DIVA TALK: Buckley to the Rescue; Happy B'day Bernadette

DIVA TALK: Buckley to the Rescue; Happy B'day Bernadette BETTY BUCKLEY
It was Betty Buckley to the rescue this past week when another of our favorite ladies, Bernadette Peters, was forced to withdraw from her concert with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra due to a bad case of bronchitis. Buckley was called in at the 11th hour to perform at the Wisconsin Center Arena and from all accounts delivered a wonderful, moving performance. A loyal diva watcher and Buckley fan informed me that Buckley joked that she tried to make her hair "extra curly" like Peters' trademark hairstyle. And, Elaine Schmidt's review in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put it this way: "Buckley took the stage Tuesday evening and simply raised the roof. . . [she] filled the room with both the power of her voice and the musical-theatrical power of her deliveries. Like the stage veteran she is, she commanded attention, singing in a style that holds lyrics as sacred. Whether she belted or whispered, not a single syllable was lost or blurred. . .Her audience of some 4,800 patrons. . .responded with a standing ovation."

BETTY BUCKLEY
It was Betty Buckley to the rescue this past week when another of our favorite ladies, Bernadette Peters, was forced to withdraw from her concert with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra due to a bad case of bronchitis. Buckley was called in at the 11th hour to perform at the Wisconsin Center Arena and from all accounts delivered a wonderful, moving performance. A loyal diva watcher and Buckley fan informed me that Buckley joked that she tried to make her hair "extra curly" like Peters' trademark hairstyle. And, Elaine Schmidt's review in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put it this way: "Buckley took the stage Tuesday evening and simply raised the roof. . . [she] filled the room with both the power of her voice and the musical-theatrical power of her deliveries. Like the stage veteran she is, she commanded attention, singing in a style that holds lyrics as sacred. Whether she belted or whispered, not a single syllable was lost or blurred. . .Her audience of some 4,800 patrons. . .responded with a standing ovation."

BB's repertoire for the evening follows. . .

"Hello Young Lovers"/"Almost Like Being in Love"
"Some Enchanted Evening"
"Unexpected Song"
"As Time Goes By"/"Where or When"
"Meadowlark"
"Come On, Come On"
"As If We Never Said Goodbye"
"Come Rain or Come Shine"
"September Song"
"My Ship"
"With One Look"
"Memory"
"Amazing Grace"

Hopefully BP is back on her feet by now and ready for her next concert engagement on March 6 in Costa Mesa. . .How about BB and BP together in one concert? Now that would be something!

Buckley was also interviewed this week at her apartment for the cable television documentary that will air sometime in the future. The documentary will also include footage from Buckley's recent Valentine's Weekend stint at the Bottom Line. Stay tuned for more details.


PATTI LuPONE

The star of The Old Neighborhood is currently performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony through this Sunday, March 1 at the Heinz Hall in Pennsylvania. Tickets are still available for the remaining concerts by calling 412-392-4900. LuPone will return to the critically-hailed Mamet play following this concert engagement.

Also, add Sunday, April 5 to the ever-growing list of LuPone concert appearances. La LuPone is scheduled to perform at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts, on this date. Tickets can be purchased by calling 978-922-8500. . .And, a reminder that LuPone will star in the one-night-only benefit concert of Annie Get Your Gun at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre on Sunday, March 8. A limited number of seats to this Irving Berlin classic are available by calling Telecharge at 212-239 6200. I will attend the concert--which will also star Peter Gallagher- and will report on it for a future column.


BERNADETTE PETERS
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 28, the uniquely talented Bernadette Peters will celebrate her 50th birthday. The Tony-winning singer/actress has been enchanting audiences for as long as she can remember, and I thought I would comprise a list of my 50 favorite songs (in no particular order) that I have heard Peters sing over the years in honor of the occasion. Peters has recorded most of the songs that follow; however, there are a few she has yet to preserve. . .So, happy birthday Bernadette, and come back to Broadway soon! (*Note: Bernadette's first two solo albums, Bernadette Peters and Now Playing, were re-released on CD a few years ago under the title Bernadette.)

