This past Tuesday evening Betty Buckley began her five-week stint at New York's Cafe Carlyle. Her new show, Heart to Heart, features songs from her same-named seventh solo CD, which will be released nationwide on March 28. The new recording is available for sale at the Carlyle throughout her run, so those of you attending will have the chance to get an early listen to the disc. I was very happy to receive a promotional copy of the CD (on the KO Productions label) yesterday, and I'll have my thoughts about the new recording next week, but here are the song titles for those who can't wait!
"Just the Way You Look Tonight"
"Anyone Can Whistle"
"You're Nearer"/ "If Ever I Would Leave You"/ "My Funny Valentine"
"Fire and Rain"
"If I Remember You Right"/ "I Had a King"
"Where's That Rainbow"/"Spring Is Here"/"Falling in Love with Love"
"I Am a Town"
"How Deep Is the Ocean"
Buckley also recently delivered an enchanting evening of song with the Louisville Orchestra. I thought you would enjoy reading a quote from the glowing review in The Courier Journal. About Ms. B's performance, Rick Mattingly had this to say: ". . . Saturday night, from her opening song, 'Some Enchanted Evening,' to her encore number, 'Amazing Grace,' Buckley made every song her own. She delivered classic tunes such as 'September Song,' 'As Time Goes By' and 'Lush Life' in a voice rich with life experience that brought out their meaning. At times she seemed to be living the lyrics. But unlike many singers who project a world-weary quality in such songs, Buckley's voice was filled with hope and the promise of tomorrow, particularly in her joyous rendition of 'Never-Never Land' from the musical 'Peter Pan.' The bulk of Buckley's credits are from Broadway musicals, for which her powerful voice is obviously well-suited. But last night Buckley proved that she is not one of those stage singers whose dynamic range is limited to loud and louder. There were times when her volume was barely above a whisper, and yet her voice projected power even then . . . Especially moving was "Send in the Clowns" in which Buckley was backed only by Werner. As the two performers responded to each other's improvisations, the song sounded as if it were receiving its first performance -- or maybe its last. Buckley's performance of ['Memory'], from her Tony-winning portrayal of Grizabella in Cats, brought the concert to an emotional climax, as Buckley seemed to become the very song she was singing. If vocal talent were prized more than sheer celebrity, Buckley would have filled Freedom Hall last night and Cher would have played the Palace earlier in the week. At Cher's concert, songs, costumes and wigs were all mere props that served the 'star.' But Saturday night, Buckley made the songs themselves the stars. And she served them well."
(More Carlyle info: Buckley and her trio will perform at the famed boite through March 17, Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 and 10:45 PM. There is a $60 cover charge, and reservations may be made by calling 212-744-1600. The Cafe Carlyle is located at 35 East 76th Street.)
I recently received a few new concert dates for theatre/cabaret legend Barbara Cook, which follow:
March 21 - April 29 at the Cafe Carlyle, NYC (212) 744-1600
June 13 at the Playhouse Theatre, Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Del. (302) 656-4401
September 14 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts in Poway, CA (619) 748-0505
September 21 & 22 at the Sydney Opera House (in concert with David Campbell) in Sydney, Australia 011-61-2-9250-7777
September 28-October 1 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA (714) 556-2787
In the liner notes for Audra McDonald's new solo recording, former New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich writes, "If the American musical didn't already exist, it would have to be invented for Audra McDonald." And, from just the first few notes of "How Glory Goes," the listener completely understand Rich's words. The CD -- which hits record stores this Tuesday, Feb. 22 -- begins with the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer classic, "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home," and McDonald builds it to a wonderful climax. McDonald's is a hybrid voice, part Broadway, part opera, part gospel, and each part is as emotionally honest and rich as the other. "How Glory Goes" is the second solo recital from the three-time Tony winner; the first, "Way Back To Paradise," saluted a new generation of composers that includes Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LaChiusa (in fact, the latter composed McDonald's most recent Broadway outing, Marie Christine). Although this Nonesuch Records disc includes songs by a few up-and-coming composers, more than half of the recording features pop standards by the likes of Arlen, Mercer, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein and others. Highlights include a stunning take on the Arlen/Gershwin ballad, "The Man That Got Away," which clearly demonstrates McDonald's vocal and dramatic range; a sweet, gentle version of the melodious "Come Down from the Tree," a song cut from the Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens musical Once On This Island; and a soaring version of the CD's title tune by Adam Guettel.
The complete track listing for "How Glory Goes" follows:
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home"
"I Had Myself a True Love"
"I Hid My Love"
"Was That You?"
"I Won't Mind"
"A Sleepin' Bee"
"Come Down from the Tree"
"I Never Has Seen Snow"
"When Did I Fall in Love?"
"The Man That Got Away"
"How Glory Goes"
"Lay Down Your Head"
McDonald will also begin her first concert tour next month. Scheduled dates include the following:
March 4 at the Palace Theatre in Columbus, OH
March 5 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
March 11 at the University of California in Irvine, CA
March 12 at the Saroyan Theater in Fresno, CA
March 18 at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ
March 19 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ
April 25-29 with the Atlanta Symphony (Kurt Weill/ "Seven Deadly Sins")
May 12 at Harvard University's Sanders Theater in Boston, MA
May 14 at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
**And, finally, McDonald's one-woman concert, which was taped last summer during her sold-out performances at London's Donmar Warehouse, will begin airing in the New York area on Friday, March 10 at 9 PM. Check local listings for other times and dates.
Singer/actress Julie Wilson invests most of her songs with a world weary sophistication that has brought her much acclaim in the cabaret world over the past two decades. She takes such care with each lyric that you hardly notice her gravelly, sometimes strained tones. Her latest release on DRG Records celebrates the songs of Tony-winning composer Cy Coleman, the man responsible for such Broadway hits as Barnum, Little Me, Sweet Charity and, most recently, The Life. Wilson's other efforts for DRG have included tributes to the works of George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill. On the new release, Wilson sings a wide variety of Coleman's work, ranging from such well-known tunes as "Big Spender" and "Hey, Look Me Over" to rarities like "When in Rome" and "Tin Pan Alley." Wilson duets on several of the tracks with her masterful accompanist William Roy, including a heartfelt version of the Barnum tune "The Colors of My Life." The complete track listing for "Julie Wilson: The Cy Coleman Songbook" follows:
"Use What You Got"/ "Big Spender"
"Real Live Girl" / "You Fascinate Me So"
"It Amazes Me"
"Bigger Isn't Better"
"Love Makes Such Fools of Us All"/"On Second Thought"/"Come Summer"
"I've Got Your Number" / "Witchcraft"
"The Colors of My Life"
"Tin Pan Alley" / "Firefly"
"Would You Believe" / "A Moment of Madness"
"When In Rome"
"Here I Go Again"
"Sweet Talk" / "I Want To Be Yours"
"Let Me Down Easy" / "I Can't Let You Go"
"Do Be a Darling"
"Nobody Does It Like Me" / "Why Try to Change Me Now?"
"Here's To Us" / "Little Me"
"Hey, Look Me Over"
"Don't Ask a Lady"
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