Hello fellow diva lovers . . . many items this week.
Thought you'd be interested in reading this question and answer session with Betty Buckley that ran a few weeks ago in Amy Kean's "Starfile" column in The New York Post.
- What are you reading at present? What's your favorite book of all time?
BB: Right now, I'm reading the crime novel Sleepers, and my favorite book ever is Mists of Avalon by Marlon Fommer Bradley.
- What record's on your turntable? What's your favorite record?
BB: I have "Nightsong," a collection of spiritual world music by Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Khan on my turntable. My favorite CD is "Magico" by New-Age artist Edberto Gismonti.
- What's the last film you saw? What's your favorite film?
BB: The last film was Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible and my favorite is the sweet classic Black Stallion.
- In which restaurant did you eat last? What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
BB: My last meal was at Akihona Sushi, and my favorites are Dock's or Sarabeth's Kitchen.
- In your profession whom do you admire most?
BB: Zoe Caldwell, Gena Rowlands and Kenny Werner, my pianist.
- What is humanity's most useful invention? Most useless?
BB: Most useful is coffee, most useless is hairspray.
- Who is the first person you'd invite to your birthday? And the last?
BB: The first would be my brother Norman, and the last would be Jesse Helms.
- If you weren't in your present career, what one would you have chosen?
BB: I would have enjoyed a life as a theater wardrobe designer.
- What period of history would you most like to have lived in?
BB: There's no better time than now.
- If you were told the world was ending tomorrow, what would you do?
BB: Meditate--after a hot cup of coffee--try to get together with the folks I love most (my pets) and hang out holding hands and singing.
And, the countdown continues until Betty's last performance in Sunset, which promises to be a true theatrical event. Be sure to catch this great diva's wonderful performance before she checks out of the Boulevard on August 24.
Reviews for Patti LuPone's current role in Terrence McNally's Master Class will be in papers Friday, July 26. I will be seeing our Evita gal in the show on July 25 and will write a column about it afterwards.
One of Playbill On-line's loyal readers and a huge LuPone fan sent us an article that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 7. LuPone is scheduled to perform with the San Francisco Symphony on July 27, and in the article, which was written by Stephen Greco, she discussed her singing as well as her current role. Here are a few choice quotes:
On preparing her performance for the Pops Concert: "I went into my library with a friend, Scott Whitman, who directed my New York show, and we shaped the show from there. . .You pull together what you need to make an evening of excitement, an evening that includes dramatic moments. What you don't want to be is ballad-heavy, or up-tempo heavy. You want a nice emotional journey."
On her mother: "My mother was an opera fanatic. She used to go to the old Met and buy librettos for 25 cents. . .She had stacks and stacks of them."
On Master Class: "It's Terrence's vision, and the first thing one must be true to is the play. I mean, I listen to her voice, I listen to her arias, I'm reading the books, I'm watching the videos. But what if there's something in the play that doesn't jibe with the research you've done? You honor the play."
And, . . . Patti LuPone will perform in concert at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on Saturday, Nov. 16, 1996 at 8 p.m. For more information, call (718) 951-4543.
Our British diva, who will succeed Betty Buckley in the Norma Desmond throne on August 26, will arrive in New York City next week to begin preparations for the role.
I will be speaking with Ms. Paige toward the end of the month for an article for Playbill Magazine and PBOL. I'll keep you posted.
Recently saw footage from a tribute to Bob Hope that Bernadette sang at around the time of her Song & Dance run. Peters performed a terrific medley of Noel Coward songs (including "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," "Mad About the Boy, "If Love Were All,". . .), which further proved her place as one of the great song interpreters of our time. Can't wait until the new album hits record stores August 20.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK Alix Korey's Gifts of Love
If Alix Korey had lived during the thirties and forties, she would have surely given Ethel Merman a run for her money. Korey possesses one of the strongest voices in the business: Not only does she have a great set of pipes, but she also knows how to use them to thrilling effect, as her many cabaret devotees would confirm. On her first album, Songs You Might Have Missed, Korey impressed us with her vocal power, but on her most recent recording for Audible Difference, Inc., she shows us the range of her interpretative skills, giving moving renditions of such songs as Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Something Wonderful" and a medley of Jerry Herman's "It Only Takes a Moment" and "I Promise You a Happy Ending." Korey also brings to life some unfamiliar tunes, including a heartbreaking "Bring Back My Dreamer" by Jeffrey D. Harris; Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens's "Shoes"; plus a song she co-wrote with David Friedman, "You're There," a stirring ode to a lost love. The title track, "Gifts of Love," a song from Stephen Schwartz's The Baker's Wife, is delivered with a beautiful range of vocal color and is also a most appropriate title for this recording (Available at select record stores or through Audible Difference, Inc. 275 West 96th St., #30A, NYC 10025).
DIVAS IN CABARET
Karen Murphy, who last starred Off-Broadway in Zombie Prom, brings her comedic skills and her huge voice to the cabaret stage of Don't Tell Mama.
Murphy possesses a keen sense of comic timing, and uses this skill to imbue her songs with a subtle sense of irony. It is an enjoyable act, although I would have liked a few more dramatic moments, which would have made the show more balanced.
Karen Murphy's show, Torch Goddess: Music to Light Candles By," has been extended through the end of August. The show plays Monday nights, July 22, 29, August 5, 12 and 19 and Saturday, August 24. . For more details, call Don't Tell Mama at (212) 757-0788.
Following is the song list from Murphy's act:
"Stranger in Paradise" (Wright and Forrest)
"Kiss of Fire" (Allen and Hill)
"Desperate Hours" (Burt Bacharach)
"Me Go With You?" (Arlen and Gershwin)
"Secret Love" (Fain and Webster)
"Occasional Man" (Martin and Blane)
"Thanks A Lot But No Thanks" (Previn, Comden and Green)
"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" (Harry Noble)
"Movie Medley" (Cole Porter)
"How Did He Look?" (Abner Silver)
"Cry Me a River" (Arthur Hamilton)
"Steam Heat" (Adler and Ross)
"Theme from Peter Gunn" (Henry Mancini)
Encore: "Just in Time" (Styne, Comden and Green)
That's all for now. Happy diva-watching!