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March 23, 2009

SUEDE, EVITA, REAF STAR STUDDED BENEFIT, MAN TO MAN TANGO

Pictured: Jazz singer Suede at the RraZZ Room on Mason Street. Two nights only April 6,7 2009



Lee Hartgrave - March 23, 2009

AirwavesExchange – Wow! Suede Live at RRazz;
Wicked and Grease cast perform for REAF;
86,000 viewers watch Man-to-Man Tango.

WICKED AND GREASE ONE NIGHT ONLY BENEFIT

Hey, it can’t get any better than this. Cast members from the touring casts of the hit Broadway musicals, Wicked and Grease, will join together to present a one-time, one-night only benefit to raise funds for the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This exclusive “One Night Only Cabaret” event will feature cast members from both touring shows performing song selections of their own choice to present an evening of upbeat, high-energy music, dance and comedy. As you know, the Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation has worked with over 25 touring casts to date, to produce “One Night Only Cabaret” events and looks forward to another successful evening benefiting these worthwhile charity organizations. To date REAF has distributed well over $2 million to AIDS service agencies. These are great shows – and, I can’t recommend them enough. The quality of the talent and the production values are more than great. They are fantastic. The event will be at Club Fugazi at 678 Green Street. You can call for Tix at the Beach Blanket Babylon box office: 415-421-4222. Ask about the dessert party with the cast after the show at Eddie’s Restaurant on Stockton Street. (Wicked is currently playing at the Orpheum Theatre. Its Wickedness is extraordinarily uplifting -- (The Witch flies above the stage). “Grease’ is at the Golden Gate Theatre starting Mar. 24 – April 19) with Taylor Hicks as Earth Angel. Now, how lucky can we be to have this great entertainment in town?

EVITA – THE STAGE MUSICAL IS BACK IN TOWN

IT WOULD BE SURPRISINGLY GOOD FOR YOU!

Now at the Lesher Theatre complex in Walnut Greek, you can relive Argentina’s famous years of Eva Peron in the fantastic musical “Evita”. The musical won 7 Tony Awards on Broadway and has been a smash hit around the world. Here are some of the great songs that are in the musical play. “On This Night of a Thousand Stars”, “Eva, Beware of the City”, “Buenos Aires”, “I’d Be Surprisingly Good For you”, (that’s what I tell people about me). Well, it gets a laugh. “Another Suitcase in another Hall,” (Evita kicks her rival out in the hall) “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”, “High Flying Adored”, “Rainbow High”, “And The Money Kept Rolling In (And Out).” In this production, Mindy Lym is ‘Evita’.

DOING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

THIS WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF. Usually when you see a couple doing the Tango it’s a guy and a girl. Well, why not a guy and a guy? There is a You Tube sight that is really racking up the view numbers to a video posting that shows two really professional handsome men dancing the Tango. It’s a hoot – and is bound to start a new trend. Who knows – “Dancing with the stars” – might even introduce a similar dance couple on their popular T.V. show. Believe me, the ratings would absolutely soar. Just click on the following: www.youtube..come/watch?gl=IL&hl=en&v=S-mkR-KoPts. And you know what? --- You’re gonna wanna dance! 86.000 viewers can’t be wrong. I’ve sent it to all my contacts. I have no friends’….only contacts.

A NOTE FROM MY COLLEAGUE JORGE SANTOS

He writes: “It’s true, I haven’t visited all the cities in the world, but I doubt there’s another city as lively and exciting as New York.” Jorge has his own Web Site dedicated to musicals. He loves musicals. In his own words: “This time we saw seven shows. Six musicals and a play, the first one we ever saw on the Broadway Stage” He saw West Side Story, Shrek, The Little Mermaid, South Pacific, Pal Joey, Blithe Spirit (the play) and Happiness. And as usual after the shows, Jorge ran to the stage doors to meet the actors and, when possible, take photos with them. And he got a lot of great photos this time that he is willing to share. Here are some quotes from shows that he saw: “West Side Story” -- “This production failed to impress me. No excitement. His rating: One Star.

The Little Mermaid: Jorge says: “Appalling choreography! My rate: One and Half stars. South Pacific: Jorge says: “The show looks terrific and the cast is flawless, but there’s no energy here. My Rate: Two and 1/2 stars.” Pal Joey: “The reviews were bad – but I loved it!” – Jorge says. “My Rate – Four Stars.” Blithe Spirit: “Only one set. It’s kind of dated, but Angela Lansbury is simply delicious as Madama Arcati. I found myself wishing this were a revival of ‘High Spirits’ – the musical version of the play. My Rate: Two Stars.” “Happiness:” “Susan Stroman and John Weidman did it again. The story about a group of people stranded on a subway carriage, are forced to remember the happiest moments of their life. I even cried in two of those moments. This musical is fun, tender, real and uplifting. My Rate: Four Stars.”

(Above reviews are by Jorge Santos – Musical Theater lover. His Web Page is www.jorgeplace.com/musicalChronicles.

SUEDE LIVE AT RRAZZ CLUB

What a whirlwind performer Suede is. She’s like a star collision. A Super Nova that somehow has melding into parts of Bette Midler, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. No matter what she sings – pop/jazz or naughty blues it all sizzles. She will make you swoon with her unique original take on pop, blues and jazz. And she also accompanies herself on the piano, trumpet and guitar. No matter where Suede tours – she also packs the house and gets rave reviews. Suede not only sings – but she has helped raised thousands of dollars for various causes that she supports like AIDS, Alzheimer’s research, Animal rights and lots of others. This singer is genuine. She is funny and witty. No wonder she sells out. Suede will be at the RraZZ room only for two nights April 6,7. Warning: Better call soon to get your tix. I wouldn’t take the chance of missing this amazing evening if I were you.

IT’S CURTAINS FOR PARKWAY SPEAKEASY IN THE EAST BAY

The Parkway Speakeasy was the first theater in California to offer food, beer and wine service in a lounge style movie theater. Now, after more than twelve years as a great cultural crossroad the Theater will be closing at the end of business day this Sunday, March 22, 2009. From African Diaspora to Thrillville to lesbian fashion shows and educational porn, the Parkway has offered an eclectic array of movies and events. As Gary Mayer of the Balboa Theatre puts it: “The irony is that lower admission neighborhood theaters are struggling in this economy while high priced megaplexes are having a banner year. It isn’t fair.” More info: support@speakeasytheaters.com.

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Datebook section and produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

AND THAT’S A WRAP!

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