Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: May 17, 1999
By: Laura Deni
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EAT'M FILLS UP
The Emerging Artists and Talent in Music Conference, co-founded in 1997 by David Cassidy's
hard working wife, Sue, and the equally hard working Lisa Tenner, kick off their annual event in
Las Vegas May 19-22.
Keanu Reeves and his band Dogstar
EAT'M is a band festival and music industry conference, which showcases acts representing pop,
hip hop, R&B and rock band style bands. Headquartered at the Mirage Hotel, artists selected to
showcase their talents will perform on stages in various parts of the city.
More than 700 bands sent in audition tapes, in hopes of garnering one of the 150 spots.
Keynote speaker is Ahmet Ertegun, founder and chief executive officer of Atlantic Records.
Dogstar featuring Keanu Reeves, Bret Domrose, & Rob Mailhouse are first up, performing
tomorrow, May 18, at 9 p.m. at Boulder Station.
Tied into this year's EAT'M event will be a live recording of Message To The World,
co-written by Sue and David Cassidy, which will include voices of an estimated 20,000 U.S.
citizens from New York to Los Angeles. Proceeds will go to War Child, an international
organization that provides aid to young victims of the wars in Bosnia and Croatia.
Artists assisting in that project include; Alice Cooper, Wyclef Jean, Downtown Julie Brown,
Daniel Baldwin, Duncan Sheik, Sam Moore and Keanu Reeves' Dogstar band. The record will be
released as a single in June.
PERSONAL HEARTACHE: PUBLIC
Eddy Arnold celebrated his 81st birthday last Saturday and on Sunday before an SRO crowd at
the Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas took his final bow.
He started his solo singing career in 1943 and was inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame
in 1966, the same year he made his New York City debut at Carnegie Hall. The following year he
was the very first performer to be named the CMA's Entertainer of the Year.
Arnold's twenty-eight No. 1 singles on the country charts remain unequaled. He's sold more than
85 million records, ranking only behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley. By one ranking Arnold is
the most successful country singer in history, with 145 charted country hits.
Eddy shown here accepting a gold record from Johnny Carson on
the NBC Tonight Show.
In announcing his show business retirement the personable gent cited health problems and a desire
to spend more time with his family.
The Country Plowboy underwent double bypass heart surgery in 1990. In 1995 Arnold reported
that "some problems with reading and memory prompted a visit to the doctor." He began
walking, as much as two miles a day. "I wasn't feeling too good for awhile, but I've got some
good doctors. You have to expect these things when you get to my age, but I'm coming along
now. I hope to be with you a long time."
After canceling January, 1996 appearances he hit the road February and March.
Arnold, Sinatra and Martin.
Spending more time with his family is important to Arnold. Family has always been the
singer's top priority. Behind that easy going smile is a quiet kind of courage. A certain dignity that
allowed him to carry on through personal tragedy, always bright, never afflicting his worries upon
Ageless and tireless with a soft easy manner that instantly makes you feel comfortable.
Married to his wife, Sally, for over 50 years their only son, Richard Edward Arnold, Jr. was born
Jan. 2, 1948. "No point in confusing things, so we called him Dickie. By the time he was a
sophomore at the University of Alabama he wanted to be called Dick. We tried, but it's hard to
break a habit," Arnold smiled.
At that time the proud father told me, "Dick plays the guitar and the drums. He sings a little, too.
He wants to go into business law.
One week after graduating from college Dick was involved in a head on car accident. He lived
. . . barely.
"He had a head injury and spent nine-and-a-half weeks unconscious," recalled Eddy, his voice
taking on an uncharacteristic sad tremor. "His right side was paralyzed. But we brought him
home. We had a sitter, who was more than just a
sitter and a male nurse. He couldn't cut it."
"I took over," proudly recalled Arnold."Why, I changed his diapers. I got so good at changing a
catheter that I could get a job in any hospital as an orderly. As he got better, we had a real system
worked out. I would pick him up. He'd throw his arm around my shoulder and I'd reach up . . . "
he explained, as he demonstrated the procedure.
Caring for his son wasn't a first for Arnold. As a teenager he got a job picking up dead bodies for
a mortuary and went on emergency runs for an ambulance company. He once had a 17-year old
boy die in his arms.
Eddy with his parents on their Chester County farm in Tennessee
Born and raised on a Tennessee farm, his father who died when Eddy was 11, played fiddle and
introduced his son to music; his mother took that introduction further, teaching Eddy how to play
During the depression, Eddy dropped out of Pinson High School in Henderson, Tennessee, to
help out on the family farm. No amount of hard work could save the place. The family lost
"I can close my eyes, and feel it right now," remembered Arnold as his voice changed to a
whisper. "We lost the farm, and they auctioned off all our animals - our cows, our mules. No one
could ever forget watching familiar, loved things going to others."
The family was reduced to sharecroppers on what had been their own land. It was a bitter,
disheartening experience that led Arnold to vow that his home would never again be taken from
him and - that he'd never be poor.
"I've always had this old bugaboo about being broke." In the late 40s Arnold entered the
investment world. Some doctors talked him into investing his money into electric mattresses, a
venture which lost him $35,000. After that, Arnold became extremely conservative with his
money. His holdings, which first brought him into the big money, were with land.
"I am not a highly educated person," he said, "but I can run an adding machine."
He never again became anybody's fool.
It's a long way from Chester County to
being guests of the President at a White House dinner
He was appointed to the Tennessee State Industrial Commission by then Gov. Buford Ellington.
Arnold also served on the board of an insurance company, owns a real estate firm, is a partner in a
land development company, is an officer in a water company, and has an auto dealership. His
holdings in the music world are too numerous to mention.
In 1966 the Tennessee state statute prevented Gov. Frank Clement from succeeding himself.
Clement asked Arnold to run for governor.
In 1964 Gov. Frank G. Clement proclaimed
February "Eddy Arnold Month" in Tennessee
"I thought about it," admitted Arnold. "I mulled it over in my mind, and over and over. After I
thought about it for a time I decided I really didn't think I'd be happy with it. Finally, I decided
that if I ran, I might be elected. Then I'd go in pretty popular, but I'd come out very cold. The one
big reason I decided not to run was that I wasn't qualified, to be governor.
"I gave up politics, but I have a lot of strong feelings about politics. I read politics all the time.
There are a lot of good people, and this is a country boy's opinion - a lot of good people not
running for office anymore. That makes me sad. The press is rough on them. They're really rough
on them. A lot of good people don't want to take that kind of guff. I believe in the free press, but
I think we have to find a happy ground."
A happy ground for Arnold is actually on the sea, aboard his beloved 53- foot Hatteras cabin
cruiser the Sally K, named after Eddy's personal "first mate," his wife Sally Katherine, who is
never far from her husband' side. He first performed in Las Vegas in 1949 at the old El Rancho
Hotel. Years later the Sahara Hotel heralded his Las Vegas return. The two-week March 1975
engagement featured the late comedian George Gobel opening the
bill. Sally was there then, as she
was for Sunday's final bow.
THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND
I not only own a Snoopy waffle maker - I use it. Enjoying a Snoopy waffle makes me feel good. I
wish I could say the same for the You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown theatrical
productions. I think the Peanuts entourage belong in their cartoon strip and on their highly
rated animated television specials. It should be noted that the current revival has been nominated
for four Tony Awards.
Back in the late 1960's there was even a Las Vegas lounge show based upon the off-Broadway
musical You're A Good Man Charlie Brown. I thought that Vegas lounge act was
dreadful. Snoopy belongs on top of his dog house, not inside a casino lounge.
The original off-Broadway production opened on March 7, 1967 at Theatre 80 St. Marks. It is a
great "family" show. Today it is the most produced musical in history. Even the show bigwigs
confess that part of the popularity is because it's cheap to produce. Six actors and a few modular
blocks as a set. High schools around the world have kept the show in production and the royalty
While I have preferred to see Snoopy in a make-believe version, I have always enjoyed the music.
Recently, I dusted off the original cast album of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and
compared it with the new original cast album of the revival, which opened at the
Ambassador Theatre, NYC on Feb. 4, 1999.
The old MGM stereo cast album (SIE-9OCX - "Sounds Good In Stereo") starred Bill Hinnant, Bob Balaban, Reva Rose,
Skip Hinnant. Karen Johnson and Gary Burghoff, who went on to become a household name in
the M*A*S*H series.
The revival CD features Roger Bart, Kristin Chenoweth, who has already won an Outer Critics
Circle award for her performance, Ilana Levine, Stanley Wayne Mathis with Anthony Rapp and
B.D. Wong, who walked off with virtually every theatre award possible when he made his
Broadway debut in M Butterfly.
