Jerry Herman's musicals — Hello, Dolly, La Cage aux Folles, Mame – are nothing, if joyful. Whether it's matchmaker Dolly Levi making a grand entrance at her favorite eatery or drag queen Albin declaring with pride "I Am What I Am," Herman's songs are associated with great moments of unadulterated singing and dancing, musical-comedy happiness.
That must be why the likes of Carol Channing, Leslie Uggams, Angela Lansbury and Lee Roy Reams, all original cast members of Herman's shows, are drawn back to sing for Tap Your Troubles Away: The Music of Jerry Herman, a benefit for the Actors Fund to be held at Los Angeles' Luckman Theatre Nov. 10.
Channing (Hello, Dolly, Jerry's Girls), Uggams (Jerry's Girls), Lansbury (Mame, Dear World) and Reams (Broadway's The Music of Jerry Herman, La Cage aux Folles) are only a few names on the evening's bill. Also scheduled to appear are Lucie Arnaz, Tyne Daly, Joely Fisher, Jason Graae, Sam Harris, Marilu Henner, Dale Kristien, Andrea Maracovicci, Donna McKechnie, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Hugh Panaro, Charlotte Rae, Douglas Sills and Jo Anne Worley.
The stellar cast will revist music from all of Herman's shows including the lesser known Milk & Honey, Dear World and The Grand Tour as well as the popular Mack and Mabel, Mame, Hello, Dolly and La Cage aux Folles. Herman is a member of both the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame (inducted in 1981) and the Theatre Hall Of Fame (inducted in 1986).
Frequent benefit stager David Galligan directs. Ron Abel provides the arrangements and musical direction. Tickets are $30-$250. The Luckman Theatre is located on the California State Univeristy, Los Angeles campus at 5151 State University Drive. For reservations, call (323) 933-9266, ext. 54.
- by Christine Ehren