Monday, March 20, 2006


S.T.A.G.E.

And so, S.T.A.G.E. 2006, is over!

Here is the always fantastic Bruce Vilanch, (Sans Beard...) doing the number he was going to do with Marissa Jaret Winoker, of whom he announced to the audience...
"I was supposed to do this song with Marissa Jaret Winoker, but she got a Pilot, Bitch!!!" which brought downthe house, needless to say...The song was, "And I can Cook, Too" from the stage production of "On The Town" music by Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics by Comden & Green our 2006 Honorees.

Everything Bruce said brought the house down...including all the 'Brokeback Mountain' jokes that, as he said, "....couldn't be used on the Academy Awards!"....(where he is one of the top writers each year, including this year....). And later, during intermission, he helped to auction off the things in the "live" auction, and as always, he was a superalative auctioner and had the audience rolling in the aisles...I could hear everything he said over the phone, at the Sunday performance when I was bidding....He is the nicest dearest man!


Here is a really wonderful picture of my dear friend and co-hort, Betty Garrett, who always brings the house down. Audiences love her and rightfully so...she brings everything about her persona to her performances....her loving sweetness; her realness; her talent; her optimism---at almost 87 she is the most optimistic person I know---and this year was no different. I recieved a number if emails and 'snail mail' notes from people and all of them said her number in the show was THE Highlight! She brings so much heart as well as talent to all she does...this year was even more so, because of ALL the performers in the show, Betty knew and had known Comden & Green, longer than anyone else. So much theatrical and film history here....




This next photograph is of an actress/singer named Ann Morrison.
She opened the second act walking through 'the house' and coming up on the stage from the house singing "The Usher From The Mezzanine" from the Broadway Musical, 'Fade In - Fade Out'....this is a wonderful number and pretty self explanetory right there in the title, though many of you probably don't remember that time, back in the day, when uniformed people called 'ushers' actually showed us to our seats in those big big movie palaces, like Radio City Music Hall, in New York City....Yup! Those were the days...


"Fade In - Fade Out" was all about 'the movies'....And when you consider that Comden & Green wrote the Screenplay for probably the best musical ever made about movies, "Singin' In The Rain", it's not exactly strange that they would write a Broadway musical about the movies, as well....and come to think of it, they wrote two Broadway shows about 'moving pictures', as they were known, when you consider "On The Twentieth Century"....They wrote 9 (nine) Broadway shows with composer Jule Styne. They wrote 9 (nine) Screenplays for films; and they wrote two Broadway shows with Leonard Bernstein and two Broadway shows with Cy Coleman, plus more! Their body of work is fantastic, to say the least....they were writing all through the Golden Age of Theatre, and films....and so very many songs that they wrote are what we call 'standards' even now. To name just one, "The Party's Over" from 'Bells Are Ringing'....

Here is a photo of Seth Hampton & Adam Wylie doing the Tap number called "Moses" from 'Singin' In The Rain'...
the number that Gene Kelly & Donald O'
Conner did in the film....This, too was a huge favorite of our audience. There is something about Tap Dancing, isn't there? I saw it on Thursday night at the Dress Rehearsal, (though these two guys did not have their costumes on, at the time) and was knocked out by their fabulous talent! Then when I saw the Archival Tape of the Saturday night performance...(now of course, they did have their costumes on...) it was an even more stunning performance. I just remembered that when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer auctioned off much of their history, back in May of 1970...it was a very sad week to anyone who grew up during that great great studio's Golden Age...MGM was always known as "The Dream Factory and the famous line of Louis B. Mayor's (head of the studio for all those fabulous years), '.....more stars than there are in the heavens...'.....I went to MGM to that auction, which went on for many days....and while walking those deserted streets there, I saw Betty Comden & Adolph Green, walking, too....How sad was that for them, having worked there during it's Hay Day...(I'll write about the auctions in another post, sometime....)


Here's the fabulous Joanne Worley, doing a number from "On The Twentieth Century" called 'Repent'. Joanne is a fantastic performer...always grabbing the audience with her rather eccentric voice and her 'take no prisoners' stage persona...She was wonderful, as always! Another show stopping number...in fact, one of the great things about STAGE is that each time another performer comes out to do their one number, you think when they are done, 'well, no one can top that!'...and then the next person comes out and is even better than the last...We always have amazing amazing talent, thrilling talent, really.



Here is the sublime Valerie Pettiford. A beautiful woman and striking performer. She can do anything! Here she is singing, "Thanks A Lot But No Thanks" from the film 'It's always Fair Weather'. Valerie is a S.T.A.G.E. Favorite, having done our show six times, now. Valerie was a principal in 'Dancin' and in 'Fosse' both on Broadway...she has also done films and lots of television and is currently in the UPN show, "Half & Half". A Singer/Actress/Dancer...triple threat, as they say...and as nice as she is talented!


