Rep. Jon D. Fox (R-PA), who represents the native Pennsylvania district of the late actress-singer Laurie Beechman, is putting together a concert to honor the performer. The event, "Let the Memory Live Again: A Musical Celebration for Laurie Beechman," is scheduled to take place Nov. 30 at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre. Sam Harris (The Life) and Andrea McArdle (Annie) are among those who may appear, as first reported in Back Stage. Also rumored to take part are Bernadette Peters and Jekyll & Hyde stars Linda Eder and Christine Noll. No talent has been confirmed, however.
"Now that the date has been established, we will work along with the exceptional staff of the the beautiful Walnut Street Theatre to produce a concert that will befit a star of Laurie's magnitude," said Fox.
Beechman, who starred in such Broadway productions as Cats and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, died of ovarian cancer Mar. 8. She was 43. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Gilda's Club.
The Walnut Street Theatre is an apt location for the concert; in March 1998, Beechman herself performed at the theatre in a benefit concert to aid an actor-friend also suffering from cancer.
Earlier this month, Fox introduced two bills honoring Beechman in Congress. One bill calls for funding to the National Cancer Institute to increase by $50 million over five years. The extra money would be used for ovarian cancer education. The second measure would result in a special U.S. Treasury Department commemorative coin bearing Beechman's likeness. Money culled from the sale of the coin would go to Gilda's Club, an organization which offers help to cancer victims. No word yet on their chance of passage.