Cabaret vocalist Francesca Amari will reprise her tribute show, "YOU MAKE ME LAUGH: A Love Song to Gilda Radner" tonight, May 10, 2012, at the legendary Gardenia Supper Club in West Hollywood, CA. The show, which Amari debuted at last year's Gilda's LaughFest in Grand Rapids, MI, a 10-day festival of laughter that included such notables as Bill Cosby, Betty White, Margaret Cho and more, to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Gilda's Club West Michigan.
She developed the show with the input of nationally renowned cabaret star Andrea Marcovicci, known as "the Queen of Cabaret," who served as her creative consultant. The show highlights moments of Gilda's fascinating life, including her rise to stardom, her marriage to Gene Wilder and her struggle with cancer. Much of the material comes from Gilda's autobiography, "It's Always Something" and her Saturday Night Live (SNL) writing partner and friend, Alan Zweibel's account of their relationship in "Bunny Bunny."
Also on the creative team were Shelly Markham, who serves as Music Director; and cabaret producer/director Clifford Bell, and comedy writer Shelly Goldstein. The show features music from the American Popular Songbook, pop music, Broadway and the cabaret world, and includes such gems as "Pure Imagination," Markham's "You Make Me Laugh," "My Pa" and "Honey, Touch Me With My Clothes On." Amari notes that she's often told she resembles Gilda Radner, and cites the star as one of her long-time heroes, since discovering her on SNL during her high school years.
Every time Amari performs the tribute show, she donates a portion of the proceeds to either a local Gilda's Club or cancer-support organization. To date, she's raised over $500. For the show at The Gardenia, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Pennies For Penny, a support organization founded to raise money for 3-year-old Penny Buttrick, who is fighting Neuroblastoma (www.pennies4penny.org).