DIVA TALK: Betty & Patti's Songs From The 'Heart'

DIVA TALK: Betty & Patti's Songs From The 'Heart' BETTY BUCKLEY
Betty Buckley will return to the Cafe Carlyle this Tuesday, Feb. 15, for a five-week run and will preview songs from her newest CD, Heart to Heart, a collection of love songs that embrace contemporary, traditional and popular tunes. The CD features Buckley and pianist Kenny Werner who offer spare and elegant renditions of "Just the Way You Look Tonight," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Ruby," "Fire and Rain," Mary Chapin Carpenter's "I Am a Town" plus two compositions penned by the actress herself, "If I Remember You Right" and "Violets." The disc also includes two songs from the recent production of Tennessee Williams' Camino Real in which Buckley starred for the Hartford Stage Company. In the liner notes for the new album, which will be available nationwide on March 28 on the newly formed KO (Knock Out) Productions label, Buckley explains, "The dimension of Heart to Heart is that of oneness. It is the state of longing and love that all of us have in common. It is the place of truth that resides in the heart of every being. It is very sweet and very powerful and to reach this realm one has but to remember that it always exists."

BETTY BUCKLEY
Betty Buckley will return to the Cafe Carlyle this Tuesday, Feb. 15, for a five-week run and will preview songs from her newest CD, Heart to Heart, a collection of love songs that embrace contemporary, traditional and popular tunes. The CD features Buckley and pianist Kenny Werner who offer spare and elegant renditions of "Just the Way You Look Tonight," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Ruby," "Fire and Rain," Mary Chapin Carpenter's "I Am a Town" plus two compositions penned by the actress herself, "If I Remember You Right" and "Violets." The disc also includes two songs from the recent production of Tennessee Williams' Camino Real in which Buckley starred for the Hartford Stage Company. In the liner notes for the new album, which will be available nationwide on March 28 on the newly formed KO (Knock Out) Productions label, Buckley explains, "The dimension of Heart to Heart is that of oneness. It is the state of longing and love that all of us have in common. It is the place of truth that resides in the heart of every being. It is very sweet and very powerful and to reach this realm one has but to remember that it always exists."


More Carlyle info: Buckley and her trio will perform at the famed boite through March 17, Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 and 10:45 PM. There is a $60 cover charge, and reservations may be made by calling (212) 741-1600. The Cafe Carlyle is located at 35 East 76th Street.


Also, Betty has once again supported Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS with her signature on a one-of-a-kind bear for the upcoming Broadway Bears III auction. This light-blue bear is dressed in a re-creation of the ornate costume worn by BB in the original Broadway production of Triumph of Love, and that bear is just one of 40 that will be auctioned next week. Broadway Bears III, an annual fundraiser for BC/EFA, is being held on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 8 PM in The Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway, 145 W. 44th Street. For further information about the auction and how a fan of Ms. B can be a part of the bidding process -- by either pre-bidding, phone bidding or attending the auction -- please contact Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at (212) 840-0770. Also, visit their website at www.bcefa.org and click on BROADWAY BEARS (not "Broadway Bares") under EVENTS.

PATTI LuPONE
La LuPone continues to thrill Philadelphia audiences with her Matters of the Heart concert act through Feb. 14 at the Prince Music Theatre. In a recent review for The Philadelphia Inquirer, critic Clifford A. Ridley had this to say about LuPone's one-woman show: "[Matters of the Heart] is LuPone's first visit to Philadelphia in 25 years. I'd suggest you get down to the Prince before another quarter-century rolls by. Not that there's reason to believe LuPone won't still be knocking 'em dead in 2025. The incredible voice may forfeit some of its luster, color and power over the years. But the singer's exquisitely phrased and modulated control of it, her meticulous attention to the sounds and meanings of the words, and her investment of self in everything she sings are attributes that, if anything, will mature with age. . . the evening comprises some two dozen songs about varied aspects of love, including the special bond between parents and children. In LuPone's rendition, each becomes a little work of theater, an emotion distilled . . .This is great singing, pure and simple. . ."
And, tomorrow, Feb. 12, LuPone will sign copies of her newest CD at the Tower Records store on South Broad and Chestnut Streets in Philly. The disc, in fact, was that store's best-selling recording all last week.


LINDA EDER
For those in the New York area who missed Linda Eder's recent, sold-out Carnegie Hall concert, fear no more. Eder will sing at Feinstein's at the Regency (540 Park Avenue), New York's newest cabaret space, from March 14 through 25 (call (212) 339-4095). And, the talented songstress will make a guest appearance on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" on Friday, March 17. I also thought you would enjoy reading excerpts from two other reviews about Eder's divine evening of song on Feb. 2.


Liz Smith in the New York Post:
". . .This statuesque 6-foot beauty first came to attention when she starred as the prostitute Lucy in the long-running Broadway hit, 'Jekyll & Hyde.' After this concert, I think the term diva, as in divine, is called for. What a powerhouse of a voice, what stunning musicality and phrasing, what a great mysterious sense of warmth, what a band under the direction of Jeremy Roberts, and, what a wonderful way to spend an evening . . . One of my favorite moments happened when Linda sang a medley of Broadway songs not usually sung by women: 'If I Were a Rich Man,' 'Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin',' 'Maria,' 'On the Street Where You Live,' and more . . ."


Stephen Holden in The New York Times:
"The twin muses of Garland and Streisand, along with a 12-week winning streak on 'Star Search' and her meeting with composer Frank Wildhorn, whom she married two years ago, have profoundly shaped the sensibility and career of Ms. Eder . . . Ms. Eder delivered a number of showstopping performances that illustrated her crowd-pleasing bigger-is-better point of view. 'The Man That Got Away,' 'I Dreamed a Dream,' 'Someone Like You,' 'What Kind of Fool Am I?,' 'The Man of La Mancha,' 'A New Life' and most of all 'Vienna' . . ."


And, if you're not in NYC, what follows are Eder's other scheduled concert dates:
March 4 at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ (609) 449-5150
April 13 at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, MA (617) 562-4111
April 15 at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT (203) 562-5666
April 25 at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ (973) 376-4343
May 6 at the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Benefit in the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, TX (713) 334-4400
August 5 at the Wildflower Music Festival in White Mills, PA
August 8 (with Michael Feinstein) at the Mann Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA (215) 336-2000
August 19 at the John Drew Theater of Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY (631) 324-4050

JOE'S PUB SONGBOOK SERIES Unsurprisingly, Victoria Clark -- who I've never seen deliver anything but "class A" work, always focused and "in the moment" -- was the highlight of Monday's somewhat overlong performance of The Music of Marc Blitzstein at Joe's Pub. Clark offered a belty, dramatic version of The Cradle Will Rock's "The Nickel Under the Foot" as well as a heartfelt version of "I Wish It So" that utilized her previously unheard lush mezzo soprano. Clark's superb comic timing, so wonderfully displayed in Titanic, was also in evidence during Cradle's "Scene Six: Hotel Lobby," a humorous trio she performed with Brooks Ashmanskas and Malcom Gets. Operatically trained Lauren Flanigan also shone, investing "Birdie's Aria (Lionnet)" will much passion and vocal flourish. And the two women, Clark and Flanigan, blended their voices to a ravishing effect in "The New Suit." The evening of song (to be performed again on February 14 and 21) featured direction by Ted Sperling and concluded with a rousing version of Regina's "Rain Quartet." . . . The Songbook Series continues: Alice Ripley, Jessica Molaskey, Philip Chaffin and Richard Muenz will take part in a tribute to composer Jerome Moross at the Pub on Feb. 28, March 6 and March 13 at 8:30 PM. Moross, a child prodigy, went on to compose music for film, TV, ballet, and most notably, Broadway's The Golden Apple. The evening of Moross songs was conceived by Tommy Krasker with music director Eric Stern . . . Joe's Pub is located within the Public Theater on Lafayette Street; for tickets to all future performances, call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or Joe's Pub at (212) 539-8777.

