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Broadway divas Betty Buckley, Megan Mullally and more descend on P’town

Posted by Jim Lopata  August 4, 2012 09:14 AM

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Megan Mullally

Pianist and performer Seth Rudetsky brings the best of New York—including Alice Ripley, Megan Mullally, Betty Buckley, Marilyn Maye and Billy Stritch—to the tip of Cape of Cod this August

by Loren King

Can’t decide whether your summer getaway should be to New York City or Provincetown? Now you don’t have to. The Art House again is bringing a bit of Broadway to Provincetown this summer with a series of big name performers who normally play venues much larger than the cozy confines of the cabaret on Commercial Street. From Cats phenom Betty Buckley to stage and TV star Megan Mullally, the Art House is the place to be this summer when your inner Broadway baby needs some TLC.

Best known for her Tony award-winning role as Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, as well as her roles on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, Betty Buckley returns to town August 11 and 12, accompanied by pianist and Broadway in Provincetown host, Seth Rudetsky. “I’ve know Seth forever, before he was famous. He remembers things I don’t—some I’d prefer to forget,” says Buckley over the phone from her native Fort Worth, Texas, where she’s performing Ahhh Men! The Boys of Broadway and teaching a song interpretation workshop. Buckley for 40 years has conducted master classes (Rudetsky was once a student, she says). Last September, Buckley performed Ahhh Men! in Provincetown (“I’m thrilled they invited me back; I love being there. The audiences are exceptional,” she says.) She then took the show to the famed Feinstein’s nightclub in the Regency Hotel in New York. Buckley says she’ll likely sing some selections from Ahhh Men!—men’s songs from Broadway shows that she’s “always wanted to sing”—in this summer’s Art House concert. These include numbers from Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Pippin, and “a beautiful new arrangement by Christian Jacobs of ‘Hey There’ from The Pajama Game,” she says. Palmetto Records in August will release a CD of Ahhh Men! and Ghostlight, produced by T Bone Burnett, will be available from Palmetto in 2013. Fans can expect a sampling of music from her illustrious oeuvre, banter with Rudetsky about her career, and perhaps even her signature song, “Memory.”

The ageless Marilyn Maye kicks things off in August, appearing on the 7th and 8th with Billy Stritch accompanying her on piano. This premiere jazz and Broadway vocalist has been enjoying resurgence in popularity since 2006 when she appeared as a special guest of The Mabel Mercer Society at New York’s renowned Rose Hall at Lincoln Center. She followed this with a second Mercer concert and a performance at the annual Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center, then delivered a series of glowingly reviewed performances at New York’s Metropolitan Room in 2010. Her shows at the Art House last summer left the audience begging for more, so Maye is back for an encore. Don’t miss her return.

Megan Mullally (August 23 and 24) may be forever etched in the hearts of LGBT fans everywhere for her portrayal of hysterically tipsy bisexual party girl Karen Walker on Will & Grace, the groundbreaking hit TV series that earned Mullally two Emmy Awards. But Mullally is no Broadway novice. She made her Broadway debut as Marty in the 1994 revival of Grease with Rosie O’Donnell and one year later appeared as Rosemary in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opposite Matthew Broderick. In 2007, Mullally, channeling the late, great Madeline Kahn, starred as Elizabeth in Mel Brooks’ musical version of Young Frankenstein. With Rudetsky at the piano, audiences can expect some songs from these shows and more than a few laughs.

Alice Ripley (Sept. 1 and 2) may not be as much of a household name as the other Broadway in Provincetown divas but that shouldn’t be the case for long. Ripley, who was feted earlier this year in Boston at SpeakEasy Stage Company’s 21st Anniversary Gala and performed two songs, won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her tour de force in Next to Normal. She played conjoined twin Violet Hilton in Side Show, a role that earned her and her co-star Emily Skinner critical acclaim, a cult following, and a shared 1998 Tony Award nomination, making them the first co-nominees in a musical. Her other Broadway credits include The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce’s The Dead, Sunset Boulevard and The Who’s Tommy. A songwriter and guitarist, she formed the band RIPLEY in 2003 and this year released a new single, “Beautiful Eyes.” Sh-K-Boom Records last year released “Alice Ripley Daily Practice, Volume 1.” [x]

Ptown Art House

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About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!

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