Charles Busch Makes 92Y 'Lyrics & Lyricists' Debut with HERE'S TO THE GIRLS! This Weekend
The Warner Bros. Dames! The Universal Sweethearts! The Fox Blondes! Paramount's Sophisticated Ladies! And the MGM Goddesses! They faced down studio heads, gossip columnists and shorter leading men, and they always came back a star!
Artistic director Charles Busch -- in his Lyrics & Lyricists debut -- serves up a cavalcade of stories and songs about the legendary women of Hollywood's movie musical Golden Age in "Here's to the Girls!" this weekend, February 7, 8 and 9, 2015 at 92Y.
Nancy Anderson, Andréa Burns, Cady Huffman, Erin Maguire, and Zakiya Young will sing classic songs of the silver screen made famous by such stars as Ginger Rogers, Jeannette McDonald, Alice Faye, Betty Hutton, and Judy Garland, among others, while Busch himself will channel his own inner Marlene Dietrich.
Robert Osborne -- reporter, film historian and TCM host -- makes a special guest appearance on Saturday and Sunday, chatting with Busch and telling stories about these legendary actresses, drawn from his own lifetime in Hollywood.
Previously announced special guest Mitzi Gaynor has been advised by her physicians to take a break from performing and traveling as she recuperates from a recent strain on her back. As a result she is unable to participate in the upcoming performances as she had originally planned.
Playwright/actor/film historian Charles Busch describes the show as a celebration of the extraordinary women who sang and danced and made the Hollywood musical film one of the great cultural achievements of the Twentieth Century, as well as the brilliant songwriters who gave them their finest efforts in American film musicals from the 1930s-1960s.
"We decided to aim our focus on songs created for the movies, with each section of the show illuminating the unique "house styles" of the major studio and the stars they developed. The show promises to be a very personal overview of an impossibly ambitious subject...as well a lot of fun!"
About the Artistic Team and Cast:
Charles Busch -- making his Lyrics & Lyricists debut -- is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, You Should Be So Lucky and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom; one of the longest running plays in the history of Off- Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway; it received a Tony nomination for Best Play, and Charles won the Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Playwriting Award. In 2003 Charles received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright, and he was given a star on the Playwrights Walk of Fame outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Given his love and knowledge of film and theatre history, Charles has been invited to appear in numerous documentaries for Turner Classic Movies, including programs on Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo, and he has lectured and conducted master classes at many colleges and universities including NYU, Harvard, UCLA and Amherst. He is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, The Lady in Question is Charles Busch, and he is the author of the auto-biographical novel Whores of Lost Atlantis.
Carl Andress is an American theater director whose credits include the world premieres of Charles Busch's critically acclaimed comedies The Tribute Artist; The Divine Sister; The Third Story, starring Kathleen Turner; Judith of Bethulia; the children's musical Bunnicula; and Shanghai Moon. He has also directed New York productions of the Busch plays Die! Mommie Die! and Queen Amarantha, as well as regional productions of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Other credits include Carmen Pelaez's Rum & Coke, Douglas Carter Beane's The Cartells, the New York concert premieres of Kander, Ebb and McNally's The Visit; Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo's A Wonderful Life and Bob Merrill and Jule Styne's Mister Magoo's A Christmas Carol all for The Actors Fund, as well as productions of Tenderloin, Harold & Maude, I Love My Wife and The Mad Show all for "Musicals in Mufti" at The York Theater Co. Carl made his Lyrics & Lyricists debut in May 2011 as stage director for Phyllis Newman's "Carried Away: Being Comden & Green."
John McDaniel -- also making his Lyrics & Lyricists debut -- is a Grammy and two-time Emmy Award-winning music director, composer, arranger, orchestrator, and theatrical and record producer. He currently serves as the artistic director of the O'Neill Theater Center's Cabaret and Performance conference, and he was the bandleader of "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" for its entire six-year run, winning two Emmy Awards. On Broadway John received a Drama Desk nomination for his orchestrations for Bonnie & Clyde, and that same year he was musical director and conductor of Catch Me If You Can. His other Broadway credits include producer and musical supervisor of Brooklyn: The Musical, and musical director/supervisor/arranger of Annie Get Your Gun, Grease, Taboo, Patti LuPone on Broadway and Company -- The Original Cast in Concert at Lincoln Center. He won a Grammy Award as a producer of the Annie Get Your Gun cast album.
