Thursday, March 02, 2006

S.T.A.G.E.


One week from tonight, on Thursday, March 9th....the entire company of this year's S.T.A.G.E. Event, "Do Re Mi- Comden & Green's Broadway" will have it's Dress Rehearsal. This amazing Event comes together in the most miraculous way, and when you consider some people will be stepping off planes Thursday morning and going right to The Luckman Theatre for a 'Sound Check' and in some cases, their first rehearsal of the song they are going to be singing the next evening and the following two evenings, (well Sunday is a Matinee, in fact)....for an audience of 1100 people at each performance--this truly IS Miraculous!!!

There are 'no people like show people', I tell you....truly, truly.

For 19 years Betty Garrett and I have been the Co-Chairs of this Event and both of us hold this evening and this cause very very dear to our hearts...The brilliant David Galligan, (who recieved a Lifetime Acheivement Award from The Ovation Awards, here in Los Angeles, this past November) was one of the founding members of this Event and has been directing it for the 22 years is has been in existence. Over these 22 years, we have raised approximately $5,000,000. for AIDS related Oraganizations.

This years beneficiery's are AIDS Project Los Angeles and Project New Hope, both organizations provide services to men, women & children living with HIV/AIDS which are not readily available to people anywhere else. Over these 22 years, The S.T.A.G.E. Event Proceeds have benefited such organizations as APLA, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Service Center, and Project Angel Food, among others.

Last year we were lucky enough to have one of this country's greatest national treasures as a part of our show.
The sublimely talented Fayard Nicholas, who along with his brother Harold, were THE Premiere Dancing Partners of Twentieth Century Film and Theatre. Having played ALL over the world, their careers spanned from The Cotton Club in Harlem, to The Kennedy Center Honors in 1991. They recieved every Award conceivable, and then some. They played a Royal Command Performance for the King and Queen of England in 1948. They headlined at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They traveled for the USO performing in Vietnam as well as with Bob Hope. They have done everything there is to do in show business except Opera---Plus they have their very own star on Hollywood Boulevard, as well they should. Harold died in 1991 at the age of 70...and dear Fayard's very last dancing appearance was on the S.T.A.G.E. stage just one year ago---a short 4 months before he died at age 92.



Often, S.T.A.G.E. is lucky enough to have the special talents of some very special people due to the close proxinity of our venue and the fact that we are right here in Los Angeles. The year we honored Cole Porter, the fantasically talented David Hyde Pierce joined our company and brought his great great talent to the stage and his superlative humanity to his fellow performers. A nicer, dearer man, never lived. There is a CD of this particular show: Cole Porter-A Musical Toast, available for purchase at Amazon.com. That particular year our cast included the talents of such terrific people as Gretchen Wyler, (Who sang her show stopping number from "Silk Stockings", which she sang in the Original Broadway production, 'Stereophonic Sound') and Megan Mullally, now of "will & Grace" fame.




One year we were lucky enough to have that great great Broadway & West End star, Betty Buckley. ("Cats", "Carrie", Edwin Drood" & "Sunset Blvd.", etc.,etc.,etc...) It was the year of George & Ira Gershwin and Betty Buckley sang, "How Long Has This Been Going On". We had a steller group that year, along with Betty Buckley there were, among others,
Shaun Cassidy, Holly Near, Roger Rees, Sam Harris, Brian L. Green, Debbie Shapiro Gravitte, Carole Cook, Shirley Jones, B. D. Wong, Julia Migenes, Lucie Arnaz, Davis Gaines...(He of 'Phantom Of The opera' fame....), and the brilliantly talented Bruce Vilanch.....
Plus about 15 other stars that I haven't even named....it was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t S.T.A.G.E. show we ever did....in fact, the joke is that the second act curtain is just coming down about now! (lol)

But it was a fantastic evening and there is a double CD available, (it could have been a triple..!) at Amazon.com of this show, too...Some of the songs included in this CD are"Somebody Loves Me", "I've Got A Crush On You", "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "S'Wonderful", "But Not For Me", "Love Is Here To Stay", etc., etc., etc....The Gershwin brothers wrote some of the greatest songs ever heard! (In case the Amazon link doesn't work, the proper name of the CD is: George & Ira Gershwin - A Musical Celebration....MCA)



