By Byrne Harrison
Brooke Shields and John McDaniel are teaming up for a live auction prize that will have them performing a private concert in an apartment overlooking Lincoln Center for up to 30 friends of the highest bidder. “An Evening with Brooke Shields and John McDaniel” will be a brand new show created by the pair expressly for the occasion. The event supports The American Songbook Project and will be available for bidding at the “Name That Tune” Costume party gala at the Edison Ballroom next Saturday November 6.
Songbook’s “Name That Tune” costume party, which honors singing legend Margaret Whiting and the prolific director Michael Mayer, will feature a juried costume fashion show and live auction hosted by Birdland’s Jim Caruso. Costumes are optional.
The “Name That Tune” costume gala benefits The American Songbook Project, which brings performances by well-known actors and singers to city schools to expose young people to American popular songwriting, one of our country’s most pervasive cultural exports. The evening will feature performances by Jane Kaczmarek, Tony Award-winning librettist and lyricist Dick Scanlan, and the Tony-nominated actress Kate Baldwin. Introducing a special tribute to Ms. Whiting will be the actress Maureen Moore and the young singing sensation Nellie McKay.
The song-title fashion show’s Celebrity Judges Panel includes the five-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, NY 1 News’s Frank DiLella, Jujamcyn president Jordan Roth, casting director Tara Rubin, jazz vocalist Hilary Kole, Time Out NY’s theater and cabaret critic Adam Feldman, and arts patron Frank Skillern. The grand-prize winner for Best Song Title Costume wins a one-week vacation to Paris and the French Riviera courtesy of Radisson Blu Hotels, including roundtrip airfare.
“The evening’s honorees Margaret Whiting and Michael Mayer emblemize the scope of our organization’s cultural mission,” states Michael Putman Estwanik, who is the president of the board of directors of The American Songbook Project. “It is our belief that American popular songs are our country’s unique contribution to world culture.” Since its founding in 1999, The American Songbook Project has been bringing Broadway and top cabaret talent into New York City schools so that young people can hear great songs, both classic and contemporary, by American songwriters. “With so many music programs in our schools being drastically cut,” Estwanik continues, “our role is becoming essential if we want to foster an appreciation of American popular songs among the young.”
To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 212-362-2115, or visit www.theamericansongbookproject.org.