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‘Sousatzka’ Scheduled to Open in Toronto in Pre-Broadway Run

September 29th, 2016 Comments off
Sousatzka

Sousatzka

Teatro Proscenium Limited Partnership (Richard Stursberg, CEO) have announced the world premiere of the Garth Drabinsky production of Sousatzka, the new musical by three-time Tony Award-nominated book writer Craig Lucas and the legendary composing team of Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. (Lyrics) and Academy Award winner David Shire (Music).

Choreographed by ten-time Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele and directed by Adrian Noble, Sousatzka will begin performances on February 25, 2017 at Toronto’s historic Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge Street), and officially open on Thursday, March 23. Tickets will go on sale, via Ticketmaster, on October 17. Sousatzka’s pre-Broadway strictly limited engagement is scheduled to run through April 9, 2017.

Tony Award winner Victoria Clark.

Tony Award winner Victoria Clark.

Sousatzka stars Tony Award winner Victoria Clark, Tony Award nominee Montego Glover, Tony Award winner Judy Kaye, and features the Broadway debut of Jordan Barrow.

“To be able to present this remarkable creative team, and cast, and the musical work of one of the best creative producers of our age, is a gift,” Mr. Stursberg said in a statement.  “My association with Garth has proven itself to be one of the most satisfying and enduring creative relationships I’ve ever had, and I look forward to ensuring that he has every resource available to get this inspired show to Broadway, and beyond.”

Based on the original novel Madame Sousatzka by Bernice Rubens, Sousatzka, set in London, England in 1982, tells the story of a young musical prodigy torn between two powerful women from vastly different worlds: his mother, a political refugee and his piano teacher, a brilliant eccentric with a shattered past. These two proud, iconoclastic women must ultimately cross cultural and racial divides to find common ground, or else put the boy’s destiny in jeopardy.

Sousatzka’s creative and design dream team includes Tony Award winner Anthony Ward (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Paul Tazwell (Costume Design), two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Lighting Design), Jonathan Driscoll (Projection Design), Grammy Award winner Martin Levan (Sound Design), Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick (Orchestrations), David Caddick (Music Supervision), Brad Haak (Music Director), Lebo M. (Additional Music and Vocal Arrangements), and Marius de Vries (Additional Music Arrangements).

 

New York Pops Goes Underground

July 14th, 2016 Comments off
Montego Glover (Photo: BrentDundore.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Montego Glover (Photo: BrentDundore.com via The Broadway Blog.)

The New York Pops will return to Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City on September 19 for a cabaret performance starring Tony nominees Montego Gloverand Joshua Henry. The night will be an intimate evening of dining and entertainment led by Music Director Steven Reineke as two of Broadway’s most talented stars perform some of their favorite tunes.

“The New York Pops annual cabaret evening is one of our most intimate and exciting events each year,” said Music Director Steven Reineke. “The event raises money for our vital music education programs, which reach thousands of New York City children each year. Montego and Joshua have both performed with the full orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and they are both absolutely stunning talents and extraordinarily kind people. I am so looking forward to hearing them up-close and personal with pared down arrangements, and I promise that everyone is going to have a great time.”

All proceeds will support The New York Pops’ PopsEd music programs, which reach over 4,000 New York City students each year.

For tickets visit www.newyorkpops.org.

Montego Glover
just completed starring to critical acclaim in The Royale at Lincoln Center Theater after starring on Broadway in the award winning revival of Les Misérables as Fantine. Glover is a Tony Award Nominee, two-time Drama Desk Award Winner, Outer Critics Circle Award Winner, and Drama League Award Nominee for originating the role of Felicia Farrell in the Tony-winning Best Musical Memphis. Other Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, The Color Purple. Other theatre: IRNE Award (Aida), Helen Hayes Nomination (Once on This Island), Craig Noel Award Nomination (The Royale). TV/Film:  AloneBlack BoxThe FollowingHostagesSmashThe Good WifeWhite CollarGolden BoyLaw & OrderMade In Jersey.

Ms. Glover has served as a member of the Artists’ Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors and is a PopsEd Ambassador to the New York Pops. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Joshua Henry (Photo:  Jason Goodrich via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Henry (Photo: Jason Goodrich via The Broadway Blog.)

Joshua Henry is currently starring as Noble Sissle in Scott Rudin’s new Broadway musical Shuffle Along (through July 24) opposite Audra McDonald. Shuffle Along is directed by George C. Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover. Joshua just filmed a lead role in the action thriller The Lake opposite J.K. Simmons and Sullivan Stapleton which will be released in January 2017. He received critical acclaim for his Tony nominated turn opposite Sutton Foster in the musical Violet on Broadway, which garnered him Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations for his thrilling, show-stopping performance. He was previously nominated for a Tony Award for his starring role in Susan Stroman’s The Scottsboro Boys. Joshua’s other Broadway credits include leading roles in Diane Paulus’ revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Green Day’s American Idiot.

