DIVA TALK: Let the Divas Sing!

News   DIVA TALK: Let the Divas Sing!

Christine Andreas was last on Broadway in the first version of Frank Wildhorn’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, and she received Tony nominations for her work in On Your Toes and the hit revival of Oklahoma!. Now, the talented actress/singer will make her debut appearance at the famed Cafe Carlyle (in the Carlyle Hotel) for a month long engagement beginning Tuesday, Sept. 19. Andreas’ new act will encompass a wide range of material, including songs from the pop, jazz and Broadway worlds, as well as tunes in Italian, French and Spanish. The singer recently described her upcoming show as “an evening of songs that move me. I am always moved by the beauty of a musical line and the humanity of a lyric. Just as a good book finds its way into your hand, a song seems to work its way into my heart.” For her last cabaret engagement -- at the historic Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel -- Andreas drew raves from the critics. In fact, The New York Times’s Stephen Holden had this to say about Ms. Andreas’ work: “When Christine Andreas sings a word like ‘thrill,’ the rapid pulse of her rich rounded soprano races, and she finds a blend of lyricism and sweet sensuality that only the finest Broadway voices can conjure. Ms. Andreas is so richly endowed with vocal gifts that the beauty of her singing alone can carry a show.”

The Cafe Carlyle is located at 35 East 76th Street, and Andreas will perform shows on Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 and 10:45 PM. There is a $60 music charge but no cover. For reservations, call (212) 744-1600. You can also visit the official Christine Andreas website at www.christineandreas.com.

No one ever quite sang the way Carol Burnett did, except, perhaps, Broadway’s premiere belter, Ethel Merman. Burnett possessed a huge sound, with a sturdy Broadway vibrato, that was ideally suited for big theatre tunes. It was the theatre’s great loss that Burnett spent so little time on Broadway after she became TV’s favorite female comic; in fact, it was three decades between Burnett’s appearances in Fade Out -- Fade In and the Ken Ludwig play, Moon Over Buffalo. Thankfully, though, early in her career Burnett recorded two best-selling albums for Decca: “Let Me Entertain You” and “How They Stopped the Show.” These two albums have just been re-released on a single CD by Decca Broadway with the title “Carol Burnett: Let Me Entertain You.” The 24-track recording boasts an impressive array of tunes from both the theatre and the movies. Highlights include Rodgers and Hart’s “Johnny One Note,” which Burnett delivers with a passionate force; a joyful rendition of the Judy Garland classic, “The Trolley Song”; and the Jule Styne-Betty Comden-Adolph Green ditty, “Give a Little -- Get a Little,” from Two on the Aisle. When the actress/singer belts, “With love there’s joy, sing hey halleluuuuuujaaaah,” it’s thrilling. Burnett also knows how to turn down the volume and offers a quiet, emotional reading of one of the most beautiful standards, Jule Styne’s “Time After Time.” The complete track listing for “Let Me Entertain You” follows:
“Johnny One Note”
“Happiness Is a Thing Called You”
“Adelaide’s Lament”
“Sweet Georgia Brown”
“April Showers”
“The Trolley Song”
“I Cain’t Say No”
“Ten Cents a Dance”
“Blow Gabriel Blow”
“The Lorelei”
“Nobody Sing You Singers”
“Everything’s Coming Up Roses”
“Give a Little -- Get a Little”
“I Don’t Want to Walk Without You”
“Comes Once in a Lifetime”
“Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry”
“All I Need Is the Boy”
“Let Me Entertain You”
“The World Is Beautiful Today”
“Just in Time”
“Saturday Night”
“Time After Time”
“Everybody Loves To Take a Bow”