1. "Tell Me On a Sunday" (recorded on Song and Dance)
2. "Unexpected Song" (recorded on Song and Dance)
3. "Come Back with the Same Look in Your Eyes" (recorded on Song and Dance)
4. "Take That Look Off Your Face" (recorded on Song and Dance)
5."Move On" (recorded on Sunday in the Park with George and Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
6. "Sunday in the Park with George" (recorded on Sunday in the Park with George)
7. "We Do Not Belong Together" (recorded on Sunday in the Park with George)
8. "No More" (recorded on The Goodbye Girl)
9. "Time Heals Everything" (recorded on Mack and Mabel)
10. "Wherever He Ain't" (recorded on Mack and Mabel)
11. "Stay With Me" (recorded on Into the Woods)
12. "Last Midnight" (recorded on Into the Woods)
13. "Raining in My Heart" (recorded on Dames at Sea)
14. "Other Lady" (recorded on solo album Bernadette)
15. "Happiness" (recorded on Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
16. "Gee Whiz" (recorded on solo album Bernadette)
17. "Some People" (recorded on Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
18. "Anyone Can Whistle" (recorded on Anyone Can Whistle)
19. "With So Little To Be Sure Of" (recorded on Anyone Can Whistle)
20. "No One Is Alone" (recorded on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight)
21. "I Remember" (recorded on Mandy Patinkin's Dress Casual)
22. "Take Me to the World" (recorded on Mandy Patinkin's Dress Casual)
23."Broadway Baby" (recorded on solo albums Bernadette & Sondheim Etc.)
24. "Making Love Alone" (recorded on Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
25. "Johanna" (recorded on Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
26."There Won't Be Trumpets" (recorded on Anyone Can Whistle & Sondheim Etc.)
27."Not a Day Goes By" (recorded on A Sondheim Celebration and Sondheim Etc.)
28. "Being Alive" (recorded on Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
29."You Could Drive a Person Crazy" (recorded on Sondheim Etc. Live at Carnegie Hall)
30. "Faithless Love" (recorded on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight)
31. "He's Got a Way" (recorded on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight)
32. "Some Other Time" (recorded on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight)
33. "Cupid" (recorded on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight)
34. "I Can Cook Too" (unrecorded; performed on PBS fundraiser)
35."I'm Flying" (unrecorded; performed on "The Tonight Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show")
36. "Pearl's a Singer" (recorded on solo album Bernadette)
37. "Falling in Love with Love" (performed in Cinderella)
38. "How Can I Win?" (recorded on The Goodbye Girl)
39. "Look What Happened To Mabel" (recorded on Mack and Mabel)
40. "Nothing Like You've Ever Known" (recorded on Song and Dance)
41. "The Sailor of My Dreams" (recorded on Dames at Sea)
42. "Children and Art" (recorded on Sunday in the Park with George)
43. "Children Will Listen" (recorded on Into the Woods)
44. "You Made Me Think You Were in Love" (recorded on Song and Dance)
45. "Only Wounded" (recorded on solo album Bernadette)
46. "I Dreamed a Dream" (unrecorded; performed in Atlantic City)
47. "Lonely Town" (unrecorded; performed on PBS fundraiser)
48."Come Rain or Come Shine" (unrecorded; performed on "The Tonight Show")
49. "The Next Dream" (unrecorded; performed on "The Carol Burnett Show)
50. "You'll Never Know" (recorded on solo album Bernadette)
and one for good luck. . .
51. "If Love Were All" (unrecoded; performed on tribute to Bob Hope on PBS)




NOTHING LIKE A DAME
I was unable to attend this year's Nothing Like a Dame benefit concert this past Monday evening, but I thought you would be interested to read what each "dame" performed. The evening benefited the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of the Actors' Fund of America, and what follows is the program for the show:-

"All That Jazz" from Chicago featuring Bebe Neuwirth and cast-
"Nothing Like a Dame" performed by the Dames ensemble-
"No Business Like Show Business" performed by Lucie Arnaz-
"Two Ladies in the Audience" performed by Kelly Bishop and Mary Testa-
"I Can Cook Too" performed by Lea De Laria-
"Harlem on My Mind" performed by Paula Newsome-
"That Dirty Old Man" performed by Mary Testa-
"A Salute to the Ziegfeld Girls" performed by Elena Egorova-
"Laura Nyro Tribute" included "Mother's Spiritual" and "Time and Love" performed by Andrea Burns, Katie Finneran, Jill Geddes, Danielle Greaves, Jessica Molaskey and Shayna Steele-
"The Ritz/Everything's Coming Up Roses" performed by Rita Moreno, Kevin Chamberlin, Jason Howell and Denis Jones-
"Shadowlands" performed by Heather Headley and Tsidii LeLoka-
"I Wanna Be Around to Pick Up the Pieces" performed by Karen Mason-
"So What" performed by Marcia Lewis-
"Easy Women" performed by Christine Pedi and Dorothy Kiara-
"Doggerel" performed by Zoe Caldwell-
"The Lady is a Vamp" performed by Karen Andrews, Jennifer Lamberts, Nancy Lemenager, Kerri Lee, Anna McNeely, Susie Misner, Cyndi Neal, Tina Ou, Jody Ripplinger, Kate Suber-
"Serenity" performed by Betty Buckley-
"The Grass Is Always Greener" performed by Glenn Close and Elaine Stritch-
"Happiness" performed by The Broadway Kids-
"Strengthen Me" performed by The Broadway Gospel Choir with soloist Tracy Nicole Chapman


