It's certainly a busy time for two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters, who — it was announced earlier this week — will co-host the upcoming Tony Awards broadcast on June 2 with Gregory Hines. Peters will also receive an Honorary Doctorate from Hofstra University on May 19, and then the former Annie Get Your Gun star will make appearances on two ABC talk shows: June 6 will see Peters sing "There's Nothing Like a Dame" on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," and on June 13 BP will join Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa on "Live with Regis & Kelly." Peter's made-for-TV feature, "Bobby's Girl," will premiere on Showtime on June 9, and then the singer actress will make her eagerly awaited Radio City Music Hall solo concert debut on June 19 singing tunes from her newest recording, "Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers & Hammerstein." And, of course, our Song & Dance gal will return to the Great White Way in January 2003 in the much-anticipated revival of Gypsy directed by Sam Mendes.
The May 19 broadcast of "Everything Old Is New Again" — 8-11 PM on WBAI FM — will salute the late, great cabaret singer Nancy LaMott. The special three-hour fundraiser to benefit WBAI will include rare and never released recordings of the singer who lost her battle with cancer in 1995. Hosted by David Kenney, the evening will also include interviews with composer David Friedman — who penned such LaMott signature tunes as "Help Is On the Way," "We Can Be Kind" and "Listen to My Heart" — and LaMott's pianist, arranger and musical director, Christopher Marlowe. LaMott's friends and colleagues — including Kathie Lee Gifford, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lina Koutrakos, Annie Dinerman, Rick Jensen and Dick Gallagher — will also recall their talented friend. The LaMott evening will feature many tracks from her six recordings, "Beautiful Baby," "Come Rain or Come Shine: The Songs of Johnny Mercer," "My Foolish Heart," "Just in Time for Christmas," "Listen To My Heart" and the posthumously released "What's Good About Goodbye." The program airs on WBAI 99.5 FM and on the internet at www.2600.com/offthehook/hot2.ram.
JOHNNY'S GALS I had a bit of fun on the new Johnny Carson website (www.johnnycarson.com), which features a detailed list of Carson's guests on "The Tonight Show" during his multi-decade reign on the Emmy winning NBC production. The website also includes what songs the various performers offered — although song titles aren't always accurate — as well as a few details of their conversations with the former king of late night TV. I thought you'd enjoy seeing a list of some of the songs performed by this column's favorite ladies.
Karen Akers — Nov. 1983: "Maybe"
Sarah Brightman — July 1989: "Dreamers" and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"; May 1990: "Love Changes Everything" and "Music of the Night"; Jan. 1991: "Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad" (listed as "Welcome to Beverly Hills") and unnamed Aspects of Love song
Betty Buckley — Jan 1984: "Over You" and "Memory" (listed as "Memories"), April 1984: "Over You" and "Memory" (again listed as "Memories") and Feb. 1985: "Wind Beneath My Wings" (Did anyone catch the '85 performance? I don't remember ever seeing it, although I do remember being blown away by Buckley's rendition of "Over You" the year before.)
Randy Graff — June 1987: "I Dreamed a Dream"
Ethel Merman — Sept. 1970 (no details for this appearance); Nov. 1972: "It's De-Lovely"; June 1974: "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "I Get a Kick Out of You"; Oct. 1974: "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "Some People"; Jan. 1975 and June 1975: (no details for these appearances); Aug. 1975: Medley and "I Get a Kick Out of You"; Dec. 1975: "Some People"; May 1976: "Gee, But It's Good To Be Here"; Oct. 1976: "What I Did For Love" and "Sweet Georgia Brown"; April 1977: "Ridin' High" and "Younger Than Springtime"; June 1977: "Nothing Can Stop Me Now"; May 1978: "Gee, But It's Good To Be Here"; April 1979: "Tomorrow"
Liza Minnelli — Aug. 1974: (no details for this appearance); Dec. 1975: "Lucky Lady" and "I Don't Want to Be Lonely Tonight"; April 1980: "I'm Old-Fashioned"; May 1981: "New York, New York"; Oct. 1985: "Boys and Girls Like You and Me"; Oct. 1986: Medley of "My Ship" and "The Man I Love"
Andrea Marcovicci — June 1988: "Two for the Road"
Bernadette Peters — April 1970, Sept. 1970, Dec. 1970, Jan. 1971, March 1971, Sept. 1971 and Nov. 1971: no details on these first appearances; Jan. 1976: Medley and "I Love You Too"; June 1976: "You'll Never Know"; May 1977: "Stepping Out" and "I Don't Know Why"; June 1977: "Everything Old Is New Again" and "Love Story"; Aug. 1977: "Wake Up and Live" and "Mean to Me"; Oct. 1977: "Broadway Baby" and "Ten Cents a Dance"; Dec. 1977: "Everybody's Talking" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night"; June 1978: "Not Much" and "Send in the Clowns"; July 1978: "Thank You for Being a Friend" and "You Can Have Him"; Oct. 1978: "Divorce" and "I Love"; Jan. 1979: "Feelin' Groovy" and "I Don't Know Why"; April 1979: "Wake Up and Live" and "Believe in You"; June 1979: "Let the Good Times Roll"; July 1979: "Wake Up and Live" and "Other Lady"; Jan. 1980: "The Boy I Love" and "Pearl's a Singer"; April 1980: "Gee Whiz" and "Other Lady"; Aug. 1980: "Gee Whiz" and "You'll Never Know"; Aug. 1981: "Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Don't"; April 1982: "Dedicated to the One I Love," "Gee Whiz" and "Other Lady"; April 1983: "Broadway Baby"; June 1987: "Broadway Baby" and "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy"; July 1989: "Making Love Alone" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"; July 1991: "I'm Flying" and "Unexpected Song"; April 1992: "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "What'll I Do?" (I never realized Peters had appeared so often on the "Tonight Show." I have copies of her performances from 1983 on, but would love to see her earlier appearances. Perhaps Carson will make these and other vintage clips available at some point.)
Frances Ruffelle— Nov. 1987: "On My Own" (I vaguely remember a second appearances by Ruffelle, although it's not listed on the website.)
Helen Schneider — Sept. 1977: "Until Now" and "You and I"; March 1978: "Valentino Tango" and "Until Now"; Sept. 1978: "Giving It All I Got" and "Let It Be Now" (Would have loved to have seen Schneider's early appearances. So little seems to available for this dynamic singer, although I was recently sent copies of Schneider singing thrilling versions of "Stairway to Paradise" and "If Love Were All" on "The Robert Klein Show.")
Astonishingly, there is no record of Barbra Streisand guesting on the show. Can that be possible? It also appears that neither Patti LuPone nor Barbara Cook ever appeared on the show during Carson's stint.
IN OTHER DIVA NEWS OF THE WEEK Maureen McGovern, who is now celebrating her 30th anniversary in show business, will perform a special concert to benefit the Sundance Theatre Youth Outreach Programs on June 15. McGovern, who will star in the Sundance Theatre's upcoming production of Dear World (June 27-Aug. 17), will offer an evening of Richard Rodgers tunes at the June benefit. The unique double-bill celebration, entitled "Starry Summer Nights," includes a ticket to McGovern's Rodgers concert as well as a ticket to a subsequent performance of Dear World. All proceeds from the celebration will help support the theatre's youth programs, which are designed to introduce live theatre to Utah's youth. The concert will be held in the intimate Jeanne Wagner Theatre, 138 West Broadway in Salt Lake City, UT. Show time is 8 PM. Tickets to "Starry Summer Nights" are priced at $75 and $100 are now available by calling 355-ARTS (2787) or 1-888-451-ARTS (2787) . . . The Bradstan Country Hotel, located in White Lake, N.Y., offers a star-studded cabaret series beginning May 26. Held in the hotel's Nancy LaMott Room, the tenth anniversary edition of the "Inn Cabaret" gets under way on March 26 when "Rosie O'Donnell" musical director John McDaniel takes to the intimate stage. The stellar line-up also includes Lillias White (June 16), Karen Akers (June 23), Steven Lutvak (June 30), Ann Hampton Callaway (July 7), Liz Callaway (July 14), Klea Blackhurst (July 21), Karen Mason (July 28), Christine Andreas (Aug. 4), Tom Andersen (Aug. 11), Marcus Simeone (Aug. 18), Natalie Gamsu (Aug. 25), Jeanne MacDonald (Sept. 1) and Lumiri Tubo (Oct. 13). Show times are 7 PM and 9:30 PM and there is a $30 cover charge, which includes one drink. Call (845) 583-4114 for reservations . . . Former Side Show star Alice Ripley — who is currently starring in the D.C. Company — will perform in concert at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on June 24. Ripley also has several other concert bookings, including evenings at Rafters on July 5 (in St. Simons Island, GA), Jack Rabbits on July 10 (in Jacksonville, FL) and Canal Street Tavern on Aug. 3 at (in Dayton, OH). Performances at the Millennium Stage are free to the public and begin at 6 PM. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located in Washington, D.C., at 2700 F. Street . . . Cabaret singer Claiborne Cary will perform her new cabaret act, "Auntie Clai Sings," on Thursdays, May 23 (7:30 PM) and 30 (9:15 PM) at Danny's Skylight Room, which is located on Restaurant Row — 346 W. 46th Street — in New York City.
