Eddie Shapiro, acclaimed author of “Nothing Like a Dame,” will tell juicy stories about Broadway’s most delightful divas at the JCC’s Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 10, at 1 p.m.
Shapiro will share hilarious stories from his interviews with the “Cantankerous, outspoken and utterly charming” Elaine Stritch, Patti Lupone, Carol Channing, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel and more. He will share his intimate knowledge of these dazzling divas’ careers, Broadway lore and the details of some of Broadway’s most famous (and infamous) musicals.
CenterStage will weave in performances of these women’s most famous numbers with its most talented performers, which will help bring Shapiro’s stories to life, while diners enjoy an elegant, catered brunch from Café Fraiche, with mimosas.
Shapiro said he got the idea for the book from one of his idols, singer and actress Barbara Cook. “At her concerts, she would talk about the Golden Age of musical theater,” Shapiro said. “And Cook is getting on in age – she’s 85 now – and I realized that these wonderful stories weren’t going to be around forever.”
Shapiro said because of his crazy schedule splitting time between New York and Los Angeles, as well as the crazy schedules of the ladies he interviewed, it took him about five years to complete the book, which he had “naively” thought would take about a year.
This will be his first time coming to Louisville, and he said he’s excited to get to know this city. “In my shows, I talk a lot about how I came to write the book, and I do a lot more Q and A than other speakers because I really prefer to engage in conversation rather than lecture at people,” Shapiro said.
“We are really lucky and honored to have an author of this magnitude from New York to come speak at our brunch,” said Slava Nelson, director of cultural arts at the JCC. “Eddie is not the kind of author who will bore audiences. He will have everyone in stitches.
“We were able to engage Eddie through Jewish Book Council and looking forward to get more events with Jewish Authors next year”, Nelson said.
Shapiro is the co-author of two previous books, “The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors” and “Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks.” He is the former director of AIDS Walk New York and Los Angeles and the producer of Gay Days at Disneyland.
He grew up singing (quite loudly) the music of Broadway. There is not a cast album he doesn’t know by heart or a show he hasn’t seen over the last 30 years. He has attended more than 1,200 Broadway performances.
His theater-related criticism and coverage of the arts has appeared in several publications, most regularly in Out Magazine, Instinct and Backstage West. He has interviewed a multitude of entertainment luminaries including: Charles Busch, Jon Robin Baitz, Marc Cherry, Alan Cumming, Stockard Channing, Dame Edna, Florence Henderson, Nathan Lane, Michelle Lee, Eric McCormack, Terrence McNally, Donna Mills, Meagan Mullally, Ann Reinking, Gwen Verdon and Ben Vereen.
Tickets are $35, $28 for JCC members. Purchase tickets at 502-459-0660, Jewishlouisville.org/mothers-day-brunch.