DIVA TALK: Betty's New Website Is Live

DIVA TALK: Betty's New Website Is Live BETTY BUCKLEY

BETTY BUCKLEY

The newly revised Betty Buckley website has finally arrived on PBOL. Go check out BB's great site, which includes never-before-seen photos of Betty backstage during her last week in Sunset Boulevard as well as an eight-page note from BB herself, detailing some of her latest projects.

Check out her website at http://piano.symgrp.com/playbill/buckley/index.html

ELAINE PAIGE

Our English diva graces the cover of this month's Upstage magazine, which has also featured Betty Buckley on its cover as well. The headline on this theatrical periodical is "Well, It's About Time: Elaine Paige makes a splash in Sunset Boulevard." And we couldn't agree more. Here are some of Elaine's remarks in this Q & A by Paul Wontorek:

Paul Wontorek: I saw excerpts from The South Bank Show. It was great to see all of the original stuff that you did in character?
Elaine Paige: Oh yes. It was a fun idea. The dramatic pieces, you mean? PW: Yes.
EP: We did all of that in a studio. They built a whole set and everything. And we had a Norma Desmond piece especially written. Pam Gems was the playwright. There were dramatic moments spread about as Norma, or Gloria Swanson. . .however you wish to think of it. And also some as Piaf. We also shot some as Evita, but I think they ran out of time. As it was, it was a 90-minute show and I was terrified that it would be absolutely boring. Ninety minutes of me? I thought, "Oh, my God!" As it turned out, there was so much footage from this idea of introducing "The Faces of Elaine Paige" that we were running out of time, so they cut the Evita segments. It's probably just as well. That wig is so severe! ( She laughs) Especially with Madonna out there filming. That really would have been some comparison!

PW: Did Gloria Swanson influence you at all?
EP: Well, I did see the film--several times, because I had a very short rehearsal period. There's no way you can play a part in two-and-a-half weeks. So, I did resort to watching the film--not too much, but a few times. Swanson had an elegance about her. When I spoke to Trevor Nunn, I was guided to the idea that Norma Desmond was really Gloria Swanson. So it seemed to make sense to watch the film. I thought, "If this is the woman, there's going to be a lot of truth on that screen." So, yes, I watched it. Stole a few things! ( She laughs). But I don't think that's unique. We all steal from each other, those of us who are honest.

PW: Before you go, I have to ask you about Madonna.
EP: Madonna? What is there to say about Madonna ( laughs)?

PW: Have you seen any footage of Evita?
EP: I've seen tiny clips. But I should be fascinated to go along like everybody else to have a look.

PW: You'll be here when all of that happens.
EP: I guess I well. Christmas time, I believe. It's gonna be weird, I have to say. For me. Being the first one...

PW: You feel it's your role.
EP: Yeah. I feel a bit possessive about it, I suppose. But I knew in my deepest heart that I'd never make it to the screen with it. Particularly as the years went by! Maybe earlier on I had hopes, but it's taken all these years. It's crazy. Eighteen years. But I'm sure it's going to be wonderful. And she will be, too. It's got all the elements of being something really spectacular. So of course I'll go. I shall sit there and turn green!

*And for those of you New Yorkers who would like the chance to meet this great lady, she will be singing copies of her latest recording, Encore! (which features songs from Sunset, Evita, Cats, Chess, Piaf and other shows), tomorrow, Tuesday Oct. 8 at HMV. HMV is located at 565 Fifth Avenue at 46th Street in New York. The signing will begin at 12:30 PM and last until approximately 2 PM. BERNADETTE PETERS

A devoted BP fan and PBOL reader gave us a copy of HX magazine, which featured BP on its front cover. Inside, Larry Flick's article, entitled The Peters Principle, featured an interview with this Tony-winning talent:

Here are some excerpts . . .

About her new album:
"Over the years, I have been asked to do concept albums, but I didn't want to fit into other people's ideas about me. I promised myself that the next time I made an album it would fully reflect who I am and what I like to sing. If this album only sells two copies, I'll still consider it a great triumph because I was able to make it totally on my own terms."

About returning to Broadway. . .
"Finding the great shows can be difficult, but there are some wonderful things happening on Broadway right now. Shows like Rent are brining new life to Broadway. It's exciting to watch. I'm looking forward to getting back onstage soon."

About her recent marriage:
"There's nothing better than being in love. It's the best feeling in the world."

ALBUMS GALORE

Here's a quick list of some of the albums you might want to add to your collection. All have been released in the past few months:

And, looking ahead, November will bring the first posthumous recording from the late Nancy LaMott on Midder Music. Composer David Friedman and LaMott's manager/director Scott Barnes had previously announced that they had enough material for four or five albums, and this is the first. More details when they become available.
And, the long-awaited soundtrack from the film of Evita (starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce) is due in stores on November 5. The new song added to the film score, "You Must Love Me" is due out this month.

That's all for now. Happy diva-watching!

-- By Andrew Gans
(My e-mail address is andrew_gans@playbill.com.)