Betty Buckley in Concert:
June 29 at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY
July 7 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, NM
Sept. 28 at the Haugh Performing Arts Center in Glendora, CA
Oct. 3-6 at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, TX
Oct. 22-Nov. 9 at Feinstein's at the Regency in New York, NY
Nov. 16 at the Performing Arts Center of SUNY-Purchase in Purchase, NY
Dec. 6 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
Dec. 31 at the Tilles Center at CW Post University in Glen Cove, NY
June 3 Tribute to Cameron Mackintosh at the York Theatre in New York, NY
June 10 "Broadway By The Year: 1964" at Town Hall in New York, NY
June 14 & 15 at Odette’s in New Hope, PA
June 21 & 22 Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, IL
June 30 & July 1 "Sibling Revelry" at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL
July 14 at the Bradston County Hotel's Nancy LaMott Room in White Lake, NY
August 2 in "Stephen Schwartz and Friends" in Bethlehem, PA
August 16 & 17 at the Stackner Cabaret Theatre in Milwaukee, WI Barbara Cook in Concert:
May 19-20 with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA
June 5-9 and June 12-16 at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre in Washington, DC
June 23-Aug. 26 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York, NY (Mostly Sondheim)
July 5 at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts in Long Island
August 14-18 at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre in Washington, DC
Oct. 19 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA
Nov. 2 at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts in Brooklyn, NY
Nov. 17 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ
Maureen McGovern in Concert:
May 17-18 "Works of Heart" Seminar in New York, NY
June 22 "Music by the Lake" in Lake Geneva, WI
June 29-Aug. 17 Dear World at Sundance Theater, Sundance, UT
July 4 at the Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts at the Venetian Theater in Katonah, NY
Aug. 7 at the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival in Salt Lake City, UT
Sept. 1-2 MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon in Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 20 - 22 Grand Rapids Symphony at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids, MI
Sept 26-29 North Carolina Symphony, Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, NC
Oct. 30-Nov. 3 American Music Therapy Association Conference in Atlanta, GA
Nov. 2 at the Rialto Center in Atlanta, GA
Nov. 9 at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington, NY
Nov. 19-Dec. 1 at the Plush Room in San Francisco, CA
Dec. 6 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA
Dec. 8 at Poway Center for the Performing Arts in Poway, CA
Dec. 9 Laurie Strauss Leukemia Benefit, Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Dec. 14 Boca Pops Big Band Series in Boca Raton, FL
Bernadette Peters in Concert:
May 17 at Harrah's in Atlantic City, NJ
June 7 at the Ravinia Pavillion in Highland Park, IL
June 19 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY
June 28 at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, CA
July 2 at the Interlochen Center in Interlochen, MI
Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at the Morton H. Meyerson Hall in Dallas, TX
Sept. 28 at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, WI
Oct. 5 Sundome Center in Sun City West, AZ
Oct. 24 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, IN
Oct. 26 at the Kleinhans Auditorium in Buffalo, NY
Well, that’s all for now. Happy diva-watching!
—By Andrew Gans