DIVA TALK: Divas in Concert, Quotable Quotes and MORE!

DIVA TALK: Divas in Concert, Quotable Quotes and MORE! Hello, diva lovers! Just a few items this week. Enjoy . . .

Hello, diva lovers! Just a few items this week. Enjoy . . .

BARBARA COOK
While the revival of The Music Man continues to thrill audiences at the Neil Simon Theatre, that show’s original star, Barbara Cook, has recently added a few dates to her always-growing concert schedule. Included in this list is an especially exciting entry: a one-woman evening at Carnegie Hall on February 2, 2001. Cook’s complete itinerary follows:

July 28 and 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 14 at the Poway Center for the Perf. Arts in Poway, CA
Sept. 21 & 22 at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 at the Orange County Perf. Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA
Feb. 2, 2001 at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Feb. 23 and 24 with Michael Feinstein at the Cerritos Center for the Perf. Arts in Cerritos, CA

PATTI LuPONE
Don’t forget to set your VCRs this evening. Our Evita gal, Patti LuPone, will perform on “Evening at Pops,” scheduled to air in the metropolitan area at 9 PM on WNET/13. Conductor John Williams returns to Symphony Hall to perform music from his Oscar-nominated score from the film Angela’s Ashes, and Tony winner LuPone is scheduled to wrap her golden throat around such tunes as Stephen Sondheim’s “Being Alive,” John Bucchino’s “Unexpressed,” Peter Pan’s “Never Never Land” and more . . . Speaking of La LuPone, there was a wonderful article in this Sunday’s New York Times, which focused on the recent Lincoln Center Theater production of Sweeney Todd, which was, unfortunately, not filmed for broadcast or sale. The event was audio-taped, and the New York Philharmonic has announced that it will press a limited edition of CDs of the star studded event. In his article, Barry Singer had this to say about the Stephen Sondheim masterpiece: “ . . . Backing a mixed cast of Broadway and opera performers, fronted by George Hearn (replacing the indisposed opera idol Bryn Terfel in the title role) and Patti LuPone (delivering perhaps the performance of her career), the Philharmonic responded to Mr. Sondheim’s music with unexpected passion and empathy. The audiences in turn responded with unrestrained delight, raucously echoing the refrain crowed by the show’s meat pie-gorging chorus, ‘God, that’s good!’ . . . [The evening] also revealed, however, a musical richness and formal sophistication previously suspected but never before so emphatically confirmed. Inside Avery Fisher Hall, the significance of the occasion was unmistakable; for Mr. Sondheim, further acceptance on his own terms in the classical music realm; for the Philharmonic, a category-shattering expansion of its musical embrace . . .” CHRISTIANE NOLL
Former star of Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde, Christiane Noll will be hitting the concert circuit, performing throughout the USA. Noll will join other Broadway names in this concert tour, backed by some of the world’s greatest orchestras. Her complete schedule follows:


July 22 with Ron Raines and the San Francisco Symphony in San Francisco, CA; (415) 864-6000
Sept. 22 with the Nashua Symphony in Nashua, NH; (800) 639-3101
Oct. 14 with the Cape Symphony Orchestra at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis, MA (508) 362-1111
Dec. 2 with Doug LaBrecque and Michael Maguire and the New London Symphony in New London, CT
Dec. 7-17 The Magic of Christmas with the Portland Symphony in Portland, ME; (207) 842-0800

QUOTABLE QUOTES:

Another quote from Gregg Shapiro’s recent interview with Tony winner Betty Buckley (in Next magazine), who discusses working with Johnny Mathis on his new Broadway CD:
“He’s a lovely, lovely man. He was another one of my heroes from junior high school on. I would listen to Johnny Mathis and sing along to his recordings while looking out my bedroom window -- which looked out across this west Texas plain. ‘Wild Is the Wind’ was one of the great songs that I loved growing up. We have a mutual friend in Richard Jay Alexander, one of the co-producers of his album, and Richard Jay called me up last year and said that Johnny had requested that I sing a duet with him on the CD, and I was thrilled. I got to go out to L.A. and sing with him on the record. It was very exciting.”

