Broadway To Vegas


Copyright: December 19, 1999
By: Laura Deni


MASTER OF AVIGNON The Guardian Angel
Everybody can use a little help. The power of angels has been documented since the beginning of time. The word Angel is Greek and means messenger.

Angels are said to be immortal spirits that live in Heaven.

Dionysus the Areopagite in the A.D. 400s set up a ranking of heavenly beings. He believed there were nine orders, of which angels were the lowest and seraphim the highest.

As St. Augustine put it: "Every visible thing in the world is put in the charge of an angel."

Many souls are coming forth to proclaim that their lives have been touched by the phenomenon of angel miracles.

believes angels were watching over him after he had his life threatening wreck last March in Franklin, Tenn.

As of way of "thanking the angels" he's recorded a song with gospel queen Vestal Goodman, called Angel Band.

The bridge abutment on highway 96 in Williamson Country where George wrecked his Lexus SUV is the setting for the song's video.

Jones opens in Las Vegas in February.

DONNY OSMOND was in the shower when he heard an unfamiliar voice clearly tell him - 'Go check on your son.'

Ignoring the voice Osmond again heard - 'Go check on your son.'

Again, the performer continued with his shower. The third time a more persistent voice said - Go check on your son.

Osmond got out of the shower and found that his small son had found an apple, bit into it and was choking on the peel. The boy had turned blue. Osmond pulled the peel from his son's throat and saved the boy's life.

"I know angels exist," strongly stated Osmond. "We all have guardian angels."

Without a guardian angel the former Charlie's Angels stars declared, "I would have been dead."

The angel encounter took place in front of her friend's house. Cheryl has just walked out of the house and was at the street curb.

"I was walking to my car and, as I was about to step into the street, someone said, - Cheryl! - and I turned around. A car zoomed by at about 100 miles an hour. But, when I looked - no one was there!"

"I went back in the house and asked if someone had called my name. She said - No!"

The North Dakota native says she "knows there are angels. No question! An angel saved my life."

RICHARD KARN who played Tim Allen's Tool Time buddy Al Borland on Home Improvement was living in New York in 1983 when he received the news that his mother had breast cancer. Devastated, he went into denial.

"One day an angel touched my shoulder. I just stood up and I knew I had to go home. I discovered that Mom had been trying to shield me from the truth. She'd been telling me she was going out, meeting people. But she was really bedridden. Three days later, I was with her when she passed away. I know it was an angel that led me to her side."

credits her deceased mother with returning to earth as Della's guardian angel and saving her life.

Reese was nearly killed instantly in a freak accident that happened in 1969. Thinking a sliding glass door was open, Della actually crashed right through the door, falling on top of the jagged bottom piece.

The more she tried to changed position the deeper the glass cut.

A remaining piece broke loose and was about to slice her neck.

"A split second before that top glass plunged down, my mother Nellie, who died in 1949, reached around from behind me taking hold of my head and shoulders, and lifted me up onto my feet and told me to sit down in a chair."

RODNEY DANGERFIELD the comedian who prides himself on getting no respect now feels his new CD He is getting some angelic respect.

The religious CD which "talks about God," according to the comedian, has an amazing paranormal quality and something good happens to everyone who hears it.

This time the comic isn't clowning around.


Cy Coleman has written scores that have distinguished Broadway musicals for three decades. In this second of a two-part interview the composer/producer, who is an ASCAP board member, discusses hot button items on his personal short list including; the Internet, royalties, and the critics.

"I'm vice president of ASCAP and we're constantly fighting for our copyrights," he declared.

"What I see is that our rights are diminishing. That is very important, because you're not going to get anybody to become a writer if they're not be able to make a living," he fumed.

"The Internet is a big problem," continued Coleman. "I feel that we have to find a way of getting paid. We also have to educate the public to know that this is somebody's effort - and you get paid.

ADOLPH GREEN, BETTY COMDEN AND CY Their collaborations included The Will Rogers Follies.
"You pay - just like you pay for a suit of clothes. Writing is not a whim. We all studied, work hard and work to support our families.

"Eventually, there will be a lot of lawsuits regarding the free download of music," he speculated. "Nobody does anything for free. I don't know why intellectual property law is such a mystery, but it is.

"It's a shame and that's why we have to go to Washington and have some laws passed. We have laws in place and we have people who are championing us, but we need more laws passed. There are too many people who want their own salaries, but deny us ours.

"Part of the problem is enforcing the laws. We had a guy from M.I.T talk to us and he said - "Yeah, we're stealing your work, but that way it gets to a broader range of people so they are educated.

MIMI QUILLIN, ALLISON WILLIAMS, BEBE NEUWIRTH, AND STEPHANIE POPE perform Big Spender from the 1986 revival of Sweet Charity. Coleman wants composers to get their fair share of the loot.
"I said - How would you like your work to be done that way? It's very important or this country is going to be importing one of our biggest exports - music - because our music is all going to other countries.

"We were talking about coding on the Internet and the man from M.I.T said - Well, you can code it, but there is no lock that hasn't been picked.

"But they are going to have to find some way of protecting our rights," he emphasized. "It is a hard problem. You don't want to see the creativity dry up in this country. We have to protect the creative talents the same way we would protect the steel industry.

"People seem to look at the problem one of two ways: One way is - they don't have any respect for it. The other attitude is - Oh, they are all billionaires. They look at the Beatles or they look at Irving Berlin. The average person who is writing is having trouble paying his rent. You know how far it is in between hits? Even if they get one? That's the important thing!

MICHAEL CRAWFORD takes a tumble performing "Black and White" from Barnum. Coleman doesn't want writers taking a financial tumble because they don't get proper royalties.
"We're trying to safeguard those rights. Writers deserve compensation for their work. Somebody makes money off of their work and they deserve to be paid."

As for Coleman he doesn't do a project unless he's " in love with it in some way."

He's given his heart to several. "There is one coming with Larry Gelbart and David Zippel, which is going to be Napoleon and Josephine. Then there is another one - an old one that has taken a lot of time - 13 Days to Broadway. There is one I wrote with Michael Stewart just before he died, Nothing But the Truth.

Coleman has developed mixed feelings about the critics.

"Unfortunately, we don't have anybody critiquing the critics," he lamented. "We're getting these gossipy kind of reviews before we start. The fact of the matter is, not everyone who critiques is qualified to do it. Anybody that gets up and has an opinion can vilify. There were a lot of critics that I had a lot of respect for. They have dwindled in numbers. Critics putting in their own agendas is getting a little boring. People who come in with their own agendas and criticize according to those agendas are not really equipped to criticize what is on the stage," he charged.

Recently one of Coleman's efforts, Exactly Like You, received some critical barbs.

"That was a spoof," he answered about the show and the critics that didn't know the difference between a farce and a musical comedy.

The Life is a great show," said the composer defending his Broadway show that will open in London. "Some of the critics didn't like it because it was a show about prostitution. We got criticized because we were showing 42nd Street the way it was. We were doing inter-city life. And, we called it The Life.
"Some of the reviews were amazing to me. Some were outlandish and some were wonderful," he recalled. "We won every prize with the exception of the Tony." Quipped the composer, "I guess - that's life."

As to whether there is a place for new composers, the veteran thinks the up and comers have an easier time of it than the established tunesmiths.

"There is always room for new composers," said Coleman who began his own career as a child prodigy. The son of immigrants, Coleman's voice resonated with pride when he discussed his mother. "My mother was a remarkable woman. She was an immigrant, but she was a business woman and she drove a car!"

His mother, who owned a building in the Bronx, had a border who skipped out on the rent, leaving behind a piano. Cy's mother carted the piano into the family residence where four-year-old Cy instantly became infatuated with those 88 key, displaying a talent what wasn't fully appreciated by his carpenter father, who nailed the lid shut in order to obtain some quiet around the house.

The determined carpenter's son managed to get the lid undone. Harmony was restored when the family milk man suggested piano lessons, and then encouraged the family to permit Cy to turn pro. Between the ages of six and nine Coleman was performing at the piano in Steinway, Town and Carnegie Halls. The guy who wrote Witchcraft and The Best is Yet To Come thinks of himself first and foremost as a piano player.

"There are people who have written wonderful music that don't go to school. I just happened to go to school and I'm glad I did," said the well-educated composer, who expressed an opinion of prejudice towards the old guard.

JAMES NAUGHTON AND GREGG EDELMAN as the gum shoe and the scribe doing the witty You're Nothing Without Me from City of Angeles. Cy used some of his profits to build a swimming pool
"There is more room for new composers than old composers," he charged. "There is a prejudice against the old guard. It's always get the broom and sweep them out - bring in the new - which is unfortunate, because you can combine the two. When I got started I worked with Dorothy Fields," he said of the late gifted lyricist who teamed with Coleman on Sweet Charity, and Two for the See Saw.

"She was quite a few years my senior. And, out of that came Sweet Charity. There is too much corporate money involved. It's like the rest of the world. It's getting more and more concentrated in the hands of a few.

That doesn't mean Coleman is crying poor mouth. Those with the hits have perks not permitted by poverty. He's even named the rewards he's reaped.

