Broadway Babe: Funny Girl, Joan Rivers, Gary Moore, Streisand
Our Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller, has more nostalgic entertainment finds to share including, the Actors Fund benefit of “Funny Girl in Concert”; the old Gary Moore Show with a very young Barbra Streisand, Robert Goulet and Carol Burnett; Joan Rivers wowing her British audience; and Melissa Manchester paying tribute to Streisand for her 80th birthday.
Funny Girl in Concert
This is a real find…. I’ve been hoping this would get posted on YouTube, and it finally is! I vividly remember when it was “the” event to be at in 2002. “Funny Girl in Concert”, a benefit for the Actors Fund, hosted by Liz Smith at the New Amsterdam Theater, was truly a star-studded event (on and off the stage), with some incredible talent. Sixteen different women took turns playing Fanny Brice.This event raised $500,000 for the Actors Fund that night. Here is the list of Fannys: Whoopi Goldberg, Sutton Foster, Idina Menzel, Ricki Lake, Spencer Kayden, Kristin Chenowith, LaChanze, Julia Murney, Anna Gasteyer, Lillias White, Jane Krakowski, Alice Playton, Bebe Neuwirth, Judy Kuhn, Andrea Martin, and Carolee Carmello. Peter Gallagher played Nick Arnstein with Kaye Ballard, Len Cariou and Marsha Lewis in other principal roles.
The starry ensemble included: Farrah Alvin, Gary Beach, Mary Birdsong, Jason Danieley, Phyllis Newman, Brad Oscar, Christine Pedi, The Rockettes, and Robin Byrd!! It’s an excellent video–very professional though with such a huge cast, they were under-rehearsed, but so what? This is a very entre-nous video that was never broadcast. Tickets went for as much as $2500, but now you can see it for free!
Joan Rivers at the Apollo
Politically incorrect? Yes… Hilarious? Yes! “Joan Rivers: Live at the Apollo,” not in Harlem, but in London, which featured stand-up comedy performances by the biggest acts in the business. British audiences loved her. She was a pure comedic genius who didn’t play by the rules and her comedy is timeless. They don’t make them like that anymore. There will never be another Joan Rivers. This is truly worth viewing. I couldn’t stop laughing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Gary Moore Show
From May 29, 1962, “The Gary Moore Show” which aired on CBS-TV, was one of the best variety shows to ever hit the airwaves. This particular show featured Allen and Rossi (who got top billing!), Barbra Streisand (2 years before she became a star in “Funny Girl”), Robert Goulet, Carol Burnett (who got her big break from Gary Moore) and Durwood Kirby. This is such a delightful trip down memory lane, which I know my baby boomer friends will adore..
“Barbra Streisand 80th Birthday Tribute Concert featuring Melissa Manchester and Friends”
Songs and reminiscences by Streisand friend, songwriter Melissa Manchester, sounding great, singing Streisand songs along with a few performers, (unknown to me) a singer named Nita Whitaker, somewhat reminiscent of Carmen McRae, who is quite wonderful in this intimate concert; and Dana Meller who does a beautiful interpretation of “Papa Can You Hear Me”. Melissa Manchester (and Tom Snow) wrote “Just One Lifetime” for Streisand which she sang to her groom, James Brolin, at their wedding!
Randie Levine Miller is Director of Special Events for The Three Tomatoes, and co-produces and hosts the annual Tomatoes Got Talent show. Known around NYC as a modern day “hostess with the mostess, she has performed in and hosted benefits for the Actors Fund, the Actors Temple, Multiple Sclerosis, and Prostate Cancer Research. Randie’s performance venues have included: The Triad, The Metropolitan Room, the Laurie Beechman Theater, and the Friars Club. For many years, she was special events director for the Drama Desk Awards. Randie also had a successful 30-year career as a public relations consultant and handled several major health and medical technology clients.