Richard S. Ginell’s review (in Daily Variety) of Audra McDonald’s recent concert at the Hollywood Bowl:
“. . .The first thing one notices is that big voice, a full classical soprano that grows with emotion and power as the songs unfold, deliberately projecting out to a huge amphitheater. Yet she also seems thoroughly at home with the bluesy strain of what used to be the Broadway vernacular. McDonald showed that she can live and grow with her material; her live performances of Arlen’s ‘A Sleepin’ Bee’ and ‘I Had Myself a True Love’ had far more depth and authentic feeling than those on the Nonesuch CD. And for a topper, she has real, unaffected, girlish stage charm, without the lofty airs of a diva or the crowd pandering gush of a Broadway baby . . .”

In an upcoming Playbill article by Patrick Pacheco, Kate Shindle discusses playing the role of Cabaret’s Sally Bowles on tour:
“There’s a fair amount of wonder about Sally. Her constantly trying to experience the energy of other people is not altogether foreign to me . . . It’s important that the audience doesn’t stop believing that Sally might be able to achieve something; otherwise she’s just a burned-out drug addict in a club, someone who doesn’t have anything to do with you. But, like Sally, everyone has insecurities and shortcomings they’d like to overcome.”

Everett Evans’ review (in the Houston Chronicle) of the recent TUTS production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita:
“Yet Evita boasts some of the team's strongest work: insinuating ballads such as ‘I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You’ and ‘High Flying Adored’; driving ensemble numbers such as ‘Buenos Aires,’ ‘The Money Kept Rolling In’ and ‘A New Argentina.’ Best of all is ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall,’ the most beautiful song and the one genuinely touching moment -- though tellingly, it's sung by a minor character, Peron's discarded mistress, Angela Covington, who is never heard from again . . . Valerie Perri's Eva is generally capable. She plays her early ambition more like the spunky ingenue in 42nd Street than as the unstoppable force of nature she should be. She is persuasive wielding power as first lady, calculating and vindictive. Yet she never exerts the charismatic sex appeal that would explain her many conquests. She sings her big balcony scene smoothly -- stressing the actress playing it to the hilt. Elsewhere, she sometimes strains for those difficult top notes, never equaling the mastery of Elaine Paige and Patti LuPone, the role's originators.”

IN OTHER NEWS While she's in Illinois to perform at the Ravinia Festival (on July 24 and 27), the one-and-only Betty Buckley will have a CD signing at Tower Records, 214 S. Wabash St. on July 26 from noon to 2 PM. Don’t miss your chance to greet the Tony-winning talent in person . . . What an exciting evening was had at the Lucille Lortel Theatre this past Monday night. Several theatre “divas” starred in a one-night-only reading of Clare Booth Luce’s 1930’s play, The Women, to benefit The Actors’ Fund of America’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative. Riding high on her recent Tony win for Contact, Karen Ziemba starred in the pivotal role of Mary, the spurned spouse who holds fast to her belief that love, indeed, does conquer all. Her nemesis, the man-stealing Crystal, was portrayed by two-time Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth, who seemed to relish spouting off some of Crystal’s more bitchy comments. However, the woman who stole the evening was none other than Elaine Stritch, that comedic dynamo who can draw a laugh from a crowd with ease. There were also star turns from Eartha Kitt, Sandy Duncan, Lea DeLaria, Dee Hoty, Mary Testa and more . . . Cathy Rigby is currently reprising her Tony-nominated work in Peter Pan at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass. Rigby will be flying over audiences through August 12, and tickets may be purchased by calling (978) 232-7200 . . . I recently received a copy of Alexandra Billings’ CD, “Being Alive,” now available on the Southport Records label (chicagosound.com). The press release accompanying the disc explains that Billings is an award-winning actress and star of numerous theatrical productions in Chicago. The CD, I must confess, is mediocre, offering somewhat unexciting renditions of such tunes as “Some People,” “Fifty Percent” and “Being Alive.” Billings does have a deep, sometimes warm voice, but her interpretations are often bland, and her comedic effort, David Friedman’s hilarious “My Simple Christmas Wish” is pedestrian. She does, however, fare better on pop material like Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run.”