That belter of belters, Linda Eder, is putting the finishing touches on her upcoming Christmas recording, which is due in stores some time toward the end of October. The track listing for Eder’s first holiday recording follows:
“Christmas Stays the Same”
“Here Comes Santa Claus”/“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
“The Little Drummer Boy”
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
“Christmas Through A Child's Eyes”
“Silent Night”
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” / “What Child Is This?”
“The Christmas Song”
The Christmas Medley: “Silver & Gold”/ “I'll Be Home For Christmas”/“Let It Snow”
“Ave Maria”
“Holy Night”
“The Bells of St. Paul”

Tony Award winner Lillias White will return to the cabaret stage of Hollywood’s The Cinegrill (7000 Hollywood Boulevard) for four special performances on Saturdays, Sept. 23 and 30 (8 and 10PM shows). White’s concerts will celebrate the release of her new solo CD, “From Brooklyn to Broadway,” which features the music of Cy Coleman, Hoagy Carmichael, David Zippel and other popular standards from her celebrated Broadway roles in Barnum, Dreamgirls, Once On This Island, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Life. About Ms. White’s work, Stephen Holden of The New York Times once raved, “Never underestimate the ability of a great singer to take a piece and infuse it with an emotional life that transforms it into something grand and glorious. That’s what Lillias White did at Carnegie Hall." Tickets for White’s shows are $20 each with a two-drink and/or food minimum. Call the Cinegrill at (323) 466-7000 for reservations.

Carolee Carmello, Wanda Houston, Norm Lewis and Stephen DeRosa will perform the works of composer William Finn in Infinite Joy: Songs of William Finn. Part of Joe’s Pub’s Songbook Series, the evenings -- Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 at 8:30 PM -- will feature “mostly unknown songs written recently and not so recently” by the Tony-winning composer of Falsettos. Finn will also take part in the evening, performing some of his own work. Yadim Fleichtner will serve as musical director and piano accompanist, and tickets may be purchased at the Public Theater box office or by calling (212) 239-6200; all seats are $25.


Critic Patricia O’Haire discusses Karen Mason’s current cabaret act at Arci’s Place (from Daily News):
“Now, standards can be overdone -- and frequently are, since they’re the basis for so many cabaret acts. But Mason brings a freshness that, combined with a sly sense of humor and subtle theatricality, makes them irresistible . . . Mason’s backed by Christopher Denny on piano and Bob Renino on bass, but her voice is a delightful musical instrument all on its own.”

Cheryl Ladd discusses her role as Annie Oakley in an upcoming Playbill article by Harry Haun:
“[Annie is] one of the greatest female characters written for the American stage. She has such an amazing arc. In her most natural state, she’s this little creature with no polish and no sophistication and no education, and—through her wits and her talent—goes a long, long way. And she never loses the true heart she had in the beginning. When you think that Ethel Merman played it and Mary Martin played it and Betty Hutton played it -- it’s a role that accommodated them. You just have to commit to the way it’s written, and whatever your individual personality is will come through that.”

Critic Don Heckman discusses Maureen McGovern’s recent performance at a tribute to Mel Torme (from The Los Angeles Times):
“A talent display of that magnitude was tough competition -- even on video [clips of Mel Torme were shown]. But McGovern was up to the task, singing with astonishing musical facility. Her scatting on ‘I'm Late’ and ‘Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead’ was astounding. And her a cappella rendering of ‘Skylark’ (a tune some singers have difficulty delivering in tune even with accompaniment) was both a musical and a storytelling tour de force. Torme would have loved every minute of her presentation.”

