Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The Associated Press
(AP) — 'Conquests' leads Tony buzz
By ROBERT OSBORNE
The Hollywood Reporter
On the East Coast, writer-archivist Scott Schechter, a remarkable fellow who was an unflagging keeper of the flame for all things Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, died suddenly May 14 of a heart attack at 48, a great shock to all his friends.
Schechter worked on everything from Garland and Minnelli CDs and DVDs to compiling books like 2002's "Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend," from Cooper Square Press, which literally listed Garland's daily activities from her birth at 5:30 a.m. on June 10, 1922, to her death June 22, 1969. (The research necessary to do that one staggers the imagination.)
If anyone wrote a word, pro or con, about Garland or Minnelli, Schechter was on the phone immediately to plead their case or say thank you for the mention. He also was an invaluable source when it came to fact-checking.
Beyond that, on his own, he was a rare, gentle and extremely nice human being.
© 2009 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
To ask the legendary Liza a question, simply email mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime between now and midnight on Thursday, May 28th.
In the Tony-nominated (for Best Special Theatrical Event) "Liza's At the Palace" for the first time onstage, Liza played an affectionate salute to her godmother, the late Kay Thompson who was a ground-breaking vocal arranger and musical director/vocal coach at MGM Studios. Supported by a quartet of dynamic singer/dancers, Liza performs musical numbers (with the original vocal arrangements) from Thompson's historic act with The Williams Brothers. Songs include "I Love a Violin," "Clap Yo' Hands," "Jubilee Time," and "Hello Hello".
She was joined by her Broadway co-stars (who are also featured on the cd),Johnny Rodgers, Cortes Alexander, Jim Caruso and Tiger Martina. The legendary Billy Stritch led the evening on piano as musical director and for those who got to see it, it was certainly an experience that they'll never forget!
The original Broadway cast recording of her incomparable show was released on February 3rd, 2009.
For more information visit, http://www.officiallizaminnelli.com/.
Liza Minnelli, a national artistic treasure.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Inquirer Staff Writer
Scott Schechter, 48, formerly of Philadelphia, an authority on the careers of Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli, died of an apparent heart attack May 14 while traveling by train from a business dinner in New York to his home in Asbury Park, N.J.
In 1998, Mr. Schechter coproduced what critics considered the definitive audio overview of Garland's career. The four-CD box set, Judy, spans the singer's career from her earliest known recordings in 1929, when she was 7, to her final appearances in 1969. Mr. Schechter also coproduced the set's 32-minute video and cowrote its 100-page book.
He also wrote Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend, a 2002 book that describes the "alternately astonishing, trivial, revelatory, mordantly funny act of possible madness known as Judy Garland," according to reviewer David Patrick Stearns, an Inquirer music critic.
The book lists the contents of Garland's address book, tells when she had teeth pulled and migraine headaches, and gives details of a day of filming of The Wizard of Oz that was wasted when a raven flew off the Scarecrow's shoulder and did not return.
In 2004, Mr. Schechter compiled The Liza Minnelli Scrapbook, a pictorial biography of the singer. He had good people skills and was able to gather unique images from photographers who shared his vision, said Mr. Schechter's life partner, Russell Klein.
Mr. Schechter befriended Minnelli, who chose him to run her official Web site. His expertise as a Garland-Minnelli historian was acknowledged on his TV and radio appearances, and he was a consulting producer to companies that continue to release Garland and Minnelli material.
Mr. Schechter grew up in the Melrose Park Gardens neighborhood of Philadelphia. He told Stearns that he had found metaphysical irony in having grown up in the town where Garland began her U.S. concert career in 1943 (at Robin Hood Dell) and concluded it in 1968 (JFK Stadium).
Mr. Schechter told Stearns that he had discovered Garland when That's Entertainment, a 1974 anthology of MGM musicals, opened at the old Fern Rock Theater.
"Then Channel 48 purchased a package of MGM musicals that were shown on weekdays at 1 p.m.," he told Stearns. "I had a pact with my mom that if I kept my grades up, I could come home for lunch on those days when they showed Judy's movies and not go back to school in the afternoon. I was 13."
