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Copyright: April 1, 2001
By: Laura Deni
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"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. " American
humorist Mark Twain
MARK TWAIN (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
Some say that April Fools Day began in many parts of the world at the same time, in celebration
of the spring equinox. Pranks were a big part of even the most boring equinox parties, everywhere
from Sweden to India.
Others argue that the modern April Fool's Day followed the adoption of a reformed calendar in
France circa 1564. In medieval times, the octave of New Year's began on March 25 with the
eight days of festivities ending on April 1. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, New
Year's Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. Due to the slowness of "sandal-net"
communication back then and general resistance to change, the January 1 date was not fully
accepted for several years. Those traditionalists who clung to April 1 as New Year's Day were
scoffed at as "fools" and sent fake party invitations and prank gifts.
Widespread observance in England began in the 18th century. The English, Scotch and French
introduced the custom to their colonies in America. One of our forefathers' favorite jokes was to
send someone on a "fool's errand." For example, one might have been asked to go out and obtain
a copy of The History of Adam's Grandfather, or bring back some "sweet
In Scotland, April Fools Day is 48 hours long and you are called an "April Gowk", which is
another name for a cuckoo bird. The second day in Scotland's April Fool's is called Taily Day and
is dedicated to pranks involving the buttocks. Taily Day's gift to posterior posterity is the
still-hilarious "Kick Me" sign.
The "foolish" tradition is celebrated in Mexico, too, but on a different day and for different
reasons. "El Dia de los Inocentes," which is December 28, was set aside as a day for Christians to
mourn Herod's slaughter of innocent children. Over time, the tone of that "unluckiest of
days" has evolved from sadness to good-natured trickery.
In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April first. It was
celebrated in much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of
the night. Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and
the new year fell on January first. There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or
didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April
first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools." They sent them on a "fool's
errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true. In France today, April
first is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their
friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d'Avril!"
Each country celebrates April Fool's differently.
In England, tricks can be played only in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a
In Portugal, April Fool's is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday before Lent. The traditional
trick there is to throw flour at your friends.
In America, a big prank is the stock market. Or, the playing of small tricks on friends and
strangers alike on the first of April.
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HARRY BELAFONTE held a benefit
concert last Monday at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, for the Center for Cuban Studies, a
nonprofit organization with the same mission. "We want to celebrate Cuban culture, especially the
music of Cuba with this concert," the entertainer said. Danny Glover was emcee.
VERA WANG was bestowed The
Mother of the Year 2001 award during a luncheon benefiting the American Cancer Society. The
event was held at the St. Regis Roof in New York City with Joan Rivers presenting the award to
STEVEN SODENBERGH who
carried home the Best Director Oscar for Traffic had a belated celebration party in Las
Vegas. Sodenbergh is in Vegas directing Ocean's Eleven When he arrived at the Las
Vegas country Club to shoot a scene with George Clooney, Carl Reiner and Elliot Gould he was
presented with a cake proclaiming Steven Soderbergh Best director 2001. Then on Thursday it
looked like a mutual admiration society when Oscar winners Stephen Mirrione and Julie Roberts,
arrived in Sin City to shoot one of the Ocean's Eleven segments - a faux blow up of the New
York- New York resort.
The party hardy crowd celebrated at the Bellagio dining on caviar and Peking Duck. Roberts was
decked out in an outfit that featured Sodenbergh's face on the front. About 150 of their nearest
and dearest partied until the wee hours of the morning.
QUINCY JONES 68, the
Grammy-winning producer, arranger and composer has been named a commander of the French
Legion of Honor by French President Jacques Chirac. The ceremony took place Monday at the
presidential palace in Paris.
AMERICAN THEATRE WING
held their kick-off party at Planet Hollywood on Times Square, NYC to finalize the American
Theatre Wing Gala, which will be held on April 16th and will honor Broadway's leading women
directors and choreographers - Graciela Daniele, Susan Stroman, and Julie Taymor
GENE HACKMAN 71, had his first
experience on stage, acting with silent screen star Zasu Pitts at the Pasadena Playhouse . After
moving to New York the struggling actor roomed with another wanna-be - Dustin
MERV GRIFFIN 75, who started
out as the boy band singer before becoming a television talk show host and the major big cheese
behind Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, has returned to singing. Griffin's first album
in about 25 years arrives in stores this week. It's Like a Dream, released by
Pat Boone's Gold Label, includes standards My Funny Valentine, The More I See
You and You Stepped Out of a Dream.