"I have a good life. I have a house in South Hampton. I go out to the beach and play tennis. I have a Sweet Charity pool, a City of Angeles tennis court, a Barnum hot tub, and The Will Rogers home improvements in my house in the city. If you make a few bucks, do something with it. Enjoy it."

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in Vegas for a five-week shoot of Luckytown an independent feature.

The storyline deals with the character played by Dunst wanting to track down her father, played by Caan.

Vincent Kartheiger co-stars.

SHOWTIME brought their cameras into last Thursday's Los Angeles performance of Bash which stars Calista Flockhart, Ron Eldard and Paul Rudd.

The taped performance will air on the cable channel in the spring.

DOLLY PARTON has purchased the movie rights to the book The Jew Store, a true story about a Jewish family who relocated from the Bronx to a Tennessee town ruled by the Ku Klux Klan.

Parton would like to play Miss Brookie, the townswoman who serves as the bridge between the Jewish family and the anti-semitic town.

Ironically, in 1994 Parton was accused of being anti-Semitic. In discussing a proposed TV series about a gospel singer who died, Parton was quoted in Vogue as saying " people in Hollywood are Jewish. And it's a frightening thing for them to promote Christianity." Parton apologized.


KAYE BALLARD was roasted at the Indian Wells, California Country Club in a benefit for the AMC Cancer Research Center in Denver and the Cancer Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Those skewing Ballard included Shecky Greene, Ralph Young, Peter Marshall, V. J. Hume.

The benefit also honored Dr. Karl Schultz.

CHRISTMAS FROM BROADWAY a holiday revue benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS continues at Sam's, New York's oldest theater bar and restaurant, through December 23.

Christmas from Broadway is created by Ken Lundie and Michael Davids and hosted by Dale Badway.The holiday show features songs from Broadway including We Need A Little Christmas, Hard Candy Christmas and Sing a Little Song of Christmas plus original holiday music by Rick Crom, Bob Ost and Brad Ross.

Starring in the musical revue are Angela Covington, Anthony Galde, Doreen Montalvo, William Reinking and Sam Riegel with Bryan Gallagher, Christian Stuck and Dawn Ward. There are also nightly surprise guests including: Rick Crom, Bob Evans, Michael Kubala, Eric Michael Gillett, Douglas Ladnier, Faith Prince, Ken Prymus, Ernie Sabella, Steven Sein-Granger and others. All proceeds from the show donated to BC/EFA.


ANDRE AGASSI announced that there will not be an Andre Agassi Grand Slam Concert next year.

The fund raiser, held in Las Vegas every September, benefited the Agassi Children's Charities.

The tennis great explained the event was a massive undertaking, time consuming and it was becoming more and more difficult to "go back to the same people for the financial support."

He promised he still intends to raise money to complete a charter school in Las Vegas and indicated "we're halfway there."

LOSS OF CITY FUNDING and poor ticket sales resulted in the four day - December 29-January 1 Jazz Til January, at Indian Wells, CA being canceled.

The event would have featured top jazz and blues artists, including Nancy Wilson, Rod Piazza, Marcus Roberts and La Vay Smith.

MAE WEST starred at the Sahara Hotel, Las Vegas in 1954.
was a 1926 play which starred Mae West, who also authored the work.

It also got the star arrested on an obscenity charge and she spent eight days in jail.

The Hourglass Group has revived the play, which opened last Thursday in the Living Room of the Gershwin Hotel, NYC.

Carolyn Baeumler stars in the Mae West role of blonde prostitute Margy LaMont, who advances from a Montreal brothel to a rich man's Connecticut mansion.

West was born in Brooklyn in 1892. Known for her half-mast eyelids, come hither voice and no-nonsense seductiveness, she was a living American institution. At 14 she began appearing in vaudeville and in Broadway revues - it was West who introduced the shimmy on stage.

She was also a male impersonator.

Her aggressive sexuality and comic genius established her as a diamond studded star.

She also had a business head. In Las Vegas she purchased about a half-mile piece of desolate but prime Highway frontage, located between what would become the Dunes and the Tropicana Hotels.

AMADEUS starring David Suchet as Amadeus and Michael Sheen as Mozart opened last Wednesday followed by a star studded party at Sardi's.

Those offering congratulations included; Kate Beckinsale, Elizabeth Berkeley, Matthew Broderick, Jessica Lang, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Debra Monk.

Peter Shaffer, considered one of Britain's foremost modern playwrights has been making the talk show rounds, discussing Amadeus, his Tony Award winning classic, which chronicles the ferocious conflict between Mozart and his envious rival, composer Antonio Salieri.

Although Amadeus premiered over twenty years ago, opening November 2, 1979 in the National Theatre, London, Shaffer has recently made changes to the play for this revival.

THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY opens December 22 at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago.

The production has enjoyed a long run in London's West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award.

Buddy tells the 18-month story of Holly from his balladering beginnings in Lubbock, Texas, to the fateful dance party in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 3, 1959, after which Holly, Ritchie "La Bamba" Valens and J.R."Chantilly Lace" Richardson (a.k.a. The Big Bopper, died in a plane crash.

Holly is portrayed by Van Zeiler in this Alan Jones retrospective.

The Buddy Holly Story runs through January 9th. The Buddy Holly Story opens at the Las Vegas Hilton on February 22th.

CARRIN BEGINNING produced by the Riverside Stage Co., written by W. August Schulenburg and directed by Brian Feehan has been extended through January 9, at the Chelsea Playhouse, NYC.

Set in a 1927 Donegal, Ireland pub, the production stars Norman Allen, Dawn Denvir, Katrina Ferguson, Stephen Guarino, Mary Jo McConnell, Kevin Kraft, G. W. Reed, and Cara Stoner.

Sets by Jennifer Collins, costumes by Mira Goldberg, and lighting by Rick Belzar. Choreography by Mary Beth Griffith.

MATTHEW BRODERICK AND PARKER POSEY will co-star in Taller Than a Dwarf, a new comedy by Elaine May.

Dwarf, about a man who refuses to work, opens this spring at the Longacre Theater, NYC, with Alan Arkin directing.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC starring Richard Chamberlain opens at Jones Hall, Houston Texas on December 21 for a six night run.

UNDARMAA DARIHUU doing the ultimate stretch looks like a modern art sculpture.
the production show at the Riviera hotel in Las Vegas reopens on December 25 with a completely renovated version.

Three specialty acts will be featured including contortion artist Undarmaa Darihuucu.

Born and raised in Mongolia, Undarmaa toured with the Mongolian State Circus before joining the world-famous Ringling Bros.' Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The five foot-four inch artist began her study of contortion at the age of ten.


stars Peabo Bryson, James Ingram, Dionne Warwick and Deniece Williams.

This Stig Edgren production has become a holiday tradition.

With six successful tours of the United States, the show spawned a holiday album of the same name, on the Windam Hill label.

The four superstar performers unite to sing traditional Christmas classics and feature solo spotlights of their hit singles.

The unique concert, which attempts to show what life would be like if the spirit of Christmas was kept alive year round, features a 21-piece orchestra. Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas December 22.

MICHAEL CRAWFORD will spend Christmas in the Holy Land, singing O Holy Night as part of Dr. Robert Schuller's multi-denominational Bethlehem church service.

SUSAN LUCCI who was set to make her Broadway debut on her birthday, December 23, isn't having an easy time of it. The soap opera diva missed so many rehearsals because of the flu that her Broadway gig in the 1999 Tony winning Annie Get Your Gun has been pushed back to December 27. Lucci will perform through January 16. The vacationing Bernadette Peters returns to her role on January 18.

ALLY SHEEDY who had been staring in Hedwig and the Angry Itch at the Jane Street Theater, NYC, has suddenly left the production after a showdown last Wednesday with the producers. Sheedy had been slated to play the transsexual German rocker until February 4. Kevin Cahoon has assumed the role in this hit off-Broadway musical.

KATHLEEN TURNER will make her London stage debut next spring in The Graduate. The play - about a young man who is seduced by a middle-age woman and falls in love with her daughter - opens at the Gielgud Theatre in London on April 5. The 1967 movie starred Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock. In the London stage version Braddock will be played by Matthew Rhys.

GABRIEL BYRNE will make his American stage debut in Eugene O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten at the Walter Kerr Theater in March.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY House of Blues, West Hollywood, Calif, December 20.

GARTH BROOKS in limbo. The poor guy doesn't know if he's performing or not. Periodically he feels compelled to announce that - he's retired, will retire or might retire. Frankly, we don't care. We just wish he'd stop talking about it. And, this PR stunt is getting old. If Garth feels he repeatedly needs to take the audience's temperature, think up a different gimmick.


MADONNA'S OLD LAME' BUSTIER is one of the items on display in a glittering array of rock star fashions. Arranged by the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC and the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the exhibition runs through March 19 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

who are usually surrounded by white tigers and lions are surrounded by Santa's helpers

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of when Siegfried and Roy started performing together, the illusionists, who perform at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, send magical, mystical millennium and Christmas greetings.

We at Broadway To Vegas may not be magical or mystical but we also send - Seasons Greetings!

Mention BROADWAY TO VEGAS for Special Consideration
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Next Column: December 26, 1999
Copyright: December 19, 1999 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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