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19 - Sep
(Nearby Event: Concerts & Music, Food & Dining, Festivals & Fair)
Where:Incanto Vallarta, 109 Insurgentes, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
In a swirl of sequins, velvets, bugle beads and the occasional palate-cleansing tuxedo, a heady lineup of Broadways distaff stars rising, risen and en-route-to-legendary paraded their talents at Carnegie Hall Monday night in a benefit for AmFAR and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that was also taped for broadcast on Great Performances. The nearly three-hour concert, presented by co-producer Continental Airlines, was an often intoxicating display of vocal artistry that might only be faulted for its overabundance: How much rich dessert can one be expected to consume in an evening? Hearing Jennifer Holliday tear into her signature song from Dreamgirls followed by the potent comic astringency of Elaine Stritch saluting The Ladies Who Lunch was like capping a hot fudge sundae with a heaping helping of tiramisu; not that Im complaining. Special guest females Robert Morse and Tony Roberts opened the show in period drag with Beauty That Drives a Man Mad, a snazzy song from the Jule Styne-Bob Merrill musical Sugar, based on Some Like It Hot, in which Morse and Roberts starred as the stage counterparts of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. But from a gracious introduction by Julie Andrews straight through to a land-of-a-thousand females finale, it was wall-to-wall divas, among whom we can even count tux-clad, pompadoured firecracker Lea DeLaria, giving a jazzy taste of the upcoming On the Town. The evening was commendable for its celebration of such up-and-comers the absence of established names Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters and Betty Buckley, to name a few, gave these aspiring performers more time in the spotlight. Audra McDonald, with three spots and three gowns (one for each Tony?), growled out a delightfully sharp-edged rendition of Down With Love, among the few rarities on offer (from Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburgs Hooray for What!). Her Ragtime co-star Marin Mazzie sang a sultry Bewitched, while both were later joined by Judy Kuhn for a best-of-Lloyd-Webber-love-ballad me
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