DIVA TALK: The Three B’s: Betty, Bernadette & Barbra in Concert

Diva Talk   DIVA TALK: The Three B’s: Betty, Bernadette & Barbra in Concert
In the next two months Olivier Award nominee Betty Buckley will film appearances in two productions, Noon Blue Apples and No Expectations. Stay tuned for more info on each. In the meantime, I recently received an updated concert/performance schedule for Ms. B, which follows:

In the next two months Olivier Award nominee Betty Buckley will film appearances in two productions, Noon Blue Apples and No Expectations. Stay tuned for more info on each. In the meantime, I recently received an updated concert/performance schedule for Ms. B, which follows:

Oct. 6 & 7 Scottsdale Center for the Arts Theatre in Scottsdale, AZ
Oct. 19 Maurice Levin Theatre in West Orange, NJ (Charity Event)
Oct. 22 Helen Hayes Theatre in New York, NY (1 Song as part of Gala Benefit for the Theatre)
Oct. 26 Don’t Tell Mama in New York, NY (Special Guest for “Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Chatterbox”)
Oct. 28 Univ. of Texas Cowan Fine & Perf. Arts Center in Tyler, TX
Nov. 4 The American Theater in St. Louis, MO (Fund Raiser for the Rep Theater of St. Louis)
Nov. 10 & 11 University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT
Nov. 19 Symphony Hall in Boston, MA (Performing with Michael Feinstein)
Nov. 27 The Millennium Broadway and Hudson Theater in New York, NY (Presenting Award at the “Music Has Power” Awards)
Dec. 6 Seminar Center in New York, NY (6:30-9 PM)
Dec. 31 The Cuillo Center for the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL
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. 19-29 Florida Condo Tour in Florida
March 3 Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA
May 12 College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts in Staten Island, NY
June 17 Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, LA

Bernadette Peters, who recently finished her Tony Award-winning run in Annie Get Your Gun, was back in New York this week to film her role in the upcoming TNT movie, Prince Charming. The made-for-TV flick features her Goodbye Girl co-star, Martin Short, as well as TV actress Christina Applegate. In Prince Charming Peters plays, what else, a Broadway diva! . . . The two-time Tony winner has also been busy performing concerts around the country. She received ecstatic reviews for her recent outing with the Kansas City Symphony. Said Robert Eisele of the Kansas City Star: “Bernadette Peters . . . made a triumphant return to the concert stage on Friday night . . . the singer appeared radiant in a clingy, crimson gown as she led off with Irving Berlin’s ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business.’ Donning a well-worn leather hat as she gripped a prop shotgun, Peters launched into a memorable, character driven version of Annie’s ‘You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun.’ The show-stopping number provided ample evidence of the ebullient stage presence that earned the actress a Tony Award . . . it was Peters’ longstanding association with Stephen Sondheim that made up the bulk of her set list, ranging from a subtle cello and piano chamber arrangement of ‘No One Is Alone’ to the set-ending, pull-out-the-stops full orchestral version of ‘Being Alive.’ . . . Responding to an extended standing ovation with ‘I’ll Be Seeing You,’ Peters seemed genuinely touched as she thanked the crowd for welcoming her back from the theatre to solo concert performances. ‘I may just do more of these,’ she said with a smile.”

Well, last week marked the end -- or at least, so we think -- of Barbra Joan Streisand’s concert career. The legendary actress/singer/director performed two sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and those who were lucky enough to get a ticket raved and raved and raved! I thought you would enjoy reading a few reviews from the landmark concerts, which have been videotaped for future broadcast.

Stephen Holden in The New York Times:
“What’s most surprising about Ms. Streisand’s show is the degree to which her personal fulfillment has lightened up her singing. She has always been better in a relaxed, tender mode than in her steely stentorian ones . . . Again and again, the singing on Wednesday conveyed a relaxed joy, a playful tenderness that rarely makes it to Ms. Streisand’s recordings nowadays. If some of her top notes have disappeared, her middle register has gained in fullness, and the breathless, spinning vibrato she wields like an emotional slingshot is more expressive than ever. Among the show’s many magical moments, some of the most memorable were a wistful ‘The Way We Were,’ a tender ‘Something Wonderful,’ ‘Alfie,’ ‘Send in the Clowns,’ ‘Don’t Like Goodbyes,’ and a big, pumping Brazilian flavored ‘Come Rain or Come Shine.’”

Liz Smith in the New York Post:
“. . .The Voice? Honey. Molten honey. Every ballad, from ‘A Sleeping Bee’ to ‘Evergreen,’ was perfection. Pitch-perfect sensuous lullabies. Exquisite enough to bring tears to the eyes. Her genius is undeniable. On some of her bigger songs, those requiring more breath control and strength, there were signs of wear -- notes not held as long as yore, etc. When Barbra began the first few bars of ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,’ there was a rapturous gasp of anticipation in the audience. For they all knew this one ended with a famously big, long, bell-clear note. Would she make it? Yes, she did, and the audience screamed!. . .”

