BWW Interview: Actress Christine Pedi Talks S.T.A.G.E. Benefit IDOLS & ICONS To Be Performed One Night Only on May 13

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Actress Christine Pedi is well known for her theatre/cabaret appearances as well as TV and SiriusXM radio. Her finest hour has come in Forbidden Broadway with her glorious singing impressions. She took time out from her busy schedule to talk about her upcoming appearance in LA for the last S.T.A.G.E. benefit on Saturday May 13 at the Saban Theatre.

What are you performing in the show? Some of your regular material or something extra special? Can you reveal your song(s) or is it a secret?

I'll be bringing some of the great female Icons & Legends to life in a classic song.

I saw you in Forbidden Hollywood and Forbidden Broadway when you did them in LA umpteen years ago. Your characters are amazing. Who is your favorite? Why?

It always depends upon what I'm singing and why and of course if I do them well. I love doing Liza, Bernadette & Angela because I sound a lot like them. As always it goes back to the written word; a great impression is gratifying but add some goodcomic lines to it and then I'm in heaven. I don't do impressions just to "sound" like them...I want to make a comic statement.

Tell me about what's happening lately. I hear you interview on radio from time to time, but not being in New York, I miss most of your appearances. Any new characters?

Currently in SPAMILTON:An American Parody as the guest "Diva" . My Streisand is getting much better as a result. SPAMILTON is coming to The Kirk Douglas Theatre in November and I'll be in the first few weeks of the production!

How do you decide who you want to do? Is the attraction the populaity of the person... or what is it exactly?

No rhyme or reason to any of it...just what ever comes out sounding right.

What is your process for working on the voice of each character? Do you listen and try to imitate or do you have another way of duplicating the vocal eccentricities?

Becuase I've been lucky enough to have done MANY satirical off broadway revues like Forbidden Bway and NEWSIcal the Musical the stage was my laboratory. I'd do an impression that was decent but 8 shows a week gave me the luxury to try new things and hear how they are sounding in front of an audience in performance every day.

Is this your first S.T.A.G.E.? If so, why have you waited so very long to do one?

I did one probably over ten years ago? It was the Comden & Green show. I sang "If You Hadn't But You Did" and "Neverland". Actually this is the 100th b'day of Betty Comden and I'm celebrating with a show at Feinsteins/54 Below on May 3rd.

Were you a fan of Charles Pierce? Do you remember him? His impressions were so funny, as are yours. And very few women do impressions. Dear Debbie Reynolds was one of the few. So you are part of a dying breed. Who were your mentors? LilyTomlin? Tracy Ullman? Any one else?

I never intended to do impressions. I started doing them with Forbidden Bway and that's how I discovered that I could. Of course I always marvelled at people who could do them. The only woman I knew was the amazing Marilyn Michaels (thereare some Youtbue videos that are EPIC; she could do ANYONE). However I suppose I was first attracted to the comic characters of people like Lily Tomlin. At a very young age that totally appealed to me. Impressions came a lot later.

Anything else new in your world?

I'm attempting to write a pilot (I know, I know who ISN'T). I hope to book my solo show somewehre in LA in November around the time that SPAMILTON opens. I also have a lovely & VERY funny holiday show that will celebrate TEN years in NYC this December at Feinsteins/54 Below.


S.T.A.G.E. PRESENTS THE 33rd ANNUAL SPECTACULAR IDOLS & ICONS One-Night-Only Performance Will Be A Tribute To The Stars Of Yesterday And Today

The Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) is delighted to announce the All-Star cast participating in the 33rd annual gala, "Idols & Icons," being held on Saturday, May 13th, at the historic Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. David Galligan directs with Michael Orland returning as Musical Director. "Idols & Icons" will pay tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Shirley Bassey, Bob Fosse, George Michael, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince and more. Stars of film, Broadway and television scheduled to appear in the concert that raises critical funds for APLA Health include: India Carney, Carole Cook, Melinda Doolittle, Anthony Fedorov, Barrett Foa, Sam Harris, Jane A. Johnston, Dale Kristien, Vicki Lewis, Kimberley Locke, Jon Maher, Sharon McNight, Jennifer Paz, Christine Pedi, Jai Rodriquez, Jake Simpson and Nita Whitaker. Additional casting to be announced.

Begun in 1984, STAGE is the longest-running annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the world. To date, STAGE has raised more than $5 million for HIV/AIDS organizations in the Southland. Co-created by Michael Kearns, the late James Carroll Pickett, David Galligan and Susan Obrow, STAGE continues to be a vital and essential fundraiser more than three decades later.

David Galligan has staged and directed all 33 productions. Funds raised through STAGE support an array of APLA Health's services, including its Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; health centers that provide medical, dental, and mental health care; home health services; housing assistance; HIV prevention and testing efforts; and many more on which those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS depend. STAGE is among the most enduring and valuable sources of private support for the agency's HIV/AIDS care, prevention and advocacy work.

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