DIVA TALK: More Patti Talk plus Divas in Cabaret

DIVA TALK: More Patti Talk plus Divas in Cabaret Hello diva lovers! Just a few items today as we head into the weekend of the Thanksgiving holiday. Hope you enjoyed your turkey, and now it's time for some divas...

Hello diva lovers! Just a few items today as we head into the weekend of the Thanksgiving holiday. Hope you enjoyed your turkey, and now it's time for some divas...

PATTI LuPONE
More raves have been pouring in for Patti's terrific performance in the new David Mamet play The Old Neighborhood at the Booth Theatre. Read on:

Greg Evans in Variety:
". . .[Director Scott] Zigler isn't the only one who gets the rhythms and emotions just right--stars Peter Riegert and Patti LuPone are first-rate as a brother and sister coming to painful grips with their loveless upbringing.
. . . LuPone, a Mamet vet, is wonderful as the sister, her hard-boiled delivery barely concealing the catch of a sob. One only hopes 'The Old Neighborhood' can survive the Broadway winter to take advantage of the award nominations that certainly await LuPone next spring."

Also, for those of you planning to catch La LuPone in action, be aware that she will be out of the show from January 6-14 (matinee) due to prior commitments. She will return to the show for the evening performance on January 14. During her hiatus, LuPone will film a guest appearance on NBC's "Frasier." Also, stay tuned for some upcoming Patti concert dates.

BERNADETTE PETERS
Dec. brings the curly-locked wonder to three different stops on her concert route: On Dec. 3 Peters will perform in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre; then it's on to the Mischler Theatre in Altoona on Dec. 5; and on Dec. 6 Pittsburgh audiences welcome Peters to the Heinz Hall. And, next month, BP will sing in concert in Australia. Also, don't forget to catch the Tony-winning performer in her next made-for-TV movie, "Holiday in Your Heart," Dec. 14 on ABC. LIZ CALLAWAY
I occasionally receive requests from fellow diva lovers for the recording history of the various divas. I recently came across a great listing of the many CD appearances of Liz Callaway, who currently stars on Broadway as Grizabella in the longest-running Broadway musical Cats. The discography follows:--

Solo albums:
Anywhere I Wander: Liz Callaway Sings Frank Loesser (Varese Sarabande)
The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway On and Off Broadway (Varese Sarabande)--

Original Casts:
Merrily We Roll Along (RCA Victor)
A Stephen Sondheim Evening (RCA Victor)
Baby (Polydor)
Follies in Concert (RCA Victor)--

With her sister, Ann Hampton Callaway:
Sibling Revelry (Varese Sarabande)--

Collections (all Varese Sarabande):
Unsung Musicals (I & II)
Lost in Boston (I-III)
Shakespeare on Broadway
Broadway Bound
Unsung Irving Berlin
Unsung Sondheim
Sondheim at the Movies

ANDREA MARCOVICCI
Happy 10th anniversary to the divine cabaret singer Andrea Marcovicci who has just returned to the Oak Room, the cabaret room of the Algonquin Hotel, for her tenth straight year. After such acclaimed acts as "Marcovicci Sings Movies," "I'll Be Seeing You: The Love Songs of World War II" and "Just Kern," this year she is offering "All in Fun: Marcovicci Celebrates the Songs of Mabel Mercer." The beautiful chanteuse will perform at the Algonquin through Saturday, January 3, and performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 9pm and Friday and Saturday at 9pm and 11:30pm. There is a $15 food and beverage minimum as well as a $35 music charge (on Friday and Saturday, the music charge is $40). Dinner is required at the early show, and reservations can be made by calling (212) 840-6800. The Algonquin is located at 59 West 44th Street. Be sure to catch one of the finest performers in action, for this will be her last season at the Algonquin Hotel, although she will return to a new venue (soon to be announced). You can also hear Andrea on such solo albums as Marcovicci Sings Movies, What Is Love?, New Words, Just Kern, I'll Be Seeing You and more...

ANNE RUNOLFSSON

Anne Runolfsson possesses perhaps the largest belting range of any of our divas, a voice about which even Julie Andrews once commented, "[Her] lovely voice weaves magic. Her truth makes me cry." If you've yet to hear this talented lady sing, you can have your chance this Dec. 10 and 17 when she returns to the upstairs cabaret room at Eighty Eight's in the West Village. Runolfsson is scheduled to sing at 10:30pm on each of these Wednesday nights, and reservations can be made by calling 212-924-0088. The club is located at 228 West 10th Street; there is a $12 music charge plus a two-drink minimum. Also, for those of you unable to catch Runolfsson in person, you might want to purchase her debut solo album, At Sea, which shows off the many shades of her beautiful voice.

IN OTHER NEWS . . .
Karen Mason
(on Dec. 1), Mary Bond Davis (on Dec. 8) and Alix Korey (on Dec. 22) will join cabaret singer and Side Show star Phillip Officer when he returns to the cabaret room at Don't Tell Mama's (343 W. 46th Street, NYC) on Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 28. Call 212-757-0788 for more information and for reservations.

DIVA OF THE WEEK

This week I'd like to choose a diva who I haven't seen perform live in awhile, Lea Salonga, whose performances I relished in her two Broadway outings to date. Salonga was one of the most thrilling young performers to arrive on the Broadway scene in the early part of the decade, delivering a superb, Tony-winning performance as Kim in the Boublil/Schonberg tearjerker Miss Saigon. Since that time she has portrayed Eponine in another Boublil/Schonberg musical, Les Miserables, performed other theatre roles in her native Philippines and recorded for both solo albums and Disney's animated films. What brought Salonga to my attention this week was a cassette sent to me by a good friend and fellow diva watcher that contained many live and rare recordings of this diva-in training. It was a real treat to her Salonga wrap her beautiful voice around such theatre tunes as "I Dreamed a Dream," "Tonight" and "I Know Him So Well." Salonga also does well with some unexpected songs, including "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and "I Enjoy Being a Girl." She is equally at home with a classic like "Someone To Watch Over Me" or pop tunes the likes of "From a Distance" and "Colors of the Wind." A few years ago, theatre writer/critic Ken Mandelbaum suggested Salonga for a revival of Evita, and after hearing her beautiful version of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" on this tape, I'd like to second that motion. Let's hope Salonga returns to the Broadway stage soon. . .

That's all for now. Happy Thanksgiving, and happy diva-watching!

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