This past Tuesday evening Betty Buckley began her five-week stint at New York's Cafe Carlyle. Her new show, Heart to Heart, features songs from her same-named seventh solo CD, which will be released nationwide on March 28. The new recording is available for sale at the Carlyle throughout her run, so those of you attending will have the chance to get an early listen to the disc. I was very happy to receive a promotional copy of the CD (on the KO Productions label) yesterday, and I'll have my thoughts about the new recording next week, but here are the song titles for those who can't wait!
"Just the Way You Look Tonight"
"Anyone Can Whistle"
"You're Nearer"/ "If Ever I Would Leave You"/ "My Funny Valentine"
"Fire and Rain"
"If I Remember You Right"/ "I Had a King"
"Where's That Rainbow"/"Spring Is Here"/"Falling in Love with Love"
"I Am a Town"
"How Deep Is the Ocean"
Buckley also recently delivered an enchanting evening of song with the Louisville Orchestra. I thought you would enjoy reading a quote from the glowing review in The Courier Journal. About Ms. B's performance, Rick Mattingly had this to say: ". . . Saturday night, from her opening song, 'Some Enchanted Evening,' to her encore number, 'Amazing Grace,' Buckley made every song her own. She delivered classic tunes such as 'September Song,' 'As Time Goes By' and 'Lush Life' in a voice rich with life experience that brought out their meaning. At times she seemed to be living the lyrics. But unlike many singers who project a world-weary quality in such songs, Buckley's voice was filled with hope and the promise of tomorrow, particularly in her joyous rendition of 'Never-Never Land' from the musical 'Peter Pan.' The bulk of Buckley's credits are from Broadway musicals, for which her powerful voice is obviously well-suited. But last night Buckley proved that she is not one of those stage singers whose dynamic range is limited to loud and louder. There were times when her volume was barely above a whisper, and yet her voice projected power even then . . . Especially moving was "Send in the Clowns" in which Buckley was backed only by Werner. As the two performers responded to each other's improvisations, the song sounded as if it were receiving its first performance -- or maybe its last. Buckley's performance of ['Memory'], from her Tony-winning portrayal of Grizabella in Cats, brought the concert to an emotional climax, as Buckley seemed to become the very song she was singing. If vocal talent were prized more than sheer celebrity, Buckley would have filled Freedom Hall last night and Cher would have played the Palace earlier in the week. At Cher's concert, songs, costumes and wigs were all mere props that served the 'star.' But Saturday night, Buckley made the songs themselves the stars. And she served them well."
(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 212-744-1600. The Cafe Carlyle is located at 35 East 76th Street.)
I recently received a few new concert dates for theatre/cabaret legend Barbara Cook, which follow:
March 21 - April 29 at the Cafe Carlyle, NYC (212) 744-1600
June 13 at the Playhouse Theatre, Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Del. (302) 656-4401
September 14 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts in Poway, CA (619) 748-0505
September 21 & 22 at the Sydney Opera House (in concert with David Campbell) in Sydney, Australia 011-61-2-9250-7777
September 28-October 1 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA (714) 556-2787 AUDRA McDONALD
In the liner notes for Audra McDonald's new solo recording, former New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich writes, "If the American musical didn't already exist, it would have to be invented for Audra McDonald." And, from just the first few notes of "How Glory Goes," the listener completely understand Rich's words. The CD -- which hits record stores this Tuesday, Feb. 22 -- begins with the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer classic, "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home," and McDonald builds it to a wonderful climax. McDonald's is a hybrid voice, part Broadway, part opera, part gospel, and each part is as emotionally honest and rich as the other. "How Glory Goes" is the second solo recital from the three-time Tony winner; the first, "Way Back To Paradise," saluted a new generation of composers that includes Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LaChiusa (in fact, the latter composed McDonald's most recent Broadway outing, Marie Christine). Although this Nonesuch Records disc includes songs by a few up-and-coming composers, more than half of the recording features pop standards by the likes of Arlen, Mercer, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein and others. Highlights include a stunning take on the Arlen/Gershwin ballad, "The Man That Got Away," which clearly demonstrates McDonald's vocal and dramatic range; a sweet, gentle version of the melodious "Come Down from the Tree," a song cut from the Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens musical Once On This Island; and a soaring version of the CD's title tune by Adam Guettel.
