vocals around tunes by Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim as well as works by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lisa Loeb, Jason Robert Brown and Ricky Ian Gordon. Tickets are priced at $50 and $65 and are now available at the box office, by calling (212) 721-6500 or by visiting www.lincolncenter.org . . . Buckley is also one of the many performers who have been confirmed to perform in the second season of “Food for Thought- Lunch Hour Theatre,” a unique series that offers one-act plays by the world’s most renowned playwrights performed by top actors from the worlds of stage and screen. Others who will participate in this season’s one-acts include Mary Alice, Blair Brown, Kate Burton, Barbara Feldon, Cynthia Harris, Earle Hyman, Judith Ivey, Anne Jackson, Simon Jones, Judith Light, Robert LuPone, Anne Meara, Rita Moreno, Brian Murray, Patricia Neal, Campbell Scott, Marian Seldes, Eli Wallach and many others. The series will play Sept. 24 through Dec. 13 at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). Tickets priced at $27 and $29 can be purchased by calling (212) 362-2560; for more information, go to www.foodforthoughtproductions.com.


PATTI LuPONE
How exciting that Patti LuPone, will return to Broadway this season in the revival of the Tony-winning comedy Noises Off! LuPone, who was also rumored to play the Witch in the upcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, will star opposite Peter Gallagher in the eagerly anticipated production of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off that will be directed by Jeremy Sams. La LuPone and Gallagher have appeared together several times before -- in the Encores! production of Pal Joey as well as the benefit concert performance of Annie Get Your Gun at Lincoln Center. Noises Off will begin previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 W. 47th Street) on Oct. 16 with a press opening on Thursday, Nov. 1. Tickets will be available from Ticketmaster by calling (212) 307-4100. Also, LuPone’s recently filmed performance as Mrs. Lovett in the concert version of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd will air nationally this Halloween. The all-star cast, which also boasted George Hearn, Neil Patrick Harris, Davis Gaines and Victoria Clark, was filmed at San Francisco’s Davies Hall and featured direction by Lonny Price plus the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus under the direction of Rob Fisher.

BERNADETTE PETERS
As always, Bernadette Peters is one busy gal. The two-time Tony winner who recently received an Emmy Award nomination for her guest-starring role on Fox-TV’s “Ally McBeal” will spend the month of September in the recording studio working on her newest CD, which celebrates the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Peters is also preparing a new concert act for her Thanksgiving stint at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre, where she will perform eight concerts from Nov. 21 through Nov. 25. Peters’ new act is entitled “The R Train to Broadway,” which traces her roots from Ozone Park, Queens, to The Great White Way. The show will feature Peters standards as well as several other Broadway works. And, yes, Peters is still committed to starring in a London production of Gypsy, which is now set for 2002. What follows is the former Song & Dance star’s current concert itinerary:
Sept. 14 at Orchestra Hall in Detroit
Oct. 13 at CSU in Bakersfield
Oct. 19-21 at the Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis
Oct. 24 at the NJPAC in Newark
Oct. 26 at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Canada
Nov. 3 at the Keneseth Israel Hall in Philadelphia
Nov. 21-25 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco
Jan. 4, 2002 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
Jan. 6 at the Barbara Mann Hall in Ft. Myers
Jan. 7 at Van Wezel Hall in Sarasota
Jan. 9 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach
Jan. 10 at the City Center in Coral Springs
Apr. 5-6 at the OCPAC in Costa Mesa

FOR THE RECORD
I was recently sent a copy of Louise Pitre’s solo CD, “All of My Life Has Led To This” (LML Music). Pitre, who has wowed audiences in Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco in Mamma Mia!, will repeat her role as single mom Donna Sheridan in the Broadway company, which opens at the Winter Garden Theatre in October. One of Canada’s most popular musical performers, Pitre received the Dora Mavor Moore Award for her work in Mamma Mia! and recently released her new recording, which features songs from the ABBA musical as well as two tunes composed by Pitre herself. The singer/actress possesses a big, dark, highly emotional voice with a large belting range, and when she sings in French, you can easily understand why she must have been such a smash as Edith Piaf in three different productions of Piaf. Highlights of the 15-track recording include a touching version of Kander and Ebb’s “A Quiet Thing”; Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’s “The Winner Takes It All”; “A Notre Tour,” with a catchy melody by Pitre that celebrates finally finding a true love; a tender reading of “To Love Again” that is based on Chopin’s “E Flat Nocturne, Opus 9, No. 2”; and a belty, heartfelt “If I Ruled the World.” A bonus track features Pitre singing a version of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All” in French, “Bravo! Tu as gagne.”


