DIVA TALK: More Summertime Diva News | Playbill

Diva Talk DIVA TALK: More Summertime Diva News
Hello, diva lovers. Just a few items this sunny week. Enjoy....

Hello, diva lovers. Just a few items this sunny week. Enjoy....

Barbara Cook received mostly enthusiastic reviews for her recent concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. In his Los Angeles Times review, Daryl H. Miller had this to say about the legendary vocalist: “Cook, who performed substantial sets in both the first and second halves, sang in a soprano nearly as lustrous today, at 72, as when she originated such roles as Cunegonde in Candide, Marian the librarian in Music Man and Amalia in She Loves Me. And the program, overall, delivered surprise after surprise instead of the usual tried and true. Among Cook's numbers, for instance, Rodgers and Hammerstein were represented by ‘It Might as Well Be Spring,’ a lesser-known song from the movie State Fair, though perhaps the loveliest of all their creations. Jerry Herman, meanwhile, was represented not by anything from Hello, Dolly! or Mame, but by the haunting ‘Time Heals Everything,’ from Mack & Mabel. . . . In their next selection, she and her musical director, Wally Harper, provided another view of romance by combining Rodgers and Hart's ‘He Was Too Good to Me,’ from Simple Simon, with Stephen Sondheim's ‘Losing My Mind,’ from Follies. Both are songs about love lost or never fully attained, and as Cook infused them with delicious, ecstatic pain, she made loss seem almost more satisfying than fulfillment.” And, Variety writer Richard S. Ginell wrote, “Barbara Cook, who generates warm memories from her starry Broadway past and subsequent resurrection as a cabaret and concert singer, hit some emotional high points when she and her longtime music director Wally Harper took the Hollywood Bowl spotlight Friday night . . . Cook's voice is in pretty good shape, and her ability to communicate in a straight-forward, ungimmicked way is unimpaired. As ‘He Was Too Good to Me’ merged into ‘Losing My Mind’ (from Follies), the dramatic yet elegantly restrained longing in her voice drew us completely into the material, and she did a fine job unveiling a new, suavely harmonized [Marvin] Hamlisch song ‘I Cannot Hear the City,’ from his forthcoming musical, Sweet Smell of Success. Best of all was Cook's 14 -minute medley of songs from Porgy and Bess - straddling a straight-arrow Broadway path between opera and jazz, striking emotional paydirt in ‘I Loves You Porgy.’”

Cook’s legion of enthusiasts will also be happy to learn that the actress will soon release a Christmas CD on the DRG label. Entitled “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” the recording features an 18 piece orchestra and is a combination of traditional carols and seasonal favorites. The complete track listing follows:

“Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire”)
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“Silent Night”
“Let It Snow”
“I'll Be Home For Christmas”
“It's a Wonderful World”
“Littlest Angel”
“White Christmas”
“Faith Of Our Fathers”
“O Come All Ye Faithful”
“I Wonder As I Wander” PATTI LUPONE Fans of La LuPone should check out the newest feature to the former Evita star’s website -- “Ask Patti,” where the Tony and Olivier Award-winning actress answers questions from fans (go to pattilupone.net). Here’s one of my favorites:
Q: I once heard you speak of some "spooky" things that took place during your run as Evita (perhaps from the hand of the late Eva Peron herself.) I have often wondered what those things were! DO TELL, DO TELL!!!!!
LuPone: Concerning the spooky things that happened during the run of Evita, it took me a long time before I could talk about it. There were three of them. The first was a visitation, I'm convinced from Evita herself. It didn't look like her (it was a man with a cigar -- just kidding). It happened a couple of days before opening night in Los Angeles. A nightmare woke me up and there was a figure standing beside me. My mouth was open in a scream, but I couldn't scream. I felt a weight on my entire body. When the presence left, flying out the window, I kid you not, the weight was lifted. I thought it was Evita at the time assuring me everything was going to be alright. The second happened on a preview in San Francisco. A stage light shattered over the center section of the stage where I was sitting, sending down thousands of shards of glass. It was either the anniversary of her death or her birthday, I can't remember. This was the first and only time a light bulb ever shattered on stage in my career. The third was in Australia on my closing night. A quick change room had been set up on stage left with black velour curtains on wooden dowels. It was for the costume change into “The Waltz for Che & Eva.” One curtain flew open. A stage hand came over to talk to one of my dressers and there was nobody there. He was so shaken he had to leave the stage area. Scared yet?

