One of Broadway's most acclaimed Phantoms will keep a busy schedule in the next few months, culminating with a Big Band concert in Hollywood at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on July 28.
Gaines, who has performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, has been developing a solo concert and cabaret career over the past few years. This weekend (March 15 and 16), the powerful voiced actor will perform in concert at the Norris Center Theater in Rolling Hills Estates, CA, where he will be backed by his piano, bass and violin ensemble. Tickets are available by calling (310) 544-0403.
The former Whistle Down the Wind star will make his Plush Room cabaret debut April 22-27 at the famed San Francisco nightspot. Gaines will sing 8 PM Monday-Friday evenings and 8 PM and 10:30 PM Saturday. There is a $30 cover and two-drink minimum at the Plush Room, which is located inside the York Hotel (940 Sutter Street); call (415) 885-2800 for reservations.
Gaines will bring his Big Band concert to Hollywood July 28 when he makes his first appearance at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre (2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East). Gaines' show, which features big-band favorites like "Come Fly With Me," "Luck Be a Lady" and "Mack the Knife," received rave reviews when it premiered last summer in Reno, NV. About that performance, the Reno Gazette-Journal's Jack Neal wrote, "The emotional highs of the concert's big moments and the poignant solitude of its intimate moments provided the kind of roller coaster ride of thrilling ups and downs that makes a concert connect in magical ways with an audience. If Tuesday's concert was the stuff that dreams are made of, and it was, it was also the kind of remarkable evening of music making that can only be brought to life by exceptional performers who mirror life's shared moments and reflect them back to enthralled listeners."
Davis will be backed by a 17-piece big band, and tickets ($30) are now on sale at (323) GO 1-FORD. For those unable to catch Gaines live, fear not. You can take the actor-singer home to your living room May 14 when the production of Sweeney Todd that was filmed onstage in San Francisco in July 2001 (and aired on PBS in October 2001) will be released on VHS and DVD. Gaines starred as Anthony in an all-star cast that included Tony winners George Hearn in the title role and Patti LuPone as Mrs. Lovett.
Davis Gaines received the Bay Area Critics' Award for Best Actor for his work as the Phantom in the West Coast production of The Phantom of the Opera, a role he repeated on Broadway. His other theatrical credits include the world premiere of Whistle Down the Wind as well as the Encores! staging of The Boys From Syracuse; Hello, Dolly!; Forbidden Broadway and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Gaines has sung with major symphony orchestras in North America, and his two solo recordings, "Against the Tide" and "All My Tomorrows: Songs of Sammy Cahn," are available on LAP Records.
—By Andrew Gans