Connect with us

Broadway

Remembering Broadway: Leading Women…Glittering and Gay Barbara Cook

Published

on

Barbara Cook starred in the Broadway musicals Plain and Fancy, Candide, She Loves Me and The Music Man, winning a Tony Award for the last. Barbara began singing at an early age, at the Elks Club and to her father over the phone.

While visiting Manhattan in 1948 with her mother, she decided to stay and try to find work as an actress. In 1949 she performed in a touring vaudeville act entitled A Toast To Rodgers and Hammerstein. Barbara began to sing at other clubs and resorts, eventually procuring an engagement at the Blue Angel club in Manhattan in 1950.

Cook made her Broadway debut as Sandy in the short-lived 1951 musical Flahooley. She landed another role quickly, portraying Ado Annie in the 1951 City Center revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!,


Also in 1952, Cook made her first television appearance on the show Armstrong Circle Theatre which presented her in an original play entitled Mr. Bemiss Takes a Trip. In 1954, Cook appeared in the short-lived soap opera Golden Windows and starred as Jane Piper in a television version of Victor Herbert’s operetta Babes in Toyland. That summer, she returned to City Center to portray Carrie Pipperidge in a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.


In 1955, Plain and Fancy and then Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 operetta Candide, in which she premiered the vocally demanding, aria “Glitter and Be Gay”.

Although Candide was not a commercial success, Cook’s portrayal of Cunegonde established her as one of Broadway’s leading ingenues. In 1957 she appeared in a second City Center revival of Carousel, this time in the role of Julie Jordan, and won a Tony Award for creating the role of Marian the Librarian in Meredith Willson’s 1957 hit The Music Man.

Cook continued to appear regularly on television in the late 1950s, starring in a 1956 Producers’ Showcase production of Bloomer Girl,


a 1957 live broadcast of The Yeomen of the Guard, and a 1958 musical adaptation of Hansel and Gretel.


She also made appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and The Play of the Week.


Cook starred in an acclaimed 1960 City Center revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I and in the short-lived 1961 musical The Gay Life.


In 1963, she created the role of Amalia Balash in the classic Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical She Loves Me. “Vanilla Ice Cream”, became one of Cook’s signature songs.


In the mid-1960s, Cook began working less frequently. She appeared in the 1964 flop Something More!, she replaced Sandy Dennis in the play Any Wednesday in 1965 in Jules Feiffer’s 1967 play Little Murders. She starred in national tours of The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1964 and Funny Girl in 1967. Her last original “book” musical role on Broadway came in 1971 when she played Dolly Talbo in The Grass Harp.


She began struggling with depression, obesity, and alcoholism, but in the mid-1970s Cook met composer and pianist Wally Harper. Harper who convinced her to put together a concert and on January 26, 1975, accompanied by Harper, she made her debut in a solo concert at Carnegie Hall that resulted in a successful live album. Her collaboration with Harper that lasted until his death in 2004. Cook became a successful concert performer. Over the next three decades, the duo performed at Michael’s Pub, the St. Regis Hotel, Carnegie Hall. That performance was captured on the CD It’s Better With a Band.

In 1986, Cook was nominated for an Olivier Award for her one-woman show at London’s Donmar Warehouse and the Albery Theatre. She won the Drama Desk Award “Outstanding One Person Show” in 1987 for her Broadway show A Concert for the Theatre. She performed for Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.

In September 1985 she appeared with the New York Philharmonic as Sally in the renowned concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. In 1986, she recorded the role of Martha in the Sharon Burgett musical version of The Secret Garden along with John Cullum, Judy Kaye, and George Rose. In 1987 she performed the role of Julie Jordan in a recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel with Samuel Ramey as Billy, Sarah Brightman as Carrie.


She provided both her acting and singing skills to the animated film version of Thumbelina, as Thumbelina’s mother which featured music by Barry Manilow. That same year she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

In November 1997, Cook celebrated her 70th birthday by giving a concert at Albert Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, joined by performers including Elaine Stritch and Maria Friedman.

