DIVA NEWS A host of Broadway favorites will join Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore at the third annual Broadway Barks! on Saturday, July 14 in Shubert Alley (located between 44th and 45th Streets between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). Those scheduled to participate in this annual event, which helps raise awareness of the plight of dogs and cats in the metropolitan area's shelters, include Cady Huffman, Mary-Louise Parker, Leslie Uggams, Christine Ebersole, Polly Bergen, Catherine Hickland, Joel Grey and Gary Beach. About this worthy cause Peters says, "Every year, 40,000 adoptable animals are euthanized in New York City alone -- many of which are pure breeds. Isn't this enough of a reason to find your next animal through a shelter?" More information about Broadway Barks! 3 is available by calling (212) 840-0770, ext. 477, or by logging onto www.bernadettepeters.net . . . Highlights of the upcoming Carnegie Hall season include Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone, who returns to the hall with her acclaimed show, "Coulda Woulda Shoulda," on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2002. Call; The Life's Tony winner, Lillias White, who will perform with Skitch Henderson and The New York Pops on Friday, Nov. 16, 2001, in an evening titled "Southern Hospitality with Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer=; and "Broadway Artists Sing the Songs of Billie Holiday" on Monday, April 22, 2002 . . . Speaking of La LuPone: While in San Francisco to perform Sweeney Todd in Concert, the multi talented singing actress will take part in a conversation with George Hearn and director Lonny Price at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum on Saturday, July 21 at 2 PM. For tickets, call (415) 255-4800 or visit www.sfpalm.org. Also, while performing Sweeney at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago on Friday, Aug. 24, the former Evita star will also perform her "Matters of the Heart" concert act at the Festival's Martin Theatre on Monday, Aug. 27
. . . Two of Broadway's finest will headline Arci's Place next month. Karen Mason, who returns to the New York cabaret for her third engagement, will play a two-week run beginning Tuesday, July 10 and running through July 21. This will be Mason's last cabaret engagement for quite a while, as she has landed a role in what promises to be one of the season's big hits, Mamma Mia!. After Mason departs Arci's, Tony winner Donna McKechnie will perform "An Evening with Donna McKechnie" for two weeks beginning Tuesday, July 24 at 9 PM. McKechnie's show features songs and anecdotes from her Broadway career and also pays tribute to the Broadway royalty she was worked with over the years: Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, Frank Loesser and many others. Both women will perform Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 9PM and Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30 and 11 PM. Arci's Place is located at 450 Park Avenue South, and reservations may be made by calling (212) 532-4370; there is a $30 music charge and a $15 food/drink minimum . . . Upcoming fall engagements at Arci's Place include Wesla Whitfield (Sept. 25 - Oct. 13), Margaret Whiting (Oct. 16 - Nov. 3), Sally Mayes (Nov. 6 - Nov. 24), Marilyn Sokol (Nov. 27 - Dec. 8) and Baby Jane Dexter (Dec. 11 - Dec. 29) . . . Chicago's Alexandra Billings, with special guest Suzanne Petri, will open the Summer Cabaret Concert Series at the Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago (1229 W. Belmont Ave.) on Monday, July 16. Other scheduled performers include Tom Michael and Beckie Menzie on Aug. 13 and the "Showbiz Kids from Hell," Emmy Award winner Richard Knight and radio personality Becca Kaufman on Sept. 10. Tickets are priced at $10 per show or $25 for the series; for reservations, call (773) 883-1090.
A friend forwarded me copies of HX and Next magazines, which both featured revealing, personal interviews with the legendary Barbara Cook. Cook, who recently performed at New Jersey's John Harms Center, spoke about her award-winning career as well as her relationship with her son Adam. Below are some of Ms. Cook's choice quotes:
about whether she feels the need to explain the context of a Broadway song before she sings it in concert: [from Next]
"I can't remember ever putting it in context because generally the songs will stand on their own. There's a song I do called 'Ice Cream' from a show that's called She Loves Me and that's such a quintessential book song. In the beginning, I thought if people didn't understand where it fit in the show, it wouldn't make sense to them. But I was wrong. So a long, long time ago I stopped telling them about the song and just sang it -- it's self explanatory."
about her title as "Broadway's favorite ingenue" and whether anyone today fits that mold: [from Next]
"I really was never an ingenue. I got labeled that way for some reason. I think it was because of the way I looked more than anything. I played a lot of roles that weren't actually ingenue roles. It's funny, I did get that sobriquet, but it's not an apt one . . . As far as today goes, I don't know. I think Rebecca Luker is fine and has a very pretty voice. She's lovely. Who else? Every time anyone asks me that, the names fly out of my head. I love the way Judy Kuhn sings. And Bernadette [Peters] is so talented."
about her son's coming out: [from HX article by Andrew Velez]
"It must have been about 10 years ago. It was a complete shock to me. He was living with a young woman, and I thought -- and I think her family thought -- they might get married. He told me that he needed to talk to me about something, that they were having a problem. I thought he was going to tell me they were going to break up. When he told me he was gay, I laughed. [Laughs.] I laughed! Because it was the farthest thing from my mind. He said, 'Mom, I'm not kidding.' It was like a thunderbolt, and I was very upset. The family and grandchildren and all that stuff bothered me. But more than that, here was this person whom I thought I knew so well, and here was this enormous part of his life that I knew nothing about. I felt as if I didn't know my own son. I was very upset. Not so much at the time, because I was in shock, and I also didn't want to make Adam feel bad. And then I went into a kind of depression. And really, really cried for five days, and mourned the son I thought I'd had. On about the fifth day of that, I said to myself, 'What the hell is going on?' I've always felt that I was not a part of the mainstream of life. I don't know what the hell I mean by that, but it's the only way I know how to put it. When I had a son, that seemed to connect me more to the stream of life. When Adam told me that [he was gay], I felt, 'I'm no longer a part of the mainstream anymore.' And then my next thought was, 'My son is not here to make me comfortable. He's here to be the fullest person he can be, and what I have to do is help him fulfill himself as much as I can.' And when that came to me, the whole thing lifted. I love him so much. And I like him. That's the thing, I like him."