Just don't ask Merv to sing his hit I've Got A Loverly Bunch of Coconuts. The
singer/tycoon hates the song.
BROOKE ASTOR who should be
the role model for every charity/society doyenne celebrated her 99th birthday yesterday.
TALKS A LOT
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
will be discussed April 2nd as part of TimesTalks.
Engaging talk with cast members of the
Broadway show based on the cult film.
The moderator is Bill Goldstein who is the New York Times
books editor. The panelists include; director Christopher Ashley, actors Dick Davett and Tom
Caspary Auditorium of The Rockefeller University.
MAC AWARDS PRESENTED
The 15th annual MAC Awards presented by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs
takes place tonight, April 1 at Town Hall, NYC
Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award is Rosemary Clooney, who is currently performing at
Feinstein at the Regency.
The high profile presenters include Cy Coleman, Michele Lee, Erv Raible, Susannah McCorkle,
Eileen Fulton, Margaret Whiting, Julie Wilson, and Susan Lucci who will present an award to
Lucci is going to be opening the act for Regis Philbin in an upcoming Atlantic
City gig and McDaniel will serve as musical director.
THE NOMINEES ARE
- Natalie Gamsu - ALGONQUIN OAK R00M
- Audrey Lavine -
- Jeanne MacDonald - FIREBIRD
MAJOR REMALE VOCALIST
- Barbara Cook -
- Karen Mason -
- Sally Mayes -
- Scott Coulter -
DON'T TELL MAMA
- Jack Donahue -
- Lee Lessack - FIREBIRD
MAJOR MALE VOCALIST
- Michael Feinstein - FEINSTEIN'S
- Phillip Officer -
WESTBANK/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE
- Steve Ross -
- Jamie deRoy & friends - Jamie deRoy - WESTBANK/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE
- Monday Nite Madness - Angela LaGreca - DON'T TELL MAMA
- Poole Party - Ron Poole -
DON'T TELL MAMA
FEMALE COMEDY PERFORMER
- Shecky Beagleman - DON'T TELL MAMA
- Kim Cea - DON'T
- Nancy Witter - DON'T
MALE COMEDY PERFORMER
- Rob Magnotti -
- Ron Poole - DON'T
- Paul J. Williams - DON'T TELL MAMA
MUSICAL COMEDY PERFORMER
- Jim Caruso - ARCI'S
- Sammy Goldstein -
DON'T TELL MAMA
- Amanda Green -
WESTBANK/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE
MAJOR STAND-UP COMEDY
- Mario Cantone - CAROLINES
- Jim David -
- Judy Gold - CAROLINES
MUSICAL THEATRE AND COMEDY DUO/GROUP
- Scott Barbarino & The Bev-Naps - THE TRIAD
- "Indigo Rat" - John-Richard Thompson - UPSTAIR'S AT ROSE'S TURN
- "The Next Big Broadway Musical!" - DON'T TELL
- The Accidentals - WESTBANK/LAURIE BEECHMAN
- Eastern Standard Time -
- High 5 Vocalworks -
DON'T TELL MAMA
- Mary Foster Conklin -
DON'T TELL MAMA
- Natalie Douglas - FIREBIRD CAFE
- Laurie Krauz -
MAJOR JAZZ PERFORMER
- Judy Barnett -
- John Pizzarelli -
- Billy Stritch - FIREBIRD
- David Gurland
- Karen Mack - DON'T
- Parker Scott - DON'T
FEMALE NEW YORK DEBUT
- Julie Reyburn -
- Traci Reynolds - DON'T
- Vickie Smith - DON'T TELL
MALE NEW YORK DEBUT
- Kane Alexander -
- Kristopher McDowell - WESTBANK/LAURIE
- Craig Rubano -
WESTBANK/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE
- James Beaman - "Marlene! Alive at the Cafe de Paris" -
- Tommy Femia - "Judy Garland Live" - DON'T TELL MAMA
- Richard Skipper - "An Evening with Carol Channing"
DON'T TELL MAMA
PIANO BAR / LOUNGE ENTERTAINER
- Jenifer Kruskamp - DON'T TELL MAMA
- Jerry Scott - DANNY'S
- Daryl Sherman -
- Christopher Denny
- Rick Jensen
- Ross Patterson
- Barry Kleinbort
- Lina Koutrakos
- Lennie Watts
- Michael Barbieri - JUDY'S CHELSEA
- Tony Lauria -
- Shawn Moninger - DON'T TELL MAMA
RECORDING: VARIOUS ARTISTS
- "Grateful: The Songs of John Bucchino"
- "Jamie deRoy & friends: The Child in Me, Vol. 2"
