My View: It’s No Surprise This Surprise Was Held At The Friars Club
Ben Vereen later remarked that he “knew something was up when Chita started texting so much in the car coming over.” The Friars Club hosted a one night only event that will be remembered for many years by Ben Vereen. Chita Rivera brought him to the club for what Ben thought was a small dinner in his honor. When Ben walked out of the elevator the huge mahogany doors of the Milton Berle Room and Barbra Streisand Room swung open to a capacity crowd of Friars shouting “SURPRISE” and singing Happy Birthday. It was an emotional happy celebration as Ben’s many friends toasted the legendary performer and humanitarian. Friar Board Member and Chairman of the Friars Admission Committee Bill Boggs officially made Ben Vereen an Honorary Friar. As Bill pointed out to Ben in the presentation. “ I have the power to bestow this title on you….. being an Honorary Member entitles you to walk into the club at any time, enjoy a great meal in the Frank Sinatra dinning room…..and pay for it! “
In addition to the many heartfelt toasts Mr. Vereen was entertained with performances by Stephanie Pope, Kevin Dozier, Lacy Darryl Phillips, Charlie Romo, Christine Pedi and LeRoy Reams. The musical director for the evening was Barry Leviit. Probably the song most remembered by all Friars at this party will be Usher’s rendition of Happy Birthday as the Birthday Cake was brought to his table. It’s no surprise this surprise party for a legend was held at the legendary Friars Club.
(For another article by Stephen & complete photos of Ben Vereen’s Surprise Party go to Broadwayworld.com)
(Complete photos on Broadwayworld.com)
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
My View: Someone Named Storm Caused Lots Of Excitement In New York City Last Night
Storm Large has made a name for herself from tours with Pink Martini to orchestral appearances at Carnegie Hall to the television stage of “America’s Got Talent.” But it is with her loyal and fearless band, Le Bonheur, that she grabs audiences. by the lapels and refuses to let go. Love, Storm her new show played 54 Below last night. It’s a playlist of songs by pop luminaries, rock goddesses, and Storm’s fiery originals. There might be someone in the news with a variation of her name currently causing some political excitement, but few entertainers can create the musical excitement that exists in a Storm Large performance.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: New York Pops and Marvelous Marilyn Maye
“The astonishing Marilyn Maye sings with the magnificent New York Pops led by Maestro Steve Reineke this Friday evening, March 24th at Carnegie Hall. They are remarkable talents and remarkable people.
Cabaret legend Marilyn Maye takes the stage with The New York Pops for a program of standards and musical theater classics that make clear why she’s been celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz singers for more than 50 years. Hear favorites by composers who include Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Loesser, and Sondheim, as well as Maye’s special version of “Too Late Now,” which was selected by the Smithsonian Institution for its permanent collection of 20th-century recordings.
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