It was 1980. Rubik’s Cube swept the nation, Ted Turner launched CNN and Pac-Man fled the implacable quartet of Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde.
And a great friendship was born. Liz Callaway and Jason Graae, both newly arrived in New York, made their off-Broadway debuts in a revival of Stephen Schwartz’ “Godspell.” Pay was $18 per week. St. Louis native Scott Bakula starred as Jesus.
Three decades later, Graae and Callaway are Broadway veterans, each boasting a long and storied career. On Saturday, Feb. 14, these old friends will reunite at Washington University in St. Louis for “Happily Ever Laughter: A Valentine’s Party.”
Presented as part of the Edison Ovations Series, the evening of romantic (but platonic) love songs will begin at 8 p.m. in the 560 Music Center’s Des Lee Concert Hall.
A Chicago native, Callaway made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” Major roles include “Miss Saigon,” for which she originated the character of Ellen; “Baby,” for which she earned a Tony Award nomination; and “Cats,” where she spent five years playing Grizabella.
“Sibling Revelry,” a cabaret show she created with sister, Ann Hampton Callaway, was recorded live for DRG Records and won both a Back Stage Bistro Award and a MAC Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets’ Clubs.
Callaway performed the title character’s singing voice in the animated feature “Anastasia,” and her song “Journey to the Past” was nominated for a 1998 Academy Award. Other film work includes the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s “The Return of Jafar” and “Aladdin and the King of Thieves” as well as vocals for “The Swan Princess,” “Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
Graae, dubbed “the undoubted master of humorous song” by New York Magazine, has starred on Broadway in “A Grand Night For Singing,” “Falsettos,” “Stardust,” “Snoopy!” and “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”
Off-Broadway shows include “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” (for which he received a Drama Desk Nomination), “Forever Plaid,” “Olympus on My Mind,” “All in the Timing” and many more.
On television, he has been featured as Dennis on HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and also appeared on “Friends,” “Frasier” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” among many others.
Tickets and sponsors
“Happily Ever Laughter: A Valentine’s Party” begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, in the Des Lee Concert Hall of Washington University’s 560 Music Center, located at 560 Trinity Ave.
Tickets are $36, or $32 seniors, $28 for Washington University faculty and staff and $20 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Edison Box Office, located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6465 Forsyth Blvd.
Edison programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors.