Ruth Williamson to Sing Music of Kay Thompson at Birdland Nov. 1

News   Ruth Williamson to Sing Music of Kay Thompson at Birdland Nov. 1
Ruth Williamson, the Broadway musical actress who has been for some years developing a project based on the life and work of singer-author-actress vocal arranger Kay Thompson, will offer a one-night-only cabaret performance of Thompson's music at Manhattan's Birdland at 7 PM Nov. 1.
Ruth Williamson, with Jerry Herman.
Ruth Williamson, with Jerry Herman. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Williamson says the evening is part of the development of the project. The performance will include excerpts from the play as Williamson describes the journey she took in researching and writing it. She will be backed up by four "Williams Brothers." Michael Bush of Manhattan Theatre Club will direct, and Joel Silberman is musical director. Thompson, who was Judy Garland's vocal coach (and Liza Minnelli's godmother) and also the author of the popular "Eloise" children's book series, is beloved for her rather grand movie-musical performance in "Funny Face" (1957), in which she played a voracious fashion-magazine publisher and sang "Think Pink," "Bonjour, Paris" and The Gershwins' "Clap Yo Hands" (in a scatty comic duet with Fred Astaire). It was one of only a few movie performances. She is credited with creating vocal arrangements for a number of movie musicals ("Till the Clouds Roll By," "Ziegfeld Follies"). She died in 1998.

Williamson most recently appeared on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles. Her other credits include Epic Proportions, The Music Man and The Green Heart.

Birdland can be reached at (212) 581-3080.

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