And, this year the always hilarious Bruce Vilanch is with us, again. The last time he did the show, we got to work together, 'hawking' to the audience at the end of the Intermission some "live auction" items, in particular, a fantastic "Musical Quote" - Eight bars of hand written music and lyrics by one of our great living theatre composers...in that particular case The Musical Quote was by Stephen Sondheim--signed and dated. And it was framed beautifully, too--Museum framing, and this particular one sold for $5,000! (We had three of these treasures--one for each performance...as we will this year, as well...)


Working with Bruce was so much fun, plus he is one of the sweetest kindest people you would ever want to know...He has written special material for all the greats! Billy Crystal...(Every Academy Award show Crytal has done...), Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bette Midler, to name just a few. And for years and years he would appear at any and all AIDS Benefits he was asked to do...besides being a comic genius, this man has an enormously generous and giving heart....
In 2003, Bruce toured all over the country with the Musical "Hairspray" and played it here in Los Angeles for many many months with Marissa Jaret Winoker who won a Tony Award for her performance on Broadway and who will be doing our show for the second time, next weekend!! Hooray! So we have these two talented people back together again! How lucky is S.T.A.G.E. and how lucky are the audiences that will be seeing the show on March 10th, 11th & 12th...


Go to stagela.com to read more of the details....It's almost here, and we are all getting very very excited....I wish ALL of you could be here on that weekend and be swept away with the music and the talent as will the rest of the audience. Besides being the Best Show In Town, it is for such a good and much needed cause!

Ahhhh, come on....fly out!


















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39 Comments:
had this to say:

This sounds like a great time! Can't wait to hear about it!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 5:01:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What a great event, Naomi! Your life is so interesting and lovely!
Congratulations!

As I said to you another day, you write so well! Your text is brilliant, so captivating and your memories are great! So .... you must to write a book!!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 5:06:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

That's awesome that you're involved with something like this. Go you!


Kestrel

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 7:30:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wish I could fly out! Sounds like a very entertaining event. The link didn't work for me. It said that URL wasn't found, so you might want to check it out.

You have worked so hard on this and I know it'll be great. Too bad you won't get to see it in person. Isn't there any way you can attend? That would be so great you know!!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 7:32:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

i have to link that link how fun is that.....

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 7:47:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks Rachel...it's fixed now! Sorry about that...

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 10:25:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Would that I could!! It sounds more wonderful everytime you write about it and I can't wait to hear all about this year's show.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 1:16:00 PM PST 

Blogger jac
had this to say:

how wonderful! $5 million raised for AIDS/HIV services! that is fantastic! i really wish i could make it to the benefit. such wondeful people involved and i've loved reading about them all.
i'm here via michele's today.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 1:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, that sounds like a wonderful evening!! I have seen David Gaines, and he is captivating! Wish I could hop a plane and be there!! Can't wait to hear all about it and see the pictures!!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 1:30:00 PM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I think the appropriate words would be "break a leg." Good luck and I'm sure it will be fabulous.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 1:31:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

At this point I'm ready to fly anywhere. Sounds like a great event! I took note of Fayard Nicholas passing a few months ago partly because it followed rather closely the death of my first art teacher, Ernest Crichlow, a lesser-known Harlem Renaissance painter who owned a gallery with Romare Bearden in new York. He taught at the Art Students League. That generation has given so much to American art--thus to the world. What an honor to have known these guys! Well, best of luck with a great event for an vital cause. Enjoy!
Rick

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 3:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh, how I would love to fly on out! You make it sound so exciting! Good for you and Betty Garrett for your great work.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 6:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

It sounds so fantastic. I wish I could find a way to make it out there for the gala! We will be preparing Bear for surgery. Blech. Trade ya!

I will be looking forward to hearing all about it!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 8:29:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

It sounds so fantastic. I wish I could find a way to make it out there for the gala! We will be preparing Bear for surgery. Blech. Trade ya!