- "The Stephen Sondheim Album" - (Fynsworth Alley)
RECORDING: DUO/MUSICAL GROUP
- "The Mickey and Judy Show" - Jeff
Harnar and Shauna Hicks
- "Meet the Lounge-o-Leers" - The
- "The Sweetest Sounds of Richard Rodgers" - KT Sullivan with Larry Woodard
RECORDING: SOLO FEMALE
- Jeanne MacDonald -
- Sally Mayes - "Boys &
Girls Like You & Me"
- Julie Wilson - "Julie Wilson: The Cy
RECORDING: SOLO MALE
- Jack Donahue - "Lighthouse"
- Craig Rubano- "Finishing the
- Lennie Watts - "I Want
.. You Want"
REVUE OF THE YEAR
- "American Rhapsody" Mark
Nadler, KT Sullivan
- "Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey" Gerard Alessandrini
- "The Mickey and Judy Show" Jeff
Harnar and Shauna Hicks
SONG ON THE YEAR
- "Since Love s Come Around" Tim Di Pasqua
- "I Am Home" Karen
- "Time" Joseph Thalken and Barry
SPECIAL MATERIAL OF THE YEAR
- "Wicked Woman"-
- "Bistro Baby" -(parody)- David
Gurland & Stephen Sondheim
- "Teddy Cares" - John McMahon &
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
starring Calista Flockhart as Tracey Lord, opens a ten-week run at
Shaftesbury Theatre in London with previews beginning May 21.
The official opening is June 7.
Flockhart has appeared in numerous New York stage productions including Neil LaBute's
Bash and Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. Written by Philip Barry, the
original production opened on Broadway in 1939 with Katharine Hepburn in the lead. She
reprises the role which, in the movie version, also starred Cary Grant as Dexter Haven and Jimmy
Stewart as the reporter.
In 1956 the play was turned into a classic film musical High
Society which starred Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Celeste Holm. The
tunes were Cole Porter.
An unsuccessful attempt to mount the production on Broadway in 1998
starred Melissa Errico, Daniel McDonald, Stephen Bogardus and John McMartin.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL'S DRALION premiere Wednesday at Liberty Island is considered a hot ticket. The
Kremly Vodka cruise on Princess World Yacht taking VIP guests to the premiere has added
security to prevent the uninvited from sneaking on board.
THE INVENTION OF LOVE by
Tom Stoppard stars Byron Jennings, Paul Hecht, Mark Nelson, Robert Sean Leonard and Richard
Easton. After a month of previews the play officially opened March 2. This New York City
premiere production is presented by Lincoln Center Theater at the Lyceum Theatre. Jack O'Brien
BELLS ARE RINGING starring
the talented and delightful Faith Prince and Marc Kudisch opens April 12 at the Plymouth
Theatre, NYC with an opening night party following the performance at Sardi's. Book
and Lyrics by
Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Music by Julie Styne. Directed by Tina Landau and
Choreography by Jeff Calhoun.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOO'S NEST a revival of Dale Wasserman's 1970 play - based on the famous Ken Kesey
novel stars Gary Sinise, as Randle P. McMurphy, who leads an inmate insurrection against the
authoritarian Nurse Ratched played by Amy Morton. The production, directed by Terry Kinney,
began life last year at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company. Over
the summer, it traveled to London, where it was greeted with rave reviews and sold out houses.
Opens April 8 at the Royale Theatre. NYC. It's a limited engagement through June 17.
STONES IN HIS POCKET by
Marie Jones. The comedy opens tonight at the Golden Theatre. NYC.
TROILUS and CRESSIDA
William Shakespeare will be presented by Theatre for a New Audience in this it's twenty-second
season. Performances begin Tuesday, April 3, opening Sunday, April 15th at The American
Place Theatre, NYC.