IN OTHER NEWS Nothing Like a Dame 2000, the annual fundraiser for The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of the Actors' Fund of America is scheduled for Monday, March 6 at the St. James Theatre. Those scheduled to appear include Lucie Arnaz, Lauren Bacall, Joy Behar, Ann Hampton Callaway, Caitlin Carter, Illeana Douglas, Sandy Duncan, Melissa Errico, Dame Edna Everage, Lauren Flanigan, Amanda Green, Uta Hagen, Heather Headley, Dee Hoty, Susan Marshall & Company, Marin Mazzie, Rita Moreno, Bebe Neuwirth, Nancy Opel, Jane Powell, Chita Rivera, Joan Rivers, Elaine Stritch plus the women of Fosse, the Radio City Rockettes and more. Tickets range from $50 to $1,000 and are available by calling (212) 921-1227. Show time is 8 PM . . . The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical in theatre history, hits video stores on April 4. Part of MGM Home Entertainment's Musicals collection, this version of the Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt classic stars Joel Grey, New Kids on the Block's Joe McIntyre and Jean Louis Kelly as Luisa. The suggested retail price is $14.95 . . . Carol Woods and Karen Saunders will perform their Bosom Buddies cabaret act at the Emelin Theater in Mamaroneck, N.Y., on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7 and 9:30 PM. Tickets (priced at $28) are on sale through The Emelin box office by calling (914) 698-0098 . . . A new musical revue that traces the changes in women in the 1970's is currently playing at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre (61 Christopher Street). Entitled Foxy Ladies Love/Boogie 70's, the performance stars Maggie Anderson, Marie LaFerrara, Anne Lauterbach, Abigail Spencer and Jen Ward. Tickets are $10, and there is a two-drink minimum; call (212) 255-5438 for reservations. Performance dates are as follows: February 12, 19 and 26 at 10 PM and March 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 10 PM . . . "Every girl should make an entrance like that once or twice in her life. It's right on that delicious border of being over the top and within bounds of believability." So says Contact's Deborah Yates about her role in the Susan Stroman/John Weidman dance musical in the upcoming March issue of Playbill (in an article by Harry Haun) . . . As already mentioned, Linda Eder will perform at Feinstein's at the Regency from March 14-22. Before that, however, Lucie Arnaz will perform with Steve March Torme from February 15-26, and this spring, Rosemary Clooney will take to the small stage of the prestigious hotel from May 30 through June 10. Feinstein's at the Regency is located at 540 Park Avenue; for reservations, call (212) 339-4095 . . . And, finally, the always striking Ute Lemper will perform in concert with the San Francisco Symphony on Thursday, April 13.

Correction Liz Callaway's upcoming performance at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, N.Y., on March 11 will not be the same program as her upcoming Lincoln Center performance (at the Terrace Room on March 24). Instead of performing songs from the 60's, Callaway's show will be a semi-autobiographical evening with "lots of show tunes." Call (914) 698-0098 for reservations.

REMINDERS


BETTY BUCKLEY
Betty Buckley will return to the famed Cafe Carlyle for a five-week stint beginning Tuesday, February 15. Buckley will perform two shows nightly at the plush boite, at 8:45 PM and 10:45 PM, Tuesday through Saturday evenings. There is a $60 cover charge but no food/beverage minimum. The cabaret room of the Carlyle Hotel is located at 35 East 76th Street; for reservations, call (212) 744-1600. Be sure to make your reservations now. Seating is limited.

