Broadway Legend Barbara Cook Sets Musical Memoir

Barbara Cook
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The Tony-winning star will play 65 performances this spring in a solo vehicle timed to the release of her autobiography, conceived by James Lapine and directed by Tommy Tune.

One of the most beloved interpreters of the American musical theater canon will return to the New York stage this spring, when Barbara Cook: Then and Now plays a 10-week engagement.

Conceived by James Lapine and directed by Tommy Tune — who between them have 13 Tony Awards — the musical memoir will provide a showcase for Cook to reflect back on a legendary career spanning more than half a century, from her days as an ingenue in Broadway's Golden Age to the present.

The show will coincide with the June publication from HarperCollins of Cook's autobiography, which bears the same title.

"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," said Cook 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."

Cook made her Broadway debut in 1951 in Flahooley, and went on to star in the original productions of Plain and Fancy, Candide, The Music Man (for which she won a Tony in 1958) and She Loves Me, among others, as well as revivals of Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I and Show Boat. Her most recent Broadway appearance was in Sondheim on Sondheim in 2010.

As a cabaret and concert performer, she has played major venues around the world, including seven returns to Carnegie Hall, most recently for her 85th birthday celebration concert. She was an honoree at the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors.

The new show will give audiences an opportunity to hear Cook's warm soprano in a more intimate setting, at off-Broadway's New World Stages, where the limited engagement begins performances April 13 for an official May 4 opening, running through June 26. Roy Furman is producing, in association with Sandy Robertson and Luigi Caiola.

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