“Stepping Out With My Baby” takes the beloved repertoire of Irving Berlin — perhaps the greatest songwriter in American history — and captures it at its most intimate: two singers on stage, singing songs that have stood the test of time, the come-and-go of fashion, and countless performances.
Brought to the stage by TV actress and singer Linda Purl (originally Fonzie’s girlfriend on “Happy Days”; more recently on “The Office” and “Homeland”) and Lee Lessack (“Cabaret romanticism of a high order” Billboard), the performances on March 17 & 18 at Three Stages will feature some of Berlin’s best loved songs performed by two top-notch singers.
“When Irving Berlin turned 100 in 1988, none other than Isaac Stern said ‘The career of Irving Berlin and American music were intertwined forever — American music was born at his piano.’ In the case of ‘Stepping Out With My Baby,’ we have both the singers … and the songs. It should be a great night.,” Three Stages Executive Director Dave Pier noted.
About the artists
Born in Connecticut and raised in Japan, Purl’s television credits range from “Happy Days” as Ashley Pfister (Fonzie’s fiancée) to Charlene Matlock on “Matlock” to Joe Mategna’s wife on the acclaimed Supreme Court series “First Monday” co-starring James Garner.
Linda has more than 30 television movies credits to her name, such as “Born Free,” “The Last Days of Pompeii” (with Sir Laurence Olivier), “The Manions of America” (with Pierce Brosnan) and “Like Normal People,” the award-winning docu-drama about a mentally retarded couple co-starring Shaun Cassidy. Linda’s feature film credits include Disney’s “Mighty Joe Young,” “The Walking Major” (with Toshiro Mifune), “Crazy Mama” (directed by Jonathan Demme) and “Leo and Loree” (produced by Ron Howard).
Stage credits include Broadway: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Getting and Spending,”; Off Broadway: “The Baby Dance” (with Stephanie Zimbalist) and Off-Off-Broadway: “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”
Purl is recipient of six Dramalogue Best Actress Awards and two Dramalogue Awards as Best Producer. She has received two Robby Awards for Best Actress and is a three-time nominee of the Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award for Best Actress and is the recipient of the Connecticut Critics’ Award for Outstanding Performance in a Play for her work in “The Baby Dance.”
Lee Lessack’s graceful lyric baritone vocals and endearing persona have made him a shining star of the international concert scene. Billboard Magazine calls his singing, “Cabaret romanticism of a high order.” Touring extensively in the United States and Europe to sold-out performances and releasing five albums, Lessack has proven himself both as performer and recording artist.
Lessack’s newest concert is titled Chanteur and is homage to the Great French Songbook, celebrating music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Brel, Gilbert Bécaud and Charles Aznavour to name a few. His fifth and most ambitious recording to date, “In Good Company,” features duets with music notables like Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern, Amanda McBroom, Ann Hampton Callaway and Stephen Schwartz. It has earned a MAC and Bistro Award for Best Recording of the Year. A native of Philadelphia, Lessack makes his home in Los Angeles.
John Boswell (musical director) has served as musical director for Judy Collins, Andy Williams and Bob Newhart. Boswell played the role of “Moose” in the national tour of “Crazy For You.” Broadway/Off Broadway credits include “Crazy For You,” “The Secret Garden,” “Back To Bacharach And David” and “The Kathy And Mo Show: Parallel Lives.” Most recently Boswell composed music for the HBO special “Kathy And Mo: The Dark Side.”
“Stepping Out With My Baby — The Songs of Irving Berlin” will perform in Three Stages on March 17 at 8 p.m. and March 18 at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $39 to $45; they are available online at www.threestages.net or from Three Stages ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Three Stages is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.