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Thursday, May 14, 2015

On the Town with Buddy Beaverhausen: Ms Julie Budd!

It was another wonderful Richard Skipper event at the Metropolitan Room last night as Julie Budd took to the stage to a packed house and received thunderous applause throughout, and not one but two standing ovations at the end! I was so happy to experience the diva live and to meet her, at last, in person. Our three-part Q&A was done by phone.

I was early to help form the que to congratulate the singer, but a few people jumped the line! One very rude woman got in front of me, saying "Sorry but I have another event to get to." The cheek!

I took the cell phone pic to the left up-close and personal and it's more than a bit overlit and blurry. I didn't have my glasses on at the time. Can you tell by any chance?

Promoter Richard Skipper's Richard Skipper Celebrates press kit was something on which he truly outdid himself this time. And I was grateful that it included a cd copy of Ms Budd's new album, They Wrote the Songs, which she is promoting through this series of shows. I was seated at a long table with other press, all with our boffo press packages. We got to schmooze, and the subject of zodiac signs came up. Asked my sign, I said Taurus and mentioned it was my birthday yesterday. I got a round of birthday greetings and cheers! The clinking of wine glasses to toast with my new friends was an incredibly bonding experience.

Julie opened the night's set with a rendition Sondheim's "Being Alive" that was electrifying. She followed that up with Michele Le Grand's "I Will Wait for You" as an anniversary tribute to Metropolitan Room club owner Bernie Furshpan and his wife Joanne for their wedding anniversary. The Great American Songbook was celebrated -- everyone from the Beatles to Duke Ellington. She did a boffo version of "Home" from The Wiz! And her Rogers and Hammerstein, and Anthony Newley/ Cyril Bricusse medleys were sensational.

I'll Be Seeing You was Ms Budd's encore and it was absolutely heart-melting!

A medley of Jerry Herman included "I Am What I Am." The last question of my original Q&A with Julie was whether she had any shout-outs to her gay fans. "Shout-outs? Like Right On? Keep On Going?" We both laughed and I said she could say whatever came to mind. Ultimately, she said she doesn't like to categorize her audience but supports mutual respect and measures for equality. I didn't include this in the published Q&A only because I thought it may have been a bit heavy-handed and, also, it was perfect to end the published Q&A as I did, the editor within felt!

Nonetheless, our diva showed up in a vaguely '50s outfit of stunning glamor! Black top, cinched waist wirh belt and a gray skirt, with a black cape embroidered with gold that she twirled and swirled and used to best divaesque touches of drama and glamor.

The four-piece, all-male band was stunning as well with long-time collaborator, musical director Herb Bernstein on piano. Brava, Diva!

"How are your sinuses today?" Julie asked me when we met after her show. "Mine are killing me! I was so congested! Could you tell?" I honestly assured her we'd have never known given her performance.

I wanted to thank Richard Skipper on my way out but he was swamped by people wanting to buy up Julie's cd. So I'll say it now. Thanks so much, Richard for Something Wonderful indeed!

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