It was a real pleasure to speak with the very gracious Florence Lacey earlier in the week, who currently stars as Fantine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables. Lacey, who is one of the all-time great Evitas, informed me of some of the upcoming projects with which she is involved.
First, on Nov. 2, she will take part in Getting an Agent, a discussion for upcoming theatre performers that will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. Lacey will be one of the many theatre professionals on the distinguished panel of guests. Getting an Agent is presented in coordination with Backstage.
Also, Lacey will sing at the 2nd annual fundraiser for the AIDS Center at Hope House in Morristown, New Jersey. The event will be held Nov. 11. Lacey, who possesses a truly thrilling Broadway belt, is sure to deliver great renditions of "Coronet Man," Rodgers and Hart's "I Wish I Were In Love Again" and Jerry Herman's "Song on the Sand." For more information about the event, call (212) 627-2120.
And, finally, perhaps the most exciting news for all the Lacey fans out there. . .FL is in negotiations with Varese Sarabande Records to record her first solo album. . .something along the lines of "Jerry, Jule and George." . . . I'll keep you posted.
A very exciting week for BB fans. . .as reported in a separate column, Betty will headline the current tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber Music of the Night, beginning Nov. 26 at Boston's Colonial Theatre. Betty will be singing songs from Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Song and Dance and perhaps a few others.
The production, which features songs ranging from Jesus Christ Superstar to Sunset Boulevard, was conceived by Scott Ellis and David Thompson and directed by Mr. Ellis, known to Broadway audiences as the director of She Loves Me and the recent revival of Company at the Roundabout Theatre.
For performance schedule and ticket information, check out Betty Buckley's website, now in its new home on Playbill On-line.
Also, the made-for-Showtime film that Betty filmed over the summer will make its premiere on that cable network Dec. 8. Now titled Critical Choices, the film co-stars Diana Scarwood and Pamela Reed and concerns the pro-life/pro-choice debate.
Still no word yet as to whether La LuPone will take her triumphant interpretation of Maria Callas (in Master Class) to London. I will let you know as soon as I find out. LuPone continues to receive standing ovations and is doing great business in the New York production of Terrence McNally's Tony-winning opus. For those of you who haven't caught her performance, Patti has extended her New York run until the first week in January.
Next week, more Patti concert dates...
Karen Mason will be playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard beginning Monday, Oct. 28 and will perform the role through Nov. 6. This will be Mason's last official turn as Norma, so if you haven't caught her interpretation, now's the time to do it. Mason will continue to be the standby for the role until the end of this year, and then she will leave the position she has filled since the show's Los Angeles premiere.
Mason has a busy schedule including performances in Japan, a stint at the glamorous Manhattan cabaret Rainbow & Stars, a new album of Brian Lasser tunes and much more. . .
For the past seven years, the Hollywood community has turned out to support an annual fundraiser for breast and ovarian cancer research. Titled the Fire and Ice Ball, this year's event boasted a brief set by none-other-than Broadway/film/TV star Bette Midler. Included in her songs was a re-written version of the Stephen Sondheim/Jule Styne classic, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from Gypsy. The new lyric was written by Marc Shaiman about Midler's great success in The First Wives Club. The lyrics were reprinted in this week's Variety in an article by Jonathan Taylor, and I thought you might enjoy them. . .
"Things look swell/Things look great/I've got 5% of the gate
Who'd have dreamt/I'm faklempt
Because everything's coming up grosses.
Clear the decks/Clear the tracks/It's a shanda I have to pay tax
Even so/I'm aglow/Because everything's coming up grosses
Though we're 50/We're the cream of the crop/Ain't it nifty/I can stop shopping at Thrifty
At the top/In my prime/On the cover of People and Time . . .
I've been broodin/'Bout whose part was the best/I'm concluding'/Goldie had sex with Scott Rudin
Curtain up/Light the lights/Don't believe what you read/
There were fights
I'm L.A.'s latest smash/I'm New York's queen of trash
My movie's cleaning up and so am I
Honey everything's coming up/Back end and bonus points
Everything's gonna be/G-4's and bidding wars
Everything's gonna be/tabloids and tummy tucks
Everything's coming up grosses for me. . .
You know, what I really wanna do is direct!
And for you.
For those of you who missed the spectacular hour-and-a-half special about Elaine Paige that aired a few months ago on BRAVO, fret no more. The Faces of Elaine Paige, part of the Southbank Show series, will be rebroadcast on BRAVO on Nov. 4 and Nov. 7. Please check your local listings for times.
Elaine will make another television appearance--on "Theatre Talk," a heretofore New York cable theatre show that has recently moved to WNET 13. Hosted by Michael Riedel, entertainment reporter for The New York Daily News, and by Susan Haskins, "Theatre Talk" features in-depth conversations with theatre professionals actors, playwrights, directors, critics, etc.
Paige will tape her interview Nov. 7, and I will let you know when the show will air. You might want to check out the first "Theatre Talk" Nov. 6 at 12:30 AM--the guests will be composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb as well as author Martin Gottfried.
And, don't forget Elaine Paige is vacationing from Sunset Boulevard Oct. 28-Nov. 6.
That's all for now. Happy diva-watching! -- By Andrew Gans
(My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.)