DIVA TALK: Unexpected Songs

DIVA TALK: Unexpected Songs LIZ CALLAWAY
Liz Callaway will return to the Broadway cast of Cats next month as Grizabella, but before that she will be one of the featured vocalists at a Hollywood Bowl concert on Sept. 19. During that evening she will perform two songs from the upcoming animated film Anastasia. The film/musical, which features a score by Ragtime's Stephen Flaherty, casts Callaway as the singing voice of Anastasia and Meg Ryan as the same character's speaking voice. One of our other favorite ladies, Bernadette Peters, lends her voice to the character of Sophie and gets the chance to sing a song titled "Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart)."

LIZ CALLAWAY
Liz Callaway will return to the Broadway cast of Cats next month as Grizabella, but before that she will be one of the featured vocalists at a Hollywood Bowl concert on Sept. 19. During that evening she will perform two songs from the upcoming animated film Anastasia. The film/musical, which features a score by Ragtime's Stephen Flaherty, casts Callaway as the singing voice of Anastasia and Meg Ryan as the same character's speaking voice. One of our other favorite ladies, Bernadette Peters, lends her voice to the character of Sophie and gets the chance to sing a song titled "Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart)."

The two tunes that Callaway will deliver at the Hollywood Bowl are "Once Upon a Dec." and "Journey to the Past." For those of you unable to attend the Bowl performance, you can get another taste of Callaway on the recently released CD, Sondheim at the Movies. On this Varese Sarabande recording, Callaway lends her silky voice to three songs from Stephen Sondheim's Evening Primrose: "I Remember," "When" and "Take Me to the World" -- on the latter two she is joined by Beauty and the Beast's Gary Beach.

PATTI LuPONE
About three weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about our Evita gal, just after LuPone told syndicated columnist Liz Smith that she was working on a new concert act. My friend and I agreed that in addition to adding some brand-new tunes to her act, Patti should perform other songs from the shows she's been in, in addition to or instead of her traditional offerings: for example, "Rainbow High" or "Buenos Aires" from Evita instead of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" or "Where Is the Warmth?" or "Gifts of Love" from The Baker's Wife instead of "Meadowlark" or, perhaps, "With One Look" from Sunset Boulevard instead of "As If We Never Said Goodbye." So, I was quite excited when I received a few e mails on Monday morning informing me of the songs La LuPone chose to sing in her Hollywood Bowl concert last weekend with Davis Gaines and Rebecca Luker.

LuPone's first offering was "Back to Before," the emotional ballad from the upcoming Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens musical Ragtime. Then, she launched into "Buenos Aires" from Evita and followed that with both Sunset arias, "With One Look" and "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and finished with "Never Again," the beautiful song from the Alan Menken/Tim Rice concert musical King David. LuPone also joined Luker and Gaines for the King David finale, "The Long, Long Day/The New Jerusalem," and her encore of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" brought the entire 18,000-member audience to its feet. Let's hope Patti comes back to a Broadway stage soon with a new concert act, which includes all these songs and more... and perhaps a new album, too.

Courtesy of one of our loyal diva watchers, following is the entire program from the aforementioned concert, which was directed by John Mauceri: Overture from Candide
Overture, Prologue and "The Launching" from Titanic (Davis Gaines and The Mitch Hanlon Singers)
"Bill" from Show Boat (Rebecca Luker)
"Old Man River" from Show Boat (Davis Gaines)
"Memory" from Cats (Luker)
Selections from The Phantom of the Opera (Luker, Gaines)
INTERMISSION
Suite from Ragtime
"Back to Before" from Ragtime (Patti LuPone)
"Buenos Aires" from Evita (LuPone)
"With One Look" and "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Blvd. (LuPone)
Symphonic Portrait from Rent (arranged by John Clayton; world premiere)
"Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast (Gaines, Luker, Mitch Hanlon Singers)
"When in Love" from King David (Luker)
"Never Again" from King David (LuPone)
"The Long, Long Day"/ "This New Jerusalem" (Gaines, LuPone, Luker, Kirby Hanlon, The Mitch Hanlon Singers)

BETTY BUCKLEY
I received word this week that the official release date for Betty Buckley's fifth album on the Sterling Records label is Oct. 14. The new recording is entitled Much More and joins her four other recordings on that label: Children Will Listen, With One Look, The London Concert and An Evening at Carnegie Hall.

For all of you anxiously awaiting Ms. B's return to Broadway in Triumph of Love, please be aware that the show has recently changed its first preview date. The musical comedy now begins previews on Sept. 27 with an official opening at the Royale Theatre on Oct. 23. Tickets are available by phone by calling 212-432-7250 or 1-800-447-7400 and may also be purchased in person at the box office of the Royale Theatre.

In "Brush Up Your Marivaux," an upcoming article for Playbill, which includes interviews with BB, Susan Egan, F. Murray Abraham and the creative team of Triumph, Buckley explains to writer Dick Scanlan that Hesione (the character she portrays) places emphasis on reason over romance, a theme that she relates to. Says Buckley, "I was a charter subscriber to MS. Magazine. I thought that women who lost their way because of a heartfelt desire for some dude were off track, and here I am playing out those themes." . . .In other Triumph news, word is that the composers are busy writing Buckley a second-act showstopper. . .