Nancy Anderson was seen last year off-Broadway in Far From Heaven at Playwrights Horizons. She received Drama Desk Award nominations for her portrayal of all the women in Jolson & Co and the title role in Fanny Hill. She made her Broadway debut in A Class Act, and played the roles of Helen and Eileen in the Broadway revival of Wonderful Town. Other off-Broadway credits include all the female roles in Yank! as well as the New York revival of Ionescopade, both at the York Theatre. She was the 2011 winner of the Noël Coward Cabaret Award Competition, and her debut album, Ten Cents a Dance, is an homage to the Depression-era songs of the 1930s.
Andréa Burns co-starred on Broadway with Nathan Lane in The Nance, and other Broadway credits include In the Heights (after first appearing in the original Off-Broadway production); Beauty and the Beast; The Full Monty; and The Ritz. Andréa was in the original company of Jason Robert Brown's critically acclaimed Songs for a New World at the WPA Theatre, and portrayed the role of Celeste in Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night at Second Stage Theatre.
Cady Huffman has starred on Broadway in The Producers (Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards); The Nance (Outer Critics Circle nomination), The Will Rogers Follies (Tony nomination); Steel Pier; Dame Edna: The Royal Tour; La Cage aux Folles; and Bob Fosse's last original musical, Big Deal. Huffman had an unforgettable recurring role on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," almost becoming Larry David's 10th anniversary present; she has also appeared on "The Good Wife" and served as a judge on "Iron Chef America" for ten consecutive seasons. Her film credits include The Company Men; Romance & Cigarettes; and The Nanny Diaries.
Erin Maguire recently starred Off-Broadway in the Drama Desk Award-nominated new musical revue, Til Divorce Do Us Part, at the DR2 Theatre. She had previously appeared there in Charles Busch's children's musical, Bunnicula: The Musical, directed by Carl Andress. She has also appeared inThe 101 Dalmatians Experience, directed by Jerry Zaks, at Madison Square Garden; Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit; Flight of the Lawnchair Man for the New York Music Festival and later at the Goodspeed Opera House; That Time of Year at the York Theatre; Five Course Love at the Minetta Lane Theatre, and I Love My Wife in various venues. She participated in workshops for Meet John Doe and ... in the absence of spring.
Zakiya Young has appeared on Broadway in The Little Mermaid and can be heard on the cast recording. Young starred at the York in Tenderloin in the "Musicals in Mufti" series earlier this year celebrating the work of Sheldon Harnick. Her off-Broadway and regional theater credits include Kiss Me Kate, Cabin in the Sky, The Mikado, Carousel and Little Shop of Horrors. She performed at 54 Below in the York Theatre's 45th Anniversary celebration.
Special Guest Robert Osborne has been the prime-time host and anchor of the two-time Peabody award-winning Turner Classic Movies television network since its launch in 1994. He also co-hosts TCM's weekly "Essentials" series with Drew Barrymore, from 2012-15, and with Sally Field, beginning March 7, 2015, and he has done numerous specials for the TCM network, including the "Private Screenings" interviews. Robert began his career as an actor under contract to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It was Lucy who encouraged him to pursue his first-love of writing, which led to three decades as the lead "Rambling Reporter" columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. He's also known for his many books, including most recently 85 Years of the Oscar. Robert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his proudest moment was being asked by Angela Lansbury to present her the Honorary Academy Award she received in 2013 for her iconic career.
About 92nd Street Y and Lyrics & Lyricists - Now celebrating its 140th Anniversary, 92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives: wide-ranging conversations with the world's best minds; an outstanding range of programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. Since 1970, Lyrics & Lyricists, the pioneering American Songbook series, and one of 92Y's signature series, has celebrated the work of songwriters like Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Dorothy Fields, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Sheldon Harnick, and David Zippel with champions and interpreters of the American Songbook including Ted Chapin, Rob Fisher, John Pizzarelli, Kathleen Marshall, and Billy Stritch. Lyrics & Lyricists receives underwriting support from Gilda and Henry Block; Kenneth Kolker; The Henry Nias Foundation, courtesy of Dr. Stanley Edelman; The Edythe Kenner Foundation; and the Hite Foundation, Inc.
More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually, and millions more participate in 92Y's growing collection of digital programs and online content. A proudly Jewish organization since our founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its Jewish heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit www.92Y.org.