A host of new concert dates have recently been announced for the multi talented actress and singer.
February 11 Center for the Arts at George Mason Univ. in Fairfax, VA
February 12 Palace Theatre in Louisville, KY
February 14 Keith Albee Theatre in Huntington, WV
February 15-March 17 at the Cafe Carlyle in New York, NY March 18 Folly Theatre in Kansas City, MO
March 19 Macomb Center for the Perf. Arts in Detroit, MI
April 24 Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance in Fort Worth, TX
April 26 Coronation 2000 in San Antonio, TX
May 4 Poway Center in Poway, CA
May 5-6 Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, CA
May 7 Haugh Performing Arts Center in Glendora, CA
May 8 Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA

August 29 Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL

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:


February 18 at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts (Hayes Hall) in Naples, Florida; (941) 597-1900
February 19 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (Dreyfoos Hall) in West Palm Beach, FL; (561) 832-7469
May 4-6 in Sweeney Todd at Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center) New York, NY; (212) 875-5656
May 12 at the Union County Arts Center in Rahway, NJ; (732) 499-0441
May 13 at the Staller Center for the Arts in Stonybrook, NY; (516) 632 ARTS
June 8-11 at Theatrefest/Memorial Auditorium at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, NJ; (973) 655-5112

MAUREEN McGOVERN
Already announced McGovern concert dates:


Feb. 11 & 12 "Valentine Pops" with the Baton Rouge Symphony at the Centroplex Theatre for Performing Arts in Baton Rouge, LA
Feb 18 & 19 at the La Mirada Theatre for Performing Arts in La Mirada, CA
March 5 & 6, 19 & 20 with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in Philadelphia, PA
March 17 "An Evening with Maureen McGovern featuring pianist Lee Musiker" at Purchase College-SUNY in Purchase, NY
March 24 & 25 "An Evening with Maureen McGovern" with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic at the Rose Hall Stage in Oklahoma City, OK

ALICE RIPLEY and EMILY SKINNER
That dynamic Side Show (and now The Dead) duo will join forces for a special concert this Valentine's Day, Monday, February 14, 2000, at The Skylight Room at the Puck Building (295 Lafayette Street). The Tony-nominated pair will perform songs from Side Show, their two albums ("Duets" and "Unsuspecting Hearts") and other tunes. A benefit for the Gay Men's Health Crisis, the evening will also include an open bar, hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction. Tickets range from $125 to $1,500. For more information contact GMHC at (212) 367-1514.

BROADWAY CHATTERBOX DIVAS
Here are Seth Rudetsky's upcoming guests for his weekly, live Broadway Talk show, "Seth's Broadway Chatterbox": On February 17 Brian D'Arcy James and Alix Korey will share their amazing vocals, while Marin Mazzie will be Rudetsky's guest at the February 24 edition. "Seth's Broadway Chatterbox" plays at Don't Tell Mama (West 46th Street) Thursdays at 6 PM, and proceeds benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. There is a $10 cover charge and a two-drink minimum; call (212) 757-0788 for reservations.

S.T.A.G.E. BENEFIT
The 16th annual S.T.A.G.E benefit -- on March 3, 4 and 5 at California State University's Luckman Theater -- will honor composers Charles Strouse, Arthur Schwartz and Stephen Schwartz and will feature tunes from Pippin, Godspell, Applause, Annie, Working, The Baker's Wife, Bandwagon, Children of Eden and more. The Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.) is the nation's longest-running AIDS benefit, and since its inception in 1984, the organization has raised millions for HIV/AIDS services and charities throughout Southern California. This year's benefit concerts will feature direction by David Galligan and musical direction by Ron Abel. Those scheduled to perform at this time include Jamie Anderson, Mitchell Anderson, Lucie Arnaz, Cliff Bemis, Polly Bergen, Alan Campbell, Mary Jo Catlett, Carole Cook, Tyne Daly, Clifton Davis, Barbara Deutsch, Jill Eikenberry, Bonnie Franklin, Penny Fuller, Betty Garrett, Sharon Gless, Jason Graae, Bill Hutton, William Katt, Lauren Kennedy, Stephanie Kramer, Dale Kristien, Lee Lessack, Andrea Martin, Pamela Myers, Linda Michele, Robert Morse, Deborah Nishimura, Linda Purl, Joan Ryan, Katie Sagal, Christopher Seiber, Tami Tappen, Michael Tucker with more names to come! Call (323) 665-0857 to order tickets by phone or visit www.stagela.com to order on-line.

Well, that's all for now. Happy Valentine's Day and, of course, happy diva watching!

By Andrew Gans