2020 Bistro Award for “Consummate Cabaret Artistry”
“GLAMOROUS NIGHTS AND RAINY DAYS”
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Christopher Denny
DIRECTED BY Barry Kleinbort
THE Laurie Beechman THEATRE
407 WEST 42nd STREET – NYC
SATURDAY, MAY 13 & WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 @ 7PM
TICKETS NOW ON SALE HERE
The Laurie Beechman Theatre will present Lorna Dallas, one of cabaret’s most acclaimed and cherished artists and the recipient of a 2020 Bistro Award for “Consummate Cabaret Artistry,” in her latest musical feast “Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days.” The two-night engagement will play Saturday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 17 with both shows beginning at 7 pm. The evening will be directed by Barry Kleinbort with Christopher Denny as Musical Director.
Ms. Dallas opened this show last spring at London’s Crazy Coqs to stellar reviews. Noted West End critic Neil Cheesmen, of LondonTheatre1, put it on his list of the ten best theatrical offerings in any venue in 2022. In Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days, Ms. Dallas vocally offers a venturesome program featuring sublime standards and surprising rarities by composers as diverse as Michel Legrand, Harold Arlen, Jerry Herman, and Ivor Novello. Ms. Dallas will also be premiering two songs, one intended for an un-produced musical about P.T. Barnum, and the other a special commission written for her by Amanda McBroom and Ann Hampton Callaway. And, as further indication of her continued consummate artistry, Lorna Dallas scales the dizzying heights of the complete “Here’s That Rainy Day,” written over sixty ago for Dolores Gray and rarely performed since then.
This is Ms. Dallas’ first New York cabaret appearance since the 2020 lockdown. In 2018 Lorna returned to the New York cabaret world after a twenty-year hiatus when she presented her show Home Again. The Gotham reviewers were unanimous and unstinting in their praise of her return. Bistro Awards wrote, “May Ms. Dallas return to the New York stage…and often!” Cabaret Scenes echoed that sentiment: “This is truly a once in a lifetime event not to be missed.” Rex Reed of The Observer also chimed in: “The kind of inspired singing that is as rare as a pink unicorn in MGM Technicolor.”
Ms. Dallas returned in 2019 with another new show, Stages, devised by her two longtime collaborators, musical director Christopher Denny and director Barry Kleinbort. The international success of Stages led to her special 2020 Bistro Award.
Lorna Dallas: Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days plays the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street) on Saturday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 17 at 7:00 pm. There is a $25 cover charge and a $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available HERE or by calling (212) 695-6909.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Lorna Dallas, from Illinois, went from winning a national talent contest in high school (the finals in Town Hall in New York) to Indiana University to the Metropolitan Opera National Company to London to star as Magnolia in the record-breaking revival of Show Boat with Dame Cleo Laine. Excerpts from Show Boat were filmed at the Adelphi Theatre and shown worldwide as part of the American Tony Awards to represent its global importance and recognition as a landmark production. She remained in the UK to star in major musicals such as The King and I, Closer Than Ever, Kismet, Side By Side By Sondheim, Ratepayers’, Iolanthe, Hello, Dolly! and many others. Critics were to call her “one of the finest singing actresses on the British stage.” In London, Lorna had two of the most ambitious and successful BBC series, “Lorna Dallas…My Musical World” and “Serenade.” She starred in Cole for the renowned Hong Kong Arts Festival. She has been guest artist in all the major concert halls from London to Australia and starred in countless concerts and television specials such as “Let’s Face The Music of Kern,” ” The Magic of Rodgers & Hammerstein,” “Being Alive A Sondheim Tribute,” “Cole Porter Centennial Gala,” “Mad About The Boy,” “Give Us A Clue,” “There Goes That Song Again,” “Name That Tune,” ” Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” “Night of 100 Stars,” “Hello Dolly! In Concert,” “In a Styne Way,” “A Handful of Keys,” “Great Singers…Great Songs,” “The Good Old Days,” and many, many more including The Royal Variety Performance in the presence of Her Majesty, the Queen Mother. For ITV, she starred as Betsy, Wife No. 5 in the popular sitcom, “The Many Wives of Patrick.” Lorna also played the wife of Telly Savalas (TV’s “Kojak”) in the film Inside Out. She is most proud to have been cast by director Paul Greengrass in the acclaimed film, United 93. A documentary featuring Lorna in her special relationship with the mother of the woman she portrayed in the film is of special significance.
