News Round-Up: January 17, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• The weather forecast for Friday in Washington DC? 90% chance of rain. See forecast above. How terrible… 😉

• Some of Broadway’s biggest stars – including Tony Award winners Betty Buckley, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Jessie Mueller and Billy Porter – will be spending Inauguration Day at a concert in New York City that raises money for human rights organizations.

• Over 50 Democratic members of Congress (53 at last count) will not be attending the Trump inauguration.

• Speaking of the inauguration, scalpers are having a tough time unloading tickets they bought for the event this Friday.

• Team Trump is having such a tough time getting supporters to the inaugural festivities they are using targeted Facebook ads to up free ticket attendance.

• One more inauguration item: don’t miss Randy Rainbow’s hysterical interview with Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday regarding her recent kerfuffle when she confirmed then cancelled her appearance the “peaceful transfer of power.”

“Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out!” Starring Tony Award Winners Betty Buckley, Billy Porter, Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth & More

This is all kinds of awesomeness 🙂

Click here for all the details for Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out!, the first of a monthly benefit concert series with Broadway, TV, film and recording stars that will debut at The Town Hall on Friday, January 20, 2017, at 3:00pm.

The concert will feature performances by Betty Buckley, Sharon Gless, Andrea Martin, Jessie Mueller, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez, Billy Porter, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell and more.

Proceeds will benefit several national organizations working to protect human rights, including Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center and the Sierra Club Foundation.

Tickets range from $25 to $50 and are available at TicketMaster.com and at The Town Hall box office (123 W 43rd St.). Participating performers are subject to change.

But here’s the best part – if you can’t attend, no worries! The concert will be broadcast on Facebook Live at 3:00pm EST on January 20th, directed by Emmy Award winner Debbie Miller.

How super cool is that? So buy your tickets if you’ll be in the NYC area on January 20th, or set your calendar to remind you at ten minutes to 3PM EST that day to hit the link and watch your favorite Broadway stars “stand up, and sing out!”

Betty Buckley Stars In M. Night Shyamalan’s New Film “SPLIT”

The imminently watchable Betty Buckley stars in M. Night Shyamalan’s new film, SPLIT.

Film synopsis:

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

In theaters January 20th.

LA Theater: Betty Buckley & Rachel York Star In “Grey Gardens”

Now you KNOW I’m seeing this in July. Not to be missed.

Via press release:

Broadway’s daring musical sensation Grey Gardens — The Musical arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre starring the fabulous Rachel York (Broadway’s City of Angels) and the legendary Betty Buckley (Tony Award®-winning Grizabella in Cats).

Based on the cult classic documentary and directed by Michael Wilson, this haunting and often hilarious musical recounts Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ most eccentric relatives’ fall from society darlings to notorious recluses in their crumbling East Hampton estate.

Grey Gardens — The Musical was hailed as Time magazine’s number one show of the year and garnered 10 Tony Award nominations when it premiered on Broadway in 2006.

Center Theatre Group’s production at the Ahmanson is the Los Angeles debut of Grey Gardens — The Musical.

Broadway Legend Betty Buckley Has Had Enough Of The Ugly Political Discourse

Today, my dear friend, Betty Buckley, who happens to be a Broadway legend, put her foot down and declared the political season ugly and undone.

Miss Betty Lynn made it clear the ugliness must stop.

I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you Miss Betty for your clarity of voice and truth.

We are friends, and she knows I love her. Our friendship is based on this, because she lives by her truth.

This. This right here. Read this.

Dear Friends,

I have reached my Tipping Point. This is the worst political season I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. We are at a new and precarious low in our great Country’s history. I believe in free speech and wholesome debate. And the debasing and contemptuous, racist, sexist, homophobic, hate-filled posts I read every day are making me feel very ill.

I cannot abide the distortion of the founding principles of our Country, our Constitution and Christianity itself. While I have many friends here with differing views than my own, I have worked hard to be tolerant and open, and I have shared with you, individually, as respectfully as I am able.

And, now, I need to say this: I will not tolerate any further bashing of President Obama on my page. I will not allow any further mindless, propaganda based bashing of Hillary Clinton. I will not allow hatred or contempt here. That’s one thing I can do. While I have tried to be open to conversation and debate, I now feel that this coming election rhetoric has descended to a new low. I am done! If you post something ugly on my page I will block you. If you show even a shred of disrespect not only for our President and my candidate or any other human being, here, I will block you. Whether or not we have been “friends” online or in person, I simply will NOT allow it.

And I also need to say to my Republican and Right Wing friends: Donald Trump is clearly a narcissistic psychopath. He is a dangerous man! He and/or Cruz would take us back to the Dark Ages. If you aren’t awake to that fact, I ask that you rethink the fundamental human and humane issues. The only way we all win is if we work together to find compromise and treat one another with respect and fundamental courtesy.
I will NOT abide inhumanity or the representation of ignorant, cruel belief systems here.

With respect and love,

Betty Lynn

New Music: Betty Buckley “Ghostlight”

Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley’s fantastic new album, Ghostlight, is available today at all major music outlets.  The project reunites Buckley with longtime friend and legendary producer T Bone Burnett.

“T Bone single-handedly changed the world of music and makes each project more perfect than the last,” said Buckley, who first worked with the producer when they were both 19 in Fort Worth, TX, in an earlier statement. “The gift of this project is beyond my ability to even express; it is my dream record.”

“All great art comes from the edge, not a place of comfort,” added Burnett. “Our vision was for a ghostly haunting sound, which I called ‘crime jazz,’ giving the project a timeless feel.”

I’ve been listening to an advance copy and the entire project is sheer art.  One of the hallmarks of the project is Buckley’s restraint in utilizing the power of her evocative instrument.  Like holding back a stallion from full gallop, you can constantly feel the power underneath.

