What's New on the Rialto
Tom Andersen..."The Journey"
Tom Andersen has been critically acclaimed as one of New York's finest young singers of contemporary pop and standards. The romantic tenor also has won recognition as a celebrated songwriter and his original tunes have been performed and recorded here and abroad.
Mr. Andersen has played Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Town Hall, and headlined at Tavern on the Green, Maxim's, the Russian Tea Room, the Algonquin and Eighty Eight's. Along the way, he received the 1993 MAC Award (from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) for his New York debut and a 1993 Back Stage Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist. In 1996, Mr. Andersen won the MAC Award for Outstanding Male Vocalist and come this Monday evening he will pick up another Bistro Award for Songwriter.
As a songwriter and member of ASCAP, he has had his songs performed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Australia. Mr. Andersen's poignant AIDS ballad, "Yard Sale," received the 1998 MAC Award for Song of the Year. He also has been signed to a song writing contract by Warner Chapel Music Publishers.
As a recording artist, Mr. Andersen has released his second CD, The Journey, which is named after a new tune by Grammy winner Julie Gold. The album also features his latest works and his signature song, "Storybook," from the Broadway hit The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Andrew Gans of Playbill had this to say: "Blessed with one of today's more beautiful voices and sweet, golden high notes, Andersen offers wonderful versions of classics (People Will Say We're in Love'), standards-to-be (Storybook') and originals (Yard Sale')! And Stephen Holden in the New York Times states: "Outstanding...this young New Yorker is emerging as a star. Mr. Andersen sings in a tenor that soars into exquisite high notes!"
And it's true. On first listening to "Storybook" I was transported with the angels, soaring through the heavens on the wings of Andersen's magnificent voice. Just an incredibly beautiful CD from a very gifted artist!
The Journey is available at Colony, Footlight, The Loft, HMV (at 72nd Street), Tower at Lincoln Center and Virgin Mega-Store in Times Square; or call Cabaret Connection at 1-888-666-DIVA or Original Cast Records at 1-888-627-3993.
Tidbits: The stars came out on Saturday night for Tummy Tune's press debut in EFX at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After the performance a private 60th birthday bash was held for Tune at Studio 54, the MGM's pulsing disco where hundreds attended.
At the curtain call of the show a large cake was wheeled out and Carol Channing, bejeweled and sparkling in a silver dress, did the birthday wishes to the tune of "Hello Dolly" much to the audiences delight. Afterwards the invited well-wishers comprising of Tommy's friends and the press headed to the disco. Champagne was flowing and paparazzi were everywhere. Joel Grey attended and I heard him talking to a newsman about a Kander & Ebb musical, so I had to ask him if he was here for Chicago. "No. I'm here for Tommy."
Marcia Lewis, one of the stars of the upcoming Chicago, was looking good and we chatted briefly. Just this past Friday we published an interview with Marcia in our Spotlight On section.
Many from the cast of Chicago were there as they arrived from Toronto earlier in the day. They'll be rehearsing over the next few days getting ready for the opening Wednesday night at the Mandalay Bay theater.
Spotted Pee Wee and was going to talk to him, but didn't know what to say. Monti Rock III was holding court in one corner so I had to say hello to "Disco Tex." He was chatting with Mr. & Mrs. Michael Piontek. Michael is in EFX playing the Master of Time (he was in fine voice). Many of you may remember him from Phantom or Beast. He and the Mrs., Paige O'Hara, are working on a nightclub act. Paige recently starred at the Flamingo Hilton with the Radio City Rockettes.
Many familiar faces were huddled around Tommy when he made his entrance and the entire disco burst into "Happy Birthday." Later, at the bar, I ran into one of the Broadway Chicago cast members. "Your name David?" Sure enough. David Warren-Gibson flew into town for the celebration, however, I had to ask if he was doing Chicago in the Las Vegas company. He's not as he's still in the New York production. David is a longtime friend of Tommy's and also understudied him in Busker Alley. He's the blonde in the black jeans if you've ever seen the publicity shots from Chicago or get today's New York Times. His photo is on page 29 in the Arts and Leisure section. Great guy and a fabulous Fosse dancer who studied with the master.
3 A.M. is a bit late for me so I left the still hopping party. In all my wanderings at Studio 54, I simply forgot to go up and wish Tommy a Happy Birthday ... like I could get near him. Anyhow, many happy returns Mr. Tune and thanks for the booze; the shrimp was marvelous too!
See you Thursday!
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