REMINDERS:

SARAH BRIGHTMAN
The following tours dates are from Brightman’s website, which can be found at sarah-brightman.com.
Aug. 20 and 21 in Sao Paulo
Aug. 23 in Rio de Janeiro
Sept. 15 in Ottawa, ON at the Corel Centre
Sept. 16 in Toronto, ON at the Air Canada Centre
Sept. 18 in Montreal, PQ at the Molson Centre
Sept. 19 in Rochester, NY at the Auditorium Centre
Sept. 22 in New York, NY at the Theatre @ MSG
Sept. 23 in Atlantic City, NJ at the Mark G. Etess Arena
Sept. 24 in Hartford, CT at the Oakdale Theater
Sept. 26 in Providence, RI at the PAC
Sept. 27 in Lowell, MA at the Memorial Auditorium
Sept. 29 in Philadelphia, PA at the Mann Center
Sept. 30 in Washington, DC at the Patriot Center
Oct. 1 in Norfolk, VA at the Scope Arena
Oct. 4 in Miami, FL at the AA Arena /Nat. Car Rental Arena
Oct. 5 in Tampa, FL at the Ice Palace
Oct. 6 in Atlanta, GA at the Civic Center
Oct. 8 in New Orleans, LA at the Saenger Theatre
Oct. 9 in Dallas, TX at the Reunion Arena/Starplex Amph.
Oct. 10 in Houston, TX at the Aerial Theatre
Oct. 13 in Columbus, OH at the Nationwide Arena
Oct. 14 in Detroit, MI at the Palace
Oct. 15 in Cleveland, OH at the CSU Convocation Centre
Oct. 17 in St. Paul, MN at the Minn. Wild Arena
Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand
Oct. 21 in Santa Barbara, CA at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Oct. 22 in San Diego, CA at the SDSU Open Air Theatre
Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, CA at the Universal Amphitheatre
Oct. 26 in Sacramento, CA at the Arco Arena
Oct. 27 in San Jose, CA at the San Jose Arena
Oct. 29 in Portland, OR at the Rose Garden
Oct. 30 in Seattle, WA at the Paramount/Key Arena
Nov. 1 in Vancouver, BC at the GM Place
Nov. 3 in Edmonton, AB at the Skyreach Center
Nov. 4 in Calgary, AB at the Saddledome
Nov. 5 in Spokane, WA at the Arena
Nov. 7 in Salt Lake City, UT at the Delta Center
Nov. 8 in Denver, CO at the Magness Arena
Nov. 11 in Chicago, IL at the Chicago Theatre
Nov. 14 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Van Andel Arena
Nov. 15 in Milwaukee, WI at the Riverside Theatre
Nov. 21 in Oslo at the Spektrum
Nov. 22 in Stockholm at the Globen
Nov. 24 in Borlange at the Kuppolen
Nov. 25 in Gothenburg at the Scandinavium
Nov. 26 in Copenhagen at the Forum
Nov. 27 in Aalborg at the Aarlborghall
Nov. 30 in Tallin at the Linnhall
Dec. 2 in Tampere at the Sporthall
Dec. 6. in Zurich at the Hallenstadion
Dec. 7 in Mannheim at the Mozartsaal
Dec. 8 in Dusseldorf at the Philipshalle
Dec. 10 in Munich at the Olympiahalle
Dec. 12 in Vienna at the Stadthalle
Dec. 14 in Berlin at the ICC
Dec. 16 in Warsaw at the Grand Theatre
Dec. 19 in St. Petersburg at the Octlabrsky
Dec. 22 in Moskau at the Kremi

BETTY BUCKLEY
Several new concert dates have been added to BB’s always-growing schedule:

July 24 & 27 Martin Theatre (Ravinia Festival) in Highland Park, IL
Aug. 5 Edgewood Country Club in Rivervale, NJ
Aug. 21-Sept. 3 Donmar Warehouse in London, UK
Sept. 9 & 10 Robert Park Auditorium in Taunton, MA
Sept. 15 Southern Theater in Columbus, OH
Sept. 16 Stranahan Theatre in Toledo, OH
Oct. 6 & 7 Scottsdale Center for the Arts Theatre in Scottsdale, AZ
Oct. 28 Univ. of Texas Cowan Fine & Perf. Arts Center in Tyler, TX
Nov. 10 & 11 University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
Jan. 5, 2001 Koger Center for the Arts (Univ. of SC) in Columbia, SC
Jan. 6 Georgia Institute of Technology Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA
Jan. 19-28 Florida Condo Tour in Florida
March 3 at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA
May 12 at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts in Staten Island, NY
June 17 at the Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, LA LINDA EDER
Eder in concert:
August 5 at the Wildflower Music Festival in White Mills, PA
July 22 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles
July 23 at Colorado’s Boettcher Concert Hall
Aug. 6 with Feinstein at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ; (732) 335-0400
Aug. 8 with Feinstein at the Mann Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA (215) 336-2000
Aug. 9 with Feinstein at the Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, VA; (703) 218-6500 or 1-800-955-5566
Aug. 19 at the John Drew Theater of Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY (631) 324-4050


