Now Streaming: Carol Burnett, Peggy Lee, Bernadette Peters, Lena Horne
The Broadway Babe, Randie Levine Miller has unearther some amazing concerts featuring some divine dames.
Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character
Who doesn’t love Carol Burnett? Even if you’re not a baby boomer, you’ll delight in this TV trailblazer’s talent..(She also starred on Broadway). “Carol Burnett: A Woman Of Character” aired on PBS in 2013 and it’s a must see documentary about her… like so many comedians, hers was a difficult childhood and her adulthood was laced with tragedies. It’s hard to believe she’s 88 years old, as she’s truly ageless. Perhaps it’s due in part to her being married to Hollywood Bowl drummer, Brian Miller, who’s 23 years younger than Carol!
Sidebar: When Carol Burnett was starring in “Fade Out, Fade In” on Broadway in the early 60’s, I had the privilege of meeting this warm, welcoming lady.. I went backstage to meet her (in those days, it wasn’t a problem, as you didn’t have to be on the “list”)…I was in my teens and asked her to recommend a singing teacher which she graciously did.. Decades later, I ran into her and her husband at a Broadway matinee, and she and her husband were as lovely as can be.
Peggy Lee Live in 1984
A rare find on YouTube of the legendary Peggy Lee in concert at Resorts International Hotel in 1984 with the New Jersey Symphony. At age 62, she had the audience in the palm of her hands. She sings all of her hits in this special which aired on PBS. Her excellent jazz quintet led by pianist, Mike Renzi,
Who is the best of the best jazz pianists. Jay Leonhart, legendary bassist, also is part of this group. A very special “Special”,as well as a wonderful primer for jazz singers and singers, in general.
Sidebar: I’ve had the privilege of working with Mike Renzi. When I hosted my first Showstopper Divos show in 2012, at Feinstein’s at the Regency, Mike accompanied (and still does) rising young star and award winning singer/entertainer, Nicolas King.
Bernadette Peters Live in London
From 1998, Bernadette Peters in Concert at Royal Festival Hall in London… an excellent concert with lots of Sondheim and Jerry Herman songs… Her star was rising at the time. As we know, she’s still going strong in her 70’s, and doesn’t seem to physically age. I’m sure we’d all like to know her secret!
Sidebar: Bernadette is now a legendary Broadway super-star.. and to think that we shared a singing teacher when we were 7 years old! (Her name was Lola Bennett and she’ll always be my favorite) Bernadette had lessons every Friday at 3pm and then I came in at 4! Ms. Bennett’s studio was at 1697 Broadway, in the building where “Late Night” currently resides.
Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
I found a true treasure! “Lena Horne – The Lady and Her Music” was one of the greatest special theatrical events to ever grace the Broadway Stage. Lena was an authentic genius entertainer and was given a special Tony Award in 1981 for one of the most memorable evenings (I, personally) ever experienced. She was 64 at the time, and at the top of her game. I paid retail to see her…. but you can now view her entire sold-out show… for free!
Sidebar: Close friend, Josh Ellis, was the press agent for Lena’s show, and she was truly one of his most favorite people to work with. Josh is part of my Randie’s Roundtable, and he regales us with anecdotes of his life and times in the theater…. he views Lena Horne as royalty… and indeed, she was!
Sidebar, two: I was meeting my mother at the Sardi’s bar, prior to going to a play starring Marlo Thomas…The Sardi’s bar, in those days, was one of the friendliest and most delightful places to hang out.
A gentleman came in and in full voice announced that he had an extra ticket to see Lena Horne. Having just seen her extraordinary show, I volunteered my mother to use his other ticket. My mother at first hesitated, but I pushed her to go. The gentleman assured me that he would take her to the show and then bring her back to Sardi’s, which indeed, he did. He even asked my mother out for a real date, but she turned him down!