Ann Hampton Callaway is a multiplatinum-selling pop and jazz singer/songwriter best known for writing and singing the theme from the TV hit The Nanny. She also has the distinction of writing three songs for Barbra Streisand, and that is the inspiration for her latest cabaret act “The Streisand Songbook” (Ann is also an out lesbian, who gave me the honor of being the journalist to do her “coming out interview” – you can read that here).
La Streisand influenced La Callaway long before Barbra sang Ann’s songs – Funny Girl exerted a strong influence on the young singer (long before she was a songwriter). Some of the most powerful – and powerfully sung – moments in Callaway’s show are from Funny Girl, including a rafter-shaking “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, and “People” artfully mixed with one of Sondheim’s greatest (I won’t give it away, the surprising combination is one of this show’s greatest pleasures).
Ann remarks that Barbra was one of two great influences on her – the other was Ella Fitzgerald. So it’s completely natural that the feel of this show should be Barbra’s beltiness mixed with Ella’s sumptuous jazziness. Indeed, Ann’s interpretation of the song that Barbra co-wrote with Paul Williams, “Evergreen”, is the jazziest take I’ve ever heard of that particular song.
Other high points include Ann’s renditions of the songs she wrote for Barbra “At the Same Time” and “I’ve Dreamed of You” – dare I say it, Ann’s heartfelt interpretation of “I’ve Dreamed of You”, dedicated to her fiancee Kari Strand, was even stronger than Barbra’s recording (though who knows what Barbra might do with it if she sings it on October 11).
Callaway successfully covers all five decades of Streisand’s multi-faceted career, crafting a loving musical portrait of a brilliant, conflicted artist driven to seek pop music perfection. Callaway herself achieves a kind of jazz-pop perfection, a kissing cousin of Streisand’s, and every bit as shimmery and rich.
For tickets, click here.
For more reviews and interviews by Jonathan Warman, see dramaqueennyc.com.
The Senate in Australia voted down a measure that would have legalized same sex marriage by a vote of 41 to 26 on Thursday. The vote came one day after the lower house on Wednesday rejected a separate private members bill by 98 votes to 42.
The Labor Party allowed its members a conscience vote on the issue which means each Senator was allowed to vote separately. The coalition did not which required all of their party’s Senators to vote the same.
A private members bill is on hold in the Senate, and supporters say they will sit on that bill until they are sure it can pass. They say it might even mean waiting for a new Prime Minister to get elected.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the court is likely to rule on the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act within the next year.
Ginsburg was speaking at the University of Colorado in Boulder and was asked about the equal-protection clause. The student-submitted question asked whether the nation’s high court would consider it applying to sexual orientation.
She said she can’t comment on issues before the court.
“I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term,” Ginsburg said.
A judge in New York has already ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
Many states have passed constitutional ammendments banning gay marriage, while eight states have approved it. Those states that allow gay marriage are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland and Washington state. Maryland and Washington’s laws aren’t yet in effect pending referendum this November.
In February 2011, President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
Chick-fil-A has decided to stick to chicken and remove themselves from the gay marriage debate.
After the company’s president came out against gay marriage over the summer, Chick-fil-A leaders say they will no longer fund groups fighting marriage equality.
The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), an LGBT advocacy group, says Chick-fil-A has agreed to stop giving money to groups that oppose same sex marriage such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.
According to a report released by the LGBT advocacy group Equality Matters, between 2003 and 2009 Chick-fil-A donated more than $3 million and another $2 million to organizations that oppose homosexuality.
In a letter from the Director of Real Estate, Chick-fil-A said that its nonprofit division, the WinShape Foundation, “is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”
TCRA says Chick-fil-A has also agreed to edit their company credo to read that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”
Accordinf to TCRA, the document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are,” will also now state that the chain will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.”
Chick-fil-A hasn’t commented on their sudden change of heart.