Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Anna Bergman!

Photo credit: Stephen Sorokoff
"In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."
-Ecclesiastes 1:18

Happy Wednesday!

This time tomorrow, I will be sitting on Delta Airlines en route to LAX. I will be in Palm Springs through the 16th and in Los Angeles the 17th through the 20th and then on to Denver for two days. This is a trip that has gone through various incarnations. I hope that I have lots to share with you over the next two weeks and in the weeks to come. I am very excited about this trip, however,  it is bittersweet on so many levels.

My horoscope today tells me that cosmic activity in the most sensitive area of my chart could make this a confusing sort of day, but not to let it worry me because nothing bad will come of it. However, decide not to take any major decisions.

I guess that's a good thing because all the major decisions that are swirling around me currently have all been made. Again, I am looking forward to this trip, however, I am also disappointed in events happening around Manhattan that I would very much like to be a part of. If you saw my blog yesterday, you already know that Natalie Douglas will be celebrating her birthday at Bird land on January 16. That is a show not to be missed!

Another show not to be missed is the amazing Anna Bergman at Feinstein's.
I adore Anna and try to catch her whenever I can. I have been lucky enough not only to be of an audience member on many occasions, but once in a while, I have also been lucky enough to share in other events with her. Most recently, Anna was part of my Jerry Herman celebration on November 28. As usual, the audience loved her.I hope that all of my readers will attend these shows. Live shows are meant to be celebrations not only for the audience, not only for the entertainers, but rather a fusion of the two.

Anna happens to be one of the hardest working Singers around I am thrilled that she made time for me in the midst of her busy schedule for this blog. Ladies and gentlemen, Anna Bergman…

 Anna grew up overseas as the daughter of an American diplomat and an actress/ broadcast journalist so she was exposed to the arts in many different cultures. It formed her as an actress and a singer.
Anna loves to sing many styles of music , in different languages and as an actor she has loved playing roles in plays from Chekhov to Mamet and in contemporary opera to grand opera.
Anna danced a solo at age 5 in a Washington School of Ballet production. She remembers Mary Day, the teacher, pulling her mother aside and telling her that Anna had something special on stage and that mom should nurture it. Boy, did she ever! Anna is grateful for parents who really encouraged her and her brothers to do what they love and what they are good at- to follow their hearts.

Anna's first professional job was a dinner theatre production  in Virginia of “On The Twentieth Century” then some operas and some straight plays at some of the great DC theatres and with opera companies.

Anna's thoughts on Arts in Education
I serve on the board of advisors to the American SongbookProject and we bring our great songbook into schools. It is vitally important, inspiring and transformational for these kids to have Broadway and Cabaret professionals sing on their school stages.

What makes you cry out of the blue when you see or hear it?
A gorgeous melody paired with a brilliant lyric. Viennese operetta, a Pucinni aria, a Rodin sculpture…my husband and our Havanese. 

Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing's

Foundation For The Arts)

She is truly unique, and I love that. There is no one , and never will be anyone, quite like her. She is funny, talented, charming and adorable.

Most recent appearance
Sarasota Florida’s Historic Asolo Theatre in “Together This Christmas” with Jeff Harnar, Klea Blackhurst , Todd Murray and Alex Rybeck. What a blast!

Next appearance
Feinstein’s at Loews Regency with my new show “You & the Night & the Music: An Evening of Musical Imports & Exports” Friday, January 13 & Saturday, January 14. Alex Rybeck, Musical Director, Jered Egan on bass and directed by Jeff Harnar.

What is your biggest success in Show Business

There are many highlights for me: Lincoln Center American Songbook with Barbara Cook, Carnegie Hall’s Centennial Tribute To Ira Gershwin, my own concert on PBS “ A Salon with Anna Bergman” and performing at the White House and just this past June being the soloist for HM Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday celebration in NYC with HRH Prince Edward to sing to!