Directing Off-Broadway for the first time, Sir Peter Hall, founder
of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will stage Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare's most
modern play -- cynical and heroic, romantic and obscene. Love and war are looked at
unblinkingly. Written in 1602, but largely neglected until the 20th century, Troilus and Cressida
speaks to contemporary audiences.
Hall's acclaimed staging of Tantalus, John Barton's modern treatment of The Trojan War,
recently premiered at the Denver Center for the Arts.
The creative/design team includes Douglas Stein (sets), Scott Zielinski (lights), Martin
Pakledinaz (costumes), Herschel Garfein (composer;) and B.H. Barry (fight director).
ONCE A MAN, TWICE A BOY
JOE LUCAS as Joe O'Neil Photo By: Dan Feld
presented by Cold Productions and Michael J. Kuntz written and performed by Joe Lucas and
directed by Mark W. Travis.
Performances begin Thursday, April 5th opening Wednesday, April
11th running through May 13th at the Irish Arts Center, NYC.
After "abandoning" his family by leaving home, Joe O'Neil returns to his hometown
to be by his
dying da's bedside.
One a Man, Twice a Boy tells of Joe's pursuit of his family's American dream,
as he humorously examines his Irish heritage and the drudgery of working in the mines of the
Anthracite regions of Eastern Pennsylvania.
THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE
staring Linda Lavin is at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. NY. Despite a
pulmonary infection and tracheal bronchitis, which had taken her out of numerous performances
since November, Lavin is fantastic. Don't miss this show.
CABARET April 3-April 8 in
Orlando, FL at the Bob Carr PAC
MADAME MELVILLE by
Richard Nelson, starring Joely Richardson and Macaulay Culkin opens at the Promenade Theatre
in NYC on April 2. Macaulay originated his role in the London producton portraying the student
who discovers through his teacher played by Richardson - the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave
and sister to Natasha Richardson - that beauty, loneliness, sex and art are one.
RICHARD II starring Austin
Pendleton as the enigmatic monarch Richard II with Martin Carey, Rhonda Cole, Joe Corey,
Letty Ferrer, Matthew Freeman, Peter Hess Friedland, Charlotte Hampden, Roland Johnson,
William Laney, Austin Pendleton, Stewart Walker and Ted Zurkowski has been extended. The
Frog & Peach Theatre Company production, directed by Lynnea Benson, will run through April
8 The Theatre at the West-Park Church, NYC.
LOVE, JANIS musical about
Janis Joplin was set to begin performances on April 3rd at Village Theatre. Performances are
now set to begin on Tuesday, April 10th with the official opening still set for Sunday, April
22nd. The reason for the delay because Eric Nederlander, owner of the Village Theater is
remodeling the former Village Gate space, adding seats, and bringing in the most modern lighting
and sound equipment in the hopes of making the Village Theater one of the most sought-after
locations in the city.
Conceived, adapted and directed by Randal Myler, the show is based on the book, Love,
Janis by her sister Laura Joplin and comprised of the moving and revealing letters that the
legendary star wrote home to her family. The entire spoken text of Love, Janis comes
directly from Janis herself through her letters as well as her many press, TV and radio interviews.
Love, Janis is also her extraordinary music. Nineteen of Joplin's best known songs,
including, Piece of My Heart, Get It While You Can, Me and Bobby McGee, Ball and Chain,
Turtle Blues, are interwoven throughout. It is a story about a legendary rock-and-roll star.
It is also the story of a thoughtful, intelligent, emotionally fragile, loving daughter and sister
attempting to communicate across a generation gap.
Love, Janis features three performers playing Janis. The private Janis who speaks from
her letters, played by Catherine Curtin; and the public/performing Janis Joplin who belts out the
songs, with alternating performances by Cathy Richardson and Andra Mitrovich. There is also an
offstage male interviewer, to whom both Janis' respond as they interact with each other, played by
Another name that was essential to Janis' time was Sam Andrew. Andrew sang and played guitar
alongside Joplin in Big Brother & The Holding Company and later in her Kozmic Blues Band.
He was with her when she fired off those dispatches from the road back to her family in Port
Arthur, Texas, and was alongside her as she mesmerized audiences with her songs. Sam
Andrew, as Musical Director for the production, is back with Janis Joplin.