IN OTHER NEWS It should be a belter lover’s paradise this fall at Manhattan Theatre Club when Carolee Carmello, Randy Graff and The Wild Party’s Julia Murney star in the world premiere of the new musical A Class Act. Act, which features a book by Linda Kline and Lonny Price and a score by the late Ed Kleban, begins previews at MTC on Oct. 3 with an official opening on Oct. 31 . . . The second production of My Favorite Broadway will take place on Monday, Oct. 16 at New York’s City Center, 131 W. 55th Street. Hosted by Julie Andrews, the evening, which is subtitled “The Love Songs,” will feature performances by Linda Eder, Heather Headley, Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera plus Michael Crawford, Peter Gallagher, Adam Pascal, Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and more. Ragtime’s Graciela Daniele will direct the star-studded evening of song, and tickets, ranging from $90 to $250, can be purchased by calling Citytix at (212) 581-1212 . . . The 2nd Annual Lena Horne Awards will be hosted by Bill Cosby and will honor Broadway advocate Rosie O’Donnell and singer Quincy Jones. O’Donnell will be presented with the Lena Mentor Award, and Jones will receive the Lena Legend Award. The event will occur on Nov. 13 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts (213 W. 42nd Street), and the evening will feature appearances by Betty Buckley, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, Karen Ziemba, Phylicia Rashad, Elaine Stritch, Roberta Flack and Alan King, Sam Harris, Geoffrey Holder, Savion Glover, Ashford & Simpson, John Pizzarelli, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the company of Stomp! and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. The Lena Awards are presented to performing artists who have contributed significantly to public service, and tickets -- ranging from $50 to $2,500 (including a pre-performance benefit reception) -- are available by calling (212) 685-1095 . . . The songs of Portia Nelson will be performed for three evenings at New York’s Don’t Tell Mama (343 W. 46th Street) on Oct. 3 (at 8 PM), Oct. 10 (at 8:30 PM) and Oct. 11 (at 6 PM). Entitled This Life, the cabaret evenings will feature Nelson’s songs interpreted by former Evita Terri Klausner plus cabaret’s Deborah Tranelli and Tom Andersen. Sponsored by the Howard Gilman Foundation, there is no cover charge, but a two-drink minimum is required; call (212) 757-0788 for reservations . . . Audra McDonald will host Musical Theatre Works Live in Concert, a gala benefit evening on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8 PM. The concert launches MTW’s Resident Writers Program, created to promote up-n-coming Broadway lyricists and composers. Broadway stars Betty Buckley, Peter Gallagher, Neil Patrick Harris, Andrea McArdle, Audra McDonald, Jessica Molaskey, Billy Porter and Sherie Rene Scott will perform songs by Jason Robert Brown, John Bucchino, Kirsten Childs, Zina Goldrich, Marcy Heisler, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel, Michael John La Chiusa, Andrew Lippa, Glenn Slater, Grant Sturiale and Jeanine Tesori. The benefit gala will take place at Exit (610 W. 56th Street), and tickets -- ranging from $125 to $500 -- are available by calling (212) 677-0040 . . . Australian diva Caroline O’Connor has just released a CD of songs from Piaf, the Pam Gems play in which she recently starred Down Under. Available on the Artists Unlimited label, the single CD is titled “A Tribute to Piaf.” . . . And, finally, even though Cats is now just a “Memory,” you can own a piece of that theatrical history now and forever. The Cats Garage Sale and Auction -- featuring everything from props to costumes to signs and other assorted memorabilia -- will be up for grabs this Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 AM to 6 PM at the Winter Garden Theatre (Broadway at 50th Street). The main auction will take place at 4 PM. Some of the items available to the highest bidder will include the tire in which Grizabella and Deuteronomy ascend to the Heaviside Layer, their costumes, Shimbleshanks’s train pieces, even the very shoe that falls onto the stage in the first act. Admission is $10 per person, and all proceeds will go directly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. For more information, call BC/EFA at (212) 840-0770.