Lorna has recorded several PBS Specials which included a tribute to Comden & Green with Comden & Green, the “George Gershwin Centenary Special” from the London Palladium, and the “Ira Gershwin Centenary Special” from the Royal Albert Hall. Her rendition of “There is No Music” was chosen as Pick of the Week by BBC. She is firm favorite of the Royal Family and has appeared by special request at many Charity Galas and concerts in their presence. She has, in fact sung for every member of the Royal Family. She presented and starred with Dame Judi Dench in a special and much heralded concert in Buckingham Palace for the Not Forgotten Association.
When her solo album, The Girl I Knew, the music of Novello and Kern, was released, the liner notes were written by no less than Dame Cleo Laine & Sir John Dankworth: “A combination of an excellent singer and two truly great composers…Lorna Dallas is one of the very finest American vocalists of her style and generation.” The CD was named CD of the Year by the renowned critic, Michael Billington (“Lorna Dallas is Novello and Kern’s best modern interpreter.”) in the BBC Music Magazine. From a sold-out engagement at the Algonquin’s famed Oak Room to the Royal Gala with Dame Cleo Laine at Town Hall to her US concert debut with the world-renowned conductor/arranger, Skitch Henderson, Lorna has wowed the critics and received standing ovations when she has appeared as special guest with Skitch with the Honolulu, Florida, Quebec, New Haven, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. Reviews: “Dallas is a showstopper of the first degree.” She made a return engagement to Carnegie Hall for the occasion of the 20th Birthday Gala of The New York Pops by special request of Skitch who was to write of Lorna: “There are certain performers that exude skill, showmanship, and warmth. Putting these categories together, Lorna Dallas delivers performance and great professional giving with the utmost of consistency (the latter, to me, the most important). I’m her fan across the sea and here in America.” Lorna starred in her own solo evening with the Charleston Symphony with Don Pippin as her guest conductor in a program called “The Great American Songbook.” This program was stunning and original…with another standing ovation. The critics: “A master class of song!”
She debuted her one-woman show, “Lorna Dallas Celebrates The Music of Jerome Kern and Ivor Novello,” directed by Barry Kleinbort with Chris Denny as musical director, whom she refers to as “Team Dallas” at the grand reopening of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London. It was a sellout season and one of the hottest tickets attracting press from both sides of the Atlantic. The critics were full of praise and Peter Hepple of The Stage wrote: “Many young singers, especially from the musical theatre, have tried their hand at the art of cabaret, but it takes a performer like Lorna Dallas to show them how to do it properly. This is an exceptional evening which is a unique blend of musicality, charm and humor.” Peter Leavy wrote in Cabaret Scenes: “Alone onstage, the lady soars!” Her eagerly anticipated New York debut of Glamorous Life (once again with “Team Dallas”) at the illustrious FireBird was a smash hit with the public and the critics alike (Rex Reed: “Ms. Dallas has a voice that wraps itself around theatrical gems with the warmth of a Mink Stole”). Her show, Spring Collection, debuted at Arci’s Place in New York…once again to raves from the critics. Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times: “Ms Dallas is your ticket.” Spring Collection later opened in a welcome return to London at the Jermyn Street Theatre. This highly intelligent and musically demanding show got reviews which were ecstatic. Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian: “Lorna Dallas is a rare soprano who has an instinct for truth that puts many of her lauded showbiz rivals to shame.” Clive Davis wrote in The Times: “Few performers handle a ballad with such purity and sensitivity.” Mark Shenton for The Stage: “Some cabaret artists – like vintage wines – mature and deepen with age. One such is Lorna Dallas…emerging as a major cabaret player on both sides of the Atlantic. The quality of her shimmering, still vibrantly youthful soprano has never been in doubt, but she has found her interpretative voice too and that is finally propelling her forward, not merely as a singer of songs but as a rich communicator of them. She caresses the lyrics with diction and delight. She is always sublime.”
Lorna starred in the American premiere of Noël Coward’s Pacifiic 1860 at the York Theatre in New York as part of their famed “Musical in Mufti” Series and it marked Lorna’s Off-Broadway debut as well. Once again, the critics were to say: “Bravo to the great Lorna Dallas!” Back on the UK theatre stage, she starred in Seven Deadly Sins…Seven Deadly Sinners and also at the Princess Grace Theatre in Monaco. She starred in the acclaimed UK Sondheim birthday tribute, Hey Old Friends at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane…singing “In Buddy’s Eyes…and once again rapturous applause for a long overdue return to the concert stage. After an almost two-decade absence from the cabaret stage, her recent London cabaret evening in the summer of 2017…Home Again…directed by Barry Kleinbort and with Jason Carr at the piano at Crazy Coqs/Live at Zedel was unanimously acclaimed with no less than a dozen 5-star rave reviews…sold out performances. Cabaret Scenes wrote: “…can only wish that she revives this pitch-perfect show in London for those who were not lucky enough to catch it the first time around, and also bring it to your shores so you can experience firsthand the return of her unique talent. This is truly a once in a life-time event not to be missed.” She reprised the show at Birdland Jazz Club in February 2018 and again, the reviewers were unanimous and unstinting in their praise. Bistro Awards wrote, “May Ms. Dallas return to the New York stage…and often!” Cabaret Scenes echoed that sentiment: “This is truly a once in a lifetime event not to be missed.” Rex Reed of The Observer also chimed in: “The kind of inspired singing that is as rare as a pink unicorn in MGM Technicolor.”
