Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience

One day the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. will probably ask for Jim Caruso's lists of entertainers that have appeared on his Cast Party Stage at Birdland.

At Liza Minnelli's urging Jim started the adventure sixteen years ago and Birdland quickly became not only the "Jazz Corner of The World" but the place to be if you want to experience the thrill of once in a lifetime show biz happenings. Last night we started our Birdland adventure at the 7 PM Broadway at Birdland Series as Anita Gillette in her latest cabaret outing, performed a Barry Kleinbort directed show "Me and Mr. B". In it, Anita fantastically celebrates the music and life of Irving Berlin.

Anita and Berlin had a "father - daughter" relationship that developed after she starred in his last musical Mr. President. Irving Berlin may not be on any of Jim Caruso's Birdland lists but the overflow audience on 44th street certainly felt his genius as Anita with reminiscences and songs brought Irving Berlin to life in her emotional show. What a night as the audience spontaneously joined Anita at the conclusion and sang God Bless America.

However it didn't stop there. Cast Party then started and Jim Caruso's list contained some legendary performers who just happened to drop in. Ann Hampton Callaway and Clint Holmes were in the house and a bevy full of super singers who also performed. No ballads allowed on the Cast Party Stage but Ann ended the evening with one of her "on the spot" song improvisations that addressed that issue. I'm sure Irving Berlin would have approved of her song writing ability. "Ya Just Never Know" what's going to happen at Birdland

Copy & Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

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Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Anita Gillette

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Anita Gillette

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Anita Gillette & Penny Fuller

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
David L. Harris & Anita Gillette

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Anita Gillette

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Anita Gillette

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Clint Holmes & Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Ted Firth, Steve Doyle, Clint Holmes

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Ann Hampton Callaway & Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Natalie Douglas & Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
KLea Blackhurst & Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Lorna Dallas-Brown & Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Penny Fuller & Lorna Dallas-Brown

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Barry Kleinbort & Eda Sorokoff

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Ann Hampton Callaway & Stephen Sorokoff

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Eda Sorokoff, Sunny Sessa, Ron Abel, Chuck Steffan

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Sunny Sessa & Clint Holmes

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Cast Party

Photo Coverage: Anita Gillette and Cast Party Thrill The Birdland Audience
Jim Caruso, Sunny Sessa, Stephen Sorokoff

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