On November 8, singer-actor Vivian Reed, veteran of five Broadway musicals including Michael John LaChiusa’s Marie Christine, will launch a series of New York City concerts celebrating Lena Horne to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Reed, who was twice nominated for Tony Awards, for her performances in Bubbling Brown Sugar (1976) and The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club (1992), will tell the story of Horne’s life (1917–2010) and sing some of her famous songs in a series of appearances, 7 PM November 8, and 9:30 PM December 7, February 7, 2018, and March 7 at Feinstein’/54 Below supper club.
Reed will perform her own arrangements of Horne standards, including “Stormy Weather,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “A Fine Romance,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face” and “On a Wonderful Day Like Today.”
The concert series follows Reed’s October 16 acceptance of the Mabel Mercer Award from the Mabel Mercer Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
After a pioneering film career that including Hollywood golden age film musicals such as Cabin in the Sky, Ziegfeld Follies, and Stormy Weather, plus a late-career appearance as Glinda in The Wiz, Horne announced her intention to retire in 1980, but came roaring back the following year with a return to Broadway in her solo show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. That revue wound up running 333 performances, winning Horne the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. In 1981 she also took home a special Tony Award for her performance.
For Vivian Reed Sings Lena Horne, Reed will be accompanied by a quartet featuring conductor William Foster McDaniel on piano, Calvin Jones on bass, Damon DueWhite on drums, and Don Tipton on guitar.
In addition to a 2016 cabaret appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Room, Reed has performed around the U.S. in Sophisticated Ladies, Roar of the Greasepaint—Smell of the Crowd, Blues in the Night, High Rollers, Show Boat, and Tintypes. She previously portrayed Lena Horne in More Than a Song with the Pittsburgh Ballet Company, and took part in the Lena Horne Awards honoring Rosie O’Donnell and Quincy Jones at the Ford Center in New York.
Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street, beneath Studio 54, in Manhattan. Tickets, which cost $35 to $75 (plus a $25 food/drink minimum), can be ordered here.