Patti Lupone, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Elaine Stritch and special guest Bette Midler are lined up to take part in what promises to be an extraordinary evening saluting Broadway legend Ethel Merman Feb. 1 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Merman was one of the superstars of Broadway for the better part of 40 years. With a brassy style and a roof-shaking vibrato, she had major hits in each of the decades from the 1920s to the 1950s. These include Girl Crazy, Anything Goes, Panama Hattie, DuBarry Was a Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam and Gypsy. Writers who tailored works her her talent include Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim and the Gershwins.
Titled "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," a song title from the Merman hit Annie Get Your Gun, the evening will benefit Gay Men's Health Crisis. Tickets range from $75-$1,500 and can be purchased by calling GMHC at (212) 367-1111. There will also be benefit level seats priced at $500, $1000 and $1500; these seats will not only include tickets to the performance but also to the Merm-abilia Silent Auction and the post concert party with the event's performers.
"Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" will be held on Sunday, Feb. 1 at 7 PM at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 West 46th Street. GMHC "is the nation's oldest and largest AIDS organization, providing service to thousands of men, women and children with HIV and AIDS, and education and advocacy nationwide."
-- By Andrew Gans