After graduating from Northeast High School in 1979, Mr. Schechter worked for insurance companies in Philadelphia and New York before making Garland and Minnelli a career.
An animal-rights activist, Mr. Schechter doted on his rescue dog, Tigger, Klein said.
Mr. Schechter and Klein were involved in neighborhood revitalization efforts in Asbury Park, where they had lived since 2003.
In addition to his partner, Mr. Schechter is survived by a brother, Herman; a sister, Rene Schechter Klein; and two nieces.
A life celebration will be scheduled next month.
Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Written by Peter Hackney
Wednesday, 20 May 2009 14:30
No one has endured the gauntlet of scrutiny and controversy more than Liza Minelli. But still, she has always managed to come out on top. Ahead of her Australian tour, the living legend speaks about her life, career and what keeps her going.A byword for Broadway, a synonym for ‘star’, Liza Minnelli is Hollywood royalty. An Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy – all hers. Throw in three Tonys and two Golden Globes.
Her personal life is no less compelling. From disastrous marriages to successful affairs, from booze to pills to health problems – she’s always been her mother’s daughter. Judy Garland’s daughter. Dorothy’s daughter.
How surreal to be speaking to the woman herself. I tell her as much when she calls SX from New York.
“But don’t be silly!” she replies in her distinctive voice. “I’m just a person like everyone else. I’ve had two hip replacements, honey!”
The response is pure Liza. Like her mother, she’s always seemed very human and vulnerable. Another example: the nerves she exhibits. The morning of our chat coincides with the ticket release for her tour – and Liza is nothing if not nervous.
“Well, of course I’m nervous!” she says, when I express my surprise. “I get very nervous before tickets go on sale because I want people to come and see the show! Every time is like putting myself on the line.”
She has nothing to worry about, of course. Tales subsequently emerge of ticketing sites going into meltdown. In Sydney, demand was so great that her two Opera House shows are supplemented with an extra date at the much larger Sydney Entertainment Centre.
The show itself is based on her recent New York engagement, Liza’s At The Palace – the Broadway run of which provoked ecstatic reviews from The New York Times (“Liza is a pure entertainer”) and The New York Post (“A triumph of which show business mythology is made”).
“I’ve got the best show I’ve ever done in store for you!” she promises. “I’m gonna work my butt off and give you everything I’ve got!”
And I, for one, believe her.
This is a woman who was told she’d never walk again after contracting viral encephalitis in the year 2000. She had to learn to talk again, let alone sing.
At several points, she was reported close to death and media outlets the world over readied obituaries.
And today? Forget walking and talking, she’s singing and dancing like a mad woman, getting some of the best reviews of her career.
So what got her through?
“Faith,” she replies. “I had faith. Faith in myself, faith in God, faith in the people taking care of me, faith in my fans. There was no great plan, I just had faith.”
And so Australia gets to see Liza’s Lazarus-like ‘second wind’ when Liza Minnelli in Concert begins in Sydney on October 16 and visits Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, before winding up in Brisbane.
It marks Minnelli’s first visit to these shores since 1989, when she toured Australia with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr in The Ultimate Event.
“It’s been looong time,” Liza concedes. “And you know what? I don’t know why! I love Australia and Australians!”
Of course she does. She spent seven years married to one of us – one of our own famous stars, the late Peter Allen.
“He was just the best,” Liza recalls. “Absolutely the best. He wrote the best songs, he was so sensational. He was the kindest man you’d ever want to meet. And I was so lucky to get to know him.”
There was just one problem. Peter Allen was gay.
It’s been variously reported over the years that Liza knew this when she married him, but the Cabaret star categorically denies it when asked by SX.
“Why would you ask that, honey?” she says, just a trifle testily. “I didn’t know. No, of course I didn’t know! And I don’t think he knew either. He hadn’t come to terms with it yet. And when he did, of course he told me and of course I said, ‘I understand’. But it was hard.”
Liza is less understanding, however, of The Boy From Oz, the jukebox musical based on Allen’s life, which played to 1.2 million Australians in the late ’90s before moving to Broadway starring Hugh Jackman as Allen.
