Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tada: 'Top Ten' lifetime performances on Cookie's hit parade


Bette Midler makes the "Tops" list with her 
effervescent energy and expressive voice.
STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
and archives


LAST BLOG, we revealed our "tops" lifetime list of plays and concerts.  Thanks for your comments. The prompt was a fantastic concert by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, which made our list.
We recalled a "Rat Pack" concert at the old Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and  other greats who made our list: Patti Lupone, Mary Martin, Yul Brynner, Angela Lansbury, Len Cariou. To make the list, we have to be moved to tears by the genius before us!
HERE ARE others on my "Top Ten" list of concerts and performances (okay, I know it's more than 10; I can't cross anyone off my genius performers' list.) 
*Bette Middler at Caesar's in a torchy show of non-stop fun and emotion. She sang her heart out in standards such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and fantastic ballads including "The Rose" and "Wind Beneath My Wings." She came on stage in a jazzy car on a 3-D video screen.  Her fabulous back-up singers, the Harlettes, were on stage, too.
Dustin Hoffman as Shylock in "The Merchant
of Venice" (Geraldine Page was Portia.) 


* IAN McKELLAN and Tim Curry, brilliant in "Amadeus" in New York. (McKellen as an aged Salieri sat quietly in chartacter in a wheelchair as the audience took its seats.) Peter Hall's brilliant production was laced with gorgeous 18th Century costumes and wigs.  The acting was top drawer.
*Dustin Hoffman in "The Merchant of Venice" in London, delivering a deeply moving performance. It didn't get great reviews, but it should have. Geraldine Page was a magnificent Portia.
Elton John gave us our money's worth and
more in his lavish, flashy Caesar's show. 
*"Death of a Salesman" -- of 15 performances, most memorable were the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Beijing, China, with the playwright directing. (That production makes my list.) No dry eyes at Linda's graveside eulogy on either continent.
Ian McKellan won the Oscar for his
nuanced performance in "Amadeus."
*THE ORIGINAL Broadway version of "Les Miserables." Stunning staging, rousing music, great story backed by memorable voices, beautiful costumes and strong acting.
*"Agnes of God" with Amanda Plummer. Saw it the same night as Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated the next month.
*Elton John, who tore up Caesar's with his lavish "Million Dollar Piano" production. A fabulous, dizzying, talented two hours with a genius in complete control of both his instruments -- his voice and the piano. Terrific arrangements with Caesar's usual "best in the country" musicians.
 *Childhood productions of "The King and I," "South Pacific" and "My Fair Lady."
 (If only I'd seen Judy Garland at the Palladium in London in 1963. I cherish the double album I inherited from my mother's collection.)
Cookie Meyers and Bruce Keller (Cookie and Keller)
on the town and about to dance cheek to cheek.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett:
we'll see them twice more in 2015.
WHO KNOWS how many shows Tony Bennett has in him.  Years more, if the music gods deem.
Meanwhile, he's dipping from the fountain of youth, touring the world with his "Lady." We'll catch them often as we can -- in London at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl. Who knows, maybe we'll be invited to her wedding. She's asked Tony to sing! Psst: Have I mentioned I play a mean piano?

NEXT UP: Where is Cookie takes to the desert and finds a crazy camel farm with 276 critters, including a demure hedgehog. And we promise to get to those trains Down Under and beyond. Wherever we take you, we promise fun, humor and a sense of adventure for the new: food, scenery, hotels, cruising.   
CATCH US at lilianslast dance for updates on our novel,"Lilian's Last Dance," -- with our unique twist on exciting readings, workshops and more. This weekend, we're in Phoenix for readings and signings at the Ironwood Library and beyond.
"Lilian's Last Dance" is out in paperback, available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. We're on a national tour of readings and signings.  We're booking into the fall now and would be delighted to read for your book club or civic group. Contact us at: lilianslastdance@gmail.com 

1 comment:

  1. Broadway Baby BoomerApril 30, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    Gotta love a "best" list that ranges from Tony Bennett to Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler to Mary Martin. I like the eclectic listing that proves talent will out! Bravo, brava!

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