What one change would you like to see in today's industry?
People being cast in roles on Broadway or film and given opportunities to star in a major venues because of the quality of their craft and not because they have a “household name” that can sell tickets.

Who are your TOP FIVE models and influences as an artist? 
Eleonara Duse
Eleonora Duse, Renee Flemming, Barbara Cook, Auguste Rodin, Meryl Streep.

Auguste Rodin
 What do you think ultimately made you become a performer?
My fascination with being human, telling the truth and wanting to inspire people and be an instrument for Love.

Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
Yes. I’d like to not have to be such a business person. I’d rather focus on being a creative artist more of the time. 

 Anna will return to Feinstein's at Loews Regency Jan. 13-14 to premiere her new show, You & the Night & the Music: An Evening of Musical Imports & Exports.

 The 8:30 PM concerts, directed by Jeff Harnar, will feature musical director and arranger Alex Rybeck on piano as well as Jered Egan on bass.

 My dear Anna...I gotta say Anna is a bit of a freak of musical nature: she has the notes of a diva soprano, comic timing of a borscht-belt veteran, the body of Venus, and the social graces of a diplomat's daughter...wait, she IS a diplomat's daughter. I have had several occasions to work with Anna, most recently in "Together This Christmas" along with Klea Blackhurst, Jeff Harnar, and Alex Rybeck which is an awesome show and Anna stops it every night with her O Holy Night...but we also did a farewell show for the sadly departed Le Chat Noir in New Orleans along with Jason Graae, Andrea Marcovicci, Shelly Markham and Alex Rybeck. Anna and I performed a sensual rendition of "Old Devil Moon" together, when the tune was over there wasn't a dry seat in the house, and I would leave the stage thinking, "Dang, Anna's husband Scott is one lucky dude." Love that Bergman gal.
 Todd Murray

I went to high school with Anna. I am a few years younger but had the fortune to be in several musicals with her. We were in different grades. She was an amazing talent even at 16 years old. She had the looks, the voice, the confidence. She was the whole package. Anyone who says you really can't tell how a person would turn out from knowing them in high school didn't know Anna. She sparkled! Oh, and she was brilliant too. If she wasn't so nice, she would be someone you would naturally hate!
Amy Juras

In You and the Night and the Music, according to press notes, "Anna presents an international musical scrapbook and audience favorites from her live appearances and her PBS special 'A Salon with Anna Bergman.' From the American songbook, Anna includes selections by Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Jerry Herman, Maury Yeston and Adam Guettel. Raised abroad as the daughter of an American diplomat and an actress, she pays tribute to her European roots with Parisian chanson, Viennese operetta and Italian opera, and pays homage to artists who inspired her such as Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich."

 Bergman has been seen at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, where she premiered her shows Wherever Love Takes Me and My Heart Stood Still: The Love Songs of Richard Rodgers. She has also performed as a soloist at the White House; at Lincoln Center's American Songbook (with Barbara Cook); at Kennedy Center's Sondheim celebration in A Little Night Music; in Carnegie Hall's centennial tribute to Ira Gershwin; and in the concert version of The Light In The Piazza as Margaret (with Adam Guettel and Matthew Morrison). Visit

 Feinstein's at Loews Regency is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street. There is a $25 food/drink minimum. For more information and tickets, call (212) 339-4095 or visit or (Source:, Michael Gioa)

I knew her briefly and intensely in the way of so many theatre connections. I was her "hair lady" and dresser for a production of Three Sisters at The Studio Theatre in Washington DC more years ago than either of us want to dwell on I'm sure. I am also sure that she is still the beautiful, charming, talented, and passionate performer and woman I got to know. We reconnected on facebook through another Three Sisters' cast member. I don't think we have exchanged any messages, but I love the opportunity to learn about her shows and CD releases. Probably not much help to you, but there it is such as it is.
Alice Anne English



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Tomorrow's's blog will be... CELEBRATING BEN COOPER STEVENS!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

Sylvia Steiner and Anna Bergman, New York Social Diary
Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


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