U.S. Concert Schedule:
Sept. 19 in Portland, ME
Sept. 20 in Rochester, NY at the Auditorium Centre
Sept. 22 in New York, NY at the Theatre @ MSG
Sept. 23 in Atlantic City, NJ at the Mark G. Etess Arena
Sept. 24 in Wallingford, CT at the Oakdale Theater
Sept. 26 in Providence, RI at the PAC
Sept. 27 in Lowell, MA at the Memorial Auditorium
Sept. 29 in Philadelphia, PA at the Mann Center
Sept. 30 in Washington, DC at the Patriot Center
Oct. 2 in Norfolk, VA at the Scope Arena
Oct. 4 in Miami, FL at the AA Arena /Nat. Car Rental Arena
Oct. 5 in Tampa, FL at the Ice Palace
Oct. 6 in Atlanta, GA at the Civic Center
Oct. 8 in New Orleans, LA at the Saenger Theatre
Oct. 9 in Dallas, TX at the Reunion Arena/Starplex Amph.
Oct. 10 in Houston, TX at the Aerial Theatre
Oct. 13 in Columbus, OH at the Nationwide Arena
Oct. 14 in Detroit, MI at the Palace
Oct. 15 in Cleveland, OH at the CSU Convocation Centre
Oct. 17 in St. Paul, MN at the Minn. Wild Arena
Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand
Oct. 21 in Santa Barbara, CA at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Oct. 22 in San Diego, CA at the SDSU Open Air Theatre
Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, CA at the Universal Amphitheatre
Oct. 26 in Sacramento, CA at the Arco Arena
Oct. 27 in San Jose, CA at the San Jose Arena
Oct. 29 in Portland, OR at the Rose Garden
Oct. 31 in Seattle, WA at the Paramount/Key Arena
Nov. 5 in Spokane, WA at the Arena
Nov. 7 in Salt Lake City, UT at the Delta Center
Nov. 8 in Denver, CO at the Magness Arena
Nov. 11 in Chicago, IL at the Arie Crown
Nov. 13 in St. Louis, MO
Nov. 14 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Van Andel Arena
Nov. 15 in Milwaukee, WI at the Riverside Theatre

Several new concert dates have been added to BB’s always-growing schedule:

Sept. 15 Southern Theater in Columbus, OH
Sept. 16 Stranahan Theatre in Toledo, OH
Oct. 6 & 7 Scottsdale Center for the Arts Theatre in Scottsdale, AZ
Oct. 28 Univ. of Texas Cowan Fine & Perf. Arts Center in Tyler, TX
Nov. 10 & 11 University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
Jan. 5, 2001 Koger Center for the Arts (Univ. of SC) in Columbia, SC
Jan. 6 Georgia Institute of Technology Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA
Jan. 19-28 Florida Condo Tour in Florida
March 3 at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA
May 12 at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts in Staten Island, NY
June 17 at the Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, LA BARBARA COOK
Cook’s concert itinerary follows:

Sept. 21 & 22 at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 at the Orange County Perf. Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA
Oct. 20 & 21 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
Dec. 5 at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ
Feb. 2, 2001 at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Feb. 23 and 24 with Michael Feinstein at the Cerritos Center for the Perf. Arts in Cerritos, CA

Eder in concert:
Sept. 26 at the Jones Hall w/Houston Symphony in Houston, TX; call (713) 224-7575
Oct. 29 at Symphony Hall in Boston, Ma. (617) 266-1492
Nov. 3 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA (215) 572-7650
Nov. 17 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ; call (732) 246-SHOW
Nov. 18 at the State Theatre in Easton, PA; call (610) 252-3132
Nov. 19 at the Strand-Capitol Theatre in York, Penn.
Dec. 6 at the Ordway Center for the Perf. Arts in St. Paul, MN (651) 224 4222
Jan. 12 & 13, 2001 in Charlotte, NC at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; (704) 372-1000
Jan. 20, 2001 with the Boca Pops at Florida Atlantic Univ in Boca Raton, FL; go to: www.bocapops.org
Jan. 21 in Naples, FL at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts; (941) 597 1900
Feb. 1 & 2 in Phoenix, AZ at the Orpheum Theatre
Feb. 3 at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek, CO; (888) 920 2787
Feb. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; (202) 467-4600
Feb. 23 at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, NY; call (516) 334 0800
Feb. 24 at the Community Theatre in Morristown, NJ; (973) 539-8008 March 8 in Clearwater, FL at the Ruth Eckerd Hall; (727) 791-7400
March 9 in Sarasota, FL at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; www.vanwezel.org
March 10 in Melbourne, FL at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts; (407) 242-2219
May 31-June 3 in Pittsburgh, PA at Heinz Hall; call (412) 392-4900