This past season, Joshua sang with Sutton Foster in concert with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He is scheduled to return to the Houston Symphony in February 2017 in an original show called A Salute to Stevie Wonder. In March of 2017 he’ll be starring at Carnegie Hall in the show Life is A Cabaret: The Songs of Kander and Ebb. He also recently starred as Jim Conley at Avery Fisher Hall in Jason Robert Brown’s Parade. 

Recap: “Sophisticated Ladies” and The New York Pops

November 17th, 2015 Comments off

by Mark Lingenfelter

(l to r) Sy Smith, Montego Glover, and Capathia Jenkins with The New York Pops. Musical director and conductor, Steven Reineke.

(l to r) Sy Smith, Montego Glover, and Capathia Jenkins with The New York Pops. Musical director and conductor, Steven Reineke. (Photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

The New York Pops once again proved that mixing an outstanding orchestra with genuinely talented performers singing (and scatting) their way through some really great songs, you’re going to end up with an evening to remember.

In their second concert of the 2015-2016 season, the New York Pops presented “Sophisticated Ladies,” an evening of music celebrating the songs of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn, to name a few. Focusing primarily on the music of the 1920s and 1930s that came out of the Harlem Renaissance, the Pops orchestra, under the skillful and energetic baton of Steven Reineke, got a chance to show off their jazz side, with several players having the opportunity to go solo in jazz riffs and musical improvisations. Guest vocal artists for the evening included Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins, and Sy Smith.

Ms. Jenkins, who’s Broadway credits include Newsies, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and Caroline, or Change, took the stage to sing two George and Ira Gershwin classics, urging us to “Strike Up the Band” and “Clap Yo’ Hands.” But, it was two songs in the second half where Ms. Jenkins shone best: Johnny Mercer’s “Something’s Gotta Give” and another Gershwin tune: “Summertime.”

Steven Reineke, musical director and conductor of The New York Pops. (Photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

Steven Reineke, musical director and conductor of The New York Pops. (Photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

On loan from the current Broadway revival of Les Misérables, where she is currently playing Fantine, Ms. Glover sang the McHugh/Fields “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby,” the Arlen/Mercer “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and left her own mark on “The Best is Yet to Come” (Coleman/Leigh).

But for me, the real stand-out of the evening was Ms. Smith who asked us to sing along as her echo in the Cab Calloway “Zaz Zuh Zaz” and then showed complete versatility going into the Arlen/Koehler “Stormy Weather” accompanied by the Pops’ luscious strings. The highlight of Ms. Smith’s solos was the the Arlen/Mercer tune “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) accompanied by Lee Musiker on piano. The jazz “conversation” between singer and pianist was magical.

The concert ended with all three soloists on stage together, tag-teaming their way through “Blues in the Night” (Arlen/Mercer). To see the three onstage together at the same time with the Pops was the ultimate finale: Jenkins’s beaming smile as she sang, Glover’s power notes, Smith’s vocal stylings, Reineke’s energetic cut-offs… no, no, they can’t take that away from me.

Don’t miss the following events with The New York Pops:

It’s Christmas Time in the City
December 18 & 19
Featuring Stephanie J. Block, Brian D’Arcy James, and Essential Voices USA

42nd on 57th: Broadway Today
March 11
Featuring Jeremy Jordan and Betsy Wolf

Lights, Camera, Action: Spielberg and Williams
April 8
Steven Reineke, Musical Director and Conductor

15 Minutes with Montego Glover

October 28th, 2015 Comments off

by Ryan Leeds

Montego Glover (photo: BrentDundore.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Montego Glover (photo: BrentDundore.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Tony nominated actress Montego Glover has gone from playing a promising starlet in Memphis to bringing down the house as a bridesmaid in It Shoulda Been You. Currently, she is “dreaming a dream” as Fantine in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables.

On Friday evening November 13, she’ll take a break from the slums of Paris and trade it for the coveted prestige of Carnegie Hall. She’ll be joined by Capathia Jenkins, Sy Smith, and the New York Pops for a concert titled “Sophisticated Ladies.” The night will feature songs of Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. In a recent phone interview, Glover wouldn’t reveal the specific songs she’ll be performing, citing the broad range of choices, but she promises that the concert will be “spectacular.”

It won’t be the first time this Southern belle, who was born in Georgia and raised in Tennessee, will be working with Pops orchestra or playing Carnegie Hall. “I’ve been privileged to work with maestro Steven Reineke both at Carnegie and around the country,” she said. “Then, I got an invitation to stop by for ‘Sophisticated Ladies.’ I mean, who says no to that?!,” she joked.

