LuPone-a-palooza!

Mar 21

LuPone-a-palooza!

Need your Patti LuPone fix? You've come to the right place.

We have for you an interview with Ms. LuPone in connection with the San Francisco debut of her latest cabaret show, Far Away Places, at the newly configured Live at the Rrazz performance space in the Cadillac Building. We also have a review (spoiler alert: it's a rave) of that show.

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Ah, Men! Betty Buckley tackles the boys of Broadway

Oct 29

Ah, Men! Betty Buckley tackles the boys of Broadway

In 1985, Betty Buckley was sensational as a boy in the Rupert Holmes musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood (which happens to be back on Broadway at the moment in an all-new production). She was playing Alice Nutting, a famous male impersonator, and the trousers role fulfilled a long-held fantasy of being a boy on Broadway (as a kid growing up in Texas she longed to be a Jet in West Side Story).

Well the 65-year-old Buckley is getting back to the boys in her new cabaret show and CD, Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway in which she sings more than a dozen songs originally sung by male characters in shows. San Francisco audiences will experience the boyish side of Buckley when she brings Ah, Men! to the Rrazz Room this week (Oct. 30-Nov. 4).

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Mark Nadler is crazy for 1961

Aug 23

Mark Nadler is crazy for 1961

Cabaret dazzler Mark Nadler is on the road both literally and figuratively. In the figurative sense, Nadler is on the road to the past in his new show. That shouldn't be a surprise for a piano-playing, singing raconteur like Nadler who mines the Great American Songbook for all it's worth. What is surprising is that Nadler is not heading back quite as far this time. He's heading to 1961, his birth year, in Crazy 1961, which bows at San Francisco's Rrazz Room on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

In the words of a song written in 1961, it was a very good year.

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Terri White’s Great White Way (and a perfect martini!)

Jul 04

Terri White’s Great White Way (and a perfect martini!)

Palo Alto native Terri White grew up and became a Broadway star, thanks largely to her big break in 1972's musical hit Two Gentlemen of Verona, which she also performed on tour at the Geary Theater. There have been dramatic ups and downs in White's career – it is a theater career, after all – but her journey has brought her back to the Bay Area several times, including a double stint in 1994 at the then-named Theatre on the Square in Make Someone Happy composer Jule Styne's last hurrah (White remembers it more as Make Someone Run because it wasn't Styne's best work; he died several weeks after the show), followed by Nunsense 2.

But White's most memorable San Francisco stage experience, at least until she makes her cabaret debut July 10 at the Rrazz Room was in the Cy Coleman musical Barnum in which she originated the role of Joice Heth (singing the memorable song "Thank God I'm Old").

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Ben Vereen and a sweet, happy life

Jun 08

Ben Vereen and a sweet, happy life

When you call Ben Vereen's mobile phone, you get a most entertaining voicemail message. It's Chita Rivera singing, "My wish for you is a sweet, happy life." Then a cheerful Vereen says that's his wish for you as well. It's such an uplifting message that by the time you hear the beep, you realize you don't really miss talking to the man himself.

But then you get the man himself, and he proves to be even more cheerful than that message. At 65, and after a car accident in 1992 that would have sidelined just about anyone else, Vereen is a man on the move, a man with a plan. He's bringing his show Steppin' Out with Ben Vereen to the Rrazz Room June 12-17. Next month he'll play the newly opened 54 Below, the cabaret underneath the former nightclub (now legit Broadway theater) Studio 54. Then he goes to Australia, and after that, it's Broadway, baby. At least that's the plan. Vereen is hard at work on the show he's call in The Last of the Showmen, and that's really what he is.

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Faith Prince & Jason Graae: a perfectly delightful duet

Mar 22

Faith Prince & Jason Graae: a perfectly delightful duet

He says he’s been a fan of hers since he was a child. She says he makes her pee.

Quips fly fast and furious when talking to Jason Graae and Faith Prince, especially when they’re talking about each other. Graae and Prince are the latest double act on the circuit, and it’s about time. Seriously. These two have known and loved each other for years, ever since they met in college at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Now bosom buddies Prince and Graae and hitting the road together in The Prince and the Showboy (and there’s a long subtitle with their names and awards attached, see the info box below), coming to the Rrrazz Room this weekend (March 25-27) for three performances only.

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