The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Actor's Temple

Tonight was Randie Levine-Miller's benefit for the historic synagogue Actor's Temple, built in 1923 and now designated a national landmark.

 At a time when showbusiness people were not readily accepted in society, this was a place where actors could feel at home.

The stairwells are lined with biographies of famous members and congregants such as Jack Benny (above), Al Jolson, Edward G. Robinson, Milton Berle, The Three Stooges and Harpo Marx.
Eddie Cantor
Bert Lahr
Sophie Tucker headlined the Temple's annual benefit on Broadway

Shelley Winters kept High Holy Days at the synagogue.
Smith & Dale, the model for Neil Simon's SUNSHINE BOYS.
The stage is tiny and the auditorium holds around 200.

We had a good turnout and as usual the artists appearing were the nicest bunch of folks you could imagine. Randie Levine-Miller compered and Paul Chamlin accompanied on the upright.

 I've always loved impressionist and singer Marilyn Michaels from her appearances on tv variety shows in the 60s. I also have a couple of her albums recorded around the time she was starring in the National Company of FUNNY GIRL (incidentally, Lillian Roth played Mrs. Brice!) Marilyn was scheduled at the end of tonight's programme so we spent a lot of time chatting in the dressing room with her son Mark Wilk (below), a composer with whom she has written a musical she is endlessly workshopping. She was plagued with a bad back which was causing her terrible discomfort but of course once she hit the stage you would never have guessed.
Marilyn's act tonight was a hilarious capsule version of the movie WIZARD OF OZ in which she impersonated Dorothy, the Wicked Witch, the Munchkins, the Winkie Soldiers, the Cowardly Lion, and most memorably, Glinda. Somehow, Liza and Dr. Ruth ended up in the mix as well.

Broadway and TV star Richard Kind performed "The Butler's Song" ("He's screwing Dolores del Rio") from SO LONG, 174th St. A lovely man.
Composer/lyricist Douglas J. Cohen (he wrote the musical version of NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY) chose to sing "My Own Morning" from HALLELUJAH, BABY! combined with "Something's Coming".
Tom Gamblin, who also manages the Metropolitan Room when he's not singing, did a very funny parody of "Waiting For Life" from ONCE ON THIS ISLAND about waiting for the subway.
The very gorgeous Stacey Sullivan (sister of KT) performed a number from her new Peggy Lee tribute show. We are now enamoured of each other and hopefully will lunch someday.

  Double Tony Award nominee and Woody Allen muse Tony Roberts gave us a taste of Broadway musical history when he recreated the PROMISES PROMISES hit song "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" with original Tony nominated star Jill O'Hara (who sounds exactly the same as she did in 1968).

That's Jill on the right at the after-party with Jamie De Roy who rocked the crowd with her very clever parody "I am 60 going on 70".
Jamie is hosting her own cabaret evening at the Metropolitan Room two nights from now in which I will be a guest so I have another night of sweaty shaky adrenaline fuelled terror ahead of me. Goody.

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