DIVA TALK: Stocking Stuffers: Divas on Disc and MORE!

DIVA TALK: Stocking Stuffers: Divas on Disc and MORE! LINDA EDER
Linda Eder delivers another terrific vocal performance on her latest CD for Atlantic Records, “Christmas Stays the Same.” The 13-track holiday disc derives its title from a new tune written especially for Eder by her husband, Jekyll & Hyde composer Frank Wildhorn, and mixes traditional Christmas favorites - “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town,” “The Little Drummer Boy” - with new tunes written by Wildhorn as well as one, “Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes,” that boasts lyrics by Eder herself. Highlights of this belty CD include a gentle “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that bursts into a full-voiced climax; Eder’s rich, exciting tones on “Do You Hear What I Hear,” on which she is backed by The Broadway Gospel Choir; a sweet, simple take on “The Christmas Song”; a thrilling rendition of “O Holy Night” that demonstrates Eder’s many vocal gifts; and another Wildhorn tune, “The Bells of St. Paul,” this one featuring the lyrics of Titanic’s Maury Yeston ...And, don’t forget, Eder will return to the stage of Carnegie Hall this Monday, Dec. 18 for a holiday concert with The Broadway Gospel Choir. A few tickets are still available by calling CarnegieChargie at (212) 247-7800 ...The complete track listing for “Christmas Stays the Same” (Atlantic Records) follows:
“Christmas Stays the Same”
“Here Comes Santa Claus”/ “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“The Little Drummer Boy”
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
“Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes”
“Silent Night”
“O Come O Come Emmanuel”/ “What Child Is This?”
“The Christmas Song”
The Christmas Medley
“Ave Maria”
“O Holy Night”
“The Bells of St. Paul”

LINDA EDER
Linda Eder delivers another terrific vocal performance on her latest CD for Atlantic Records, “Christmas Stays the Same.” The 13-track holiday disc derives its title from a new tune written especially for Eder by her husband, Jekyll & Hyde composer Frank Wildhorn, and mixes traditional Christmas favorites - “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town,” “The Little Drummer Boy” - with new tunes written by Wildhorn as well as one, “Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes,” that boasts lyrics by Eder herself. Highlights of this belty CD include a gentle “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that bursts into a full-voiced climax; Eder’s rich, exciting tones on “Do You Hear What I Hear,” on which she is backed by The Broadway Gospel Choir; a sweet, simple take on “The Christmas Song”; a thrilling rendition of “O Holy Night” that demonstrates Eder’s many vocal gifts; and another Wildhorn tune, “The Bells of St. Paul,” this one featuring the lyrics of Titanic’s Maury Yeston ...And, don’t forget, Eder will return to the stage of Carnegie Hall this Monday, Dec. 18 for a holiday concert with The Broadway Gospel Choir. A few tickets are still available by calling CarnegieChargie at (212) 247-7800 ...The complete track listing for “Christmas Stays the Same” (Atlantic Records) follows:
“Christmas Stays the Same”
“Here Comes Santa Claus”/ “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“The Little Drummer Boy”
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
“Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes”
“Silent Night”
“O Come O Come Emmanuel”/ “What Child Is This?”
“The Christmas Song”
The Christmas Medley
“Ave Maria”
“O Holy Night”
“The Bells of St. Paul”

ANDREA MARCOVICCI
I’ve long been a fan of Andrea Marcovicci, ever since I heard her first solo album, “Marcovicci Sings Movies,” which included a mix of songs from Hollywood films throughout the years. She has recorded frequently over the past decade-and-a-half, each album reflecting much of the material from her most recent cabaret acts; in fact, some of the discs were recorded live at either New York’s Algonquin Hotel or San Francisco’s Plush Room, two venues where Marcovicci has experienced some of her greatest successes. Titles in the Marcovicci canon include “What Is Love?,” “I’ll Be Seeing You: The Love Songs of World War II,” “Just Kern,” “December Songs,” “Always, Irving Berlin,” “New Words,” “I Am Anne Frank,” “Live from London” and “Some Other Time.” Now comes her latest solo effort, “Here, There & Everywhere,” which finds Marcovicci applying the same interpretative magic she has given to the standards of the thirties, forties and fifties to the songs of her own youth, including tunes by Billy Joel, James Taylor, Paul Simon, The Beatles, the Bergmans, Stephen Sondheim and other more contemporary songwriters. If her voice has softened over the years - now resembling Judy Collins’ tones more than ever - and no longer quite as thrilling as it was on her debut disc (check out “Here Lies Love” on “Marcovicci Sings Movies” to see what I mean), it’s still a fine instrument, and her new work contains many high points. My favorites include Billy Joel’s “Summer, Highland Falls,” which was Marcovicci’s first opening number when she began her cabaret career in 1985; “Feelin’ Groovy,” which the chanteuse delivers with a childlike joy; a version of “Someday Soon” that contains just the right amount of longing and heartache; a heartfelt reading of “Leavin’ On a Jet Plane,” about which the singer says in her liner notes, “They always say our generation didn’t write ‘standards,’ but I say this one qualifies”; a touching melding of “If These Walls Could Speak” and “MacArthur Park”; a tender “Send in the Clowns”; and one brand-new song by Judith Viorst and Shelly Markham, “The Sweetest of Nights and the Finest of Days.” ... The complete track listing for “Here, There & Everywhere” (Cabaret Records) follows:
“Summer, Highland Falls”
“Secret of Life”
“In My Life”
“The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”
“Downtown”
“Someday Soon”
“All I Want”
“Leavin’ on a Jet Plane”
“Here, There and Everywhere”
“For No One”
“If These Walls Could Speak” / “MacArthur Park”
“All in Love Is Fair”
“When I’m Sixty-Four”
“The Way We Were”
“Send in the Clowns”
“Time in a Bottle”
Bonus Track: “The Sweetest of Nights and the Finest of Days”