In 2000, she was one of the only American performers chosen to perform at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival in the Sydney Opera House and in 2000, she was joined by Lillias White, Malcolm Gets, and Debbie Gravitte on the studio cast recording of Jimmy McHugh’s Lucky in the Rain.

In February 2001, Cook returned to Carnegie Hall to perform Barbara Cook Sings Mostly Sondheim which was recorded live and released on CD. She took the concert to the West End Lyric Theatre in 2001. She garnered two Olivier Award nominations for Best Entertainment and Best Actress in a Musical for the concert. She went on to perform Sings Mostly Sondheim at Lincoln Center for a sold-out fourteen-week run from December 2001 to January 2002, and again in June 2002 to August 2002. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Theatrical Event. In June and August 2002 Cook performed Sings Mostly Sondheim at the Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center as part of the Sondheim Celebration.

In 2004 she performed two limited engagement concert series at the Vivian Beaumont and Mitzi Newhouse theaters at Lincoln Center, “Barbara Cook’s Broadway!” She received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award (“for her contribution to the musical theater”) and a nomination for the Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Solo Performance. A recording of the concert was made.


Two years after Wally Harper’s death on January 2006, Cook became the first female pop singer to be presented by the Metropolitan Opera in the company’s more than one hundred-year history. She presented a solo concert of Broadway show tunes and classic jazz standards, with guest singers Audra McDonald, Josh Groban and Elaine Stritch (although Stritch did not appear on the CD of the concert). The concert was recorded and subsequently released on CD.


In 2007 Cook performed in two sold-out concerts with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. In June 2008, Cook appeared in Strictly Gershwin at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, with the full company of English National Ballet.

In 2009, she performed with the Princeton Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and gave concerts in Boca Raton, Florida, and at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton. She performed in a cabaret show at Feinsteins at the Regency (New York City) which opened in April 2009.


Cook returned to Broadway in 2010 in the Roundabout Theatre’s Stephen Sondheim revue Sondheim on Sondheim, opposite Vanessa L. Williams, Norm Lewis and Tom Wopat. Cook was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the category of Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. On April 12, 2011, Cook appeared with James Taylor, Bette Midler and Sting, at Carnegie Hall for a gala called “Celebrating 120 Years of Carnegie Hall”.


Cook was named an honoree at the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors, held on December 4, 2011 (the ceremony was broadcast on CBS on December 27, 2011). Performers paying tribute to Cook on that occasion included Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Kelli O’Hara, Rebecca Luker, Sutton Foster, Laura Osnes, Anna Christy, and Audra McDonald.

In 2016, Cook published her autobiography Then & Now: A Memoir with collaborator Tom Santopietro. She announced her retirement in May 2017.

Barbara Cook died from respiratory failure at her home in Manhattan on August 8, 2017, at age 89. The marquee lights  were dimmed for one minute in tribute to Cook on August 9. Cook’s friend and fellow musical theater actress, Elaine Paige paid tribute to Cook during her BBC Radio 2 show on August 13.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

Tony Predictions: What Will Win, What Should Win and What Should Have Been Nominated

Published

on

Stereophonic, Illinoise, Sarah Paulson in Appropriate, and Jessica Lange in Mother Play, Julieta Cervantes; Matthew Murphy; Belasco Theatre; 2ndStage

There were 36 productions that included musicals, plays, and revivals, opening on Broadway this season. On Sunday the coveted statues will be given out at the 77th annual Tony Awards. Here is T2C’s predictions of what and who will win, what should win and what whould have been nominated.

BEST MUSICAL

What will win: Suffs, because Hillary Clinton is a producer and New York is a fan.

What Should Win: Hell’s Kitchen. This show shows New York in a fabulous light, unlike New York, New York of last year. Also Alicia Keys music will bring in a younger audience which will help Broadway survive.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Heart of Rock and Roll. This heartfelt musical was ignored by the critics, but is beloved by those who see it.

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

What will win, what should win: Merrily We Roll Along Hands down this is the chosen piece.

BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL)

What will win, what should win: Maleah Joi Moon, They are going to want to honor Hell’s Kitchen and this is how they will do it.

