Sunday, April 18, 2004

Cates headlines theater benefit at 20th Century

Kristy Cates can't believe she's on Broadway, but there she is in great big hit Wicked, (watch for it at this year's Tony Awards) which tells the other side of The Wizard of Oz.

She can't believe she's understudying Idina Menzel in the show's title role. "I'm like a wide-eyed kid," she says with a laugh.

Cates is taking a couple of nights off from her Broadway job to perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Broadway Belters - The Ladies Singing Their Songs, a fund-raiser for soon-to-be New Voice Theater at the 20th Century in Oakley. (New Voice is prepping for a 2004-05 presence in the Aronoff Center's Fifth Third Bank Theater.)

Cates, who graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1999, plans to sing two songs from Wicked, "and I may do something from Funny Girl, maybe a little Linda Eder."

If you catch the show on Broadway, you can hear her one-line solo - "I hear some rebel animals are giving her food and shelter." - in a company number.

This is a big deal because it was the show's composer, Stephen Schwartz, who chose her. He'd seen her perform in a cabaret, which is how she's spent a lot of time since moving to New York, in addition to "a lot of new work that hasn't gotten off the ground."

Cates will be joined in Belters by Pamela Day, Cathy Lutz, Jessica Hendy and Ta'Rea Campbell. Richard Oberacker will accompany.

Tickets are $20. For reservations and information, call 624-8584.

It's feast or famine on the cabaret scene in Cincinnati. This week is for gluttons:

• Singcinnati!, featuring songs by locals David Kisor, Scott Woolley, Janet Vogt and Mark Friedman and Jamey Strawn, Christine Jones and Ken Jones, is at 5 and 7 p.m. today at the Aronoff's Fifth Third Bank Theater. It benefits the League of Cincinnati Theatres. Tickets are $20 and tax deductible. Call the box office at 977-4157.

• On Tuesday and Wednesday, a. Beth Harris and Andrew Smithson will present Torch, a night of music and comedy in the courtyard of Arnold's Bar & Grill (210 E. Eighth St.). Tickets are $22 and include dinner, show and tip. Call 421-6234 for reservations.


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