Bea Arthur to Appear at The Smith

The Smith Opera House welcomes stage and screen legend, Bea Arthur, for a special one-night engagement on Saturday, September 24. With its acerbic view of life, she will reprise her one-woman Broadway show, “An Evening with Bea Arthur.”Bea Arthur is a household name to generations, thanks in part to her roles in the long-running hit television series, “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Today she takes her quirky humor on the road, performing comedy concerts in front of audiences all over the country. During her routines she sings, entertains, jokes and shares stories about her illustrious career and many of the celebrities she’s encountered along the way. Bea broke on to the American theatre scene in 1954 when she performed the part of Lucy Brown in the U.S. premiere “The Threepenny Opera.” Following that, she auditioned as a singer for the summer theatre at Tamiment, which led to a part in the successful Off-Broadway musical The Shoestring Revue. On Broadway, Bea originated the role of Yente the matchmaker in the critically acclaimed musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” She then took on the character Vera Charles in “Mame,” opposite Angela Lansbury, for which she won a 1966 Tony Award and went on to reprise her role in the movie version opposite Lucille Ball. At the movies, she appeared in the Oscar-nominated “Lovers and Other Strangers” and in Mel Brooks’ “History of the World – Part 1.” She also did several made-for-television films, most notably “My First Love” with Peter Falk.” Veteran television producer Norman Lear became aware of Bea’s stage work, and felt she would be perfect for the part of Edith Bunker’s cousin, Maude, in the hit television series “All in the Family.” “Maude” soon developed into its own series, and Bea won the 1977 Emmy Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy Series. Ms. Arthur later joined the cast of “The Golden Girls” as Dorothy Zbornak, whom she played from 1985 to 1992 and earned her a second Emmy in 1988. Most recently, Bea won the Comedy Ace Award for her performance in the FOX television series “Malcolm In The Middle.”In 2001, she created the one-woman show in which she talks candidly of her life, career and friends, and sings a variety of show tunes with her good friend, pianist, composer and arranger, Billy Goldenberg, the multi-award-winning composer of the musical “Ballroom,” and took it on the road, including two months on Broadway the following year. Still going strong at 82, Arthur has done occasional film and theatre projects since leaving “The Golden Girls.” She’s an avid supporter of gay rights and animal rights and is involved in several AIDS charities.Accompanied at the piano by her musical director Billy Goldenberg, Bea Arthur will perform at 8 p.m. in the Smith Opera House on Saturday, September 24. Reserved tickets are $35, $25 and $20, and can be purchased at The Smith box office, by calling 315-781-LIVE (5483) or toll-free 866-355-LIVE (5483), or on-line at www.thesmith.org.The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. “An Evening with Bea Arthur” is generously supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, National Bank of Geneva, Barnard Auto Group and Belhurst Castle.


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