Christopher Denny is a multi-Bistro and MAC Award winner who has served as musical director, arranger and pianist for such theater, cabaret and opera luminaries as Karen Mason, Julie Wilson, Brent Barrett, Gregg Edelman, David Campbell, Tammy Grimes, Rod Gilfry, David Burnham, Ron Raines, Andrea Marcovicci, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Loudon, Kaye Ballard, Jeff Harnar and Steven Brinberg. His forty-year career has taken him to virtually all of the major venues in New York and throughout the U.S., notably including Carnegie Hall, where he performed his own arrangements with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, as well as to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Paris and London’s West End. Film work includes having produced the recording sessions of Placido Domingo for Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar-winning musical film, Moulin Rouge. In recent seasons, he was musical director for an AEA-approved concert version of the musical, Romance Romance, in New York, and for Karen Mason’s play with music, Unfinished Business, at the New York Mutual Theater Festival; he contributed several dance arrangements to an evening of Josh Rhodes’ choreography, All Singing, All Dancing, featuring top Broadway dancers at Town Hall in New York City; he was co-creator and arranger for David Arthur’s new musical, Saratoga Trunk Songs, staged at the York Theater in New York and the Stages Festival in Chicago; and was also musical director for the New York premiere of Bob Merrill’s “lost” musical, The Prince of Grand Street, starring Mike Burstyn, at the Jewish Repertory Theater. Other favorite New York theatrical credits include musical direction for the world premiere of Barry Kleinbort’s hit musical revue, Big City Rhythm; for The Songs of Kurt Weill, starring Kitty Carlisle Hart and Paula Lawrence; and for Joshua and Nedda Logan’s musical memoir, I Remember It Well; as well as assisting Agnes De Mille in preparing the gala dance concert, Agnes De Mille and Friends, at the Shubert Theater. As a vocal coach, he has worked with many promising newcomers and well-established stars, including Boyd Gaines, John Cameron Mitchell, Ethan Hawke, Anthony Rapp, T.R. Knight, Gavin MacLeod, Austin Pendleton and many others. He has recorded about thirty CDs.
Barry Kleinbort earned the prestigious Edward Kleban Foundation Award for Lyric Writing, two Gilman-Gonzalez Musical Theatre Awards, the Second Stage Musicals Writers Award, the Jamie deRoy/ ASCAP award, two Back Stage Bistro awards and eleven Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) awards for his directorial and songwriting efforts. He directed Len Cariou in his one-man off-Broadway show, Broadway and the Bard, which, this past summer, enjoyed a national tour. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical version of Geoff Ryman’s Was (music by Joseph Thalken) which was the inaugural production of the American Musical Theater Project, directed by Tina Landau. He provided scripts for eight PBS TV specials and also was an artistic consultant for “Cathouse: The Musical” for HBO. His recent musical, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, for which he provided book, music and lyrics, starring Penny Fuller, had successful runs off-Broadway and in Los Angeles. He has directed and/or written material for Brent Barrett, Petula Clark, Marvin Hamlisch, Kaye Ballard, Regis Philbin, John Barrowman, Tony Roberts, Anita Gillette, Karen Mason, Sylvia McNair, Harolyn Blackwell, Heather MacRae, and many, many others. He has also directed topical revues and intimate theater productions, including Rita Gardner’s “Try to Remember – A Look at Off-Broadway” and Kaye Ballard’s off-Broadway revue, “Kaye Ballard- Working 42nd Street at Last!” He helmed John Epperson’s autobiographical one-man outing, Show Trash, at both the Studio Theater in Washington, D.C and off-Broadway as part of the acclaimed Lypsinka trilogy at the Connelly Theater. He is currently working on a musical adaptation of Michael White’s popular memoir, “Travels in Vermeer.”
“A five star ***** masterclass in cabaret perfection.”
-Neil Cheesman, London Theatre 1
“Only this with a heart of stone would fail to be moved by this masterclass in musical performance.”
-Chris Omaweng, London Theatre 1