Handful of keys

14 11 2010

B.D. Wong, Karen Ziemba, Liz Callaway, Sheldon Harnick Honor Maltby, Shire and Weidman Nov. 14

By Thomas Peter
14 Nov 2010

Encompass New Opera Theatre honors composer David Shire, lyricist-director Richard Maltby, Jr. and librettist John Weidman at its fall gala Nov. 14 at The Arts Club.

The evening will begin with drinks and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 PM, followed by the entertainment portion of the program at 7:30 PM. Champagne and dessert will follow.

Performers include Fred Applegate, Liz Callaway, Mario Cantone, Cicily Daniels, Michael K. Lee, Julia Lema, Arthur W. Marks, James Moye, Michael Rose, Tony Perry, Amy Jo Phillips, Alexander Scheitinger, Lynne Wintersteller, B.D. Wong and Karen Ziemba. Sheldon Harnick, Susan Stroman and Maury Yeston will offer recollections.

The artists, as well as some surprise guests, will perform material written by longtime collaborators Maltby and Shire, as well as selections from the works of Scott Frankel, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman.

Richard Maltby, Jr. conceived and directed Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Fosse, the only two musical revues ever to win the Tony Award for Best Musical. He was director/co-lyricist for the American version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance starring Bernadette Peters, and was the co-lyricist for Miss Saigon.

David Shire has composed for theatre, films, television and recordings (winning the Academy Award for Best Song from the film “Norma Rae”). He and lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. wrote music and lyrics for the Tony-nominated Broadway musicals Baby and Big (book by John Weidman); and the Off-Broadway reviews, Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever (Grammy nomination for Best Cast Album).

John Weidman wrote the book for Pacific Overtures (Tony Award nominations, Best Book and Best Musical) and Assassins (Tony Award, Best Musical revival). He co-created Contact with choreographer-director Susan Stroman, and he has written for “Sesame Street,” receiving 11 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children’s Program.

National Arts Club is located at 15 Gramercy Park South. For tickets, priced $300, call (718) 398-4675.


30 10 2010

I’m thrilled to learn I will be participating in a musical salute honoring Richard Maltby Jr., David Shire, and John Weidman, hosted by Encompass New Opera Theatre.

The event is a gala on Sunday, November 14th at The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South.

I’ve never been to the National Arts Club, so I’m pretty excited. It is a landmark Victorian mansion from the 1840s. Sheldon Harnick and Maury Yeston are the Honorary Gala Co-Chairs for the evening!

More important is I’ll be performing with some of my dearest friends in the business!