Photo Flash Exclusive: Inside the Madeline Kahn Tribute at The Metropolitan Room
On Saturday, September 12, 2015, William V. Madison, author of Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life (University Press of Mississippi, 2015), hosted a musical tribute to the late singing actress as part of Metropolitan Room's GONE TOO SOON series, produced by Joseph Macchia. Directed by three-time MAC Award-winner Peter Napolitano, The Music of Madeline Kahn, with music director Jeff Cubeta on piano, featured friends & colleagues of the comic legend, as well as performers who have been inspired by her.
Performing for this special event are singer-actors Walter Willison & Joan Copeland, who co-starred with Kahn in Richard Rodgers' Two by Two (1970); actor/choreographer/producer Lawrence Leritz, who started as a fan & later worked with Kahn on the show Cosby (1999); composer Michael Cohen, music director at the Upstairs at the Downstairs nightclub where Kahn made her New York debut (1965-67); singer-actress Ann Harada(Avenue Q, Cinderella, & TV's "Smash"); soprano Sarah Rice, the original Joanna in Sweeney Todd; soprano & MAC Award-winner Janice Hall; rising young soprano Rosa Betancourt; singer-actress Hanna Burke; singer-actress Minda Larsen, winner of Metropolitan Room's 2015 MetroStar Challenge; MAC Award-winning singer-actor Adam B. Shapiro (HBO's "The Normal Heart") & singer-actress Julie Feltman (Unauthorized! The Musical Parody).
Classically trained, Madeline Kahn briefly considered a career in opera. After working in New York nightclubs, - she went on to success on Broadway & in Hollywood, winning back-to-back Oscar nominations for Paper Moon (1973) & Blazing Saddles (1974). She received four Tony nominations & won on her last nomination, as Best Actress for The Sisters Rosensweig (1993). On television, Kahn starred on four sitcoms and won a Daytime Emmy in 1987. She died of ovarian cancer in 1999, shortly after the release of her last film, Judy Berlin.
William V. Madison is a former producer for Dan Rather at CBS News & a former associate editor of Opera News magazine. His writing has appeared in lingua franca, The Forward, Pen World, Andante.com & The Kurt WeillNewsletter, among other publications. A graduate of Brown University & of Columbia University's graduate program in creative writing, he has also worked in theatre (production assistant, Rags, 1986) & opera (Major-Domo, Ariadne auf Naxos, Fort Worth Opera, 2013).
Photos by Maryann Lopinto
Ann Harada, Adam B. Shapiro
Walter Willison, Joan Copeland
Rosa Betancourt, Minda Larsen, Hanna Burke, Julie A. Feltman
Steve Ross, Joan Copeland, Walter Willison
front row: Ann Harada, Janice Hall, host William V Madison, Hanna Burke, Joan Copeland. Back: Rosa Betancourt, Minda Larsen, Lawrence Leritz, Julie Feltman, Adam B. Shapiro, Walter Willison. Not pictured but also in the cast: Sarah Rice, Steve Ross and Michael Cohen
Adam B Shapiro, Julie A. Feltman, Janice Hall, Hanna Burke, Sarah Rice, Ann Harada, Lawrence Leritz