Rivera & Lemper Feature in Feinstein’s at the ShawDate: 27 December 2007
If you were disappointed when Chita Rivera’s planned cabaret season at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre was cancelled this past autumn (See News, 13 Aug 2007), get ready for a second chance to see the Broadway legend up-close and personal – and this time in even more intimate surroundings. Rivera (pictured) will perform, from 8 to 10 February 2007, at the Shaw Theatre in Euston Road as part of a new concert season “Feinstein’s at the Shaw Theatre”.
The vision of the new enterprise is similar to its New York City counterpart “Feinstein’s at the Loew Regency”. In addition to Rivera, the inaugural schedule features Ute Lemper (14-15 February), Elkie Brooks (1 March), Barb Jungr (8 March) and Barbara Dickson (19-20 April).
Michael Feinstein, who created the series in New York and opens the London season from 6 to 11 January 2008 with his own show, An American in London, explained: “We’re aiming to create a venue where we can have regular performances in a setting that approximates cabaret, that’s affordable and has the luxury of a theatrical setting without being oversized. The Shaw Theatre is perfect – it has just over 400 seats and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.”
Feinstein – a four-time Grammy nominated singer, pianist and composer – had a West End season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket three years ago (See News, 20 Jul 2004). Considered one of top interpreters of American popular song, Feinstein’s standard repertoire includes classics by the likes of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, Harry Warren and Ira Gershwin, for whom he was an assistant for six years.
At the Shaw, there are further plans to present a Songwriters Series where legendary composers such as Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Michel Le Grand, Don Black and others are invited to perform and discuss their work; a Legends Series where well known raconteurs from the world of music, theatre and film will be invited to share some of their stories and musical experiences with the Shaw audience; and a Masterclass Series led by experts in a particular musical genre followed by a Q&A session.
According to Feinstein: “Music is about communication and a shared experience. My greatest desire is to connect and transform people through the eloquence, humour and beauty that music and lyrics offer, and I think that’s something we can truly achieve at the Shaw Theatre.”
The Shaw has previously hosted successful concert series for the likes of Sandra Bernhard, Eartha Kitt and Dionne Warwick. The last will now perform for one night only at the West End’s London Palladium on 3 February 2008.
- by Terri Paddock