BEST ACTOR (MUSICAL)
Who will win: Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Win: Brian d’Arcy James, Days of Wine and Roses. Brian has deserved this honor and his performance was layered and heartbreaking.

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS (MUSICAL)

Who will win: Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Win: Bebe Neuwirth, Cabaret. It is a spectacular performance and Bebe has given a great deal to theatre.

BEST FEATURED ACTOR (MUSICAL)

Who will win: Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Have Been Nominated:George Abud in Lempika and Paul Alexander Nolan Water for Elephants. Mr Nolan’s performance was my favorite of the season.

BEST DIRECTOR (MUSICAL)

Who will win: Maria Friedman, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Win: Jessica Stone, Water for Elephants. Her direction was like looking at slides from a view master.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

What will win: Shaina Taub for Suffs. She is the darling of Broadway.

Who Should Win and should have been nominated: Music by Matt Gould, lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, for Lempicka. This was an exciting score and had songs that will last.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Music by Barry Manilow and lyrics by Bruce Sussman for Harmony. This score is a classic and was ripped off.

BEST MUSICAL SCORE ( see my answers above)

What will win: Suffs

Who Should Win: Lempicka

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Harmony

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

What will win: Jonathan Tunick, Merrily We Roll Along

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Music orchestrated by Cian McCarthy; Music arranged by Remy Kurs for Lempicka

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

What will win: Justin Peck, IIinoise. This is a dance show so they will honor it.

Who should win: Rick and Jeff Kuperman, The Outsiders. The Kuperman’s have their cast flying and soaring and it is spectacular.

Who should have been nominated: Lorin Latarro  Heart Of Rock and Roll. Dancing on bubble wrap and cardboard is inventive and should have been reconized.

SCENIC DESIGN (MUSICAL)

What will win: M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, Here Lies Love 

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Paul Tate dePoo III, The Great Gatsby 

COSTUME DESIGN (MUSICAL)

Who will and should win: Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby 

LIGHTING DESIGN (MUSICAL)

What will win: Bradley King and David Bengali, Water for Elephants

SOUND DESIGN (MUSICAL)

What will win: Kai Harada, Merrily We Roll Along 

PLAYS

BEST PLAY

What will win: Stereophonic. It is the darling of the critics.

Who Should Win: Prayer for the French Republic. This play was so brilliantly done, but with the Pro-Palestinian conflict this show is being dismissed by the voters.

BEST PLAY REVIVAL
What will win: Appropriate 

BEST ACTRESS (PLAY)
Who will win: Sarah Paulson, Appropriate and Jessica Lange, Mother Play. This should be a tie, but if they give the award to one person it will go to Sarah Paulson

BEST ACTOR (PLAY)
Who Will Win: Leslie Odom Jr., Purlie Victorious

Who Should Win: Michael Stuhlbarg, Patriots

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS (PLAY)

Who will win: Kara Young, Purlie Victorious

Who Should Win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, Mother Play

BEST FEATURED ACTOR (PLAY)

Who will win: Corey Stoll, Appropriate

Who Should Win: Will Brill, Stereophonic, but the nominees will cancel each other out. This was one of the best performances of the year.

BEST DIRECTOR (PLAY)

Who will win: Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic

BEST SCENIC DESIGN (PLAY)

What will win: dots, Appropriate 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (PLAY)

What will win: Dede Ayite, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN (PLAY)

What will win: Jiyoun Chang, Stereophonic 

BEST SOUND DESIGN (PLAY)

Who will win: Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic

Continue Reading

Broadway

The  78th Annual Theatre World Awards And You Are There

Published

on

The historic 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony was held on Monday evening, June 10, 2024 at the Marquis Theatre.

The event was hosted by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia.

