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April 4, 2014 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Each spring, the Broadway community raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative, leading up to the annual Easter Bonnet competition. After the curtain call, the cast, after a show has opened, normally asks audience members to donate spare cash, or to buy a signed poster. Last night, the cast of Broadway's "Beautiful" had a special guest star auctioneer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hurray! Great cause.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:47 AM on April 4, 2014

Okay before watching the video, I totally assumed Jessie Mueller who plays her, knew Carole King was going to be there, but King saying they didn't know relieved me. That's the type of pressure I'd like to feel only after the curtain call since even as an audience member I would have lost my shit but also been super nervous for her.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:49 AM on April 4, 2014

Very cool.
Carole King is great.
posted by Flood at 8:53 AM on April 4, 2014

Oh good, another opportunity to remind people that there's a great compilation of Carole's original home demos for many of her hits (Pleasant Valley Sunday, Natural Woman, Tapestry, etc.) which you owe it to yourself to investigate.
posted by mykescipark at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

Cool. Has Carole said why she hadn't seen the show until now?
posted by ChrisTN at 9:21 AM on April 4, 2014

Really pleased to see Phyllis' charity mentioned on the Blue! I worked in her apartment as an archivist for a little over a year in 2009-2010; I was creating an archive of all the correspondence, photos and memorabilia she and her late husband Adolph Green (Singin' In The Rain, On The Town) had quite literally lying around. Their lives intersected with pretty much all of the Broadway and Hollywood luminaries of the 1940s-80s, and it was the biggest treasure trove of memories I've ever seen in my life. I would open a desk drawer and there would be an original unpublished piece by Leonard Bernstein (one of their best friends) that he had given to the couple for some sort of event. It was surreal seeing how "the other half" lived, from occasionally gazing at Seinfeld's patio furniture to squealing over acidic loving notes from Sondheim or Sinatra, to that time I think I've mentioned on MeFi before when she called Sidney Lumet because I had a question about a photo.

Phyllis is just the most wonderful lady. She's so talented and funny and generous and unstoppable. (She was the first woman to guest host for Johnny Carson). When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was appalled by the uncertainty and fear that her fellow actresses and women in entertainment had to go through when they received a similar, terrifying diagnosis; not just for health reasons, but because the profession mostly came without insurance or any sort of safety net. She's worked tirelessly for years and years to raise money so that women in her shoes have access to help, not just financial, but emotional and mental as well. I cheered when the Tony Awards gave her the inaugural Isabelle Stevenson Humanitarian Award for her efforts, and booed when the TV broadcast cut her speech for the touring cast of Jersey Boys. Her memoir about her cancer experience, Just In Time, is really worthwhile reading if you can get your hands on it.

Phyllis is Old New York in every way, and her generation is starting to disappear, but to me, she's leaving behind a wonderful legacy that stretches much farther than what I found to archive. I'll always treasure my year in theatre heaven.
posted by ilana at 4:00 PM on April 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

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