Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Broadway's Barbara Cook to Celebrate 85th Birthday at Segerstrom Center, 4/13

Broadway legend Barbara Cook returns to Segerstrom Center to celebrate her 85th birthday year with a performance in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Saturday April 13 at 8 p.m.

Cook's charisma, charm and amazing talent have delighted audiences around the world for more than 50 years. The Los Angeles Times calls her, "A force of musical nature. This is everywhere apparent - in her commitment to interpretive truth, her searching intelligence and certainly her joyous soprano, one of the most celebrated in Broadway history. Such magic is the stuff that creates legends and designates Cook as a National Treasure." To make the occasion even more special for her audience, Cook will remain on stage following the concert and answer questions that have been submitted via Facebook and Twitter. ASCAP Director of Musical Theatre Michael A. Kerker will be on hand to pose the questions to her.

Tickets for Barbara Cook start at $26 and are available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The TTY number is (714) 556-2746.

Barbara Cook, who received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2011, returned to the Broadway stage in 2010 after a 23-year absence. She starred in the musical revue Sondheim on Sondheim directed by James Lapine for the Roundabout Theater Company, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Her ever-growing mantle of honors includes the Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, two Olivier Award nominations, her citation as a Living New York Landmark and her induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Cook's popularity continues to thrive with a succession of seven triumphant returns to Carnegie Hall (the most recent being her celebratory 85th birthday concert), where she made a legendary solo concert debut in 1975.

In November 2007, Cook celebrated her 80th birthday in a concert with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. Due to intense popular demand, she returned for two encore concerts, singing to sold- out houses. In January 2006, Cook made her solo concert debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, becoming the first female pop singer to be presented by the Met in the company's 123 year history. The sold-out event was recorded and released as a live performance CD by DRG Records.

A native of Atlanta, Cook made her Broadway debut in 1951 as the ingénue lead in the musical Flahooley. She subsequently played Ado Annie in the City Center revival of Oklahoma!, followed by a national tour of that hit show. In 1954 her performance as Carrie Pipperidge in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel led to the role of Hilda Miller in the original production of Plain and Fancy. Cook went on to create the role of Cunegonde in the original production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide. This was followed by her creations of two classic roles in the American musical theatre - Marian the Librarian in the premiere production of Meredith Willson's The Music Man, a performance which earned her the Tony Award, and Amalia in the Bock-Harnick-Masteroff musical She Loves Me. Cook appeared in two other celebrated City Center revivals: as Mrs. Anna in The King and I and a second production of Carousel, this time playing the role of Julie Jordan. She was Magnolia in the New York State Theatre's production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's Showboat. Cook originated the role of Patsy in Jules Feiffer's Little Murders and, in 1972, she returned to the dramatic stage in the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center's production of Gorky's Enemies.

Cook's extensive discography includes studio recordings of eight original cast albums, two Ben Bagley albums of songs by Jerome Kern and George Gershwin, an album titled Songs of Perfect Propriety featuring poems by Dorothy Parker set to music by Seymour Barab and As Of Today on the Columbia label. Cook can also be heard as the voice of Thumbelina's mother in the Warner Bros. animated film Thumbelina, with music by Barry Manilow. Other DRG recordings include Close as Pages in a Book, with lyrics of Dorothy Fields; Barbara Cook: Live from London; Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein; All I Ask of You; The Champion Season: A Salute to Gower Champion; the Grammy nominated Count Your Blessings, a collection of traditional Christmas songs; Tribute, based on her sold- out Café Carlyle concert; No One Is Alone, from a Carnegie Hall concert; Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder; boxed-sets of recordings; a live performance recording of her critically acclaimed concert with Michael Feinstein at Feinstein's at the Regency, and her latest, You Make Me Feel So Young, also recorded live in performance at Feinstein's at the Regency.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is unique as both an acclaimed arts institution and as a multi- disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages, offering unsurpassed experiences, and engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring programs.

Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center traces its roots back to the late 1960s when a dedicated group of community leaders decided Orange County should have its own world-class performing arts venue.

As Orange County's largest non-profit arts organization, Segerstrom Center for the Arts owns and operates the 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall and intimate 250-seat Founders Hall, which opened in 1986, and the 2,000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which opened in 2006 and also houses the 500-seat Samueli Theater, the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Education Center's studio performance space and Boeing Education Lab. A spacious arts plaza anchors Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is home to numerous free performances throughout the year as part of Segerstrom Center for the Arts' ongoing Free for All series.

The Center presents a broad range of programming each season for audiences of all ages from throughout Orange County and beyond, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, intimate performances of jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events. It offers many education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts. These programs reach hundreds of thousands of students of all ages with vital arts-in-education programs, enhancing their studies and enriching their lives well into the future.

In addition to the presenting and producing institution Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the 14-acre campus also embraces the facilities of two independent acclaimed organizations: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region's major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the Pacific Chorale, who contribute greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Costa Mesa Stories

More Hot Stories For You