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San Francisco Spotlight: December 2006

Broadway Babies

Who needs the Great White Way when you can see Ana, Betty, Christine, Debbie, Faith, Jennifer, Karen, Lainie, Lillias, Liza, Melissa, and Sandra in the nation's clubs and cabarets!

By New York City
Christine Ebersole
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Christine Ebersole
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Getting a ticket to a Broadway show during the Holiday season isn't always easy. So, here's the good news! Some of Broadway's most talented performers can be found this month at the city's clubs and cabarets!

Nowhere is that statement more true than at Jim Caruso's Broadway series at Birdland. The month begins with a visit from the big-voiced Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte (December 4), continues with the glorious soprano of Tony nominee Melissa Errico (December 11-12), and then moves on to past and likely future Tony winner Christine Ebersole with good pal Billy Stritch (December 17). Closing out the 2006 season are Drama Desk Award winners Toxic Audio (December 18), perhaps the most amazing a cappella group you'll ever see.

Over at Joe's Pub, the Broadway babies on tap include Leslie Kritzer, in her critically acclaimed tribute to Patti LuPone (December 8-9), Tony winner Lillias White and Tony nominee Keith David in Nativity: A Life Story (December 10-11); High Fidelity composer Tom Kitt (December 13), Tony nominee and Oscar winner Keith Carradine (December 13), Tony Award winners Betty Buckley and Michael Rupert, and the amazing Christian Borle, Darius de Haas, and Sally Wilfert, who will come together for a special performance of William Finn's Elegies (December 17), and the one-and-only Sandra Bernhard (December 29-31).

The line-up of Great White Way stars at The Metropolitan Room includes daytime diva Eileen Fulton (December 2 and 8), the divine Donna Lynne Champlin, one of the special guests at the Jamie deRoy & friends Holiday Show (December 6), Ana Gasteyer, Julia Murney, Carly Jibson, and Megan McGinnis will appear with composer Andrew Lippa (December 11), handsome Jersey Boys star Daniel Reichard (December 18), and the always fabulous Karen Mason (December 19-20).

There will also be Broadway stars galore at the Duplex on December 4 for a special edition of Scott Alan's "Monday Nights, New Voices" series. Special guests include Jill Abramovitz, Jen Cody, Nikki Renee Daniels, Eden Espinosa, Jenna Leigh Green, Max von Essen and tons more performers and composers.

Meanwhile, one of Broadway's most memorable -- and rarely-seen -- stars, Jennifer Holliday, will appear at Ars Nova in On Girl, a new song cycle co-written by Lewis Flinn and Steven Sater, the lyricist of Spring Awakening (December 5). She'll be joined by former Hairspray star Shayna Steele and Sharon Wilkins. Other acts at the popular venue include The Wau Wau Sisters (December 14) and Broadway stars Denise Summerford (December 17) and Annie Golden (December 18).

Gotham's big three rooms continue with the same, top-notch offerings as last month: The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel hosts the peerless Andrea Marcovicci, who's celebrating her 20th anniversary at the Algonquin with her new show, I'm Feeling Like a Million: A Salute to the Incomparable Hildegarde (through January 13), which features a slew of songs made famous by the late, great entertainer; Feinstein's at the Regency serves up the annual return of the club's namesake, Michael Feinstein (through December 30); and crooner Steve Tyrell delights the fans at his New York City home The Café Carlyle with his holiday show This Time of the Year (through December 31).

If you've never been to Danny's Skylight Room -- or even if you have -- this month marks your last chance to visit this nightspot, since its doors close on New Year's Eve. Highlights of this last lineup include Douglas Ladnier (December 7), Barbara Brussell (December 11, 28, 30), John Wallowitch (December 13, 17), Richard Holbrook (December 14, 17. 18), Ronny Whyte (December 15. 22), Laurie Krauz (December 18), Barbara Fasano and husband Eric Comstock (December 19), and Charles Cochran (December 20).

The month also brings some special events to consider. The Samsara Theatre Company will present two performances of Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World on December 4 and 11 at the Theatre at St. Luke's, with a large-scale cast including Tracy Jai Edwards, Hector Coris, Rick Delancy, and Julie Reyburn. A host of Broadway stars, including Julie Reiber, Mandy Gonzalez, Manoel Felciano, and Telly Leung, will be featured in Will Sing For Food, a concert benefiting the Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen and the Bowery Mission, at the Duplex on Sunday, December 17 at 7pm and 10pm. Finally, an even greater group of Great White Way stars -- Laura Benanti, Jenn Colella, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julia Murney, Stephen Pasquale, and Mary Testa -- will be among the participants in Miracle, a benefit concert of holiday songs at the LGB&T Center on Monday, December 18 at 8pm.

If you're heading outside of the Big Apple, here are three destinations to consider: The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncas, Connecticut hosts the one and only Liza Minnelli (December 10); Palm Beach, Florida's lovely Colony Hotel continues its new season with the delightful Marianne Challis (December 2-9) and Belgian-born entertainer Tony Sandler (December 14-23); and San Francisco's aptly-named Empire Plush Room hosts Madame with Joe Kovacs (December 1-2), the wonderful Jane Olivor (December 5-10); Tony winner Faith Prince (December 12-17), and the legendary Lainie Kazan (December 27-31).


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