Friday, November 28, 2008

Love Out Loud for John Bolton

John Bolton recently completed a run of over 500 performances as the villainous drama critic in Kander and Ebb’s Curtains where he also played the starring role of Lt. Frank Cioffi during David Hyde Pierce’s vacation. Also on Broadway: original cast of the Tony Award-winning musicals Spamalot (often performing the role of King Arthur), Contact and Titanic, and in the hit revivals of Damn Yankees and How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (as Finch opposite Sarah Jessica Parker). He was featured in the acclaimed New York benefit concerts of Chess, Funny Girl, Busker Alley and the Grammy-nominated Dreamgirls. He recently sang for 104-year-old Zeigfeld Girl Doris Eaton Travis on stage at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre.

He starred Off-Broadway in Five Course Love at the Minetta Lane and in John Bucchino’s It’s Only Life directed by Daisy Prince. He played Rooster in the 20th Anniversary Production of Annie (with Nell Carter) and Will Parker in the European Tour of Oklahoma!

He currently plays District Attorney John Summerhill on ABC’s All My Children and many Broadway-related appearances on all of the major network talk and morning shows. Mister Bolton has a BA in Journalism, but he left writing for the theatre because he wanted something steady. While that may not exactly describe the state of acting jobs, it was a great choice for this talented in that it keeps him in view. He has now joined Bacharach to the Future and those in attendance will get to appreciate the talent that is John Bolton.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Out Loud for John Pagano

[source: Rock's back pages] This small ensemble, which Bacharach is rehearsing for a tour that will jet around the globe in the next few months, leaves the early hits medley for one of his most current gems, "God Give Me Strength," a six-minute mini-symphony co-written by Elvis Costello ("He's one of the greatest songwriters in the world," Burt says) for the film, Grace Of My Heart.

As vocalist John Pagano scales the stately, elegant staircase of the emotional ballad, Bacharach seems lost in his own private cosmos. It's that place where he sees the sparkling vistas, the shadowy valleys and the breathtaking peaks, "the long line," as he calls it, of his rangy melodies. As Pagano nails the climactic line of the bridge--"I want him... to hurt"--Bacharach's head snaps around, then he waves the surrounding players into a breathtaking instrumental passage. As the song simmers into the last verse, he stands up at the piano and feathers the air with one hand, while chording with the other. This has long been his style, playing pianist and conductor simultaneously, the commander-in-chief, the Captain Kirk of the musical stage... John Pagano's only been on board for a month. It turns out that Burt remembered him from six years ago, when Pagano made a solo record for MCA. John had asked Burt to write something for the album, and even though Burt didn't have time, he was so impressed by the young singer's capabilities that he kept his name on file for future reference. Pagano has only praise for his employer: "He has such vision as a composer. What he sees in his head in terms of melody and arrangement is amazing. What a learning experience this has been so far!" Rest of article is here.

John Pagano's musical journey is evolutionary and with good fortune he has evolved into one of the finer interpreters of Mr. Bacharach's music. His presence on December 1 is a blessing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Love Out Loud for Alex Rybeck

Alex Rybeck is a pianist, arranger, composer, and musical director, well-known for his work in theater, cabaret, and on recordings. Broadway credits include Merrily We Roll Along (directed by Hal Prince) and Grand Hotel (directed by Tommy Tune). He also conducted the New York workshop and San Diego world premiere of What the World Needs now, winning personal praise from Burt Bacharach.

Off-Broadway shows include Wings (Public Theater) and Really Rosie (directed by Patricia Birch). Winner of the 2005 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award, he has worked in Manhattan’s premiere concert halls and cabaret venues, including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Algonquin’s Oak Room, Feinstein’s, the Carlyle, and The Russian Tea Room, to mention a few. He has toured nationally and internationally as well, and has appeared on PBS several times (including Great Performances).

Among the many stars of Broadway and cabaret he has worked with are Tommy Tune, Eartha Kitt, The McGuire Sisters, Michael Feinstein, Faith Prince, Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, Donna McKechnie, Debbie Gravitte, Karen Mason, Lee Roy Reams, Tovah Feldshuh, Amanda McBroom, Marni Nixon (”The Voice of Hollywood”), Jason Graae, Jeff Harnar, Australia’s David Campbell, Craig Rubano, Anna Bergman, Rita Gardner, Metropolitan Opera diva Roberta Peters, and the legendary Kitty Carlisle Hart.
Among numerous CD’s: Sibling Revelry (Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway); three solo albums by Liz Callaway; five solo albums by Jeff Harnar; Leap of Faith (Faith Prince); Try to Remember (Rita Gardner); Change Partners and Finishing the Act (Craig Rubano); Leading Men Don’t Dance (Ron Raines and others); and a soon-to-be-released album by Victoria Clark (Tony-winner for The Light in the Piazza). Original songs include “What a Funny Boy He Is”, recorded by Nancy LaMott.