BERNADETTE PETERS
Ever since we announced the Into the Woods reunion concert starring Bernadette Peters, scheduled for Nov. 9, I've received a ton of e-mail asking for ticket information. I spoke with the press representative for the much-anticipated concert this week and was informed that tickets will go on sale Oct. 1. Next week I should be able to provide you with the telephone number for tickets as well as the ticket price structure, so stay tuned!!

ANDREA MARCOVICCI
Last week I had briefly mentioned one of my favorite cabaret singers, Andrea Marcovicci. A few diva watchers sent me notes asking where they could get a chance to hear Marcovicci live. As it turns out, I received word this week that Marcovicci will soon be returning to the Plush Room in the legendary York Hotel in San Francisco for an extended run beginning Oct. 21 (through Nov. 8). Marcovicci will bring three different shows to the Bay Area's preeminent boite. The first show, which runs from Oct. 21-25, is entitled Marcovicci Sings Movies Revisited, and it's a return to the critically acclaimed show Marcovicci first performed there ten years ago, a show which launched her cabaret career. Audiences will get a chance to hear Ms. M deliver wonderful renditions of such movie classics as "I Don't Walk to Walk With You," "Two for the Road," "As Time Goes By" and "Someone to Love."

Her second show will salute the legendary torch singer of the 1920's and 30's, Ruth Etting. Entitled Ten Cents a Dance, Marcovicci will supply a bit of Etting history as well as performing many of the songs Etting introduced: "Ten Cents a Dance," "Mean to Me," "Shine on Harvest Moon" and "Love Me or Leave Me." Ten Cents a Dance will run from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1. Marcovicci's final show, running from Nov. 4-8, will pay tribute to two of America's greatest treasures, singer Mabel Mercer and the city of San Francisco. In All in Fun--Marcovicci Celebrates the Songs of Mabel Mercer, Marcovicci will perform some of Mercer's greatest songs in honor of her return to one of Mabel's favorite cities.

Andrea Marcovicci will perform Tuesdays-Thursdays at 8pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and 10pm. There is a $25 cover charge and a two drink minimum; call 415-885-2800 for more information and for reservations.

And, for those of you unable to make the trek to the Plush Room, Marcovicci will return to the famed Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City for her tenth consecutive year, beginning Nov. 18 and running through January 3, 1998. More on her New York engagement to come. . . MICHELLE NICASTRO
For those of you Les Miz fans, you might be interested to know that Michelle Nicastro, the original Eponine from the Los Angeles production of that epic musical, has just released her latest solo album. Entitled On My Own, Nicastro's CD features a great collection of songs from some of the more recent musicals, including Rent, Miss Saigon, Jekyll & Hyde and, of course, Les Miserables. Following is the song list for this Varese Sarabande release:

"Dancing All the Time" from Big
"Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon
"Waiting for Life" from Once on This Island
"Someone Else's Story" from Chess
"On My Own" from Les Miserables
"Second Chance" from Steel Pier
"Loving You" from Passion
"The Last Night of the World" from Miss Saigon
"Come Back with the Same Look in Your Eyes" from Song and Dance
"Unexpected Song" from Song and Dance
"This Is the Moment" from Jekyll & Hyde
"The Human Heart" from Once on This Island
"All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera
"I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables
"Seasons of Love" from Rent

CONCERT REMINDERS:

BETTY BUCKLEY
Oct. 3 in Cincinnati, OH at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Oct. 10-11 in Dallas, TX at the Myerson Symphony Center
Nov. 7 in Purchase, NY at the Performing Arts Center
Nov. 15 in Brooklyn, NY at the Walt Whitman Hall
May 8, 1998 in New York, NY at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops
May 29-31 in Fort Worth, TX (venue to come)

MAUREEN McGOVERN
A host of singing dates are lined up for the multi-talented McGovern. MM will take part in a benefit at Carnegie Hall on Sept. 29, sing with the Arkansas Symphony on Oct. 4 and then return to Carnegie Hall on Oct. 24 for the New York Pop's season opener. . .

BERNADETTE PETERS
Sept. 19-20 in Charlotte, NC at the Blumenthal Center
Oct. 11 in Milwaukee, WI at the Bruce Hall
Oct. 17-18 in Atlanta, GA (venue to come)
Oct. 30 in Wilmington, DE at the Playhouse Theatre
Nov. 1 in Akron, OH at the E.J. Thomas Hall
Nov. 2 in Clinton Township, MI at the Macomb Center
Nov. 9 Into the Woods reunion concert (ticket info to come)
Nov. 14-15 Honolulu, HI at the Neil Blaisdell Concert Hall
Nov. 21-22 in Tulsa, OK at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center
Dec. 6 in Pittsburgh, PA at the Heinz Hall

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

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