The ‘crime jazz’ element T Bone references is abundantly on display with my favorite track, “Lazy Afternoon,” which ebbs and flows from haunting lilt into an ambient, psychedelic meditation. The creative and emotional edge here catch me and never let go.

Songs featured on the album follow:
1. Come To Me Bend To Me
2. If You Go Away
3. Blue Skies
4. Throw It Away
5. Lazy Afternoon
6. Bewitched
7. This Nearly Was Mine
8. Body And Soul
9. Comin Back To Me
10. Dreamsville
11. Take It With Me When I Go
12. Where Time Stands Still

The title of the recording, according to press notes, comes from “the tradition in the theatre where, after the performance in the dark theatre, a lone light bulb is left on at night to keep the ghosts company. This light is called a ghost light.”

Trust and believe, the spirits of Ghostlight keep excellent company in the presence of Buckley’s artistry.

Click here for more info on the Limited Edition Vinyl & CD Art Box set.

For more information visit Betty’s official website.

T Bone Burnett and Betty Buckley – photo by: Myriam Santos

New Music: Betty Buckley “Ghostlight”

Broadway icon, Tony Award-winner and 2-time Grammy Award nominee Betty Buckley is set to release her new album “Ghostlight” on September 16, 2014.  The recording re-unites her with longtime friend and legendary music producer T Bone Burnett.

The album’s title – “Ghostlight” – references the age-old stage tradition in which a single light bulb is kept onstage, after performers and audiences have gone home, to keep ghosts company.

When Buckley and Burnett were both 19 years old, living in Fort Worth, TX, they began making music together. Buckley, who has been called “The Voice of Broadway,” is one of theater’s most respected and legendary leading ladies.

Burnett’s highly sought after involvement in music, film, TV and stage projects is marked by his uncanny ability to successfully combine his unique artistic sensibilities with massive commercial appeal. One of the goals of the project, says Burnett, “was for a ghostly haunting sound, which I called ‘crime jazz,’ giving the project a timeless feel.”

“I love this record. It’s a dreamscape, and is true, I feel, to the essence of who I am as an artist, singer and storyteller,” says Buckley.

“There is an undeniable atmosphere to this recording. The music is not easily categorized. This music is haunting, timeless, and while the choice of songs is very eclectic in their origin, they coalesce to create an atmosphere that is both romantic and provocative, I think.”

I’ve heard several tracks from the upcoming release and I can tell you – this is Art, kids.  Many of these tracks are destined to being regarded as the quintessential recordings of the songs.

“Ghostlight” tracklist:

1. Come To Me Bend To Me
2. If You Go Away
3. Blue Skies
4. Throw It Away
5. Lazy Afternoon
6. Bewitched
7. This Nearly Was Mine
8. Body And Soul
9. Comin Back To Me
10. Dreamsville
11. Take It With Me When I Go
12. Where Time Stands Still

The CD will be released on September 16th.  To pre-order click here.

In addition to the regular CD package, “Ghostlight” will be available for sale as a commemorative limited art box which includes 2 separate vinyl records of the complete recording, a 24 page booklet of photos and notes, as well as a CD copy of the “Ghostlight” recording, plus “Bootleg: Boardmixes from the Road”, the promo CD for “Ghostlight”.

For more info, head over to the newly redesigned, very snazzilious official website for Miss Betty at www.bettybuckley.com.

Las Vegas: Betty Buckley performs “The Other Woman: The Vixens of Broadway” this weekend at The Smith Center

Betty Buckley to perform acclaimed concert "The Other Woman: The Vixens of Broadway" at the Smith Center in Las Vegas October 25, 26 & 27, 2013.

The luminous Betty Buckley, direct from rave reviews for her star turn in the Off-Broadway world premiere of Horton Foote’s The Old Friends, is bringing her critically acclaimed concert “The Other Woman: The Vixens of Broadway” to the Smith Center on October 25, 26 & 27.

The Theater Hall of Fame honoree’s “The Vixens of Broadway” highlights some of the most memorable supporting female characters in Broadway’s most popular shows. Song selections include hits from Chicago, Evita, Company, Oklahoma and Into the Woods.

The Tony Award-winner will also incorporate songs from Jerry Herman’s Dear World in which she starred in the London Premiere earlier this year.

Described as “The Voice of Broadway,” by New York Magazine,  Betty Buckley has become the premiere leading lady of the American musical theatre via her show-stopping performances in Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Song and Dance, 1776, Pippin and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Ms. Buckley won a Tony Award for her performance in Cats, received a Tony Award nomination for Triumph of Love, and an Olivier Award nomination in London for her performance in Sunset Boulevard, which she reprised on Broadway to rave reviews.

“The Vixens of Broadway” debuted last fall at Feinstein’s in New York to rave reviews.  Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote, “You leave few evenings feeling exhilarated after peering into the souls of more than a dozen musical theater characters, all embodied by the same singer…the show is rich in musical theater lore and spicy autobiographical tidbits…the show is a master class in how a singer arrives at the right balance of self, the personality of a song and the character who sings it.”

A perfect fit at the comfortable and stylish Cabaret Jazz room, this appearance marks Buckley’s second run at the venue.  Playing to packed houses last fall in her Smith Center debut, she dazzled Las Vegas audiences with her show, “Ah Men – The Boys of Broadway.”

Don’t miss this theatre legend as she brings powerful and new interpretations to some of Broadway’s greatest female roles.

Tickets range from $39-$79

For tickets or more information head over to The Smith Center website by clicking here.

You can listen to my interview with Betty for The Candi & Randy Show below, where she chats on her recent off-Broadway success in “The Old Friends.” her concert “The Vixens of Broadway” and her creative approach to new material for stage and concerts.  Really fascinating chat from a true legend.