HOLLYWOOD—During her tenure in fashion a Vogue magazine editor changed the course of her career by suggesting that Barbara Van Orden belonged in front of, not behind, the camera. She took the advice and became a leading print model, who graced the covers of many leading magazines over the next few years, eventually segueing into doing television commercials.
The entertainment industry soon took notice when she developed a nightclub act as a singer, comedienne (writing all her material) and actress. She began in the Catskill Mountains at Grossingers Singers Hotel, opening for many of the greats, such as Milton Berle, Don Rickles and Red Buttons, to name a few. She went on to do all of the Playboy Clubs working with talents such as Buddy Hackett, Morey Amsterdam and Soupy Sales.
A move to the west coast was inevitable, and she assumed a recurring role in television’s “Welcome Back Kotter,” shortly adding many TV films and series’ episodes to her resume. In between films and series, Barbara opened for many Vegas headliners. While in Las Vegas opening for Shecky Green, Frank Sinatra came to the show. After the show, she was thrilled when he asked her if she would open for him in the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
For more information visit: www.barbaravanorden.com.
WHAT/WHO: They say timing is everything. Well, with the success of AMC’s “Mad Men” (www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men) and the pending release of the retro series for ABC entitled, “Pan Am” (www.abc.go.com/shows/pan-am), as well as NBC’s “Playboy Club” (www.nbc.com/the-playboy-club/), it seems like the perfect time for the woman who opened for Sinatra and headlined at each and every one of the Playboy Clubs, Barbara Van Orden, to re-emerge, like Dolly Gallagher Levi in Jerry Herman’s hit “Hello Dolly!”, in the public eye.
Van Orden’s entertainment pedigree is undeniable. Her highly publicized return to the stage after a devastating accident that resulted in 18 surgeries and years of rehabilitation has been well received by audiences and critics alike. Her ability to sing a song like Ethel Merman or Carol Channing with the sexual over and under tones of Mae West of Eartha Kit, Van Orden’s deep rich tones and powerful voice, coupled with incredible comedic timing offers audiences the kind of entertainment reminiscent of the glory days of Hollywood and Broadway. Under the musical direction of Ron Snyder, Ms. Van Orden is cabaret theatre at its best.
WHERE: Catalina’s Jazz Bar & Grill: 6725 West Sunset Blvd in Hollywood
WHEN: Sunday, Oct 23, at 7:00 p.m.
TICKETS: $20.00 - Call 323-466-2210 or on-line at www.catalinajazzclub.com.
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