A graduate of Oberlin College and NYU, he was taught and mentored by Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, and Comden & Green. He is a member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.

He has taken the musical reins of Bacharach to the Future, which makes the production that much more valued. Magic Moments indeed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Out Loud for Terry Burrell

Terry Burrell has appeared on Broadway in The Three Penny Opera, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Into the Woods, Eubie and Dreamgirls. She was nominated for the Helen Hayes award for best actress in the musical Queenie Pie.(BroadwayWorld)

On her role as Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie, "… I got such satisfaction playing a character that nobody thought I could do. Also, many people had no idea that I wasn't Asian." (Backstage). Burrell defies age and race as she defines talent and continues to inspire. Look for on December 1, 2008 at New World Stages helping raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Figths AIDS.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Love Out Loud for Lauren Kennedy

Lauren Kennedy hails from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is an exceptional actress and singer who is known for Monty Python’s Spamalot, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Side Show on Broadway and Cinderella with New York City Opera. London knows her for South Pacific at the National Theatre. Therefore, she is not only exceptional but also accomplished. Whether she is Nellie Forbush or Lady of the Lake, Lauren aims to please. “… a truly fantastic performer … It just seemed like she was having a lot of fun on stage … Lauren Kennedy is fantastic. She is probably the most talented musical theatre actress that I have had the pleasure of seeing on stage” [source: Coloured Lights] "Lauren Kennedy has a pretty voice and a lean and spiky physical allure that recalls the young Madeline Kahn's." (source: New York Times] That being said, she can be seen and heard giving voice to the Bacharach songbook on World AIDS Day at New World Stages. This is our good fortune along with Broadway Cares’. Visit her website.

Love Out Loud for Kevin Earley

Kevin Earley has a recording entitled Earley Standards featuring classics from such composers as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George and Ira Gershwin. Now a New York audience will have the opportunity to hear the star of A Tale of Two Cities to sing the grand music of Burt Bacharach. Critics have hailed Kevin as "peerless, a brilliant singer and actor." Earley's Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie and Les Miserables and he has made frequent guest appearances with the California Philharmonic and at the Hollywood Bowl. [source: CD Baby] Kevin is a devoted member of Musical Theater Guild, dedicated to performing new and rediscovered musicals. He also takes part in benefits, including (BC/EFA’s) Easter Bonnet and Gypsy of the Year, (Los Angeles) Salon at the Taper, Actors Fund and William Holden Wildlife Foundation. While in Chicago he received a Joseph Jefferson Award for the Balladeer in Assassins at The Appletree Theater. Other awards include the B. Iden Payen Award for Curly in Oklahoma and three coveted Robby Awards. [source:] This unique and much heralded talent will grace New World Stages once again helping Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in POZ’s Bacharach to the Future. Learn more about him here, yet another website dedicated to him.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Love Out Loud for Jill O'Hara

We have been blessed with the unique and rich voice of Jill O’Hara, with whom New York City has always been in love. [source: New York Times] Jill O'Hara grew up in Warren, Pa. and arrived in Manhattan right after high school, singing in Greenwich Village coffeehouses. Her first professional theater work was Hang Down Your Head and Die, a satirical Off Broadway revue about capital punishment, produced by Marion Javits. The show lasted only one night, but it had the distinction of being the vehicle that brought together Jerome Ragni and James Rado, the creators of Hair. She portrayed in rapid succession the female lead in the original Public Theater production of Hair, co-starred with Joel Grey in the hit musical George M! and played opposite Jerry Orbach in the Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Neil Simon musical Promises, Promises. Barely 21 years old, she was a big star.

She's going to recreate her Tony nominated performance with the lush “Whoever You Are, I Love You.” She will be joined by Tony Roberts for “I'll Never Fall In Love Again.”

Love Out Loud For eBay

We have these items for auction to help us out with Bacharach to the Future.

These first three autographs from Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni and Charles Busch are for auction as part of item # 120327067413

This script is also up for auction as item # 120327040429

These above items and the following were graciously donated by Law & Order: SVU -- with many thanks to Meredith Petty for all her help.

The November issue of Self, "On Standing Up For Yourself" autographed by Mariska Hargitay. eBay item# 120327066118