BEBE NEUWIRTH -
SHE’S MORE THAN JUST LILITH
By Esther Lynn
Dancer/singer/actress Bebe Neuwirth will make her Las Vegas debut on Saturday, April 22, 2006 as part of UNLV’s Best of the New York Stage & Beyond series.
Although many TV viewers know the name Bebe Neuwirth as the result of her portrayal of "Lilith" on both Cheers and Frasier, there is a lot more to this multi-award winning actress than television.
Before there was Lilith, there was Broadway and musicals and lots of awards. In 1986, the same year she first appeared on Cheers, Neuwirth won her first Tony as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Nicki in Sweet Charity. In 1990 and 1991, she won Emmys for her role as Lilith. In ‘97, her second Tony as well as a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award were earned for her role as Velma Kelly in Chicago. Over the past two decades, Neuwirth has also been the recipient of two Drama Desk Awards, a Drama League Award, an Astaire Award and an Outer Critics Circle award, among others.
After Cheers went off the air, Neuwirth got lots of offers from TV and film asking her to play pretty much a similar character. She was offered a regular role as Lilith on the Cheers spin-off, Frasier, but she turned it down so she could go back to Broadway, choosing instead to do an occasional guest spot on the show.
New Jersey native Beatrice "Bebe" Neuwirth was born in 1958. She began studying dance at the age of five. Neuwirth graduated from Princeton High School in 1976 followed by two years majoring in dance at the famed Juilliard School. She danced with the Princeton Ballet Company in "Peter and the Wolf," "The Nutcracker," and "Coppelia," and appeared in community theater musicals before making her Broadway debut in 1980 as Sheila in "A Chorus Line." Neuwirth has since been featured in Broadway musicals such as Little Me, Dancin’, the revival of Damn Yankees and Fosse. She states that Bob Fosse has had the most influence on her dance career.
In 2002, Bebe was featured in the romantic comedy film, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She starred as actress Tabba Schwartzkopf in Oliver Stone's 1993 miniseries, Wild Palms, and appeared with Andie MacDowell and Gérard Depardieu in the movie Green Card. She also served as the voice actress for Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series. Recently, Neuwirth played Assistant District Attorney Tracey Kibre in Law & Order: Trial by Jury, a spin-off of the long-running crime drama series, Law & Order created by Dick Wolf.
As if Bebe Neuwirth doesn’t have an impressive enough resume already, she was recently added to the Got Milk? ad campaign, joining other well-known mustached milk drinkers including Muhammad Ali, Elton John, Dr. Phil, Ron Howard, Britney Spears, Larry King, Ivana Trump, Andre Agassi and Kelly Clarkson.
In her spare time, the actress, recognized for her pale skin and long legs, raises money to aid stray dogs and cats.
In Vamps: An Evening with Bebe Neuwirth, the talented entertainer will pay tribute to some of her favorite songwriters, including Kurt Weill (The Threepenny Opera) and John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Kiss of The Spider Woman and Chicago). Don’t miss this one.
Vamps: An Evening with Bebe Neuwirth
UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall
Saturday, April 22, 2006 8 p.m.
$45, $60, $90
For reservations, call (702) 895-ARTS (2787)