NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Cook, whose buttery soprano helped define show after show on Broadway, is coming back to a New York stage to share stories and songs.
The Grammy- and Tony Award-winner who starred in “Candide,” ”The Music Man” and “Carousel,” will star in “Barbara Cook: Then and Now,” conceived by James Lapine and directed by Tommy Tune, who have 13 Tonys between them.
Previews begin April 13 at the New World Stages complex on 50th Street. The one-woman show is billed as a “vibrant and candid journey through her remarkable life.”
Cook was one of Broadway’s leading ingenues of the 1950s and later a major cabaret and concert interpreter of popular American song. Stephen Sondheim became one of her biggest champions and she starred in a legendary 1985 concert version of his “Follies” at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and led a critically acclaimed revue of his songs in “Mostly Sondheim.”
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She battled alcoholism and weight gain to reinvent herself as an in-demand solo artist. Cook’s autobiography will be released by HarperCollins Publishers in June.
“As I began to write my upcoming memoir, I was surprised by how moved I was in revisiting my early years and later my alcoholic years,” Cook said in a statement.
“I’ve always felt that the narrative of my life came through many of the songs I sing, both tunes I’ve introduced and favorites that have spoken to me through different chapters of my life. I’m hoping this evening will be a live companion piece to the book that taught me more about my own life than I ever would have expected.”
The 88-year-old Cook has spent the last several years on her own concerts and solo albums, including “Mostly Sondheim,” ”Barbara Cook at Carnegie Hall” and “Barbara Cook’s Broadway.”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits