Coleman Tribute Will See Minnelli, MacLaine, Rivera, McKechnie, Reinking Perform "Hey, Big Spender"

News   Coleman Tribute Will See Minnelli, MacLaine, Rivera, McKechnie, Reinking Perform "Hey, Big Spender"
The Jan. 10 Cy Coleman tribute at the Majestic Theatre will likely begin with a performance of one of the composer's best-known tunes, "Hey Big Spender" from Sweet Charity, Playbill On-Line has learned. Performing it will be five veteran stars, some of which are well acquainted with the material: Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Chita Rivera, Donna McKechnie and Ann Reinking.

MacLaine and Rivera appeared in the 1969 movie version of the musical, playing Charity and Nickie. Reinking was closely allied with Bob Fosse, who directed and choreographed the number in the original 1966 staging, as well as in the movie and a 1986 revival.

ASCAP, the performing rights organization for composers and lyricists, is putting together the tribute.

Coleman, the Tony Award-winning composer of Sweet Charity and other musicals, died Nov. 18 in Manhattan. He was 75.

The 12-2 PM memorial tribute is expected to also include Tony Bennett, Michele Lee, Lillias White, Jim Dale, Bea Arthur and Brian Stokes Mitchell, according to Variety. Speakers will include Marilyn Bergman, A.E. Hotchner, Wendy Wasserstein and Neil Simon.

Coleman was vice chairman of the ASCAP board at the time of his death, and had served 38 consecutive years as an ASCAP board member. A jazz pianist and composer of pop songs and theatre music, Coleman's Broadway shows include Wildcat, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Seesaw, I Love My Wife, On the Twentieth Century, Barnum, Welcome to the Club, City of Angels, The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue and The Life.

2004 marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of ASCAP. As the world's largest performing rights organization, ASCAP has nearly 200,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members representing all genres of music.

According to its mission, "ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society's members based on performances."

ASCAP's board of directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership every two years.

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