Aug. 25 with Feinstein at The Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL; go to www.ravinia.org
Aug. 26 Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser at The River Center w/ Michael Feinstein in Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 26 at the Jones Hall w/Houston Symphony in Houston, TX; call (713) 224-7575
Nov. 4 at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, NY; call (516) 334 0800
Nov. 17 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ; call (732) 246 SHOW
Nov. 18 at the State Theatre in Easton, PA; call (610) 252-3132
Nov. 19 at the Strand-Capitol Theatre in York, Penn.
Jan. 12 & 13, 2001 in Charlotte, NC at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; (704) 372-1000
Jan. 21 in Naples, FL at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts; (941) 597-1900
Feb. 1 & 2 in Phoenix, AZ at the Orpheum Theatre
Feb. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; (202) 467-4600
March 8 in Clearwater, FL at the Ruth Eckerd Hall; (727) 791-7400
March 9 in Sarasota, FL at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; www.vanwezel.org
March 10 in Melbourne, FL at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts; (407) 242-2219
May 31-June 3 in Pittsburgh, PA at Heinz Hall; call (412) 392-4900

PATTI LUPONE
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:
July 29 ("Matters of the Heart") at the Long Island Summer Festival at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY; (516) 922-0061
Sept. 9 ("Matters of the Heart") at the Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio; (419) 242-2787
Sept. 23 at the University of Maine in Orono; (800) 622-8499
Oct. 7 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama; (205) 458-8401
Nov. 3 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra in Louisville, Kentucky (502) 583-4555
April 8 ("Matters Of The Heart") at Duke University’s Page Auditorium in Durham, North Carolina; (919) 684-4444
Jan. 5-7, 2001 at the Morton J. Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX (214) 871-4000

KAREN MASON
July 17-23 Plays the “Rosemary Clooney” role in the world-premiere of the new stage musical based on the film White Christmas at the St. Louis MUNY Opera; (314) 534-1111
July 28-29 In concert at The Metropolis in Milford, PA
July 30 Introduces James Beaman in Marlene Live! at The FireBird Cafe; (212) 586-0240
Aug. 18-19 Returns to the DeSisto cabaret in Stockbridge, MA
Sept. 6 - Oct. 15 Returns to Arci’s Place, 450 Park Avenue South; NYC; (212) 532-4370
Oct. 17 Appearance at ASCAP evening at the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC
Nov. 1-12 Appearance at The Plush Room in San Francisco’s York Hotel; (415) 885-2800
Dec. 6-10 Karen performs her Christmas Show at Davenports in Chicago, IL (773) 278-1830

AUDRA McDONALD


July 21 in San Fransisco, CA with the San Francisco Symphony; (415) 864-6000
Aug. 6 in Detroit, MI at the Meadowbrook Festival/Detroit Symphony; (313) 576-5111
August 16 in Chicago, IL at the Ravinia Festival; (847) 266-5100
Sept. 28-30 with the National Symphony Orchestra


BERNADETTE PETERS
The two-time Tony winner will conclude her run in Annie Get Your Gun on September 2, when she will begin a U.S. concert tour:
Sept. 15 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (with symphony)
Sept. 22 at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia
Oct. 6 at the Einsenhower Hall Theatre in West Point, NY
Oct. 7 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ
Oct. 13 at the OnCenter War Memorial in Syracuse, NY
Jan. 5, 2001 at PAC in Tulsa, Oklahoma (with symphony)
Jan. 11 at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee
Jan. 13 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
March 29 at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, NY
April 6 at the Bass Perf. Hall in Fort Worth, TX (with symphony)
April 7-8 at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX
April 19 at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto (with symphony)
April 28 at the Pasquerilla PAC in Johnstown, PA
May 11-12 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN (with symphony)
May 18-20 at the Myerson Hall in Dallas, TX (with symphony)

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

By Andrew Gans