A song of Bernadette (Peters, of course)

Jul 16

A song of Bernadette (Peters, of course)

Buckle up, Broadway Babies. It's time to revel in all things Bernadette. The loveable diva Bernadette Peters, she of the curls, the va-va-voom figure and the knockout voice, will return to the concert stage in Davies Hall to perform with the San Francisco Symphony on Tuesday, July 23 (for ticket info, click here). This is a re-scheduled concert after the pesky musicians' strike scrapped Peters' previous plans to dazzle us with her latest concert.

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A funny Megan Cavanagh happened on the way to this Forum

Oct 12

A funny Megan Cavanagh happened on the way to this <i>Forum</i>

Anybody's enjoyment of the 1962 Stephen Sondheim/Burt Shevelove/Larry Gelbart musical farce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum depends largely on the actor playing Pseudolus, the lie-spouting slave and comedy motor at the center of the show.

Zero Mostel originated the role – did anyone have a bigger comic motor than Zero? – Phil Silvers played it in 1972 and Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg took turns in the most recent Broadway revival in 1996. I've seen several productions of Forum and experienced what the Romans used to call Pseudolus annoyaolus, which is to say, the actors in the role were working so laboriously to be funny that I never laughed. It's not surprising that Pseudolus breaks a sweat, but I really don't want to.

The 42nd Street Moon production of Forum now at the Eureka Theatre is the first where I didn't grow to dread the ever-expanding machinations of Pseudolus, who never met a lie he couldn't enlarge. The reason is simple: Megan Cavanagh. She's doing a little gender bending to play the scheming slave, and she's marvelous. The old vaudevillian aspect of the role doesn't escape her, nor does she belabor it. She's a natural comic, so she doesn't have to force the laughs. And she's absolutely charming. She has grace where other Psuedolii have goals. She makes you laugh while they want to make you laugh.

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My fair Julie: Ms. Andrews recalls `Home’

Jun 25

I share the above photo not because I have a huge ego and want the world to know I had a few quality moments with Dame Julie Andrews, one of my favorite people on the planet. Wait – that’s exactly what I wanted by sharing the photo, which was taken at a stem cell research benefit in San Francisco that Andrews spoke at. The first movie I ever saw was Mary...

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Thank you, Harvey Korman

May 29

Growing up, watching “The Carol Burnett Show” on Saturday nights was a highlight of the week. As far back as I can remember, I was a Saturday night TV junkie, with “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Carol Burnett” as my earliest and still most cherished entertainment experiences. Those actors became, as silly as it sounds, like...

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Happy Birthday, Carol Burnett

Apr 26

One of my favorite people in the world, Carol Burnett, turns 73 today. I think one of the reasons I love theater so much was that growing up, my favorite show was “The Carol Burnett Show.” From as early as I can remember, Saturday nights were my haven because of two women: Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett. Mary (via Mary Richards on “The Mary...

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