Carmen Cusack, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matthew Morrison, Vanessa Williams, Solea Pfeiffer and More Set for SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl has announced the cast and creative team for a benefit performance of SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, conceived and directed on Broadway by James Lapine.
The production will feature Lewis Cleale, Carmen Cusack, Claybourne Elder, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ruthie Ann Miles, Matthew Morrison, Solea Pfeiffer, Vanessa Williams and additional cast members to be announced, and will have one performance only, on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 7:30pm. The Hollywood Bowl production benefits the LA Phil's flagship program, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), and other LA Phil educational initiatives.
SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM will be directed by Sarna Lapine with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic and YOLA, who will join the show to perform "Children Will Listen" alongside the LA Phil. The production will be choreographed by Michele Lynch with lighting design by Ken Billington in addition to new orchestrations by Michael Starobin, arrangements by David Loud and video created and designed by Peter Flaherty.
From Follies and Into the Woods to A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim's umpteen Broadway masterpieces assure him a permanent spot among the very top creators of the American musical. Audiences will not want to miss this "funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist" (USA Today), a musical revue-style journey through the extraordinary life and career of Stephen Sondheim.
SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM will have one performance only at the Hollywood Bowl this summer - Sunday, July 23, at 7:30 PM.
Subscriptions and single tickets for performances during the Hollywood Bowl 2017 summer season are available at www.HollywoodBowl.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000, and in person at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office. For further details or questions, call 323.850.2000 from 10am - 6pm daily, or visit www.LAPhil.com.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Lewis Cleale has appeared on Broadway in Book of Mormon, Sondheim on Sondheim, Spamalot, Amour, Once Upon a Mattress, and Swinging on a Star (Drama Desk nom). Off Broadway credits include The Fantasticks, A New Brain, Time and Again, and Call Me Madam (Encores!). National Tour credits include: Sunset Boulevard, South Pacific, Mamma Mia! Regional: more than 30 leading roles, including Giant (Signature), Passion (Helen Hayes Award), 1776 (Ford's Theatre, Helen Hayes nom.). Recordings: "Infinite Joy: The Songs of William Finn," "Encores From Encores!", "Myths and Hymns," "Great Musicals," "Call Me Madam," "Amour," "Once Upon a Mattress," and "Swinging on a Star." Film: "Frozen."
Carmen Cusack made her Broadway debut in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's Bright Star, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Most recently, Carmen appeared in New York City Center's gala concert of Sunday in the Park with George and For The Record - Scorsese: American Crime Requiem in Los Angeles.
Previous credits include: The First Wives Club: The Musical (Oriental Theatre), Sunday in the Park with George (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Carrie (MCC), South Pacific (Lincoln Center Theater), Wicked (first U.S. tour and Melbourne, Australia). West End credits include: Over the Rainbow (Eva Cassidy), Les Miserables (Fantine), The Secret Garden (Rose), Personals (Kim), and Phantom of the Opera (Christine).
In January 2017, Carmen starred in the world premiere of Karen Siff Exhorn's Do This, a one-woman play at Gulfshore Playhouse. Possessing a versatile vocal range, she has also been featured in numerous concerts, recordings and cabarets. Her "Live at 54 Below" album entitled "If You Knew My Story" is now available, and she returned to the cabaret stage at Feinstein's/54 Below for a series of four shows in March 2017.
Claybourne Elder received rave reviews and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Leading Actor in A Play for originating the role of "Ollie Olson" in One Arm directed by Moisés Kaufman. He was nominated for a 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical for Allegro at Classic Stage. He originated the roles of "Buck Barrow" in Broadway's Bonnie and Clyde, "Hollis Bessemer" in Stephen Sondheim's Road Show and "Michael Victor" in Venice. Elder played the Soldier/Alex in the recent Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, which opened the brand-new Hudson Theatre in February 2017 after its original run at New York City Center.
