Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli, Itzhak Perlman, Lang Lang, Michael Feinstein, Chris Botti, Maria Friedman, Brian d'Arcy James, Rob Fisher, Essential Voices USA, former cast members of A Chorus Line and cast members of The Nutty Professor came together in top form for an invitation only event on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 to pay tribute to Marvin Hamlisch at the beautiful Peter J. Sharp Theatre at Juilliard.
The place was packed and 'Broadway heavy', with just about every star you could think of present for an emotional and thrilling evening devoted to the beloved Marvin Hamlisch.
A child prodigy, he was accepted into Juilliard before he was seven...yes, seven. We were reminded at the start of the evening by his wife Terre about just how early his talent shined through and about how he spent the rest of his life giving back to others with his friendship, time and musical genius. He never said "no" to a request to help out for a worthy cause, and tonight kicked off a very worthy cause in his name, of a new scholarship fund at the school. For information about giving online, visit www.juilliard.edu/giving. Let's help support the next generation of Marvin Hamlisch's.
From the 'Essential Voices USA' choir that started the show, to the skill of musicians like Itzhak Perlman, Lang Lang and Chris Botti to the emotion of best friend Liza Minnelli, the acting of Maria Friedman and Brian d'Arcy James to the soaring vocal talents of Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand (yes, she's still got it, and then some - and also earned the only standing ovation of the night!), it was an unforgettable night. We also got a tease of THE NUTTY PROFESSOR which hopefully will make its way into town sooner rather than later.
Here's who sang what:
ESSTENTIAL VOICES USA - 'Anatomy of Peace'
CHRIS BOTTI - 'What I Did for Love' from A Chorus Line
LIZA MINNELLI - 'If You Really Knew Me' from They're Playing My Song
DENA DIGIACINTO, EMILY FLETCHER, HOLLIE HOWARD - 'At the Ballet' from A Chorus Line
ARETHA FRANKLIN - 'Nobody Does It Better' from The Spy Who Loved Me into 'Deep River'
ROB FISHER - 'Theme' from Sophie's Choice
BRIAN D'ARCY JAMES - 'At the Fountain' from Sweet Smell of Success
ENSEMBLE - 'While I Still Have the Time' from The Nutty Professor
MARIA FRIEDMAN - 'Nothing' from A Chorus Line
ITZHAK PERLMAN - 'I Cannot Hear the City' from Sweet Smell of Success
LANG LANG - 'Overture' from A Chorus Line
BARBRA STREISAND - 'The Way We Were' from The Way We Were and 'Through the Eyes of Love' from Ice Castles.
There will never be another talent like his, and tonight was most certainly a worthy celebration and reminder of that. Once again, for more information on the scholarship and how to donate, www.juilliard.edu/giving