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11

FRIDAY

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A real diva doesn’t just serve her material—she transforms it. Witness one of Broadway’s classiest acts, Betty Buckley. As New York’s original Grizabella in Cats, Buckley turned the song “Memory” into a lament worthy of the ancient Greeks, momentarily elevating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s children’s musical into something that, if not art, at least approached it. As one of Webber’s many Norma Desmonds in Sunset Boulevard, Buckley did something no other actress—not Patti LuPone, not Glenn Close, not even Gloria Swanson in the film—could: She humanized the monster. Most amazingly, Buckley survived one of Broadway’s worst bloodbaths, the ill-conceived musical adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie, her career and soul intact. The singer-actress has acquitted herself well in film, too, but film’s not her bag. The stage is Buckley’s real home. And in concert, with no clunky musical mucking her up, the woman is nothing short of sublime. Buckley performs at 8 p.m. at the George Mason University Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $25-$40. (703) 993-8888. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)