OUR HEART SINGS: A BENEFIT
Our Heart Sings, Monday night’s benefit for The Genesius Guild, a non-profit company dedicated to the creation of new theatre, also celebrated the launch of a new record label, Jerome Records. The evening, which was hosted by stage and screen star Lainie Kazan, featured an array of performers from the worlds of musical theatre and cabaret. If there were a handful of mediocre performances, there were enough highlights to make an enjoyable evening. Those that stood out included former Side Show stars Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, who rocked the house with a gospel-tinged “Don’t You Be Shakin’ Your Faith in Me”; another Side Show alumnus, Phillip Officer, who poured his heart into Tim Di Pasqua’s uplifting ballad “Since Love’s Come Around”; Mark Nadler, who dazzled with his piano skills while playing and singing “You Always Leave Them Laughing”; Deborah Tranelli’s impassioned interpretation of a new song by Stephen Schwartz and Steven Lutvak, “Rewriting History”; Saturday Night Fever’s Paige Price, who kept it simple but moving with Julia Fordham’s “Honeymoon”; and Sal Viviano, who offered a beautifully sung and interpreted “Look to the Rainbow,” which also featured the little-heard verse from “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” ... A CD of many of these songs (“Our Heart Sings”) is now available in stores and features the talents of Ripley, Skinner, Officer, Nadler and Price as well as Stephanie Pope, Kristopher McDowell, Heather MacRae, Alison Fraser, James Alexander, Christiane Noll, Kristin Chenoweth, David Gurland and many others.

IN OTHER NEWS: Rumor has it that Tony and Olivier Award-winning actress/singer Patti LuPone will team up with composer Jimmy Webb for a series of concerts this spring, which will include songs from Webb’s musical Instant Intimacy. LuPone concludes her acclaimed Matters of the Heart run this weekend at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater ...Sh-K-Boom Records will present a special holiday concert on December 21 at 11:30 PM at The Cutting Room, a new restaurant and bar opened by The Best Man’s Chris Noth at 19 West 24th Street. Those Sh-K-Boom recording artists scheduled to perform include Alice Ripley, Sherie Rene Scott and Adam Pascal as well as Mario Cantone, Craig Bierko, John Ellison Conlee, Sara Ramirez, Clarke Thorell, Greg Naughton, Norbert Leo Butz, Adriane Lennox, Norm Lewis, Delisco, Jerry Dixon, Jonathon Dukochitz and several surprise guests. Tickets are $20 at the door only ...About her upcoming role as Judy Garland in ABC-TV’s “Me and My Shadows,” actress Judy Davis had this to say about the legendary performer in a recent New York Times article by Bernard Weinraub: “She aimed for an intensity that became thrilling for both herself and the audience. Her songs and orchestrations wind up and reach some peak you can't imagine. If she went any further, she'd have a heart attack and she'd be dead in front of you, and you get the feeling that even then she wouldn't mind.” The TV movie, which is based on Lorna Luft’s book about her late mother, will air sometime in February. Davis also had this to say about the former star of The Wizard of Oz: “This role demanded every part of me. She was bigger than me, much more talented with much bigger emotions. She was braver. So I had to get bigger to play her.” . . . Maureen McGovern will perform in concert with John Pizzarelli and his trio on Saturday, March 3, 2001, at the Kravis Center’s Alexander Dreyfoos Concert Hall in West Palm Beach, Florida . . . Former Renter Idina Menzel will sing new material as well as songs from her debut CD, “Still I Can’t Be Still,” at Joe’s Pub in the Public Theater on Mondays, Feb. 12, 19, and 26 at 8:30 PM. Call (212) 239 6200 for tickets or visit the Public’s box office at 425 Lafayette Street (between East 4th St. And Astor Place) ...

REMINDERS:

BETTY BUCKLEY
Dec. 29 at the Bottom Line in New York, NY
Dec. 31 The Cuillo Center for the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL
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. 19-29 Florida Condo Tour in Florida
March 3 Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA
May 12 College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts in Staten Island, NY
June 17 Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, LA

BARBARA COOK
Cook’s concert itinerary follows:

Jan. 12, 2001 at Alice Tully Hall in New York, NY (“The Music of Arthur Schwartz” with Maureen McGovern, John Pizzarelli and more)
Feb. 2 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

LINDA EDER
Eder in concert:
Dec. 18 with the Broadway Gospel Choir at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY (212-247-7800)
Jan. 12 & 13, 2001 in Charlotte, NC at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; (704) 372-1000
Jan. 20, 2001 with the Boca Pops at Florida Atlantic Univ in Boca Raton, FL; go to: www.bocapops.org
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. 3 at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek, CO; (888) 920 2787
Feb. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; (202) 467-4600
Feb. 23 at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, NY; call (516) 334 0800
Feb. 24 at the Community Theatre in Morristown, NJ; (973) 539-8008
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
March 17 at the Thomasville Cultural Center in Thomasville, GA (912 226-0588)
April 29 at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA (978-232-7200)
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:
Now through Dec. 17 (“Matters of the Heart”; Sunday and Monday evenings only) at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York, NY; (212) 239-6200
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
What follows is Mason’s up-to-date performance schedule:
Dec. 15-17, 22-23 Karen celebrates Christmas with conductor John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis, MO
March 17 Appearance at 92nd Street Y with Craig Carnelia in New York, NY

BERNADETTE PETERS
The two-time Tony winner, who recently concluded her run in Annie Get Your Gun, is now on a U.S. concert tour:
Jan. 5 and 6, 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