Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater

Gianni Valenti, the music world's gift to New York City, has created another venue for the performing arts. Jim Caruso made it official last night as he introduced Lucie Arnaz, who with her longtime friend and music director Ron Abel thrilled a celebrity filled opening night audience.

Gianni, who conceived and created the current Birdland on 44th street has built another fantastic venue to coexist with the world famous Birdland. It has a separate kitchen, menu, state of the art lights and sound system, exciting decor, and of course, a world class lineup of performers.

There probably could have been no finer choice of artist than Lucie Arnaz (on her birthday) to inaugurate the Birdland Theater. I kept thinking as she sang her songs and told her show-biz stories how Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz her Mom & Dad would have loved her show and the Birdland Theatre. As Lucie pointed out at the beginning of the evening, "it's daunting turning in every direction from the stage of the Birdland Theatre and seeing friends and fellow entertainers at all the tables".

The audience cheered for Lucie, Gianni, Jim, and the folks in the Birdland organization that made this happen. New York City and everyone else on the planet welcomes the fabulous new occupant at "The Jazz Corner Of The World." Upstairs and Downstairs, music is in good hands at 315 w. 44th street. BTW next in the batting order at the Birdland Theater (after Lucie's engagement)......Marilyn Maye

Article & Photos by: Stephen Sorokoff

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Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Lucie Arnaz

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Ron Abel & Lucie Arnaz

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Lucie Arnaz

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Lucie Arnaz & Ann Hampton Callaway, Standing Ovation

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Chuck Steffan, Happy Birthday, Lucie Arnaz, Ron Abel

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Gianni Valenti, Ann Hampton Callaway, Kari Strand

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Gianni Valenti, Eda Sorokoff, Ron Abel

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Richard Jay-Alexander & Mark Sendroff

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Jamie deRoy & David Zippel

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Stephen Sorokoff, Marilyn Maye, Eda Sorokoff

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Gianni Valenti & Stuart Moulton

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater

Dr. Garrett Bennett, Raissa Katona Bennett, David Friedman, Shawn Moninger

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Birdland Theatre

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
The Green Room

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
The Green Room

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Birdland Theatre

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Eda Sorokoff, Billy Stritch, Marilyn Maye, Richard Jay-Alexander, Jamie deRoy

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Ann Hampton Callaway & Bill Boggs

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Murphy Cross & Sunny Sessa

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Richard Jay-Alexander & Sunny Sessa

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Douglas Denoff, Richard Winkler, Barry Kleinbort

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Jamie deRoy, Marilyn Maye, Billy Stritch

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Eda Sorokoff, Marilyn Maye, Kari Strand

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Ron Abel & Jim Caruso

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Lucie Arnaz

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Paul Kreppel, Natalie Douglas, Murphy Cross

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Stephen Sorokoff & Sunny Sessa

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
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Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
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Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Fred Rappaport & Eda Sorokoff

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater
Chuck Steffan, Lucie Arnaz, Ron Abel

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater

Photo Coverage: Inside Opening Night at the Birdland Theater

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