As promised, Audra McDonald’s most recent concert listing follows. Be sure to check out this phenomenal singing actress when she’s in your neck of the woods. You won’t be disappointed! Several venues are still to come:
Aug. 16 at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL
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)
Dec. 30 in West Palm Beach, FL at the Kravis Center

Coming soon is a brief Q&A with the talented multi-octave singer, who brings her newest cabaret act to the Algonquin Hotel on Sept. 8 for a six-week stint. McGovern, who is currently performing at San Francisco’s Plush Room, received glowing notices for her current show. Philip Elwood, in the San Francisco Examiner, enthused, “I'm going to disappoint those who feel that it's a critic's job to criticize, since McGovern's Tuesday performance was beyond -- well, nearly beyond -- reproach. Her soprano is still a wonder of the world of musical shows, and she uses it far more tastefully than in yesteryear, when she spent a good deal of time in coloratura gymnastics . . . McGovern's careful attention to dynamics and vocal tone-colors enable her to sing wonderful medleys, or matchings. She sings ‘Nobody's Heart (Belongs to Me),’ then folds in ‘Just One of Those Things,’ a clever and delightful Rodgers & Hart/Cole Porter mix . . . She had great fun with [pianist Jeff] Harris on Hoagy's party tune, ‘Heart and Soul,’ and then sang a soft, knock-out rendition of ‘The Nearness of You,’ which she identified as ‘the most romantic song ever written.’ A couple of tunes later, she sang another 1940 classic, ‘It Never Entered My Mind,’ following that with ‘Skylark’ -- both songs that also might be the most romantic ever written. She treated ‘It Never Entered My Mind’ with delicacy, soaring gracefully at times, shading and feathering lyrics at others. ‘Skylark,’ sung a capella, was especially well rendered, with McGovern's voice treating the lyrics with a poignant, longing touch. . .” A few other McGovern concert appearances follow:

Through Aug. 13 at the Plush Room, York Hotel in San Francisco
Aug. 18 on the Eccles Stage in Sundance, Utah
Aug. 27 at Boardman High School Benefit (McGovern's alma mater), in Boardman, OH
Sept. 3 & 4 Jerry Lewis Telethon in Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 6 Tribute to Mel Torme at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 8 to 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

IN OTHER NEWS Tony winner Betty Buckley will star in an upcoming episode of HBO’s controversial men’s prison drama, “Oz.” . . . Bernadette Peters will co-host “Live with Regis” this Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 14 and 15, so set those VCRs! BP has co-hosted the ABC talkfest several times in the past few months. Could this be a second career in the making?! Also, the Tony-winning Annie Get Your Gun star will leave her role as Annie Oakley on Sept. 2. For those who have yet to catch her powerful performance, get thee to the Marquis Theatre as fast as you can! (BTW, Liz Smith announced earlier this week that former “Charlie’s Angel” Cheryl Ladd will replace Peters in AGYG) . . . Polly Bergen, who recently took part in the star-studded benefit reading of The Women, will return to the New York cabaret stage on Oct. 10 for a two-week run at Feinstein’s at the Regency. It also looks very likely that the star will return to Broadway this season in a musical revival, so stay tuned for more! . . . In the Sept. issue of Playbill former MGM star Jane Powell has this to say to writer Harry Haun about her current role in the Off-Broadway play Avow: “I guess you could call this my official debut as a character actress. When I first read the play, I thought of Billie Burke. I thought, ‘This will be fun,’ and it is. It’s the first time I’ve originated a stage role. I’ve taken over for people before, but I’ve never worked on a part from the ground up before. This has been a terrific experience. I love not being The Star. I love being part of the ensemble.” . . . Karen Ziemba and members of the company of Contact will perform a portion of their Tony-winning show on NBC-TV’s “Weekend Today in NY” this Saturday, Aug. 12 between 8:30 and 9 AM. Ziemba and her co-stars will perform “Did You Move” from the Susan Stroman-directed musical . . . And, finally, a reminder that Christiane Noll will play Arci’s Place (450 Park Ave. South, NYC) beginning Tuesday, Aug. 15 (through Sept. 2). There's a $25 cover and a $15 food/drink minimum; call (212) 532-4370 for reservations.


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 Hartford, 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 Chicago Theatre
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:

Aug. 21-Sept. 3 Donmar Warehouse in London, UK
Sept. 9 & 10 Robert Park Auditorium in Taunton, MA
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

Cook’s concert itinerary follows:

Sept. 14 at the Poway Center for the Perf. Arts in Poway, CA
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
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:
Aug. 19 at the John Drew Theater of Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY (631) 324-4050

Aug. 25 with Feinstein at The Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL; go to www.ravinia.org
Aug. 26 Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser at The River Center w/ Michael Feinstein in Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 26 at the Jones Hall w/Houston Symphony in Houston, TX; call (713) 224-7575
Nov. 4 at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, NY; call (516) 334 0800
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.
Jan. 12 & 13, 2001 in Charlotte, NC at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; (704) 372-1000
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. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; (202) 467-4600
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. 9 ("Matters of the Heart") at the Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio; (419) 242-2787
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

Aug. 18-19 Returns to the DeSisto cabaret in Stockbridge, MA
Sept. 6 - Oct. 15 Returns to Arci’s Place, 450 Park Avenue South; NYC; (212) 532-4370
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
Dec. 6-10 Karen performs her Christmas Show at Davenports in Chicago, IL (773) 278-1830

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. 22 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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