Joan Anderman in The Boston Globe:
“. . .On a red velvet-draped stage, backed by a 95-voice choir and an orchestra situated on a multitiered set resembling ancient ruins, Streisand began using her astonishing emotional palette to color the music, and her instrument followed. By the second half of the show, Streisand was in clear, resounding voice. She sailed through ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,’ ‘Come Rain or Come Shine,’ and ‘Happy Days Are Hear Again,’ promising on the latter that if the Democrats win, ‘I’ll really mean this one!’”

Decca is set to release the original cast recordings of Pippin, Applause and the forthcoming Mamma Mia! The Musical on their new theatre label, Decca Broadway. The CD of Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin, the Tony-nominated musical which opened on Broadway in 1972, includes three bonus tracks: “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man” sung by The Supremes, “Corner of the Sky,” performed by the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson’s solo version of “Morning Glow.” The disc of the Lauren Bacall vehicle Applause also includes never-before-released tracks: Charles Strouse at the piano playing “Applause,” plus three songs that were cut from the show prior to its New York opening -- “The Loneliest Man in Town,” “Smashing N.Y. Times” and “God Bless.”


In an upcoming Playbill article by Ellis Nassour, Tovah Feldshuh discusses the renewed interest in Mae West and Tallulah Bankhead. She plays the latter in the Off-Broadway production, Tallulah Hallelujah!:
“They pushed the ends of the envelope. In this new millennium, to see where we’re going, we look back to the kingpins of the prior century. They were women to be reckoned with.”

Chita Rivera discusses her one-woman show in the current Brief Encounter by Murdoch McBride on PBOL:
“Well, I’m making an exception to my own rule here, about not talking about a new project until it is absolutely locked up, but I am hoping to do my show in London. It’s called Chita and All That Jazz, and it will be done in London, Australia and New York City. The one thing I really want to do is my show. It’s kind of a 90-minute biography of all the shows I have been fortunate to do since I first did Call Me Madam in the fifties with Elaine Stritch. I want to do it sooner rather than later, and I generally don’t talk about something that isn’t absolute, but maybe if I get it out the positive energy will come back. We did a version of it last year, but now we’ve really fine tuned it. The main thing is, I want to do it while I still can . . . The inspiration came when I was on the tail end of Kiss of the Spider Woman, and I thought I would like to give thanks to all those people that have been responsible for my wonderful career and life. It has numbers from the shows I’ve been in, and they’re all wonderful, with wonderful memories and fun stories.”

IN OTHER NEWS Polly Bergen, who will sing “I’m Still Here” in the upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, begins her two-week run at NYC’s Feinstein’s at the Regency next week. The Emmy Award-winning actress is scheduled to perform from Oct. 10 through Oct. 21, and this marks her first appearance on the New York cabaret scene in over three decades! Call (212) 339-4095 for reservations. By the way, another legendary performer, Barbara Cook, follows Ms. Bergen at Feinstein’s, singing her heart out in the new posh room from Oct. 24 through Nov. 25 . . . Liz Callaway begins recording her latest solo album this month. Consisting of songs from the 1960’s -- including pop songs, movie themes and, of course, show tunes -- the disc will be released on the new Fynsworth Alley label and is expected to be available in January or February of 2001 . . . KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler will star in Gershwin’s American Rhapsody, a new musical revue that begins Oct. 25 at the Triad Theatre (158 W. 72nd St.). Directed by Ruth Leon, the show will feature choreography by Donald Saddler, and tickets ($40-$55) may be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200 . . . On Oct. 20 and 21 Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series will present “Heart and Soul: The Songs of Frank Loesser.” Those scheduled to appear include Christine Andreas, Liz Larsen, Christiane Noll, Ken Page, Billy Stritch, Margaret Whiting and others. The evening will be held at Alice Tully Hall. . . From Oct. 17 through Nov. 4 cabaret singer Wesla Whitfield will perform her new act, “Lucky To Be Me,” at Arci’s Place (450 Park Avenue South, NYC). Following Whitfield into Arci’s is Tony winner Judy Kaye, whose set, entitled “Solo,” will include such tunes as “Taking a Chance On Love,” “You & I” and “You’ll Never Know.” Call (212) 532-4370 for reservations.


U.S. Concert Schedule:
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

Cook’s concert itinerary follows:

Oct. 20 & 21 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
Oct. 24 through Nov. 25 at Feinstein’s at the Regency in New York, NY
Nov. 1 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY (“The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner” with June LeBell, Peter Howard and others)
Dec. 5 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ
Jan. 12, 2001 at Alice Tully Hall in New York, NY (“The Music of Arthur Schwartz” with Maureen McGovern, John Pizzarelli and more)
Feb. 2 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:
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:
Oct. 7 ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama; (205) 458-8401
Oct. 15-Dec. 17 (“Matters of the Heart”; Sunday and Monday evenings only) at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York, NY; (212) 239-6200
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:
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

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:
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

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:
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)

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

By Andrew Gans

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