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Winners of the 2024 Theatre World Awards were honored The Who’s Tommy‘s Ali Louis Bourzgui

 Oh, Mary!‘s Cole Escola

 The Outsiders‘ Brody Grant was given his award by Daphne Rubin Vega

Michael Imperioli and wife

 An Enemy of the People‘s Michael Imperioli

Phillip Johnson Richardson

The Wiz‘s Phillip Johnson Richardson

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Phillip Johnson Richardson

and Nichelle Lewis

 Patriots‘ Will Keen

 Mary Jane‘s Rachel McAdams

Hell’s Kitchen‘s Maleah Joi Moon was given his award by Kristin Chenoweth

Casey Likes

Tom Pecinka

and Stereophonic‘s Tom Pecinka

Sarah Pidgeon

Sarah Pidgeon

Chris Stack.

and Chris Stack.

A.J. Shively

Also receiving honors were A.J. Shively, who has won the Dorothy Loudon Award for his work in Irish Rep’s Philadelphia, Here I Come

Len Cariou

Len Cariou, winning the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement

Peter Filichia

and arts writer Peter Filichia, this year’s Special Award honoree.

There to honor them were

Maria Friedman

André De Shields

A great night was had by all.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Drama Desk Awards Backstage In The Press Room

Published

on

T2C was backstage at the Drama Desk Awards last night. Here is a look at the action.

First in the room:

Kara Young

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Jessica Lange

Jessica Lange

Sarah Paulson

The Cast of Stereophonic-Will Brill, Sarah Pidgeon, Juliana Canfield, Andrew R. Butler, Tom Pecinka, Chris Stack and Eli Gelb

Nikiya Mathis

JR Goodman, Ray Wetmore and Camille Labarre

Nikki M. James

Patrick Page

Enver Chakartash

Paul Tazewell

Cole Escola

How to Dance in Ohio cast members that includes-Liz Weber, Jeremy Wein, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Nicole D’Angelo and Becky Leifman

Paul Tate dePoo

Avran Mlotek, Motl Didner, Dominick Balletta and Zalem Miotek

Jane Cox

Brian MacDevitt

Brian MacDevitt and Jane Cox

Isabella Byrd

Ryan Rumery

Walter Trarbach, Cody Spencer and Kai Harada

David Yazbek

Itamar Moses

Lady Irene Gandy

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick

Nathan Lane

Will Butler

Marco Paguia

Shaina Taub

Justin Peck

Daniel Aukin

Jessica Stone

Corbin Bleu and Sarah Hyland

Andre Bishop and James Lapine

Keisha Lewis

Maleah Joi Moon, Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara

Maleah Joi Moon

Keisha Lewis and Maleah Joi Moon

Kelli O’Hara

Brian d’Arcy James

Peter Nigrini

Carole Rothman and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Amy Herzog

David Adjmi

Adam Greenfield, David Adjmi

Sarah Hyland and Debra Messing

 

Continue Reading

Broadway

The 2024 Winner’s Of The Drama Desk Awards The Red Carpet

Published

on

The 2024 Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced last night at NYU Skirball Center. Tony Award Winners Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit hosted the ceremony.

Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit

Aaron Tveit

Sutton Foster

T2C was on the red carpet.

Andrew Durand

Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman 

William Jackson Harper

Shaina Taub

Peter Nigrini

Kecia Lewis

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Jocelyn Bioh

Laura Benanti

Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll

Jessica Lange

Camille Labarre, Ray Wetmore and JR Goodman

Michael Starobin, Andrea Grody and Shaina Taub

Will Brill

Sarah Paulson

Richard Ridge

Sarah Hyland

Maleah Joi Moon

Patrick Paige

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields, Maleah Joi Moon

Brian D’Arcy James

Will Keen

Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Keen

Mary Louise Burke

Isabella Byrd

Justin Peck

Kara Young

Marco Paguia

Miss New York Rachelle diStasio

Josh Breckenridge

Lorin Latarro

Ricky Ubeda

Glauco Araujo

Dorian Harewood and Nancy Harewood

Mark Williams

Brody Grant

The Cast of Stereophonic-Andrew R. Butler, Will Brill, Tom Pecinka, Juliana Canfield, Eli Gelb, Chris Stack and Sarah Pidgeon

Paige Davis and Patrick Page

James Monroe Iglehart

Sarah Pidgeon

Nikiya Mathis

Montego Glover

Cole Escola

Tom Pecinka

Chris Stack

Leslie Kritzer

Miriam Silverman

Andrew R. Butler

Pat Swinney Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment with Juliana Canfield

