Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54 Street NYC), Broadway’s Supper Club, presents the Original Broadway cast of the much heralded musical in Legs Diamond 30h Anniversary Reunion Concert on Sunday, December 3 at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm. The concert, u/hich musicalized the prohibition era, is being produced and directed by original cast member Jonathan Cerullo. For the first time in NYC since its opening in 1989, the original cast of one of Broadway’s biggest and brightest flops, Legs Diamond reunites for one night only! With a beautiful score conceived and written by Grammy and Academy Award winner Peter Allen, and book by Harvey Fierstein and Charles Suppon, the concert features Christine Andreas, Brenda Braxton and Bob Stillman, and original cast members. Songs from the musical that never made it to the Broadway stage will also be highlighted. Carol Baxter is the associate producer.
Despite its short run, Legs Diamond received three Tony Award nominations, including “Best Costume Design” for the legendary Willa Kim for her glorious 20’s designs, “Best Choreography” for Alan Johnson, and a nomination for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for the divine Julie Wilson for her show stopping number “The Music Went Out of My Life.” Set in a speakeasy during the Prohibilion Jazz age, Legs Diamond presented a fully automated set with computerized scenery, for the first time ever on a Broadway stage. Brenda Braxton’s role was expanded with “Speakeasy” written for her. She went on to perform various roles on Broadway including Jelly’s Last Jam. Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Tony Award Nomination) and Chicago. The unique show featured dancers emerging from a piano to reveal a forbidcten speakeasy, showgirls dripping in diamonds and lounging in giant champagne glasses, and the Gangland Ballet.
After a 6-week workshop, Legs Diamond went straight to Broadway. The musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on December 26, 1988, and had a record- breaking 72 previews, where production problems and technical issues were reported endlessly in the media. After another 62 performances, Legs Diamond closed on February 19, 1989. lt was the first time that the closing of a Broadway show was covered in the news. This would mark not only the end of the show, but also the end of the Mark Hellinger Theatre, which became the Times Square Church.
Peter Allen played “Legs” Diamond, based on real-life gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond who, among all other things was a song and dance man. The plot was filled with scenes of unrequited love and jealousy by the women who competed for Legs Diamond’s heart, played by Julie Wilson, Randall Edwards, and Brenda Braxton. Unfortunately, Christine Andreas and Bob Stillman (“Leg’s” wife and brother) whose voices and songs brought tears to cast members in rehearsals fell victim to the many cuts during previews. Their characters never made it to opening night.
Christine Andreas, Brenda Braxton and Bob Stillman will be joined by Adrian Bailey (Smokey Joe’s Cafe, La Cage aux Folles, The Little Mermaid), Randall Edwards (Biloxi Blues, Threepenny Operu), Jim Fyfe (Biloxi Blues, A Thousand Clowns), Ruth Gottschall (Mary Poppins), Norman Kauahi (Miss Sargon), Mark Manley (Fiddler On The Roof), Shaelynn Parker (Kng of Hearts), Kevin Weldon, and assistant choreographer Jennifer Paulson Lee, with Musical Direclion by Phil Hall (Phantom of the Open, Cats, 42nd Street).
ln addition to performing songs from the show, which include “When I Get My Name in Lights,” “Sure Thing Baby,” “Only an Older Woman,” “The Man Nobody Could Love,” “All I Wanted Was the Dream,” “The Music Went Out of My Life,” and “Say it lsn’t So;” cast members will share backstage anecdotes and their personal memories of working with the incomparable and charming Peter Allen.
