May 7, 200701:44 PMThe Life
One Night Only . . . We're Here Because We Care
Text and photos by Jay Jorgensen
One of the great things about an evening like "One Night Only" at the McCallum Theatre is that the ensemble cast, unencumbered by a theme show, is allowed to bring their very best material to the production. Some sang old favorites, some tried out new songs -- everything was top drawer. But a problem arose during rehearsal. The theme song of the evening, "One Night Only" contains the lyric "let's not pretend to care." But the cast did care. After all, many had made the trek from Los Angeles (with Chris Calloway flying in from Santa Fe) for the event, which benefited Family Services of the Desert. Singer Kevin Spirtas suggested the line be changed to "we're here because we care," which set the tone for the benefit.
Producer Michael Childers brought together a stellar cast from theater, television, and film including: Don Wardell, Valarie Pettiford, Ronobir Lahiri, Wilson Cruz, Chris Calloway, Brian Lane Green, Sally Kellerman, KT Sullivan, Michael Nouri, Nancy Dussault, Kevin Spirtas, Suzanna Guzman, Channing Cook Holmes, Loretta Devine, Andrea Marcovicci, Rod McKuen, Stefanie Powers, Robert Morse, Betty Garrett, Freda Payne, Samantha Lockwood, and Stephanie Perry. The evening was hosted by Doris Roberts and Bruce Vilanch.
The audience cheered each number, which ranged from Guzman's "Habanera" from Bizet's "Carmen" to Vilanch's hysterical "You Can't Succeed on Broadway" from "Spamalot."
Other kudos go to event co-chairs Jackie Lee Houston and Mark Adams, director Stuart Ross, musical director Ron Abel, and choreographer Mark Esposito.
Highlights of the weekend included a private party for the cast given by David Lee and Mark Nichols and the high-energy after-party at Piero's Acqua Pazza restaurant.
One Night Only photo gallery