On television, Elder recurred as "Pete O'Malley" on the WB's "The Carrie Diaries." He can be heard on the cast recordings of Bonnie and Clyde, Road Show and Venice. Regionally he played George in Sunday in the Park with George at the Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia, in 2014.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson currently stars as "Mitchell Pritchett" on the Award-winning ABC comedy Modern Family. Now in its eighth season, the show has earned five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, a Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Ferguson has also received five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and three People's Choice Award nominations for "Favorite Comedic TV Actor" on behalf of Modern Family.
A longstanding advocate for marriage equality, Ferguson co-founded Tie The Knot in 2012 with his husband, where they design limited edition bow ties with all the proceeds going to various organizations that fight for civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans.
The theater has always been Ferguson's first love. He made his Broadway debut at the age of 21 as "Chip" in George C. Wolfe's revival of On the Town. He later went on to originate the role of "Leaf Coneybear" in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Outstanding Ensemble Performance winner, Drama Desk Awards, 2005; Distinguished Performance nominee, Drama League Awards, 2005). He has worked extensively with The New York Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park in such notable productions as The Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Distinguished Performance nominee, Drama League Awards, 2008), where he performed alongside Al Pacino, Jesse L. Martin, Martha Plimpton and Lily Rabe. His performance in Shakespeare in the Park's Summer 2013 production of A Comedy of Errors earned him a Distinguished Performance nomination at the 2014 Drama League Awards. Other theatre credits include world premieres of Christopher Shinn's Where Do We Live, Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish, and Spamalot and The Producers at the Hollywood Bowl. Ferguson recently starred on Broadway as 40 outrageous characters in the one-man show, Fully Committed.
Ruthie Ann Miles played "Lady Thiang" in the Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I, for which she was won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. She played the roles of Frieda/Betty in the recent Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, which opened in February 2017. She also played these roles in the concert performances in October 2016 at New York City Center.
Ruthie Ann is also known for originating the role of Imelda Marcos in Alex Timber's critically acclaimed show Here Lies Love - written by David Byrne w/DJ Fat Boy Slim, for which she received two prestigious awards, the Lucille Lortel Award and the Theatre World Award. Other productions include Avenue Q, Band Geeks, Two By Two, and the National tours of both Annie and Sweeney Todd (as Adolfo Pirelli - playing the accordion, flute and piano onstage.)
On television she played the recurring role Young Hee on FX's Emmy nominated Season 4 of The Americans. She received her Master's degree in Music Performance from NYU Steinhardt.
Matthew Morrison is a versatile actor who is recognized for his work on-stage and on-screen. He has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.
Morrison most recently starred as "J.M. Barrie" in the Harvey Weinstein musical Finding Neverland through January 2016. The Broadway production is an adaptation of the 2004 film written by David Magee. The story follows the relationship between Barrie and the Davies family, who became the author's inspiration for the creation of Peter Pan. Morrison received two Drama Desk nominations for his role, and won the category of Favorite Actor in a Musical in the Broadway.com Audience Awards.
In addition to his Broadway tenure in 2016, Morrison performed as a guest star on the CBS hit show The Good Wife, where he played the role of U.S. Attorney, Conor Fox, through the series finale. In May 2017, Morrison performed as a guest star on the ABC show Grey's Anatomy.
In 2015, Morrison wrapped the final season of Fox's musical comedy series Glee, where he starred as the director of the glee club, "Mr. Schuester." The show was created by Ryan Murphy and received the Golden Globe award "Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical" in 2010 and 2011.
In June 2013, Morrison released his latest studio album, Where It All Began, which is a Broadway standards record that was produced by the legendary Phil Ramone. Prior to this album, Morrison released his debut, self-titled album through Mercury Records in 2011, which featured an A-list lineup of guest artists including Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sir Elton John.
In 2012, Morrison starred in the Lionsgate film What to Expect When You're Expecting, which was based on the book of the same name, directed by Kirk Jones. The film also starred Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Dennis Quaid, among others. Morrison played a famous dance show star who is faced with the unexpected demands of fatherhood.
