Two-time Tony Award nominee Vivian Reed will return to New York's Metropolitan Room May 23, June 17 and July 21 with her critically acclaimed concert act Standards and More, backed by a four-piece band led by Billy McDaniel. Here, the acclaimed singing actress, whose Broadway credits include The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club and Bubbling Brown Sugar, shares the performances that most affected her as part of the audience.
The great Gwen Verdon's performance in the original Chicago
No one could do Fosse's choreography like Gwen, and that quiver in her voice gave such vulnerability to Roxie Hart.
She was the heart of the show; not just the character she played, but she, herself.
She went someplace in her soul that was so deep, you wondered if she would ever return. It was a literal breathtaking moment.
I have no words. Her acting, her singing. I wanted to jump out of my seat in the middle of her 11 o'clock number! I predict this young lady will have a long and wonderful career in theater.
Lena Horne in The Lady and Her Music
To see Lena Horne in The Lady and Her Music was to give me more of a reason to continue my career in music. What a command of the stage! She enraptured the audience and never let go.
Honi Coles in My One and Only
[His performance] was to touch me so deeply because Honi had retired from show business, and I persuaded him to return and return he did, landing a starring role in Bubbling Brown Sugar and then on to My One and Only, for which he would win a Tony. His performance was so overwhelming for me because Coles had been my manager and taught me so much about performing, and to see him on stage again brought me and the audience unimaginable joy!
Maddie Baillio's portrayal of Dracula in the Marymount College production of Dracula
[That performance] would, in my opinion, merit a Tony nomination or even the Tony. This young lady's performance was riveting! The production was so amazing, including a superb cast and orchestra, incredible lighting that, at moments, I thought I was actually sitting in a Broadway theater.
[She] embodied the character of Dorothy to wonderful depths. Her interpretation and overall performance of every song left you breathless. Stephanie's skills as a singer and actress have, indeed, carried over to her records as well as her live performances with the sole purpose of connecting with her audience, and connect she does, in a big way!
Chita Rivera....a performer's performer
To watch her in Kiss of the Spider Woman was to watch one so heavily skilled in all aspects of theater or whatever. She draws you into her web and there you remain...happily stuck. Even at her age today, she remains one of the most alluring performers out there!
Who can pull off Cabaret better than Alan Cumming with his flair for comedy and the over dramatic, for which Cabaret does demand? He delivered this role and all of its nuances in such a big and uninhibited way. I recently saw Alan in his one-man show at Carnegie Hall, produced by Daniel Nardicio, and he did not disappoint. Here, again, Alan embodies what performance should be about...connecting with the audience!