I was also sent a copy of Making Tracks: Songs from the Musical, tunes from the rock musical that focuses on the Asian-American experience, explored by two families across two centuries. Featuring a book by Welly Yang, lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Woody Pak, the new CD boasts Miss Saigon Tony winner Lea Salonga on two tracks, “Picture Perfect” and “So Now I See You,” a duet with Michael K. Lee. It’s a very enjoyable CD with a high-energy rockish score somewhat reminiscent of Jonathan Larson’s Rent and featuring several other Saigon stars: Rona Figueroa, Joan Almedilla, Michael K. Lee and Yang, the show’s book writer who made his Broadway debut as Thuy. Making Tracks is available by going to www.astore.angelpop.com.

THE CABARET CONVENTION
Cabaret lovers wait each year for the annual celebration of the cabaret art form that takes place at New York’s Town Hall (123 W. 43rd Street). Presented by the Mabel Mercer Foundation, the Twelfth Anniversary Cabaret Convention begins on Monday, Oct. 22 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 28. The convention plays host to a slew of performers, including those at the top of the field as well as cabaret newcomers. The Monday through Saturday performances begin at 6 PM and run approximately three hours, and the Sunday matinee begins at 3 PM and should run a little over two hours. What follows is the list of entertainers for each performance. (For more information, call 212-980-3026 or visit www.mabelmercer.org.)


Oct. 22 “The Gala Opening Night”:
Karen Akers, Andrea Marcovicci, Paula West, Jeff Harnar, Wesla Whitfield, The Moonlighters, Malcom Gets, Natalie Douglas. Anna Bergman, Karen Mason, Amanda McBroom, D.C. Anderson, Mark Coffin, Barbara Carroll and Toni Lamond plus Tom Andersen, Terri Klausner, Deborah Tranelli celebrate Portia Nelson


Oct. 23 “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”:
Heather Gilchriest, Sally Ann Howes, Dillie Keane, Sheridan Morley, John Scherer, Lainie Nelson, Sian Phillips, Moira Lister, Kane Alexander, Alison Jiear, Joyce Breach, Eric Comstock, Audrey Lavine, Sidney Myer, Georga Osborne, Cybill Shepherd, Larry Woodard, Edward Hibbert, Liz Robertson and special guest star Judy Campbell, who introduced the song in 1940 in the British New Faces.


Oct. 24 Act I: “Broadway Our Way” with Lee Roy Reams, Christine Andreas, Craig Rubano, Christine Ebersole, Louise Pitre, Donna McKechnie, Sally Mayes, Karen Saunders and Carol Wods. Act II: Klea Blackhurst stars in “Everything the Traffic Will Allow,” a salute to Ethel Merman.


Oct. 25 “Reading Lyrics”: A Celebration of Robert Gottlieb and Robert Kimball’s new book, hosted by Marian Seldes and starring Elizabeth Wilson, Julie Wilson, Mary Cleere Haran, Jeff Harnar, Elaine Stritch, Tovah Feldshuh, Mark Nadler, Ronny Whyte, KT Sullivan and several surprise guests.


Oct. 26 Act I: “This Join Is Jumpin’” starring Rondi Charleston, Rick Jensen, Hilary Kole, Tom Postilio, Johnny Rodgers, Marcus Simeone, Libby Whittemore, Billy Stritch and Ronny White. Act II: “Judy’s Jazz Party” starring Judy Barnett, Chris Calloway, Mary Foster Conklin, Baby Jane Dexter, Melba Joyce, Spider Saloff, Richard Rodney Bennett, Paul Bernhardt, Margaret Whiting and others.


Oct. 27 Act I: “Cabaret Parade” starring Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Fasano, Natalie Gamsu, Jane A. Johnston, Carlos Martin, Colleen McHugh, Denise Tomasello, Lumiri Tubo and Melissa Langton. Act II: “Leading Men Don’t Dance” starring George Dvorsky, Scott Holmes, Richard Muenz, Byron Nease and Ron Raines.