Montego Glover in 'Les Misérables' (photo: Matthew Murray via The Broadway Blog.)

Montego Glover in ‘Les Misérables’ (photo: Matthew Murray via The Broadway Blog.)

Glover is performing a delicate balancing act, however. With the demands of an eight-show week at Les Misérables and rehearsing for the November 13 engagement, she’s keeping herself in top form with good vocal health and exercise, including kettle bell kickboxing and yoga. She doesn’t wish to dilute the meaning of the evening, though. “I really want to stay focused on the joy of it, “she said. “These ladies are icons in music and jazz and we’re all making sure that we create something that pays homage to them, fits our style, and celebrates everyone’s collective talent.”

With several Broadway credits to her name, Glover is by no means a newbie to singing and is inspired by a broad range of musical tastes and talents. “I’ve been singing as long as I can remember having breath, thought, and memory,” she said. Her iTunes collection bounces between Rascal Flatts, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Frank Ocean, Indie Arie, Bruce Springsteen, and others. “I’m very privileged that so many genres are part of my musical collective,” she noted. “I don’t find those forms foreign or unnerving or odd. They all feel like part of my home.”

Steven Reineke and The New York Pops (photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

Steven Reineke and The New York Pops (photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

The African-American powerhouse is proud to have found a frequent professional home on the Broadway stage and spoke about the current state of Broadway, with regards to casting and the recent influx of diverse productions like Fun Home, The Gin Game, Hamilton, Spring Awakening, and even the musical in which she currently stars.

“Audiences are interested in seeing their world reflected onstage,” she said. “In recent years we’ve gotten closer and closer to a clearer reflection of what our world really looks like. Nothing but positive feedback and energy can come from that. We’re in a marvelous ascension and taking off to a whole new level that is bright, shining, and truer with clearer storytelling. I think we’re all on the right track.  By taking a risk and including people who are diverse, that is actually the thing that brings more people to the art.  That is really what we want; to reflect the world around and make sure as many people as possible can participate in that reflection.”

Sophisticated Ladies
The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall
881 7th Avenue, NYC
November 13, 2015

Les Misérables
Imperial Theater
249 West 45th Street
Open-ended run

Ryan Leeds is a freelance theater journalist who lives in Manhattan. He is the Chief Theater Critic for Manhattan Digest and a frequent contributor to Dramatics Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Ry_Runner or on Facebook.

What a Deal! $14 Tickets to Broadway’s “It Shoulda Been You”

February 10th, 2015 Comments off

120248.ISBY.MiscArt_5x7.inddLove is in the air… and for Broadway fans it comes a lot cheaper than a ring from Tiffinay & Co. Producers of It Shoulda Been You have announced a special one-day-only offer for one-of-a-kind ticket prices. Visit the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th St) starting at 10 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, February 14, for the opportunity to purchase $14 tickets for the first 14 preview performances of the new musical. This special offer will end at 2:00 pm and is limited to the 114 tickets per performance.

Directed by David Hyde Pierce and featuring an original book & lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi, It Shoulda Been You begins previews on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th St) on March 17, 2015, with an opening night date set for Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. patrons will have the ability to purchase 1 or 2 tickets at the special $14 Valentine’s Day rate while also enjoying ‘wedding-themed’ activities, including a photo booth and complimentary lattes designed by coffee artist Michael Breach.

In the hilarious and heartwarming new musical It Shoulda Been You, it’s a culture clash for the ages when two families from wildly different backgrounds come together to celebrate a wedding. As if the union wasn’t complicated enough, the bride’s ex-boyfriend arrives, bringing the wedding to a screeching halt and throwing both families into hysterical chaos. Plots are hatched, promises broken, secrets exposed—and the bride’s resourceful sister is left to turn an unmitigated disaster into happily ever after. It Shoulda Been You puts a refreshingly modern spin on the traditional wedding comedy, proving that when it comes to wedding day insanity, it’s all relative.

The cast of It Shoulda Been You includes Tony Award-winner Tyne Daly, Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, David Burtka, Tony Award nominee Montego Glover, Chip Zien, Josh Grisetti, Adam Heller, Michael X. Martin, Anne L. Nathan, Nick Spangler, and Edward Hibbert, along with Farah Alvin, Gina Farrell, Aaron Finley, and Mitch Greenberg.

The creative team for It Shoulda Been You includes Josh Rhodes (Choreography) Anna Louizos (Set Design), William Ivey Long (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), and Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), with additional lyrics by Jill Abramovitz, Carla Rose Fisher, Michael Cooper, Ernie Lijoi and Will Randall.