Time's running out to purchase tickets to what promises to be the event of the holiday season: Bernadette Peters will make her eagerly-awaited solo Carnegie Hall debut next month to benefit the Gay Men's Health Crisis. BP will perform on the legendary stage on December 9, singing songs from her new album, "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" plus an array of Sondheim material. Tickets are priced at $40, $100, $150, $250 and $550. The top two ticket prices include a post-concert party/reception. Call 212-247-7800 for more information.
Don't forget to set your VCRs to tape Elaine Paige's appearance on "Theatre Talk," which will air in N.Y. on PBS (Channel 13) at 12:30 AM (i.e. Thursday morning, Nov. 28). Elaine will chat about her long-awaited Broadway debut in Sunset Boulevard with host Michael Reidel.
There was also a recent article in Theatre Week in which Elaine spoke about her holiday plans and wishes. In his article, entitled A Celebrity Cornucopia, writer Michael Buckley spoke with a plethora of stars, including our own EP. Following are some of her quotes:
about her Broadway run:
"The reaction's pretty good. Everybody seems to enjoy it. I'm doing something right, I suppose. Either that, or I've fooled everybody again. [Laughs]"
about New York audiences:
"[they are] wonderful! The reaction's overwhelming, really. They're very vocal and very appreciative. A standing ovation, every night, is not something that you take lightly. It's magic!" about her favorite Christmas memory:
". . .a few years ago, when I went with a friend to France--Porcheville--over the Christmas holidays, and it was quite magical. It was cold. Lots of snow. Crackling log fires. Christmas fare: nips of brandy or cognac. And sharing it with people who share your passion--well, my passion anyway--which is skiing. At midnight, there was this marvelous display--people coming down the mountain with flame-throwers in their hands. We watched this wonderful trail of light-in-formation. And there was music by Vangelis--stirring, majestic music. That and the procession down the mountainside was quite emotional! It was a fun time, throwing snowballs, behaving like a child. Christmas, to me, means snow, crackling log fires, Christmas trees and presents."
on how Norma Desmond might spend Christmas:
"She would probably invite a few of her old cronies around to play cards, have a few drinks. She'd probably have a few too many, and put on one of her old films to bore her friends."
on her plans for Christmas this year:
"Well, I have to report to you that I'm rather full of shock and horror that I have to work on Christmas Day--something I have never done in my entire life! So, it's going to come very hard for me. Well, not hard--because I love what I do--but it's going to be very weird to be working on Christmas Day. I'm amazed! It doesn't seem right."
about her Christmas wishes for herself and the theatrical community:
"...would be that they would install a chair-lift. [Laughs] I would really love one of those. And, for the theatrical community. . . that they give us Christmas Day off!"
Betty B is currently performing in Boston with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night tour. In Terry Byrne's article in the Boston Herald, Betty discusses her work in the tour:
about singing songs from shows she has not appeared in:
"I try to create a silhouette of the requirements of the song, but I intentionally try to provide the truth of my own spirit. I can't lie. I have to find my own journey within it. . .Part of what I really love about my job is the process of discovery. I learn from my impressions of the show, but I'm often able to discover different story formats. I try to be a universal interpreter, so that the audience can bring their own memories from the show they saw. Then I start to look at what the lyricist was trying to say. It's probably the same pleasure people get from doing puzzles or any game of the mind."
about singing songs from Evita:
"I swore I'd never sing a song from Evita because, you know us competitive divas. I didn't want to do something someone else had created. . . I feel very personal about my interpretations. I only follow someone if I feel I can add something different to the part."
about aging in show business:
"When I was young, I knew I was a late bloomer. And all my best teachers told me life was about growth. I knew I had to transcend the thinking in our culture that getting old is a process of disintegration and look at it as an evolving process. And I have a great job. I'm asked to contemplate beautiful words and music and share that with an audience. Music makes me feel really wonderful, and grateful."
One of our loyal diva watchers sent in a "very Patti" story about her recent concert in Chicago. It seems La LuPone was unhappy with the way she sang "Being Alive," which closed the first half of her concert. When she returned to the stage for the second half, she started by saying, "Dick [Gallagher, musical director] and I were talking during intermission, and I was unhappy with the end of 'Being Alive."" Then, Patti launched into the last verse of the song, and took the roof off the theatre. The audience went crazy, one of many thunderous ovations during the evening. Later, after much pleading from the enthusiastic audience, LuPone delivered her show-stopping version of "As If We Never Said Goodbye."
That's all for now. Have a great Thanksgiving, and happy diva-watching!--
By Andrew Gans
(My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.)