Oct. 28: “The Grand Finale: The Irving Berlin Songbook”
Mary Cleere Haran, Linda Louise Emmet, Jeff Harnar, Julie Wilson, Amanda McBroom, Julie Reyburn, Brian DeLorenzo, Tom Michael, Phillip Officer, KT Sullivan, Eric Comstock, Daryl Sherman and Thos Shipley.

IN OTHER NEWS Klea Blackhurst will return to Upstairs at Jack Rose (771 Eighth Ave. at 47th Street) with her show, “Everything the Traffic Will Allow -- The Songs and Sass of Ethel Merman” from Sept. 15 through Nov. 11. Blackhurst’s acclaimed tribute to the late Broadway star has been recorded and will be released by Fynsworth Alley in October. To catch her great act live, call (212) 206-1515 . . . Former Fosse star Stephanie Pope will make her Arci’s cabaret debut with her new show, “Now’s the Time to Fall in Love,” on Sept. 6. Pope, who recently released the same-named CD on Jerome Records, will perform at Arci’s Place (450 Park Avenue South) through Saturday, Sept. 15. Call (212) 532-4370 for reservations . . . A star of Blood Brothers and the nightclub world, Shauna Hicks will return to the New York club scene this Monday, Aug. 27 with a new show entitled “Shauna Hicks and Her 70’s Mix.” A follow-up to her award-winning “Shauna Hicks and Her 60’s Chicks,” this new show was written and conceived by Ms. Hicks and features direction by Michael Schiralli. You can catch “Shauna Hicks and Her 70’s Mix” from Aug. 27 through Oct. 19 at the Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd Street. Call (212) 613-0013 for show times and reservations. . . Jazz singer Joyce Breach will perform Fridays, Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 9 PM at the FireBird Cafe on West 46th Street in New York City. Backed by Tex Arnold on piano, there is a $25 cover charge and a $15 food/drink minimum, and reservations can be made by calling (212) 586-0244.

REMINDERS:

BETTY BUCKLEY
That Tony-winning dynamo, Betty Buckley, has just released a new slate of concert performances, which follows:


August 25 at the Great Waters Music Festival in Wolfeboro, NH
September 19 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall (American Songwriters Series) in New York, NY
September 29 at Centre East in Skokie, IL
October 6 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ (with Michael Feinstein)
November 10 at the Naperville North Central College Performing Arts Center in Naperville, IL (with Michael Feinstein)
November 14-18 at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret in Uncasville, CT
November 24 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ (with Michael Feinstein)
December 6 at Abravenal Hall with the Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City, UT (Xmas program)
December 7 at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan, UT
December 27 at the Verizon Regional Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA (with Michael Feinstein)
January 4 & 5, 2002 at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, CT
March 15 & 16, 2002 with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, NC
March 30 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA

BARBARA COOK
Now through Sept. 1 at London’s Lyric Theatre
Sept. 25 at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ
Oct. 9-14 at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT
April 12 and 13 with Marilyn Horne at Michigan State University’s Warton Center in MI
April 26 at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA
June 5-9 and June 12-16 at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre in Washington, DC LINDA EDER
Eder in concert:
Sept. 27 at the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College in Council Sept. 14 at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA, (215) 893-1999
Sept. 27 at the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA (712-388-7140)
Sept. 29 at the Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point, (845) 938-4159
Oct. 14 at the University of Texas at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall in Austin, TX
Oct. 19 and 20 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, go to www.atlantasymphony.org
Nov. 3 at the Youngstown Symphony Center in Youngstown, OH, (330) 744 4269
Nov. 16 and 17 at Jacobs Symphony Hall in Jacksonville, FL, (877) 662 6731
Dec. 1 at the State Theatre in Easton, PA (610-252-3132)
Dec. 5 at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, (973) 376-4343
Dec. 11 at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA, (617) 266-1492
Dec. 14 and 15 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, (800) 444-1324

PATTI LuPONE
The Tony and Olivier Award-winning actress has also just released a whole new slew of concert dates, which follow:


August 27 in “Matters of the Heart at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL
September 15 at the Rialto Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia (“Matters of the Heart”)
October 10 at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA (“Matters of the Heart”)
February 9, 2002 at the Tilles Center with the Long Island Philharmonic (“Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda”)
February 22-23, 2002 at the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY with the Buffalo Philharmonic (“Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda”)
February 28 at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY (“Coulda Woulda Shoulda”)

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

By Andrew Gans