I will be looking forward to hearing all about it!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 8:30:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

How can it help but be a resounding success? Sounds like so much fun :)

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 8:47:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I guess it would be a perfect show. I love musical shows.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 9:08:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I hope this event gets off without a hitch. You have put in so many hours & so much effort into this event. I can't wait to read about it next week. You're such a giving person.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 9:12:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Looks like a great event for a wonderful cause. Congratulations and best of success. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. I have you bookmarked and I'll add you to my blog list when next I get to additions. Best regards....

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 12:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Sending lots of break a leg dust to the entire cast and crew. I am sure it will be yet another resounding success :)

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 1:36:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

A very good project. It's a pity I'm thousands of miles away. I love musical shows too just like Friday's Child.

Congratulations again!

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 4:06:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've always liked Bruce Valance and his quirky humor. I am an avid Bette Midler fan and saw the two of them on TV together. Hysterical. Did you know he was just on a television show on VH1 where he dropped over twenty pounds?

I am in awe of all the people you know, meet and the things you do.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 4:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Sounds like a spectacular event and very worthwhile cause. Would love to be there.
Hello from Michele's

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 7:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

He, look who I get a Michele's.
Thanks for your comment/reply to my comment last night. I agree with you about the unique collegial environment that Fayard Nicholas, Romare Beardon, and Ernest Crichlow created. The arts need more of that kind of thing, but that was a special place in time.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 7:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hi OOLOTH, I hope you are well and have a great weekend. Here from Michele's this time.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 8:08:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow, sounds like such a fun and exciting event! How fab that you get to do what you do!
Ash
http://fivecrows.bravejournal.com

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 8:10:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Sounds like you will be having some fun!:) Here from Michele's.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 8:19:00 AM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

It sounds like a wondeful event, it will certainly be a success! tell us all about it.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 8:46:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

How wonderful ,you look like you have so much fun!

Congratulations!

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 11:18:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow...I echo everyone else. That sounds freaking awesome.

And has Bruce Vilanch grown his beard back? He just looks incomplete with out... :)

Here via Michele's this morning...

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 11:44:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me, Naomi.

19 years is a long time to be involved with an organization at any level, let alone when you're co-chairing the main event. I can't imagine how much work it must take just to coordinate the schedules of all the people.

Good luck to you and everyone you work with on the night of the dress rehearsal next week, Naomi.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 1:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I've not been here in a while. I have some catching up to do.

Michele sends me today. but I'll be back on my own!

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 1:28:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

happy friday

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 2:08:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'd be on the next plane if I could. What a rich history of talent for such a remarkably important cause. As devastating as AIDS has been to communities across the globe, it's heartening to see the humanity of the artistic community - it reaffirms why life is so sacred in the first place.

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 6:30:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

...Like no people I know! :-) You lead a crazy life my friend! Would love to live a day in your shoes.
-atpanda.blog.com-

Friday, March 3, 2006 at 6:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That is a wonderful event. I used to see Bruce Vilanch when 'Hollywood Squares' was screened in Britain for a short time. I could see how clever he was.

Michele sent me here.

Saturday, March 4, 2006 at 2:01:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm sorry I haven't commented lately - be sure, I have been here!

Good luck with the STAGE show and I hope LOTS of money is raised for those worthy charities, my dear!

Hope you enjoyed the blogparty - you certainly were having a lovely time with dear Hoss and Cowboy :-)

Looking forward to seeing the Buttons again - have they grown lots?

cq

Saturday, March 4, 2006 at 2:09:00 AM PST 

Blogger Joe
had this to say:

$5,000,000 for various AIDS charities? Good karma for you! That is awesome! I wish I could be apart of that. Fun times and you are making a difference! Way to go!

Saturday, March 4, 2006 at 2:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am FINALLY making my donation, Naomi!!!

Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I wish you were able to go more than I wish that I could. You put so much work into this...it seems wrong that you're not going. I wish you all the luck in the world fundraising for this most worthwhile project. You're such a good person, Naomi.

Friday, March 10, 2006 at 6:21:00 PM PST 

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