Diva Talk: Patti Power!

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Diva Talk: 5/13/96

Diva Talk: 5/13/96

PATTI LuPONE
We heard from two loyal Patti followers today. One PBOL member attended her performance at New Jersey's George Street Playhouse the evening of May 12 and informed us that LuPone sang for about an hour and a half (with just a piano accompaniment; no intermission), singing songs from her Patti LuPone Live! recording plus a few new additions, including a comic song entitled "I Regret Everything," done in a French accent (FYI-Piaf's signature tune was "I Regret Nothing")! The crowd roared after her triumphant "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and Patti finally agreed, after much audience demand, to sing her knockout version of "As If We Never Said Goodbye." (LuPone hedged a bit explaining, "I don't even have the music," but after the audience responded with "Do It!," LuPone consented.)

Another LuPone devotee informed us that the Evita gal will also appear on the small screen this week, on the NBC series "Law & Order." LuPone will play Ruth Miller on the episode that airs 10 PM May 15.

And, even more Patti news: Patti is scheduled to sing with the San Francisco Symphony 8 PM Saturday, July 27. Emil de Cou will conduct the orchestra, as LuPone makes her SFS debut, singing songs "drawn from the best of Broadway and the Silver Screen." For more information, call (415) 864-6000.

And, if that isn't enough, Patti is preparing to take over the lead role in Terrence McNally's Master Class on Broadway July 2.One interesting note pointed out by theatre critic Ken Mandelbaum: When Elaine Paige arrives in the Sunset Boulevard mansion in August, both original Evitas will be performing on the same street. Both theatres are on the same block of West 45th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. I'd like to suggest an Evita concert with both great ladies. . .what do 'ya think?

BETTY BUCKLEY
Betty B has been one busy diva the past few weeks, performing in concert at the Casa Manana Theatre in Fort Worth, TX, and picking up a Civic Spirit Award on May 6 from The Women's City Club. And, all this has been happening while she prepares for her solo Carnegie Hall concert on June 10. The concert, which is being directed by Tony Stevens, will have lighting designs by Jules Fisher/Peggy Eisenhauser and costumes by James Nadeaux. BB will be accompanied by the American Theatre Orchestra under the musical direction of Paul Gemignani.

Tickets to the concert, which will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, range from $25-$1,000. For $25, $35 or $55 tickets, contact Carnegie Hall Box Office. For tickets ranging from $100-$1,000 contact BC/EFA at 212-840-0770, ext. 268.

BERNADETTE PETERS
I spoke with Bernadette's press agent recently, and she told me that Bernadette will be singing at the Kennedy Library in Washington, DC on May 28. Also, BP fans will very excited to know that Peters will appear on this year's Tony Awards telecast. Her press rep didn't want to give away the surprise, but it seems that Bernadette will probably get to sing. . .more later. . .

There is still no date on the release date of Bernadette's long-awaited solo album, but it still looks like it will be available this summer.

For those of you who wanted to know what BP sang at the White House a few weeks ago, her song list included "Broadway Baby," "Pennies from Heaven," "Faithless Love" and her haunting rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "No One Is Alone."

MORE NORMAS!!!
I acquired another Sunset Boulevard recording last week-- I finally broke down and purchased the German cast recording starring Helen Schneider (or as the cover says MIT Helen Schneider). Schneider is singing, as far as I can tell, in Elaine Paige's keys (that is, up to a B flat on the end of "With One Look" and up to a "C" on "I've come home at last" in "As If We Never Said Goodbye.")

Schneider puts a lot of nuance into both songs, and her "With One Look" comes off quite ferocious at times. She switches back and forth between her head tones and her belt, making full use of her entire range. Schneider also does something with the climax of "As If" that I haven't heard anyone else do. In the "I've Come Home at Last" section, she goes up a step, singing (in German, of course,) "la, ah, ast." It's ashame that she doesn't hold the "home," but even without doing that, it's quite dramatic. Schneider also adds a lot of head voice into the "Salome" sequence, making it sound a bit "kooky," adding to the lunacy of the character.

I'll still take LuPone, Buckley or Paige, but it is an interesting recording. And, for those of you who must have all the Sunset recordings, it's a must-have. Next time, I'll discuss the promotional CD I received for the tour of Sunset, starring Linda Balgord and Ron Bohmer.

That's all for now. Happy diva-watching!

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