DAVID COPPERFIELD Collapsed while
has re-occurring nightmares that he is going to die in a fire. That long standing terror developed
because of a childhood trauma.
Never-the-less Copperfield intends to immerse himself in a raging tornado of fire - indoors in a
building on Pier 94 near the West Side Highway and 55th Street, in a stunt which will
be shown live April 3 on CBS.
The event has been plagued by problems. It took the 44 year old illusionist a year of negotiating to
convince New York City to grant him a permit to turn himself in a fireball.
Then last Friday while rehearsing Copperfield collapsed. He was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital by
private ambulance after flopping over about 3 p.m. on the Pier 94. He was rehearing for Tuesday
night in a tornado of flame stirred up by a giant, whirling overhead fan. Suddenly Copperfield
fainted, slightly injuring his neck in the fall.
After about three hours Copperfield was released from the hospital. He indicated he was
exhausted. Despite the collapse, Copperfield's stunt is to be broadcast as scheduled. His staff
issued a statement which said:"He will not allow himself to be psyched out by this
The illusionist intends to stand in the center of a fiery tornado created indoors by helicopter
blades with winds whipping around him at about 150 mph. That will stir a 25-foot-high,
2000-degree fire, fueled by propane gas.
Copperfield has been on a cross country promotion of the stunt and physicians blamed his
collapse on exhaustion.
ANDREA BOCELLI April 4 he
performs in Hartford, CT at the Hartford Civic Center. Then on April 6 he's center stage in
Toronto, ON at the Air Canada Centre
MAUREEN McGOVERN is having a
busy week. Tonight she's at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in Bronx, NY.On April 3
she performs at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. On April 4 she's in the spotlight at
Community Theater in Morristown, NJ. On April 5 it's center stage at the Eisenhower
Auditorium -- Penn State in University Park, PA. The next night, April 6, Maureen does it again
at the Tilles Center in Brookville, NY then it's on to the Union county Arts Center in Rathway,
NJ on April 7.
NEIL SEDAKA April 6 at Harveys
Convention Center, in Council Bluffs, IA
HOT 97's ANNUAL APRIL FOOL'S DAY COMEDY
SHOW returns to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden tonight,
April 1. This year's show will include performances by Dave Chappelle, Mo'nique, Dominique,
Rickey Smiley, Wil and Mike Epps.
tonight, April 1, at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA
BERNADETTE PETERS backed by
the symphony April 6 at the Bass Perf. Hall in Fort Worth, TX. Then on April 7-8 the
multi-talented lady performs at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX
MATCHBOX TWENTY plays April
2 in Vancouver, BC at the Pacific Coliseum. Then on April 3 they're in Seattle, WA for a show
at the Key Arena at Seattle Center. On Wednesday it's center stage in Portland, OR at the
Rose Garden Arena Saturday finds the group in El Paso, TX for a performance at the
University Of Texas.
MAYNARD FERGUSON April 3 in
East Liverpool, OH at the Westgate Middle School
TONY BENNETT returns to where
he left his heart - San Francisco on April 8 for a performance at the Fairmont Hotel
DENISE DI RENZO who recently
appeared at Judy's Chelsea in NYC, will appear at Odette's in New Hope, PA on April 7th and
8th. Denise is celebrating the release of her new CD Sweet Refrain.
AARON CARTER the blond
cutie of the nearly-teen set, has joined Seussical, the Broadway musical, over the
week-end, five days earlier than previously announced. The 13-year-old international star, known
for such songs as Crush On You and Crazy Little Party Girl, plays the lost
kid, Jo Jo, who feels Alone in the Universe in the Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty tuner
drawn from the works of Dr. Seuss. He was originally announced to start April 4. He stays with
the troupe at the Richard Rodgers Theatre to May 6. Cathy Rigby joined Seussical,
playing The Cat in the Hat, March 15 and continues indefinitely.
THIS AND THAT
RICHARD PRYOR may have made significant contributions to the world of entertainment, but his contribution to his own substance
abuse resulted in the city council in Pryor's hometown of Peoria, Ill., last Tuesday voting 6-5
against renaming a street for the comedian. Several council members said there was
virtually no public support for the project and a plethora of public outcry against it.
Councilwoman Gale Thetford said she received several calls objecting to honoring Pryor
because of his well known previous drug habit.
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Next Column:April 8, 2001
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