The complete track listing for "How Glory Goes" follows:
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home"
"I Had Myself a True Love"
"I Hid My Love"
"Was That You?"
"I Won't Mind"
"A Sleepin' Bee"
"Come Down from the Tree"
"I Never Has Seen Snow"
"When Did I Fall in Love?"
"The Man That Got Away"
"How Glory Goes"
"Lay Down Your Head"
McDonald will also begin her first concert tour next month. Scheduled dates include the following:
March 4 at the Palace Theatre in Columbus, OH
March 5 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
March 11 at the University of California in Irvine, CA
March 12 at the Saroyan Theater in Fresno, CA
March 18 at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ
March 19 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ
April 25-29 with the Atlanta Symphony (Kurt Weill/ "Seven Deadly Sins")
May 12 at Harvard University's Sanders Theater in Boston, MA
May 14 at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
**And, finally, McDonald's one-woman concert, which was taped last summer during her sold-out performances at London's Donmar Warehouse, will begin airing in the New York area on Friday, March 10 at 9 PM. Check local listings for other times and dates.
Singer/actress Julie Wilson invests most of her songs with a world weary sophistication that has brought her much acclaim in the cabaret world over the past two decades. She takes such care with each lyric that you hardly notice her gravelly, sometimes strained tones. Her latest release on DRG Records celebrates the songs of Tony-winning composer Cy Coleman, the man responsible for such Broadway hits as Barnum, Little Me, Sweet Charity and, most recently, The Life. Wilson's other efforts for DRG have included tributes to the works of George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill. On the new release, Wilson sings a wide variety of Coleman's work, ranging from such well-known tunes as "Big Spender" and "Hey, Look Me Over" to rarities like "When in Rome" and "Tin Pan Alley." Wilson duets on several of the tracks with her masterful accompanist William Roy, including a heartfelt version of the Barnum tune "The Colors of My Life." The complete track listing for "Julie Wilson: The Cy Coleman Songbook" follows:
"Use What You Got"/ "Big Spender"
"Real Live Girl" / "You Fascinate Me So"
"It Amazes Me"
"Bigger Isn't Better"
"Love Makes Such Fools of Us All"/"On Second Thought"/"Come Summer"
"I've Got Your Number" / "Witchcraft"
"The Colors of My Life"
"Tin Pan Alley" / "Firefly"
"Would You Believe" / "A Moment of Madness"
"When In Rome"
"Here I Go Again"
"Sweet Talk" / "I Want To Be Yours"
"Let Me Down Easy" / "I Can't Let You Go"
"Do Be a Darling"
"Nobody Does It Like Me" / "Why Try to Change Me Now?"
"Here's To Us" / "Little Me"
"Hey, Look Me Over"
"Don't Ask a Lady"
IN OTHER NEWS About her role as Dolores in the upcoming New York Public Theater production of The Wild Party, Eartha Kitt had this to say to writer Mervyn Rothstein (for an upcoming Playbill article): "Dolores is Queenie's adviser. She likes Queenie [Toni Collette's role]. She sees how self-destructive Queenie is and doesn't want her to waste her time in this behavior. She says to Queenie, 'You remind me of a lot of girls I used to dance with. They were going to spread their wings and fly. Instead they spread their legs and vanished.'" . . . Emily Skinner of Side Show fame has won a role in the upcoming musical production of the hit film The Full Monty . . . Now available from DRG Records if "A Leap of Faith," Tony winner Faith Prince's first solo disc, which was recorded live at Joe's Pub. Tracks include "Some People," "If I Were a Bell," "On the Other Side of the Tracks," "Adelaide's Lament," "Animal in the Pit" and many others . . . Margaret Whiting will sing the "Great American Songbook" with the John Pizzarelli Trio at the George Mason University Center for the Arts on March 6 . . . Mary Cleere Haran will perform on March 26 at the Barns of Wolftrap.
Betty Buckley returned to the famed Cafe Carlyle this week for a five week stint. The Tony winner 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 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 LINDA EDER
Eder in concert:
March 4 at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ (609) 449-5150
March 14-25 at Feinstein's at the Regency in NY, NY (212) 339-4095
March 17 an appearance on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show"
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
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
Already announced McGovern concert dates:
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
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.
JOE'S PUB SONGBOOK SERIES 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 February 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.
NOTHING LIKE A DAME
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 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 diva-watching!
By Andrew Gans