Liza was one of the main characters portrayed in the musical, as was her mother.
“I didn’t see it,” Liza replies airily, when I ask her opinion of it.
“I didn’t feel the need to,” she says, when pressed for a reason.
And then there’s a pause, followed by: “I had no need to see it, I lived it. I was there the first time. And nobody asked me anything about it; nobody could ask Peter anything. It was absolutely done without input from the people who were there.”
It should be noted that she says none of this with rancour. The words are delivered casually, almost sweetly.
Nor is she rancorous when asked about the image portrayed of her in some sections of the media; that of an out-of-control, drug-fuelled virago with a loose grasp on reality, to put it bluntly.
“I’m not a mess,” she maintains. “If I was a mess, there’s no way I could perform night after night, like I do. I’m one of the most disciplined people I know! But you know what? I don’t care what people say. They’re gonna say what they’re gonna say.”
Strong words, but again delivered sweetly, even pleasantly.
And again it strikes me that there’s nothing rancorous about Liza, nothing bitter.
Despite the well-documented heartaches, the very public relationship breakdowns, the near-death experiences, the drug addictions (Andy Warhol once recalled her demanding “every drug you’ve got”), and the mantle of tragedy surrounding her upbringing, Minnelli consciously chooses to focus on the good times.
The woman who once said “reality is something you rise above” seems to live by the words.
“Life is here to enjoy,” she tells me. “It’s a gift we’ve been given. There’s just no point dwelling on the bad times.”
Life is a cabaret, old chum?
“Yeah, that’s it,” she laughs.
And she sings in that unmistakable voice, loud and clear, quavering only so slightly with its 63 years.
“Life is a cabaret, old chum / Only a cabaret old chum / And I love a cab-aar-reeeeet!”Liza: Australian Tour 2009, October 16-17, Sydney Opera House (both sold out); November 2, Sydney Entertainment Centre. Tickets from $99 from ticketmaster.com.au. Go to http://www.lizaminnelli.com.au/
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
An Intimate Evening with Liza featuring Billy Stritch will be presented May 23. Show time is 7 PM.
The concert will be followed by an 8:30 PM dinner at the Gardiner property on James Lane.
Prior to Liza's at the Palace. . ., Minnelli, an Oscar winner for her performance in Cabaret, was last on Broadway in a tribute to her late father entitled Minnelli on Minnelli; she also returned to New York City's Beacon Theatre with her acclaimed concert Liza's Back! In addition to her Tonys for Flora, the Red Menace and The Act, Minnelli was awarded a special Tony in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway season." Her film credits include "The Sterile Cuckoo," "Arthur," "New York, New York" and "Stepping Out." The singer is also a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress. Her album "Liza's Back!" is available on the J Records label, and "The Best of Liza Minnelli" was released on the Columbia/Legacy label. Showtime aired "Liza with a 'Z'," and Minnelli also received the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 10th Annual Tony Awards Bash in Los Angeles.
Minnelli is a 2009 Tony nominee for Best Special Theatrical Event.
For gala tickets, priced $1,000, call the Development Department at (631) 324-0806. For concert only tickets, priced $145-$150, call (631) 324-4050 or visit www.guildhall.org.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton, NY.
Monday, May 18, 2009
"Hi Sammy I didnt know about Scott until I saw it on your wall, Thank u for posting it I was actually quite shocked he wasn't that much older than me. I happened to have the Liza scrapbook on my computer desk when I read your wall, bought it recently for my daughter she's become a very big fan at only 7yrs old, I rea lized then who it was. Its very sad I wonder if Avi knows, he mentioned to me that he would be in calif. for a couple of weeks, but he should be back by now. Take care Gina"
Sammy, Thank you.
You have helped dry-my-tears, a bit, over this keyboard. For one who never met Scott, my heart gives out Love.
I hope that his 'final-moments' (damn! ain't that a song-title...for Judy, Liza, and et al!), were Peaceful, in some way. Human-kindness.