In March 2012, Morrison hosted and narrated the PBS special entitled "Oscar Hammerstein II - Out of My Dreams," which focused on the Broadway producer's life and career. Also in March 2012, Morrison was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' - a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage. The performance raised money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
Morrison studied musical theater, vocal performance and dance at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He made his debut on Broadway in Footloose but his big break came when he was cast as heartthrob Link Larkin in the hit Hairspray. Morrison was later nominated for a Tony Award for his role in The Light in the Piazza, and received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for 10 Million Miles. He also starred in the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater in New York.
In addition to his film, television, music and theater credits, Morrison launched Sherpapa in 2017, with friend and colleague Zach McDuffie. The lifestyle and retail company provides heirloom quality goods and collections for new dads, that encourage shared experiences and family adventure. You can find the company online at www.sherpapa.com. Morrison currently resides in New York.
Solea Pfeiffer made her Hollywood Bowl and Los Angeles Philharmonic debut last summer as "Maria" in the Bowl's concert staging of West Side Story. She is a 2016 graduate of the University of Michigan. Solea has performed at both the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. Solea is currently starring as "Eliza Hamilton" in the SF/LA production of Hamilton.
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television.
Her albums The Right Stuff, The Comfort Zone and The Sweetest Days earned multiple Grammy nominations and have yielded such classic hits as "Save the Best For Last," "Dreamin," "Work To Do," "Love Is," the Academy Award-winning single "Colors of the Wind," from Disney's Pocahontas, and many others. Her recordings also include two holiday albums, Star Bright and Silver & Gold, Vanessa Williams Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years and Everlasting Love, a romantic collection of love songs from the 1970s. Concord Records released Vanessa's The Real Thing, in June 2009, for which she received an NAACP nomination for Outstanding Jazz Artist.
In 1994, Vanessa took Broadway by storm when she replaced Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman, winning the hearts of critics and becoming a box-office sensation. In 2002 she garnered rave reviews and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as the Witch in the revival of Into the Woods. She also headlined a limited special engagement of the classic, Carmen Jones, at the Kennedy Center and starred in the Encore! series staged concert production of St. Louis Woman. After appearing on stage in Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine's Sondheim on Sondheim, an original Broadway musical that ran in the spring of 2010 at The Roundabout Theatre, Vanessa returned to the stage in 2013 starring alongside Cicely Tyson as Jessie Mae Watts, the self-involved daughter-in-law to Tyson's Mother Watts, an elderly widow wishing to revisit her home town, in the Tony-nominated play, The Trip to Bountiful. In early 2014, Vanessa reprised her role as Jessie Mae for Lifetime's television adaptation of the Horton Foote classic during Black History Month.
Vanessa made her film debut in 1986 in Under the Gun and has starred in features such as Eraser, Hoodlum, Soul Food, Dance With Me, Light It Up, Shaft and Johnson Family Vacation. More recently, her film credits have come to include the independent features My Brother, Somebody Like You and Disney's feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie. Vanessa was last seen on the screen in Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.
On television, Vanessa has starred in such movies and mini-series as "Stompin' at the Savoy," "The Boy Who Loved Christmas," "The Jacksons: An American Dream," ABC's revival of "Bye, Bye Birdie," "Nothing Lasts Forever," "The Odyssey," "Don Quixote" and "Keep the Faith, Baby." She executive produced and starred in Lifetime's "The Courage to Love" for Lifetime and the VH1 Original Movie, "A Diva's Christmas Carol." Vanessa starred in ABC's critically-acclaimed hit series, "Ugly Betty," earning three Emmy nominations as the deliciously wicked Wilhelmina Slater, in addition to numerous individual and ensemble awards and nominations, including SAG, Golden Globes and NAACP Image Awards. She received an Emmy nomination for her voice-over performance in the 2009 PBS series, "Mama Mirabelle Home Movies." In 2010, she moved to Wisteria Lane to stir things up as the newest resident on ABC's long-running hit, "Desperate Housewives," winning an NAACP Image Award helping to carry the show to the end of its 8-year run in 2012. Vanessa played Olivia, the stylish wife of the devilish Gavin (Terry O'Quinn) in the ABC supernatural drama "666 Park Avenue" and recently guest-starred on "Royal Pains," "The Good Wife" and "Broad City." Vanessa appeared recently on TNT's "The Librarians" and currently stars on "Daytime Divas" on VH1.