Juliana Canfield

Enver Chakartash

Robert Pickens and Katie Geil

Will Butler

David Adjmi

Daisy Prince

Debra Messing

Lena Hall

Debra Messing

Nikki M. James

Michael Stuhlbarg

Paul Tazewell

Camille A. Brown

Marin Ireland

How To Dance in Ohio-Liz Weber, Jeremy Wein, Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Nicole D’Angelo and Becky Leifman

Jacob Karr

Dylis Croman and Robert Montano

Eli Gelb

Walter Trarbach

Steven Valentine

Peter Charney and Brendan George

Rebecca Frecknall

Lady Irene Gandy

Timo Andres

 

Continue Reading

Broadway

Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth

Published

on

The Broadway League’s Black to Broadway initiative announces the performers for this year’s Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth concert taking place in Times Square on Wednesday, June 19th from 11:00am – 12:30pm (rain or shine).

Michael James Scott

Michael James Scott will host. Flagstar Bank will be this year’s presenting sponsor.

Phylicia Rashad

The 2024 Juneteenth Legacy Award will be presented to two-time Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, a versatile performer, director, educator, and humanitarian who has delighted generations of audiences through her work in beloved roles both in theatre and on screen. As an actress, Ms. Rashad has won two Tony Awards, for A Raisin in the Sun (2004 Best Actress in a Play) and Skeleton Crew (2022 Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play). She was also a 2005 Best Actress in a Play nominee for Gem of the Ocean. As a producer, Ms. Rashad recently received a Best Revival of a Play nomination for Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.

The fourth annual Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth concert features more than 35 performers from the following 17 Broadway shows: Aladdin; & Juliet; Back to the Future: The Musical; Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club; Chicago; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; The Heart of Rock and Roll; Hell’s Kitchen; Illinoise; The Lion King; MJ; Moulin Rouge! The Musical;The Notebook; Suffs; Water for Elephants; The Who’s Tommy; The Wiz; and the return of the kids of Young Gifted and Broadway. All performances will be accompanied by live music thanks to The Music Performance Trust Fund and the Film Funds. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

The exciting line-up of Broadway stars set to perform includes: Blu Allen, Donovan Louis Bazemore, Jace Bentley, Ronnie S. Bowman Jr., Maya Boyd, Tsilala Brock, Max Chambers, Taylor Colleton, Jay Copeland, Lorna Courtney, Charity Angél Dawson, Mariama Diop, Desmond Sean Ellington, Will Ervin Jr., Jerome Hermann-Hardeman, Dorian Harewood, Jackson Hayes, Najah Hetsberger, Afra Hines, Manny Houston, Jaylen Lyndon Hunter, Bre Jackson, Polanco Jones Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Mehret Marsh, Deja McNair, Alex Newell, Veronica Otim, Cristina Rae, Jelani Remy, William Rhem Jr., Albert Rhodes Jr., Walter Russell III, Antoine L. Smith, Nia Thompson, Lamont Walker II, Rachel Webb, NaTasha Yvette Williams, and Hailee Kaleem Wright.

Joining The Broadway League in partnership for Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth are Black Theatre United (BTU), Black Theatre Coalition (BTC), The New York Times, and the Times Square Alliance. Black Theatre United has curated a selection of Black-owned restaurants to take part in the celebration by selling food and treats to attendees. Kokomo, LaMode BK, and Brooklyn Sweet Spot will be on-site with a selection of delicious options to add to the festivity.

Flagstar Bank is the 2024 presenting sponsor of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth. Other sponsors include: The Music Performance Trust Fund and Film Funds; the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment; Audience Rewards; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Broadway.com; M·A·C Cosmetics; TodayTix; Playbill; The Araca Group; and Open Jar Studios.

The creative and production teams of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth include Director and Writer Steve H. Broadnax III, Music Director Rashad McPherson, Executive Producers Brian Anthony Moreland and Aaliytha Stevens, Stage Manager Monet Thibou, and General Manager Devon Miller of Foresight Theatrical.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles