Anika Larsen, the 2014 Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner currently starring on Broadway in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, will introduce her debut solo CD Sing you to Sleep with a special concert at Birdland Jazz Club as part of the “Broadway at Birdland” series on Monday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m.
The collection of dreamy ballads and standards was hailed as “a charming, deliciously soothing album” by BroadwayWorld. The songs are drawn from contemporary pop (“Fields of Gold” by Sting), legendary singer/songwriters (“Make You Feel My Love” from Bob Dylan), musical theater (“Summertime” from Porgy & Bess) and animated classics (An American Tail’s “Somewhere Out There,” with lyrics by Anika’s Beautiful character Cynthia Weil).
“I never thought I’d record an album,” says Anika, “and I never thought I’d perform at Birdland. So combining two such major firsts into one evening makes me, as we say in Boston where I’m from, wicked psyched.”
Sing you to Sleep is a tuneful and personal album for adults and children alike, which Larsen recorded with her nine siblings and fourteen nieces and nephews in mind. Jessie Mueller, who won the 2014 Tony Award winner for playing Carole King in Beautiful, is featured on the album in a duet with her co-star for James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes.” The album is produced by Emmy Award-winner and Grammy Award-nominee Michael Croiter (Matilda, Big Fish, Heathers), with Dan Watt serving as executive producer.
When Anika opened on Broadway in Beautiful last season, she was praised for her “megawatt scene-stealing abandon” (Entertainment Weekly), “enormous warmth” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “breezy elegance” (New York Daily News). She was hailed as “sharp and spunky” (New York Observer), “bubbly and brainy” (NBC New York) and “vibrant, quick-witted and firmly independent” (San Francisco Chronicle). Beautiful is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The Beautiful original Broadway cast recording, which features Larsen, was released in April 2014.
Special guests for the evening at Birdland are her Beautiful co-stars: Tony Award-winner Jessie Mueller and Tony Award-nominee Jarrod Spector. Dan Watt serves as executive producer for the concert. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are $25 with a $10 minimum. Visit BirdlandJazz.com for more information.