B.J. Ward's one-person tribute/spoof of opera, Stand-Up Opera is a definite for Broadway Lyceum Theatre this fall. The show will open Oct. 18 for a 12-week stint, said producer Lee Moskof, who is producing the show with Gene Wolsk, Daryl Roth and WM Productions. Ward's husband, television and stage director Gordon Hunt, will direct.
Ward, an actress and voice-over artist best known as the current lungs of Betty Rubble on the animated cartoon "The Flintstones," staged the show for a week last November at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Moskof said soprano Ward is most easily described as "the Victor Borge of opera." The show takes an irreverent look at opera in between 12 or 13 arias, which Ward will deliver straight. "She's honoring the music and poking fun at different aspects of opera at the same time," said Moskof. No microphone will be used during the roughly 90 minute show.
Moskof said Ward become hooked on opera several years ago. After taking serious study, the actress began to stage casual recitals in her living room under the title "Opera and Omelettes," eventually moving her act to a cabaret space. After transforming the piece into a theatrical evening, she performed Stand-Up Opera at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1992. Since then, she has presented the show in Chicago, Sante Fe, Sarasota, Des Moines, Winston-Salem and elsewhere.
The one-person show is quickly becoming a staple of the new Broadway season. In addition to Seinfeld's August gig at the Broadhurst, Sandra Bernhard is bringing her show I'm Still Here... Damn It! to the Booth in October. -- By Robert Simonson