ln the truest sense of the word, Peter Allen was a consummate song and dance man. As a performer, he was electric, flamboyant, and stopped at nothing to put on a captivating show. Whether it was making an entrance on a camel at his sold-out performances with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, dancing on his baby grand, or strutting and shaking his marimbas wearing gold lame pants, he gave his audience a show to remember. Peter was a living icon. ln the early 1960’s, he began his career as one of the Allen Brothers, who were a popular television and cabaret act. He soon went off on his own, as Peter Allen, performing and writing songs. He was a prolific songwriter, collaborating frequently with Carole Bayer Sager, and also with Jerry Barry, Christopher Cross, Patti l-aBelle and Burt Bacharach, creating songs that climbed the charts and went on to win Academy Awards, such as “Arthur’s Theme.” Although he sang the majority of his songs and recorded ten studio and live albums, many of his songs became instant classic hits for various artists. “Don’t Cry Out Loud” sang by Melissa Manchester, “l Honestly Love You,” by Olivia Newton-John, “l’d Rather Leave While l’m in Love,” by Rita Coolidge, “l Go to Rio” popularized by the group Pablo Cruise and “You and Me (We Wanted it All” by Frank Sinatra. His song, “‘l Still Call Australia Home,” became a popular Patriotic anthem in Australia and was used widely in television commercials especially for Quantas Airlines. Loved by Judy Garland, ex- husband to Liza, and adored by his devoted followers, he performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Sydney Opera House for Queen Elizabeth ll, twice for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, at Disneyland’s 30’n Anniversary Celebration and on stages, both great and intimate, across the globe.He worked for years writing his Broadway musical Legs Diamond, inspired by the 1960’s movie that he loved as a teen, “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond.” After the unsuccessful run of his Broadway “Legs Diamond” and shortly before his death, he went on the road with Bernadette Peters on a successful concert run. His death in 1992 left a hole in the entertainment world, both as a unique and exciting performer and as a songwriter. His life was the inspiration for the musical The Boy from Oz staning Hugh Jackman, who won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2004.
Original Broadway cast in Legs Diamond 30th Anniversary Reunion Concert plays Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Sunday, December 3 at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm. There is a $35.00 – $45.00, as well as a $75.00 Premium ticket, and $25.00 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551 .
The Marvelous Marilyn Maye Received Twelve Standing Ovations At The New York Pops
Karen Akers, Jim Caruso, Tony Danza, Jamie deRoy, Max von Essen, Melissa Errico, Bob Mackie, Susie Mosher, Sidney Myer, Josh Prince, Lee Roy Reams, Rex Reed, Randy Roberts, Mo Rocca , Mark Sendroff, Lee Roy Reams, Brenda Vaccaro and David Zippel were there to see and honor Cabaret legend and Grammy nominee Marilyn Maye. Maye who turns 95 April 10th, made her at Carnegie Hall solo debut last night with The New York Pops, led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke.
Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator, Grammy nominated recording artist and a musical treasure. Her entire life has been committed to the art of song and performance and it showed with the 12 standing ovations she received.
Maye appeared 76 times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen and had a RCA recording contract, seven albums and 34 singles.
The evening started out with the superlative New York Pops Overture of Mame, which Maye had played the title role.
Next a Cole Porter Medley with “Looking at You,” Concentrate On You,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” It’s Alright With Me,””Just One of Those Things,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “All of You”. This was Marilyn’s second standing ovation. The first was when she stood on that stage for the first time and the audience was rapturous.
A terrific “It’s Today” from Mame with high flying kicks was the third ovation and wow can that woman kick.
A rainbow medley included “Look To The Rainbow” from Finnian’s Rainbow, the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” the jazzy “Make Me Rainbows” and of course “The Rainbow Connection.” And with that another standing ovation.
“Put On A Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie.
Frank Loesser’s Joey, Joey, Joey brought on a fifth standing ovation. This song was a masterclass in acting and vocal nuance. For that matter every song that comes out of Ms. Maye’s mouth is perfection. Part of the brilliance of this night is her musical director, arranger, and pianist Ted Firth. That man is a genius.
Lerner and Loewe’s “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady ended the first act with a sixth standing ovation.
The overture from Hello Dolly! and then Cabaret shows Marilyn Maye also starred in opened the second act. The New York Pops sounded phenomenal as always.
“Your Gonna Hear From Me” from “Inside Daisy Clover was an appropriate starter for this next round as the audience got to its feet.
Maye’s most requested song “Guess Who I Saw Today” from New Faces of 1952 was followed by a show stopping “Fifty Percent” from Ballroom and of course another standing ovation.
Her next song was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be included in its permanent collection of recordings from the 20th century. Her recording of “Too Late Now” is considered by the Smithsonian to be one of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century and Ms. Maye showed us why and again another standing ovation.
A proclamation from The City of New York read by Steven Reineke to Marilyn Maye made this day Marilyn Maye Day. This treasure cried with joy as she sang Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here.” Though she forgot some of the lyric, Ms. Maye proved performing is all on the intent and connecting to the audience. Two more standing ovations were added here.
