Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Ann Harada, Joan Copeland, Walter Willison, Sarah Rice, Lawrence Leritz and more set for Madeline Kahn Tribute at Metropolitan Room on September 12

Ann Harada in concert. Photo by Lia Chang

Ann Harada in concert. Photo by Lia Chang

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, William V. Madison, author of Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life (University Press of Mississippi, 2015), will host a musical tribute to the late singing actress as part of Metropolitan Room’s GONE TOO SOON series, produced by Joseph Macchia. Directed by three-time MAC Award-winner Peter Napolitano, The Music of Madeline Kahn, with music director Jeff Cubeta on piano, will feature friends & colleagues of the comic legend, as well as performers who have been inspired by her. The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 W 22nd St. in New York.

Performing for this special event are singer-actors Walter Willison & Joan Copeland, who co-starred with Kahn in Richard Rodgers’ Two by Two (1970); actor/choreographer/producer Lawrence Leritz, who started as a fan & later worked with Kahn on the show Cosby (1999); composer Michael Cohen, music director at the Upstairs at the Downstairs nightclub where Kahn made her New York debut (1965-67); singer-actress Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Cinderella, & TV’s Smash); soprano Sarah Rice, the original Joanna in Sweeney Todd; soprano & MAC Award-winner Janice Hall; rising young soprano Rosa Betancourt; singer-actress Hanna Burke; singer-actress Minda Larsen, winner of Metropolitan Room’s 2015 MetroStar Challenge; MAC Award-winning singer-actor Adam B. Shapiro (HBO’s The Normal Heart) & singer-actress Julie Feltman (Unauthorized! The Musical Parody).

Classically trained, Madeline Kahn briefly considered a career in opera. After working in New York nightclubs, – she went on to success on Broadway & in Hollywood, winning back-to-back Oscar nominations for Paper Moon (1973) & Blazing Saddles (1974). She received four Tony nominations & won on her last nomination, as Best Actress for The Sisters Rosensweig (1993). On television, Kahn starred on four sitcoms and won a Daytime Emmy in 1987. She died of ovarian cancer in 1999, shortly after the release of her last film, Judy Berlin.

William V. Madison is a former producer for Dan Rather at CBS News & a former associate editor of Opera News magazine. His writing has appeared in lingua franca, The Forward, Pen World, & The Kurt Weill Newsletter, among other publications. A graduate of Brown University & of Columbia University’s graduate program in creative writing, he has also worked in theatre (production assistant, Rags, 1986) & opera (Major-Domo, Ariadne auf Naxos, Fort Worth Opera, 2013).

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Blog, Jade Magazine and

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