FOR THE RECORD:
One of the newest record labels, Jerome Records, has a slate of exciting releases set for the fall. Former Sunset Boulevard star Karen Mason will release a new collection of musical theatre and cabaret staples; Barbra Streisand impersonator Steven Brinberg will issue a new set of Barbra's best, performed with a series of special guest stars; cabaret's Jeff Harnar will be heard on "Sammy Cahn All the Way," which will include such classics as "Time After Time," "It's Magic" and "Come Fly With Me"; and Falsettos and Hair star Heather MacRae has recorded a selection of mostly original R&B, jazz, rock and blues songs for her new disc. Already available from Jerome Records are Phillip Officer's "Hoagy on My Mind" and Stephanie Pope's "Now's the Time to Fall in Love." Pope, a former star of Broadway's Fosse, concludes her cabaret run at New York's Triad Theatre on Monday, July 2 at 7:30 PM (158 W. 72nd Street; call 212-650-9400). Her Triad engagement celebrates her new CD, which blends the worlds of jazz, R&B and Broadway and features such songs as "Happy Days Are Here Again," "Pick Yourself Up," "Me and My Shadow" and "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries." In a recent interview, Pope had this to say about what's down the road for her: "You know, it's funny. I've never known. It's always come. I'm looking forward to doing my cabaret act again. And recording another CD. As far as theater is concerned, I would love to originate a part. I've spent a lot of time in the ensemble, a lot of time understudying, a lot of time replacing. Now, it's time for me to walk in with the role. That's really out of my hands as far as most of Broadway is concerned, but it's something I dream about doing."
Reba McEntire, who recently left the Broadway company of Annie Get Your Gun, speaks about a childhood game in Stephen Holden's New York Times article, "Country's Bumpy Road to Broadway":
"I grew up on an 8,000-acre cattle ranch in Oklahoma. Me and my brother used to play a game we called 'anything you can do I can do better.' At the time, I didn't even know it was a song."
Lorna Luft discusses her new act, "Songs My Mother Taught Me," in Patricia O'Haire's Daily News article:
"I started to put this show together two years ago. After my book made it to the best-seller lists, everyone thought it was time. I'd been thinking about doing something like this for a very long while, but I wasn't comfortable about it. Then, when working on the miniseries ["Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows"] that was made from the book, I was feeling better about it."
That Tony-winning dynamo, Betty Buckley, has just released a new slate of concert performances, which follows:
July 27 and 28 at the Bottom Line in New York, NY
July 29 at the Provincetown Town Hall in Provincetown, MA (Fund raiser for Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater)
August 25 at the Great Waters Music Festival in Wolfeboro, NH
October 6 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ (with Michael Feinstein)
November 10 at the Naperville North Central College Performing Arts Center in Naperville, IL (with Michael Feinstein)
November 24 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ (with Michael Feinstein)
December 6 at Abravenal Hall with the Utah Symphony in Salt Lake City, UT (Xmas program)
December 7 in Logan, UT (Venue to be announced)
December 27 at the Academy Theatre in Philadelphia, PA (with Michael Feinstein)
January 4 & 5, 2002 at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, CT
March 15 & 16, 2002 with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, NC
March 30 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA
July 9 at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL
Eder in concert:
July 7 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion at the Woodlands in Houston, TX, (713) 629-3700
Sept. 14 at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA, (215) 893-1999
Sept. 29 at the Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point, (845) 938 4159
Oct. 19 and 20 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, go to www.atlantasymphony.org
Nov. 3 at the Youngstown Symphony Center in Youngstown, OH, (330) 744 4269
Nov. 16 and 17 at Jacobs Symphony Hall in Jacksonville, FL, (877) 662 6731
Dec. 5 at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, (973) 376-4343
Dec. 11 at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA, (617) 266-1492
Dec. 14 and 15 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, (800) 444-1324
The Tony and Olivier Award-winning actress has also just released a whole new slew of concert dates, which follow:
July 7 at the Performing Arts Center in Westhampton Beach, NY ("Matters of the Heart")
July 19-21 in Sweeney Todd at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, CA
August 3-4 at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Los Angeles, CA ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda")
September 15 at the Rialto Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia ("Matters of the Heart")
September 20-23 at Bass Hall with the Ft. Worth Symphony in Ft. Worth, Texas ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda")
November 10 at Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts ("Matters of the Heart")
February 9, 2002 at the Tilles Center with the Long Island Philharmonic ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda")
February 22-23, 2002 at the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY with the Buffalo Philharmonic ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda")
February 28 at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching!
By Andrew Gans