And here is the very exciting John Bisom, in "The Will Rogers Follies", repeating his Broadway title roll...with the 'girls' of the chorus. This was a very impressive number and a very complex number and one which the audience absolutely went wild over at the Big Finish.


All of the performers had been in this show and the precision with which they executed the moves was astounding! It did not dissapoint....You may recall I had taken a photo at the Thursday night dress, and it was a pretty good photo, but this is one fantastically exciting picture...Much thanks to Chris Kane, our official photographer for getting these to me so very quickly...I may try to post some more, as I get the rest from him.



So, all in all, I think this years Event was very very successful. Though we did not raise as much money as we did the year before, because the nature of fund raising has changed with the struggling economy. Statistically fund raising is down for all non profit's...sad to say. But we all feel we did the best we could and the audience certainly was pleased with the superlative show they witnessed. So S.T.A.G.E. 2006, our 22nd year, is history, and it is being put to bed as I write this....(of course, this will take many weeks to be completely finished....).

Everyone is tired, but a 'good' tired, and everyone feels good about another job well done! Of course we hope that next year we will be able to raise more money and the 2007 show is already in the works, so to speak. Being a part of this truly exciting and very meaningful event is important to me...it makes me feel that I am doing something to help many many people who would not get this help without what we do...and I think I can say that without a doubt, all of us connected to S.T.A.G.E. feel this way. So, we all look forward to next year, with hope and with a renewed committment to raise as much money as is humanly possible...Thanks to all of you dear wonderful blog buddies for your caring interest and your loving support, especially Panthergirl...you are 'The Best'!

Now, if Blogger will just let me Post this....







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18 Comments:
had this to say:

It looks like it was such a great show! I think I remember you mentioning cds of the past shows. Have they ever thought about making a dvd? I would buy it! lol!

Monday, March 20, 2006 at 6:03:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What wonderful pictures and as always your descriptions of the evening make one feel as if they were there.
I used to love Bruce on Hollywood Squares LOL

Monday, March 20, 2006 at 7:38:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Congrats! It looks like the show went off without a hitch. Wish I could have seen it. So much talent. Now it's time to relax... Until next year!

LAST GIRL ON EARTH

Monday, March 20, 2006 at 8:11:00 PM PST 

Blogger jac
had this to say:

wonderful pictures naomi! it sounds as if you had another blockbuster of a production! congratulations!

Monday, March 20, 2006 at 8:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Looks like it was quite a show. One of the things that really comes through in these posts is how much you love the stage.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 12:02:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi! Sounds like it was a marvelous show! The photos are great, too! Your description is so well written! Congratulations!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 5:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

By the photos you posted it seemed to a fabulous show. I love musical shows. I like to watch tap dancers dance. This kind of dance has really art and skills to it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 6:25:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm glad that all the hard work and effort paid off and that it was a sucessful show.
By the way Molly will get 3 walks and one square meal a day with a 'dog minder'.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 9:13:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for bringing this excitement right to my computer! That was a great post, and I loved the pictures. How fullfilling to be part of such an awesome production/fund raiser.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 11:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, this is a wonderful account of the show, and what nice photos! Betty Garrett is such a beautiful woman - even at this age. She gives all of us hope for the future! I love Joanne Worley (from Laugh-In). Too bad I couldn't be there.

Thanks for the visit and comments. I do play the piano, but I haven't played one regularly since I was 20.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 11:37:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Sounds like it was a wonderful show! Great photos, Naomi!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 12:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Fantastic. Great performers. I recognize many. Super job!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 2:26:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Glad things went as planned Naomi and it was a success. Great pictures as usual and great information. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!

Give Sweetie a hug too for all his help with this as well!! :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 3:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you for sharing all those photos with us. I love your attitude about doing this, you're so humble & giving. This event wouldn't be what it is without you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 3:59:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Bells are Ringing and Singing in the Rain are two of my very favorite movies. I have always loved watching tap dancing. I think it has become a lost art. You don't see much of it any more. The show sounds like it was a lot of fun. Glad you had a great time working with it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 4:13:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow! What a show!
I love that you got so many great, close-up shots.
That would be because of your VIP status, of course.
Your commentary lets us all in on the action.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 6:43:00 PM PST 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

Kudos.

Pulling off something like that takes hard work, dedication, and luck.

It might be lottery ticket time. ;)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 10:45:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have as many words for tired as an eskimo has for snow. The best is "Goodkinda." I know how that feels from the rare personal experience. Congrats to you and all your cohorts. Looks like ya done good.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 1:52:00 PM PST 

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