Back to back I listened to both original cast albums. If you enjoyed You're a Good Man,
Charlie Brown as a live act, you probably have already added this CD to your collection. If
the stage version made you want to go home and suck on your own blue blanket, don't forsake
The music is uplifting, toe tapping, feel good, and tuneful. Unlike Annie Get Your
Gun the music hasn't been significantly rewritten. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It wasn't and in
the first act, they didn't. Orchestrator Michael Gibson and music director Kimberly Grigsby knew
a good score when they heard it and left well enough alone.
For some unknown reasons small musical segments in act two ended up on the cutting room
floor. The Red Baron, a traditional favorite in the early Charlie Brown years
probably went down in political correct flames. It's been replaced with My New
Philosophy. Andrew Lippa did a fine job with the arrangements and additional material. But I
missed the song Queen Lucy, in which she announces how she not only intends to rule a
country, but wear her crown while swimming. Wouldn't it have been politically correct to leave
that song in? Also omitted is Peanuts Potpourri, in which Snoopy explains that "cats are
the crab grass on the lawn of life." Either the cat or the crab grass lobby must have clout. I
missed the omissions, but I enjoyed what I heard. Happiness is listening to either the original or
the revival of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
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LEONARD SLATKIN will be honored
Sunday, May 23 at the annual fundraising dinner to benefit the Kennedy Library Foundation,
Boston. The Foundation raises approximately one-third of its annual operating revenue through
this event. The funds generated support research, education and outreach programs that
emphasize the importance of participation in public life and the ways in which citizens can
improve their communities.
THE NEW YORK POPS 16TH BIRTHDAY GALA tonight (May 17) at Carnegie Hall will include performances by stage and
screen stars Bebe Neuwirth, Christine Baranski, Lillias White, Brian Stokes Mitchell, David
Campbell, Comfortable Shoes and The New York Pops Allstars. Journalist Liz Smith will host the
evening, and Walter Cronkite and Kevin Kline will guest conduct. The evening will start with a
performance by the world renowned New York Pops, led by New York Pops Founder and Music
director Skitch Henderson.
Delores Hope and her husband, Bob, who turns 95 on May 29, are among the generous folk who
have contributed to open up the balcony seating to over 700 New York City school-age children
for a spectacular Carnegie Hall experience.
In addition to the above-mentioned performers, guests expected at the Dinner Dance at the Plaza
following the performance include; Chancellor Rudy Crew, Susan and John Jacobs, Paula
Gabriele and Thomas E. McInerney, Jessie and Rand Araskog, Buddy and Sandy Thompson,
Helene B. Robertson, Marie Salerno and Sam Roberts, Theodore and Joanna Chapin, Robert S,
Cohen, James and Anne Fuchs, Nancy Nichols, Elaine and Philip M. Hampton, Faye and James E.
Preston, Marilou Whitney, Toni McManus, Franz Xaver Ohnesorg, Fran Reiter, Peggy and Alan
Tishman, Steven A. Reiss, Mrs. David A. Werblin, Mr. and Mrs. William J. Vandenheuvel, and
PHYLLIS MCGUIRE headlines the
fifth annual Serenades for Life concert, Judy Bayley Theatre, May 22, Las Vegas. The event
benefits the Nathan Adelson Hospice.
MUHAMMAD ALI'S eldest
child, Maryum Ali last Saturday received her bachelor's degree in social work from the
of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Her boxing great father and about 50 family members, attended the
ceremonies. The former stand up comedian, who made the Dean's List, did her internships
local hospice and the Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center.
Although she intends to work
in Los Angeles in the field of social work, she has also written a TV sitcom which
she hopes to
SATURDAY NIGHT by Stephen
Sondheim has its American premiere at the O'Rourke Center for the Performing Arts,
Chicago.Gary Griffin directs a cast of 14 culled from auditions of 300 actors. Jonathan Tunick
provides orchestrations for the 10 piece band. Sondheim himself attended the dress rehearsals.
Official opening night is May 19. Also being staged at the O'Rourke Center is the first ever Sing
Yourself Sondheim, an audience sing along to Sondheim's hit show Company, featuring
Broadway's Pam Myers.
THE AGES OF MAN
ANGELA NEVARD, CHRISTINE RADMAN, JED SEXTON, MARIA RADMAN, and LARRY GLEASON in the "THE AGES OF MAN" is the second
offering of the Willow Cabin Theatre's (NYC) current season.