LINDA EDER
Linda Eder, current star of Jekyll and Hyde, was the subject of an interview in the February 20 issue of In Theater Magazine. Thought you would be interested to read some of Eder's choice quotes from Allan Kreda's article:--

about her fiance and favorite composer, Frank Wildhorn:
"We're good together because we both do so much to help each other. I'm his worst critic, and he's my worst critic. He's motivated and I'm not. He's got his head in the clouds, and my feet are buried in the dirt. He brings me up, I bring him down, and we meet somewhere in the middle. Our love affair has certainly brought out the best in both of us."--

about the first production of Jekyll and Hyde in Houston in 1990:
"Everything was perfect [during the 12-week run]. We had a wonderful cast and a great environment. Plus, the reviews were good. Nothing can ever be like that first run. A part of me still wishes I could have come to New York as a kid with that version of the show."
--
about a defining moment in her performing life:
"We were working on the Jekyll & Hyde album before the show ever hit the stage. Following a taping session, Frank and I were picked up by a Rolls Royce limousine. I didn't know until I got in that Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis Jr. were inside. I had never met either of them, and suddenly there I was, face to face with them. We headed over to Liza's apartment, and they asked to hear some Jekyll & Hyde selections. So Frank sat down at the piano and I sat next to him. Both Liza and Sammy were leaning in from opposite sides of the piano, their chins in their hands, and Sammy says: 'Sing, kid!' Somehow I did, but I was so nervous that my knees were knocking like crazy. I can't ever forget it. After they complimented us, Sammy sang 'This Is the Moment' as if he had been singing it all his life."


REMINDERS:
DIXIE CARTER
Carter will return to the cabaret stage of the Cafe Carlyle (Madison Avenue at 76th Street) on March 10. Reservations can be made by calling 212-744-1600.

EARTHA KITT
The legendary Eartha Kitt continues at Cafe Carlyle (212-744-1600) on Madison and 76th Street through March 7. Performances are Tuesday through Saturdays at 8:45 and 10:45, and there is a $50 cover with no minimum.

KAREN MASON
Mason will make an on-line appearance on Playbill On-line on March 9 at 9pm, and later that week, on March 14, she will appear in concert at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Reservations for that concert can be made by calling 914-698-0098. A radio appearance on the Stan Martin Show (WQEW-AM 1560 AM) follows on March 16, and March 20 brings Mason centerstage at Carnegie Hall. Entitled "The Broadway Songbook with Karen Mason," the evening will feature Mason performing with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops Orchestra. And, finally, on March 29 Mason will sing with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus at Avery Fisher Hall in a tribute to George Gershwin.

ELAINE PAIGE
Paige will begin previews in Moliere's The Misanthrope on March 13 with an official opening on March 26 at London's Piccadilly Theatre. Tickets are available by calling 011-44-171-287-0464. . .On April 7 Paige will be one of the many stars celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday through song at the Royal Albert Hall. . .On June 7 and 8 EP will take part in the charity concert Hey Mr. Producer, which will celebrate the work of another legendary Brit, producer Cameron Mackintosh. . . .EP will appear in concert at the Hampton Court Palace Festival on June 19. Tickets may be purchased by calling 011-171-344-4444.

BERNADETTE PETERS
BP's concert schedule follows:
March 6 & 7 in Costa Mesa, CA at The Orange County Performing Arts Center
March 12 in Akron, OH at the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, Univ. of Akron
March 14 New Brunswick, NJ at the NJ State Theatre
March 15 Springfield, MA at Symphony Hall
March 27 & 28 in Dayton, OH at the Dayton Convention Center

JULIE WILSON

Julie Wilson is currently performing at Michael's Pub at 57 East 54th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues). Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. There is a $20 music charge Tuesday-Saturday, $25 Friday and Saturday and a $15 food or drink minimum for all performances. Call 212-758-2272 or 212-355-0243 for reservations.

Coming soon: An interview with Patti LuPone. . .

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

-- By Andrew Gans
e-mail me at andrew_gans@playbill.com