Thursday, March 12, 2015
5:30 PM Dinner Reception
7:30 PM Live Cabaret and Film
Infinity Music Hall & Bistro, Hartford
Optional Attire: Roaring Twenties ragtime chic, or Red Hot Mama-inspired sequins, boas and sparkles!
USA, 2014, 96 minutes, English
Director: William Gazecki
Producers: Susan and Lloyd Ecker
The rags to riches story of superstar Sophie Tucker, Hartford's most famous daughter who ruled the worlds of vaudeville, Broadway, radio, television, and Hollywood throughout the 20th century lights up the big screen. Praised as "a living vibrant legend" by Variety, the sassy and svelte song-belter pioneered the way for megastars such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Cher, Madonna and Bette Midler. Sophie Kalish Abuza, sang her way from waitressing in the family's Hartford kosher restaurant to glamorous international stardom, brightening footlights from New York to Los Angeles and Miami to London with her signature anthems "Some Of These Days" , "After You've Gone" and "My Yiddishe Mama", among other show-stopping numbers. Using all of "The Last of the Red Hot Mama's" 400 personal scrapbooks plus stage and film clips, TV appearances, recordings and interviews, filmmaker/narrators Susan and Lloyd Ecker retrace Tucker's bawdy and brassy glory days, which earned her the nicknames "Queen of Syncopation" and "First Lady of Show Business".
Appearances by Tony Bennett, Barbara Walters, Michael Feinstein, Carol Channing, Shecky Greene and Bruce Vilanch reveal the charismatic woman behind the extravagant costumes and racy lyrics. Paul Anka, Tony Martin, Mickey Rooney, Brenda Lee, Kaye Ballard, Connie Stevens, Chubby Checker, Mamie Van Doren, Joe Franklin, Rusty Warren, Kaye Stevens, Jane Kean, Libi Staiger and Don Dellair appear in cameo roles.With the assistance of 15 time Grammy winner Phil Ramone, Sophie's early lost recordings provide the saucy sound track, a nostalgic reminder of the brazen belle from Hartford who never forgot her immigrant Jewish roots.
Cabaret Show Preceding Film
Colleen Welsh. The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Paul Feyer, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Immediately Following Film
Filmmakers/authors Susan and Lloyd Ecker
Opening Night Dinner Reception, Cabaret Performance and Film are sponsored by
LAZ Parking, ZipPark, Cindy & Barry Lazowski, Marcia & Alan Lazowski and Dana & David Lazowski in honor of their parents, Rabbi Philip and Ruth Lazowski; Infinity Music Hall & Bistro; Women's Philanthropy/Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford.