Connie Champagne Brings Her Annual Holiday Show to Feinstein's at the Nikko Tonight
Hotel Nikko San Francisco and Michael Feinstein are excited to welcome home San Francisco's own, legendary, award-winning, extraordinary performer Connie Champagne to Feinstein's at the Nikko for one performance only - tonight, December 18 at 8 p.m.
Making her Feinstein's at the Nikko debut, Connie Champagne will present her annual holiday show, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - An Evening with Connie Champagne as Judy Garland.
Renowned for her uncanny ability to channel the sound and spirit of Garland, Champagne will perform carols and classics made famous by the stage and screen icon, along with some of the unexpected and often wacky gems Champagne is famed for creating. The concert will also feature a crack back-up combo led by Barry Lloyd on piano and 18 year-old prodigy Alex Szotak on drums, as well as some very special guests, like the one who's rumored to be flying in from the North Pole just for this show. Come home for Christmas in San Francisco with Judy Garland - and as Judy herself might say -"There's no place like home!"
Located within Hotel Nikko (222 Mason Street, San Francisco), Feinstein's at the Nikko presents a wide range of entertainers from stage and screen all within an intimate 140-seat cabaret setting. There is a $20 food and beverage minimum per person inside the showroom which guests can use towards cocktails as well as a variety of small plates crafted exclusively for Feinstein's at the Nikko by Executive Chef Philippe Striffeler, through Restaurant Anzu. Cheese and dessert platters will also be available in the showroom. Tickets for Connie Champagne range in price from $25-$35 and are available now by calling 866.663.1063 or visiting www.ticketweb.com.
Connie Champagne began her eclectic career with roles at San Francisco's Magic Theatre and Theatre on the Square. She was recruited by "Vegas In Space" director Phillip R. Ford to portray the cult heroine Neely O'Hara in his long-running stage adaptation of Valley of the Dolls, which inspired her interest in drag as a theatrical form. An "unwitting pioneer of the Cocktail Nation," Champagne has been the recipient of many awards including the Bay Area Theater Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her role in Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Former San Francisco Mayor - and current Lieutenant Governor - Gavin Newsom issued a City Proclamation declaring February 14th "Connie Champagne Day" in San Francisco.
Champagne has toured extensively with swing band The New Morty Show, and recorded a CD, "Morty-fied," on SlimStyle Records. She continues to sing with the group to this day. In addition to NMS, Champagne has shared the stage with a variety of artists and groups including: Romeo Void (supporting Cindi Lauper), Brian Setzer, Chris Isaak, the Magnum Brutes, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and Royal Crown Revue, and has been nominated for the Cable Car Awards' Entertainer of the Year. The San Francisco Examiners' Readers Poll, compiled by staff writer Julian Guthrie, rated Connie #30 among "...the Top One Hundred Best Things about San Francisco," (ten notches above the Golden Gate Bridge!) Robin Eisgrau of New York's THE PAPER magazine listed Connie among her top ten favorites, and Research Magazine creator V Vale devotes a chapter to Connie's unique life and career in his book "Swing! The New Retro Renaissance" (V Search Publications).
Well-known for her roles portraying Judy Garland, Champagne first appeared as the legendary star in the Off-Broadway production of Christmas with the Crawfords. The New York Times critic Neil Genzlinger described Champagne's performance as "a subtle masterpiece of parody and homage."Champagne again received rave reviews for her performance as Garland - this time on the other side of the rainbow in the Los Angeles production of Judy's Scary Little Christmas directed by Broadway legend Kay Cole, for which she won the Ovation Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Inspired by Harry Lit of Castrobear Presents, Champagne, along with director F. Allen Sawyer and musical director Joseph Collins, created iMAGINE Judy Garland: An Evening With Connie Champagne, which played to sold-out audiences at the Empire Plush Room. The show was subsequently the recipient of the Dean Goodman Award for Outstanding Cabaret show. With Collins and Sawyer again on board, Champagne revisited Garland at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. As she did in iMagine, Champagne assembled the repertoire Garland might sing today - ballads from the likes of Rufus Wainwright and Elton John, show-stoppers from Peter Allen and John Cameron Mitchell, and some improbable rock tunes that take on a whole new meaning, once they've been Judy-fied.