I was sorry to "hear" of his estrangement from family. Well, true or not, strange-or not, , ,
His "Family" is Here To Stay-
God Bless Ya', dear Sammy- and ALL
Give someone a hug today. Inquire/Ask/Decide---THEN:
Give someone a hug....
I just read a comment in facebook about Scott's sudden death yesterday morning. I am terribly shocked for this and sad for him. He is a pure soul now in heaven...
I don't hear from you lately, let's keep in touch.
I am forwarding this very sad email to my contacts should anyone can assist with a contact for Scott's family. I will be sending a sympathy card to Scott's partner Russell c/- this address listed on Scott's web page. PO Box 2743, New York, NY 10163 - 2743 in sadnessGlenn
I just had to forward this to all my Liza friends, all my love and sadness, Gary S from TBA
I felt the need to foward this to you guys as well. I did love his writing and met him from afar at the Palce toput that in the right perspective love and condolences Gary S from TBA
I CAN"T believe it Sammy,...Scott..come on..heart attack..shit..such a nice guy never hurt a fly..worked constantly. I feel so bad and now they can't release his body obviously because of STUPID nyc laws and they can't find his parents. STUPID...poor Scott..poor Russell...Damn! I'm just in complete shock..i can't believe it. I hope they have a huge service or memorial ..something has to be done.
Shannon Lee Parker
I am full with sorrow over this unexpected and shocking news about our dear Scott, I met him one time at the Liza Barnes & Noble cd signing for "Liza's At The Palace" & he was the most sweet and friendly guy you could meet. We spoke only a few minutes and he had and big beautiful smile during our entire chat. I had hoped on meeting him again and now he will be in my prayers, God Bless & love, Sammy.
I just got home and began to read my email and I am sitting here in total shock and disbelief. I terribly sorry to hear this news, such a young and gifted man, he had so much to give and to live for
I feel the same. I've exchanged a few Emails with him over the years. I am shocked and saddened, Greg
Blessing to Scott's spiriton his journey Sincerely. Glenn.
Oh My God!
I just got online myself and saw this!
Such a sudden and tragic happening...
I'm still in shock ...
Scott will be very missed..
Gary, and All-
Just picked this email up....
and, mmm, it's hard to type with tears falling-down on the keyboard.
Guess I'm gonna read some more-
Love and Blessings to ALL.
Never met Scott, but I feel as if I Had.
I'm gonna send this here, because I can't seem to log into the blog again....
I am still in disbelief over Scott.
I never met him in person, but I always felt I knew him well.
He took the time to write personal emails to all of us and
I'm so happy that I saved his in my files.
One was at the time Liza was coming here to town and he
helped Louise and I get backstage. That was such an amazing thing
for him to take the time to do for us.
He did an incredible job with Liza's site and many many more projects
he was working on....there was still alot more for him to do in this life.
We will miss you Scott. Thank you for everything you did for us and
all the love and happiness you spred around to this wonderful group.
We love you Scott...
Rest In Peace my friend....
Saturday, May 16, 2009
For more than a quarter of a century, Schechter researched the lives of the famous mother and daughter, compiling, in a release last fall (among many others): Liza Minnelli: The Complete A&M Recordings. He was also the author of The Liza Minnelli Scrapbook (Kensington/Citadel Press, 2004), a lavishly illustrated volume, which included a foreword by Billy Stritch. Minnelli said of the work, "All the other books about me are bullshit. This is the one that counts." Schechter’s Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend (Cooper Square Press, 2002, hardcover; Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006, paperback) was called “A paean to Garland’s professionalism and talents” by Liz Smith; The Los Angeles Times stated, “Scott Schechter’s book not only chronicles her difficult life, but also proves how hard she worked to overcome obstacles. . . . Exhaustively researched”; and Robert Osborne of the Hollywood Reporter devoted an entire column to the book, raving, “Almost overwhelming in its detail, Schechter’s research is as thorough as a Nobel scientist. . . . It’s the most complete retrospective yet published on a celebrity.”
