Musical Legends Tributes to Pearl Bailey, Kaye Ballard, Marlene Dietrich to Play Urban Stages

By Thomas Peter
26 Jan 2011

Janice Hall
Janice Hall

Musical Legends, a series of four theatrical tributes to music and theatre legends Pearl Bailey, Kaye Ballard, Marlene Dietrich and Nat "King" Cole, will take place Feb. 24-March 13 at Urban Stages.

Each show will be performed in rep over the course of the two-week run.

Janice Hall will pay tribute to Tony Award winner Dietrich in Grand Illusions: The Music of Marlene Dietrich, which will feature direction by Peter Napolitano and musical direction by Paul Trueblood with Ritt Henn on bass. Hall will put her own spin on songs that the legendary chanteuse and star of films like "The Blue Angel," "Morocco" and "Witness for the Prosecution" made famous. Composers whose work will be represented include Friedrich Hollaender, Cole Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Fats Waller, Robert Stolz, Charles Trenet and Pete Seeger.

Nightlife, Bistro and MAC Award winner Gretchen Reinhagen will headline Special Kaye: A Tribute to The Incomparable Kaye Ballard, featuring direction by Barry Kleinbort, direction by David Gaines and Tom Hubbard on bass and Donna Kelly on percussion.
 According to press notes, the show "honors the vast library of musical material performed by, recorded by, or written specifically for Ms. Ballard, a star of stage, screen and TV for more than five decades, and still going strong."



Roz White will star in Pearl Bailey…By Request, a tribute to the Tony Award-winning star of Hello, Dolly!, House of Flowers and St. Louis Woman. Tom Jones will direct, William A. Knowles will provide musical direction, and Mike Mitchell will accompany on piano. The evening is compiled from Bailey's 16 Most Requested Songs album. "St. Louis Blues," "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "Hucklebuck" will be among the songs featured.

Cleve Douglass will pay tribute to Nat "King" Cole in Nat "King" Cole: Smooth Grooves, which will feature Douglass' updated arrangements of the crooner's classic tunes. Lee Summers will direct, Tony Romano will provide musical direction and play guitar, and Phil Palombi will be featured on bass with Matt Kane on percussion.


Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street. Tickets are $25 for a single show and $40 for two shows performed in one night. To order, call (212) 868-4444 or visit smarttix.com. For more information, visit urbanstages.org.