Several concert dates have been added to Patti LuPone’s ever-growing schedule. What follows are La LuPone’s confirmed concert appearances as of this week:
Sept. 23 at the University of Maine in Orono; (800) 622-8499
Oct. 7 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama; (205) 458-8401
Nov. 3 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra in Louisville, Kentucky (502) 583-4555
April 8 ("Matters Of The Heart") at Duke University’s Page Auditorium in Durham, North Carolina; (919) 684-4444
Jan. 5-7, 2001 at the Morton J. Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX (214) 871-4000

What follows is Mason’s up-to-date performance schedule:
Now through Oct. 15 Returns to Arci’s Place, 450 Park Avenue South; NYC; (212) 532-4370
Oct. 10 Karen joins editor Sherry Eaker at book launch party for the Cabaret Artist’s Handbook at Don’t Tell Mama
Oct. 16 Gala Opening of the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC
Oct. 17 Appearance at ASCAP evening at the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC
Nov. 1-12 Appearance at The Plush Room in San Francisco’s York Hotel; (415) 885-2800
Nov. 5 Special appearance at MaraLago in Palm Beach, FL
Dec. 6-10 Karen performs her Christmas Show at Davenports in Chicago, IL (773) 278-1830
Dec. 15-17, 22-23 Karen celebrates Christmas with conductor John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis, MO
March 17 Appearance at 92nd Street Y with Craig Carnelia in New York, NY

Audra McDonald’s most recent concert listing follows:
Sept. 28-30 with the National Symphony Orchestra
Oct. 7 in Atlanta, GA (venue to be announced)
Oct. 14 in Hershey, PA (venue to be announced)
Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, CA at UCLA’s Royce Hall
Oct. 22 in San Diego, CA (venue to be announced)
Oct. 28 in Fort Worth, TX (venue to be announced)

Now through Oct. 14 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, NY
Oct. 23 Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation Benefit Concert with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Dec. 8-11 Holiday concert with the Oregon Symphony in Portland, OR
Dec. 12 Holiday concert with the Oregon Symphony in Salem, OR

The two-time Tony winner will conclude her run in Annie Get Your Gun on September 2, when she will begin a U.S. concert tour:
Sept. 15 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (with symphony)
Sept. 22 at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia
Oct. 6 at the Einsenhower Hall Theatre in West Point, NY
Oct. 7 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ
Oct. 13 at the OnCenter War Memorial in Syracuse, NY
Jan. 5, 2001 at PAC in Tulsa, Oklahoma (with symphony)
Jan. 11 at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee
Jan. 13 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
March 29 at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, NY
April 6 at the Bass Perf. Hall in Fort Worth, TX (with symphony)
April 7-8 at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX
April 19 at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto (with symphony)
April 28 at the Pasquerilla PAC in Johnstown, PA
May 11-12 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN (with symphony)
May 18-20 at the Myerson Hall in Dallas, TX (with symphony)

Former star of Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde, Christiane Noll will be hitting the concert circuit, performing throughout the USA. Noll will join other Broadway names in this concert tour, backed by some of the world’s greatest orchestras. Her complete schedule follows:
Sept. 23 with the Nashua Symphony in Nashua, NH; (800) 639-3101
Oct. 14 with the Cape Symphony Orchestra at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis, MA (508) 362-1111
Dec. 2 with Doug LaBrecque and Michael Maguire and the New London Symphony in New London, CT
Dec. 7-17 The Magic of Christmas with the Portland Symphony in Portland, ME; (207) 842-0800

Well, that’s all for now. Happy diva-watching!

By Andrew Gans

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