Schechter consulted or was interviewed as a Liza Minnelli or Judy Garland authority on shows such as NBC’S Dateline, ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, AMC’s Behind the Screen, and E! Entertainment Television’s True Hollywood Story. The latter, of which Schechter was a consulting producer, was honored with a Gracie Award and nominated for a Prism Award for best TV documentary. E!’s 2002 tribute to Liza Minnelli was named “E!’s True Hollywood Story of the Year.” Scott also contributed to the 2004 A&E Biography on Minnelli.
Schechter’s much-praised liner notes, essays, and CD projects on Minnelli, Garland, and others include, Judy (four CD box set); Judy at Carnegie Hall (complete and uncut); Classic Judy Garland--The Capitol Years (1955-1965); Miss Show Business/Judy and Judy: That’s Entertainment/I could Go On Singing; Judy in Love/Alone; Engelbert Humperdinck: You Belong to My Heart; Liza Minnelli: Ultimate Collection; and The Judy Garland Show: The Show That Got Away.
In 1998 Schechter was one of the people instrumental in bringing Garland’s entire long-lost 1963-1964 TV series, The Judy Garland Show to DVD format.
Schechter’s tribute magazine, Garlands for Judy was begun in 1995 and many know of—and belong to--his Official Liza Minnelli yahoo group (which Liza and her people follow).
We love you Scott. May you rest in peace.
6:00a.m. 16th May 2009
Showbiz legend Liza Minelli.
The New York Post described her as a triumph and a true legend and the Times said she was a pure entertainer.
Now, Liza Minnelli is about to bring the show that inspired such glowing reviews to Australia.
She is the ultimate diva, the mistress of showbiz, and her fans all around the world worship her in an almost god-like way.
She hasn't graced Australian shores for two decades but her upcoming tour is one of the most anticipated and eagerly awaited, by both her fans and Liza herself.
“Oh I can't wait. I really can't wait,” she said by phone last week.
“I can't wait to get there and I am so excited and I will give my all. I have wanted to come back and I am so excited to bring you this show that I just did on Broadway.”
The daughter of legendary showbiz couple Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, Liza practically has Hollywood coursing through her veins. She is one of the most awarded performers alive with a swag of Tonys, Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmys and Oscars to her name, and she has just added a fourth Tony nomination to the list for Liza's At The Palace - a version of which she will bring to Australia.
“If I go to see a show, I want it to be wonderful, so I always think from the audience's point of view… you know, if I was sitting there what would I like to come next. What would be good,” she said.
“What I have tried to do is put in songs that people have requested and songs that I like to sing.”
But with a career spanning 50 years, what does the acclaimed performer like to sing?
“There's so many songs that I have been lucky enough to have written for me, like As The World Goes Round, Maybe This Time, Cabaret and New York New York … they are such fun to sing,” she said
The world almost lost this incredible talent in February, 2000, when Liza was diagnosed with encephalitis and was told she would never walk, talk, dance or sing again. But the draw to the stage proved stronger than the illness and, just two years later, she was back on the stage and she has never looked back - making her one of the most enduring performers alive.
It is the time she has spent in showbiz that Liza attributes to her continued popularity.
“It might just be longevity,” she said.
“I have been doing it for so long and I still love it. I think that people understand that when they come to see my show. I give my best every single night.”
And it is clear her Australian fans understand that with her shows at the Sydney Opera House selling out quickly.
Liza promises to make the evening a very special experience for all those who go along.
“This show is really fun. It was directed by a brilliant man,” she said.
“It is interesting, too. It's not just a bunch of songs … each piece is like an acting piece.”
