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. www.MetropolitanRoom.com
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, Andante.com & 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 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 FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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