and Tony Award
-winning Broadway star Bebe Neuwirth
is bringing "Stories with Piano Number 3" to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
at 8:30 p.m. on July 15, 2012.
Bebe started off studying ballet with the hopes of becoming a ballerina but at the age of thirteen she realized that was not going to happen. After seeing a Broadway show she decided that dancing on Broadway was what she was meant to do. She thinks ballet and Broadway are all really the same thing, both a way to express yourself whether it be through dance, talking or singing. Ballet and Broadway are ways of performing which have the same process just different techniques.
Her career has been tremendously influenced by Bob Fosse
, who choreographed the show which inspired her to get into theater. The choreography in the show made sense to her and she felt like it was something that she could do. In later years Bebe even had privilege of working with Fosse which was an extraordinary experience.
In "Stories with Piano Number 3", Bebe performs songs by a range of composers including Stephen Sondheim
, Edith Piaf
, Irving Berlin
and is accompanied by pianist Scott Cady. Bebe directed the show and choose the songs along with Scott. When deciding what should be included they looked to see which songs go well together emotionally and musically and then found an order which seemed to make sense.
The name of the show is inspired by titles of painting. Bebe's mother who is a painter was in Bebe's presence of mind while naming the show. She was inspired by the way paintings with names like "Girl with Oranges Number 2" or "Boy with Jug of Water" sounded so abstract. The first tour was called "Stories with Piano Number 1" and while this is the second tour of "Stories with Piano" she decided to skip Stories with Piano Number 2 as a good zen joke.
The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center was the first place she performed number "Stories with Piano Number 1" and she is very happy to come back and do a slightly different version of that show. For Bebe shows where she is by herself on stage only accompanied by a piano player, like "Stories with Piano", are a different animal than Broadway with each having its challenging and easy aspects but she enjoys doing both. She loves to perform, taking the material which she is working on and living in it.
When asked if she has any favorite roles she has played Bebe responded, "What ever I am working on at the time needs to be my favorite". For her, she really has to believe completely in something in order to give herself and the audience a satisfying performance. While some shows have been special to her for creative or personal reasons it is too hard for her to choose one in particular. Some characters she has played have cracked her up while others have broken her heart but she has loved spending time with all the characters she has played.
She has enjoyed touring for "Stories with Piano", for her it has been a road trip with friends and family. She and her husband pick up her manager and Scotty, her pianist and travel to where they are performing. Bebe hopes that people who see the show have a good time and soak up the story which has pretty broad range of songs and an eclectic group of composers. Songs range emotionally from expressing great joy to heartbreak to great admiration to poignant nostalgia.
For those of you not able to attend "Piano with Story Number 3" pick up Bebe's album "Porcelain", which has some of the songs from the show along with others not in the show. The album also has other musicians and instruments including bass, drums and percussions with different mixtures of the instruments and is available on ITunes.
To purchase tickets to "Piano with Stories" visit the WHBPAC
's website (whbpac.org
). To purchase "Porcelain" visit the Leopard Works Record's website (www.theleopardworksrecords.com
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com