Liza Minnelli will perform at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Friday, October 30. Tickets start at $99 for sapphire reserve seating and go up to $279 for the best seats in the house. Tickets are available through Ticketek at http://www.ticketek.com.au/ or on 132 849.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Written by Peter Hackney
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 14:23
Liza Minnelli fans across Australia are rejoicing, with tickets to her first local shows in twenty years going on sale today.Tickets to shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth went on sale at 9am today, following last week's limited pre-sale release of tickets to Minnelli’s Sydney Opera House shows.Brisbane Minnelli fan Chris Logan was one of the ecstatic fans who purchased tickets today.Logan, 36, said he and his partner had spent $279 each on tickets to see the gay icon at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on October 30.“It’s not exactly small change, but it’s worth it,” he told SX. “I doubt we’ll be getting the chance to see her again ... This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a living legend.”Minnelli herself said she was “thrilled to pieces” at the prospect of touring Australia.Speaking to SX this morning, the US superstar said: “I’m so excited that I can’t tell you. I cannot put it into words.”Minnelli revealed that despite being one of the world’s most renowned performers, she still got nervous when tickets went on sale.“I get very nervous, because I really want people to come and see the show,” she said.“I’ve got the best show I’ve ever done in store for you!” she exclaimed. “I’m gonna work my butt off and give you everything I’ve got!”The two-and-a-quarter hour show, based on her recent hit Broadway show Liza’s At The Palace will feature many of Minnelli’s personal favourites and signature hits, including ‘Cabaret’, ‘Maybe This Time’ and ‘Theme From New York, New York’.The concerts will mark Minnelli’s first visit to Australia since 1989, when she toured Australia with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr in The Ultimate Event.Tickets to Liza Minnelli in Concert ($99 - $302.50) are available now from http://www.ticketek.com.au/ and http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/ (Sydney shows only).The tour itinerary is as follows:Friday, October 16 – Sydney Opera House, SydneySaturday, October 17 – Sydney Opera House, SydneyTuesday, October 20 – Burswood Dome, Perth Friday, October 23 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, AdelaideSunday, October 25 – Rod Laver Arena, MelbourneFriday, October 30 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, BrisbaneFor more information, visit http://sxnews.e-p.net.au/news/liza-tickets-released-5433.html#mce_temp_url#.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Liza’s at The Palace (Producers: John Scher and Metropolitan Talent Presents, LLC; Jubilee Time Productions, LLC)
Slava’s Snowshow (Producers: David J. Foster, Jared Geller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Judith Marinoff Cohn, John Pinckard)
Soul of Shaolin (Producers: Nederlander Worldwide Productions, LLC; Eastern Shanghai International Culture Film and Television Group; China on Broadway)
You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush (Producer: Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Home Box Office Inc., Gary Sanchez Productions, Bat-Barry Productions, Ken Davenport, Ergo Entertainment, Ronald Frankel, Jon B. Platt, James D. Stern, The Weinstein Company, Tara Smith/b. Swibel, Dede Harris/Sharon Karmazin, Arny Granat)
Monday, May 4, 2009
The 23rd Annual Easter Bonnet Competition, which took place on Monday and Tuesday afternoon at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre, raised an astounding $3,402,147 from the 58 participating Broadway, Off-Broadway, and National Tour companies to benefit Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. Since it began in 1987, the 23 editions of the competition have raised over $39 million for BC/EFA.The company of "33 Variations" took top honors for bonnet presentation, bonnet design, and top Broadway fundraiser.Doris Eaton Travis at age 105 appeared with the cast of "Billy Elliot," teaching Greg Jbara, Liz Pearce and the corps of young, wannabe ballerinas “Ballin' the Jack,” a number she performed over 80 years ago. Travis made her Broadway debut at the age of 14 in 1918 in the legendary Ziegfeld Follies at The New Amsterdam Theatre. Other higlights included:
Liza Minnelli’s surprise performance of “New York, New York” during the opening number entitled “Broadway Don't Bring Me No Bad News.”The cast of "Mary Poppins" presented “I Think We Need a Tap Number Here,” showing how adding a tap number to "West Side Story," "Jersey Boys," "Wicked," and "South Pacific" would ensure a long run.After 9 year absence at the competition, the cast of "Chicago" re-entered the fray with a hilarious take-off of “The Cell Block Tango,” entitled “The Chopping Block Tango” in which characters from "Spamalot," "Gypsy," "Young Frankenstein," "Hairspray," "Spring Awakening," and "Grease" sing of the end of their respective runs on Broadway.The "Avenue Q" presentation, “You're Nothing Without Me,” reunited current cast members Benjamin Schrader and Howie Michael Smith along with “Rod” with original cast member John Tartaglia.Trevor Braun (Flounder in "The Little Mermaid") rebuffed his agent's suggestions that he audition for age-appropriate roles in "Billy Elliot," "Oliver," and "13" and instead auditioned for the upcoming revival of "Dreamgirls" with a performance of “And I Telling You I'm Not Going.”Jane Fonda leading the cast of "33 Variations" in a “Voluntary Rehearsal” which, in fact, becomes a 80's style “Jane Fonda's Workout” pre-show warm-up.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Among the winners of the annual awards are such Broadway favorites as Liza Minnelli, Alison Fraser, Mary Testa, Liz McCartney and Euan Morton.
Famed singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour will be presented with the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, which was named after the late Back Stage cabaret critic. Minnelli will be honored with the award for Enduring Artistry. Aznavour will present Minnelli with her award, and Minnelli will present Aznavour with his.
Winners were chosen by Elizabeth Ahlfors (Cabaret Scenes), David Finkle (Back Stage), Rob Lester (Cabaret Scenes, talkinbroadway.com), Erv Raible (executive/artistic director of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University), Roy Sander (former Back Stage columnist), and Back Stage Editor at Large, Sherry Eaker.
Most of the Bistro winners are scheduled to perform. A champagne and wine reception for the Bistro recipients and premium ticket holders will begin at 5 PM with the awards presentation scheduled for 6:30 PM. Sherry Eaker hosts.
Winners of the 24th Annual Back Stage Bistro Awards follow:
Euan Morton/Outstanding Vocalist/Metropolitan RoomSusan Winter/Outstanding Vocalist/Metropolitan RoomLaurel Massé/Outstanding Jazz Vocalist/Birdland and Metropolitan RoomDeb Berman/Outstanding Debut/Metropolitan RoomKim Smith/Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award/Don't Tell Mama, Joe’s Pub, Duo TheatreAmanda McBroom/Outstanding Major Engagement/Metropolitan RoomJulie Gold/BMI Award for Outstanding Songwriter/Entertainer/The DuplexCarol Hall/ASCAP Award for Outstanding CD/"Hallways: The Songs of Carol Hall"Uptown Express/Outstanding Vocal Group/Metropolitan RoomAlison Fraser & Mary Testa/"Together Again: The Songs of Rusty Magee"/Outstanding Duo/Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank CafeTapestry Rewoven – A Jazz Re-imagining of the Carole King Classic/Outstanding Theme Show, performed by Laurie Krauz, musical direction and arrangements by Daryl Kojak/Metropolitan Room and the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank CafeLittle Death: Songs of Coming and Going/Outstanding Theme Show, conceived and performed by Karen Kohler, directed by John- Richard Thompson, musical direction by Doug Oberhamer/ arrangements by Tom Nazziola, Oberhamer, and Kohler/Zipper Factory TheatreLiz McCartney/"Rosemary & Time: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Rosemary Clooney"/Outstanding Tribute Show/Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank CafeNashville /Outstanding Revue, co-starring Daryl Glenn and musical director/arranger Jo Lynn Burks, directed and choreographed by Vince DeGeorge/Metropolitan RoomBrian Nash / Outstanding Lounge Entertainer / The DuplexNarcissister/Outstanding Burlesque/Vaudeville Act/Joe’s PubOpening Doors Theatre Company: Closing Notice Series / Outstanding Series/The DuplexLennie Watts/Outstanding DirectorDon Rebic/Outstanding Musical DirectorLisa Moss/Outstanding Technical Director/The DuplexRobert Kimball/Special Award for preserving, documenting and celebrating the Great American SongbookJoseph Macchia/Special Award for his Cabaret Cares benefit seriesLiza Minnelli/Enduring ArtistryCharles Aznavour/Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
The Gotham Comedy Club is located at 208 West 23rd Street. To purchase tickets call (646) 654-5725; for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Breast Cancer Foundation Party Sponsored By Blackberry - Green Roo NEW YORK - APRIL 29: *EXCLUSIVE* (L-R) Musician Sir Elton John and Liza Minnelli pose in the green room at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Party sponsored by Blackberry and Verizon Wireless at Waldorf Astoria on April 29, 2009 in New York City (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)