“A Night At Sardi’s” event saving memories


My-o-my, guess who? Sheldon Cooper!!!

A musical revue “A Night At Sardi’s” has been produced for 21 years to benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association. And each year it gets more wonderful with the most talented stars participating to put on an unforgettable show. This year was no exception, with a lineup of hot TV stars doing musical numbers that reflected the “Best of Broadway” theme, and the grand finale had everyone doing “The Time Warp Again.” It was awesome!

A Night At Sardi's stars, photo by Margie Barron

Honors are also given out to special people who support the cause. The event’s founder Laurie Burrows Grad said, “I’m thrilled that Brain Grazer is receiving the Abe Burrows Entertainment Award,” named after her dad, a Broadway great. Actress and advocate Jill Gascoine, who is battling the disease, accepted the Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award.

Brian Grazer, photo by Margie Barron

When his “best friend for life,” Ron Howard presented Brian Grazer his award, Brian shared memories of his mother Arlene “who I lost to Alzheimer’s. I remember as a boy my mother validated me for asking questions, which became the matrix of my life. It lead me to the ‘what if’ premise of exploring ideas. What if I met a mermaid? That idea became Splash, and it was because my mother got me to understand the value of curiosity.”

On the red carpet before the show at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills the performers shared some of their special memories. Steven Weber said, “The day I met my wife, the moment I first saw her, is a memory I hope I never lose.” Weber performed Gypsy’s “Gotta Have A Gimmick” stripper number with Sharon Lawrence and Linda Hart. It was a show-stopper. Sharon said she’ll always cherish the memory of performing in church was when she was about nine, “and afterwards my dad said ‘You’ve got it!’ So I knew then I wanted to be a performer.” Linda said doing four-part harmonies with her famous gospel-singing family are among her fondest memories.

Another show-stopper was the uber-talented Barrett Foa (NCIS:LA), a Broadway veteran who belted out “I Believe” from The Book of Mormon. A shining light from his childhood memory is “a big plastic nightlight in the shape of a goose. It makes me smile when I think of it, and reminds me of my mom and dad saying ‘good night’ to me.”

Belting out Broadway tunes is also a passion for Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), who launched the show with “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray.  He has directed many musical productions for his Reprise Theatre Company, but the most memorable was at the helm for Sunday in the Park with George.

Norm Lewis (Scandal) sang “On the Wheels of a Dream” from Ragtime, duet with Nita Whitaker. His favorite childhood memory was “running after the ice cream truck on a hot summer’s night.” Leslie Odom Jr. (Smash) got everyone singing along during his Jersey Boys medley.

It was appropriate that Rob Morrow (Numb3rs) sang “Family” from Dreamgirls, because he noted, “The day my daughter was born was the greatest day of my life.” Zachary Levi (Chuck) sang “The Lady is a Tramp” from Pal Joey, with a strong Sinatra-style voice, and Emmy Rossum (Shameless) was the ideal choice to sing 42nd Street’s “Keep Young and Beautiful.”

Christine Ebersole starred on Broadway in 42nd Street and did the titled number. Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls) proved she had a rich voice with “Frank Mills” from Hair. Colin Donnell (Arrow) was super-hot and sang “I Get A Kick Out of You” from Anything Goes.

To wrap up the night, the cast of The Big Bang Theory did an outrageous costumed performance of “Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Full of guts and glory Johnny Galecki started off the number. Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, tap dancing Melissa Rauch, and Jim Parsons (hysterical in drag) joined in, with the entire audience of Alzheimer’s Association supporters going wild with “Let’s do the Time Warp again.”

Jason Bateman was the emcee for “A Night at Sardi’s.” The name comes from the NYC hang out for Broadway denizens waiting for reviews. Without a doubt, the night was a smash, and full of great memories.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.