Hello, diva lovers. Now that we're all trying to adjust to the news that Sunset Boulevard will be closing in London, New York and Vancouver, and we can no longer pop in for a fix of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" or "With One Look," (for a history of Sunset's great ladies, see the Feb. 3 Diva Talk), I thought we could all use a dose of good news. So here are some upcoming events, recordings, concerts, etc. for all of our wonderful ladies! Enjoy!
Now that Betty Buckley has concluded her run with the Andrew Lloyd Webber tour Music of the Night, she will return to her own concert tour this month, including an engagement in New York City in March. For a complete listing of BB's concerts, check out her website on Playbill On line.
Regarding Ms B's next New York appearance, Buckley will again play the elegant cabaret room at Maxim's (62nd Street and Madison Avenue in NYC) in March. She will perform seven shows at Maxim's March 19-22 (one show on March 19 and two shows each remaining night). For reservations and/or information, call 212-751-5111.
Last week, our Evita gal finished her acclaimed run as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Tony-winning opus Master Class. According to an item in this week's Variety, La LuPone's opening in the London production of MC is scheduled for April 30 at the Queen's Theater. This will mark LuPone's return to the London stage, last appearing there in the world-premiere production of Sunset Boulevard.
There is a new release date for Bernadette Peters' eagerly-awaited new album, which was recorded live during her triumphant Carnegie Hall concert in December. The CD is scheduled for release on March 11, and BP will appear on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" on March 25 to promote the recording; portions of the proceeds will benefit GMHC. The title of the CD is now "Sondheim, etc./Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall." As reported a few weeks ago, the song list is as follows:
Broadway Baby from Follies
No One Is Alone from Into the Woods
Sooner or Later from Dick Tracy
Making Love Alone, originally performed on "Saturday Night Live"
Time Heals Everything from Mack and Mabel
Raining in My Heart from Dames at Sea
Some People from Gypsy
Johanna from Sweeney Todd
Happiness from Passion
Hello Little Girl/Any Moment from Into the Woods
There Won't Be Trumpets from Anyone Can Whistle
You Could Drive a Person Crazy from Company
Not a Day Goes By from Merrily We Roll Along
Being Alive from Company
Move On from Sunday in the Park with George
I had the pleasure of speaking with one of my favorite divas, Florence Lacey, about a week or so ago. Not only is she a bundle of talent, but she is also one of the nicest performers around. Lacey, straight from her run as Fantine in Les Miserables, spoke about her time in Les Miz, during the much-in-the-news casting situation. Although it was a difficult period for someone who "thought I'd been through it all in show business,. . .it's been the most wonderful group of people, and I've become very close to everyone. I've loved playing this character. She's a really wonderful woman to play."
Lacey, who has performed the title role in Evita more than any other actress, has been invited to again play Eva in Europe, but at this time she is unsure whether she wants to undertake the demanding role again: "I don't know. I saw the film recently," Lacey explained, "and I enjoyed it much very and thought it was absolutely beautiful. [But] I started remembering how difficult a role it is. . ."
Lacey, who recently underwent foot surgery, is also contemplating doing an album of her favorite show tunes. She said that it will most likely contain a lot of songs by her "hero," Jerry Herman, including "If He Walked Into My Life," "I Belong Here," "Time Heals Everything," and "Song on the Sand." FL has performed in many Herman shows, including The Grand Tour, two Broadway productions of Hello, Dolly! and she also appeared with the Tony-winning composer at New York's Rainbow & Stars. I'll keep you posted on the album.
We're very happy to add Donna Murphy, who has won Tony Awards in both Passion and The King and I to our list of Broadway divas! We just received Murphy's latest bio from her press agent, so I thought that would be a good way to inaugurate this diva:
"Donna Murphy, certainly one of the most accomplished stage actresses of the nineties, has this year made the transition to award-winning television actress. This fall Donna received the Cable Ace Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Special or Series for her starring role in Someone Had to Be Benny for the HBO Life Stories Series. A two-time Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical (in 1996 for her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic The King and I, and in 1994 for her riveting performance as Fosca in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion, for which she also received a Drama Desk Award), Donna's spectacular stage presence delighted television viewers this past summer when her award-winning role in Passion made its television debut on PBS' American Playhouse to rave reviews. In addition, Ms. Murphy's superb vocal talents can currently be enjoyed on several CDs, including the cast album for The King and I (Varese Sarabande), the acclaimed Leonard Bernstein's New York (Nonesuch Records) and the Grammy Award-winning Passion (Angel Records).
After studying with the legendary Stella Adler and attending New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Donna Murphy launched her career with a role in the Neil Simon/Marvin Hamlisch hit They're Playing Our Song. Ms Murphy's repertoire spans a vast range of dynamic and challenging roles in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. She received Drama Desk nominations for her performances in the Lincoln Center productions of James Lapine's Twelve Dreams and Michael John La Chiusa's Hello Again, and both Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Song of Singapore. Other stage credits include the title character in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Strindberg's Miss Julie and the Roundabout Theatre production of Privates on Parade.
In addition to her appearances on the stage, Donna has proven her talents on both the small and big screens. Ms. Murphy most recently guest starred as a 30's Broadway diva for the American Movie Classics comedy series "Remember Wenn" and was Francesca Cross in Stephen Bochco's critically acclaimed drama "Murder One" on ABC. Other television credits include the PBS series "Tales from the Hollywood Hills" and NBC's "Another World." Ms. Murphy made her motion picture debut in Joe Eszterhas' thriller Jade, directed by William Friedkin.
Born in Queens, New York, she is the eldest of seven children. Married to actor Shawn Elliott, Murphy resides in New York City."
That's all for now. Happy diva-watching!
-- By Andrew Gans
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