For encores, I was thrilled to hear James Taylor’s “Circle of Life” and “Here’s To Life,” which is my personal favorite, finally going back into “It’s Today” with those high kicks and a twelfth standing ovation. Bravo Ms. Maye!
If you are a singer and do not catch Ms. Maye live, you really do not care about your craft. Last night Ms. Maye made it clear why she’s been celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz singers for more than 50 years and this was a night I will always remember. Thank-you New York Pops.
Don’t miss the Pop’s 40th Birthday Gala: This One’s For You: The Music Of Barry Manilow on Monday, May 1st. The gala will star Sean Bell, Erich Bergen, Betty Buckley, Charo, Deborah Cox, Danny Kornfeld, Norm Lewis, Melissa Manchester, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, Billy Stritch, Steven Telsey, Max von Essen, Dionne Warwick, and more to be announced. This will be yet another New York Pop’s Night not to miss.
My View: It’s Today! It’s Tonight! Marilyn Maye Rehearses For Her New York Pops Carnegie Hall Debut
Sometimes you have to pinch yourself at the opportunities you are presented with. TODAY would be one of those. Or as Marilyn Maye might sing to you, “It’s Today.”
This afternoon I had the privilege of witnessing the 95 year old star, rehearsing on the stage of Carnegie Hall, under the baton of Maestro Steven Reineke, in front of the mighty New York Pops Orchestra. It all happens tonight and has been a lifetime in the making. As if The New York Times piece, bylined by Melissa Errico, wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for what is sure to be a historic evening, maybe these photos will help get you even more excited. Thank you to all who made this happen for me, to present to you….Humbly Yours, Stephen
THE GREEN ROOM 42 Presents Tony Award-nominee Sharon McNight Celebrating 40 Years of Stories And Songs
THE GREEN ROOM 42 will present Tony Award-nominee Sharon McNight in “Surviving Cabaret,” a storied look back at the last forty years of notable performances, on Thursday, April 13 and Saturday, April 15, both at 7:00 PM. McNight is known for her “no holds barred” approach to performing, which has earned the entertainer multiple honors and two Lifetime Achievement awards. She is famous for making audiences laugh and cry at the same show with her eclectic bag of musical choices, which include blues, country, Broadway, comedy, parody, impressions and accompanying stories. She will be joined by musical director James “Jim Bob” Followell.
Sharon McNight began her career in San Francisco, and made her Broadway debut in 1989 in Starmites, creating the role of Diva. She received a Tony nomination as “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” for her performance, and is the recipient of the Theatre World Award for “Outstanding Broadway Debut” and a Hirschfeld drawing of her character. She has six solo recordings to her credit, and has played from Moose Hall to Carnegie Hall, from Los Angeles to Berlin. In addition to her two Lifetime Achievement awards, she has won the MAC, Bistro, and New York Nightlife Awards, and six San Francisco Cabaret Gold Awards.
Her eclectic repertory ranges from blues to country to good old-fashioned entertainment. She is noted for her movie reenactment of The Wizard of Oz and for being one of the few real women to impersonate Bette Davis. Her television credits include “Seinfeld,” “Silk Stalkings,” and “Hannah Montana.” McNight received her Masters of Arts degree in direction from San Francisco State College and was a master teacher on the faculty of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University. She says the greatest day of her life was the day she quit smoking.
Sharon McNight will perform “Surviving Cabaret”on Thursday, April 13 and Saturday, April 15, both at 7:00 PM, at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel). The cover charge ranges from $30-$50. A livestream option is available for both shows at $20 each. For tickets, please visit www.TheGreenRoom42.com.
Tech2 years ago
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Business2 years ago
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
Entertainment2 years ago
A Star is Born – Barvina Takes Entertainment World by Storm
Events3 months ago
New Year’s Eve Traditions In The US and Around The World
Film9 months ago
Elvis and The Mob Connection
Broadway2 years ago
Broadway Reopening: The Theatre Listings
Events2 years ago
The Question On Everyone’s Mind Should Be How Did The Haitians Get To Mexico
Spiritual2 years ago
The History of Numerology
Family2 years ago
Who Is Justine Ang Fonte and Why Are We Letting Her Near Children?
Broadway11 months ago
Funny Girl Makes Julie Benko a Star