PHOTO BY: Carol Rosegg
The program is a four-play cycle of Thorton Wilder's
one-acts entitled The
Ages of Man.
This includes the New York premieres of Youth, and The
Rivers Under the Earth, and revival of Infancy and
Both premiered in New York in 1962 as part of Plays for Bleecker Street.
The Ages of Man will be directed by WCTC Artistic
Director Edward Berkeley.
Blue Heron Arts Center. Official opening is May 23.
IF LOVE WERE ALL a new
musical teaming Twiggy as Gertrude Lawrence and Harry Groener as Noel Coward salutes
Coward on the centenary of his birth. If Love Were All contains 20 Coward songs in a
show adapted from material by British author Sheridan Morley and Leigh Lawson, who also
directs. Previews begin May 18 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, with the official opening set for
MY ONE GOOD NERVE A visit
with Ruby Dee, written by her and directed by Charles Nelson Reilly begins previews May 20 at
the Canon Theatre, Beverly Hills. Officially opens on May 23.
FAME opened last Friday at The
Playhouse Theatre, Wilmington, DE. Performances through May 23.
LEA DELARIA Friday, May 21 in
An Evening of Music and Comedy The Fillmore, San Francisco
LINDA LAVIN the Tony and
Emmy Award-winning actress, best known as the star of the long running series
Alice,starring in Collected Stories, at the Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles through
June 13. On June 7th the multi-talented actress will be at the Skirball Cultural Center as part of
the Spotlight: Television and American Cultural Lecture Series, hosted by Barbara Isenberg.
BILL COSBY will be appearing
this Thursday, May 20, at Harrah's Cherokee Casino, North Carolina, according to our roving
reporter, Trudy Knight-Peek. Cosby will deliver two shows.
STEVE & EYDIE perform May
21-23 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Lawrence earned the New York Drama Critics Award and a
Tony nomination for his Broadway debut as the star of What Makes Sammy Run and the
couple shared the Broadway stage in the musical comedy-drama Golden Rainbow.
THIS AND THAT
ALEGRIA an edition of the famed
Cirque du Soleil will open May 20 at the new Beau Rivage resort in Biloxi, Miss. The
production, seen by three million people in North America, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong during
a five-year tour will have a permanent home in the 1,550-seat Beau Rivage theater, where it will
showcase 52 performers and musicians from 13 countries. Tickets cost $40 plus tax, $25 for ages
12 and younger. On that very same day, the red rubber nose worn by comic Wayne Nronek, who
portrays Benny Le Grand in the Cirque du Soleil's Mystere version at Treasure Island
Hotel in Las Vegas, is going to be vacuum packed and sent into space. Canadian astronaut Julie
Payette, a Cirque fan, made the unusual request. The proboscis joins the science studies on the
space shuttle Discovery.
CINDERELLA the brilliant Matthew
Bourne version, in its American debut at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles through May 23.
Lez Brotherston's set with lighting by Rick Fisher; score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.
Dancers alternate lead roles. Stand outs include; Adam Cooper, Will Kemp, Sarah Wildor and
Ewan Wardrop. Expect the production to be a hit on Broadway.
DANNY GANS the brilliant
impersonator whose one man Broadway show earned him a Vegas contract has had his ticket
price increased. It now costs more to see him in Las Vegas than it did in New York. $99 will
buy you a ticket to the show at the Rio Hotel.The price also includes two drinks and the tip. The
$99 price makes the one man Danny Gans Show one of the top ticket prices in town,
along with the mega spectaculars; Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage, O at the
Bellagio, EFX at the MGM Grand, Mystere at Treasure Island, and
Chicago at Mandalay Bay. Gans, by the way, is on a straight contract salary. He doesn't
receive a percentage of the ticket price, which is set by the hotel.
JUNEAU JAZZ AND CLASSICS FESTIVAL May 21-30. Performers include Mose Allison, Balfa Tourjours, American
String Quartet, Doug Webster, Alan Chow, Bobby Peaco and Helen Baldassare. New York press
rep Jim Baldassare claims no familial link, but reported that since his late mother's name was also
Helen Baldassare, he regularly sent his mother programs and flyers about the performing Helen
Baldassare. Mom Helen got a kick out of following the career of - that other Helen
LIBERACE would have been 80
years old yesterday. In honor of that, the mascot of the Las Vegas based Liberace Museum - a
10-foot teddy bear dressed as Liberace and known as Lee-Bear-Achee - passed out cake to the
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Next Column: May 24, 1999
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