In April 2012, Vanessa and her mother Helen landed on the New York Times Best Seller list with their acclaimed memoir You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-Nonsense Mother and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other). The book brought readers on the personal journey of Vanessa's life - told for the first time from her perspective and with the wisdom and frankness of her mother, the firecracker Miss Helen.
In the beginning of 2016, Vanessa launched V. by Vanessa Williams, an exclusive collection of comfortable, mix-and-match pieces available exclusively at EVINE Live. The line features interpretations of personal pieces from Vanessa's own wardrobe in a combination of timeless, flowing silhouettes, feminine patterns and luxurious fabrics.
In 2007, Vanessa achieved a career pinnacle, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her accomplishments as a performer. In December 2010, the International Foreign Press Academy named Vanessa as the recipient of the 2010 Mary Pickford Award For Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry. The award honors her international achievements and success in film, television, stage and recording over the past 28 years. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting such organizations as Special Olympics, The Eye Bank and many others.
Sarna Lapine (Director) Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford. Select regional productions: Buyer & Cellar, Other Desert Cities (Henry Award outstanding direction), Tribes, Hope and Gravity, Sunday in the Park with George, Waiting for Lefty and The Year of Magical Thinking. National Tours: The National Theatre's War Horse (North America & Japan) and Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific. Broadway (Associate/Assistant Director): Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sondheim on Sondheim, South Pacific, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. Concerts for Encores! at City Center, The Boston Pops, the 92Y and Bucks County Playhouse. Cabaret shows at 54 Below, Joe's Pub, The Wild Project, Café Carlyle and The Oak Room. Readings: Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, The LARK, Araca Works, New York Theater Workshop, Stella Adler Studio and Dixon Place. MFA, Columbia University. Recipient of the Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film.
Michele Lynch (Choreographer) recently choreographed the National Tour of Dirty Dancing as well as Dirty Dancing in Australia, which earned her a Helpmann Award nomination. Michele choreographed Little Miss Sunshine, directed by James Lapine, at Second Stage Theatre and has recently received the 2016 Helen Hayes Award for Kiss Me Kate at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Broadway choreography credits include Everyday Rapture, The Coast of Utopia, Hairspray (assoc. choreo), The Full Monty (asst. choreo), and Urinetown (asst. choreo). She choreographed the national tours of Little House on the Prairie (Papermill Playhouse) and Happy Days the Musical (Goodspeed Theatre, receiving a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for her work).
Film credits include The Last Five Years, Joyful Noise (starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah) and Camp. Off-Broadway she choreographed Everyday Rapture and We the People (Joe A. Calloway Award nomination). For opera, her production of Show Boat was seen at The Kennedy Center, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera and Houston Grand Opera. Some regional theaters include Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theater, Riverside Theater, St. Louis MUNY, Capital Repertory Theater, Asolo Theater, and Ford's Theater. She also choreographed Dolly Parton's Better Day World Tour.
Ken Billington (Lighting Designer) on Broadway the following Stephen Sondheim musicals: Side by Side by Sondheim, Sweeney Todd, Candide,Sunday in the Park with George (2008 & 2017) and Sondheim on Sondheim. Some of his other 90 something Broadway shows include Chicago, the longest-running American musical in history, Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway, The Drowsy Chaperone, White Christmas, Footloose and On the Twentieth Century, to name a few. Architecture: 54 Below and the current and previous Tavern on the Green. Awards: Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, LA Drama Critics, Lumen. Mr. Billington is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame.
James Lapine has written the book for and directed Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Passion, and the multi-media revue Sondheim On Sondheim on Broadway. He also directed Merrily We Roll Along as part of Encores at New York City Center. With William Finn, he has collaborated on March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, later presented on Broadway as Falsettos and recently revived in 2016; A New Brain; Muscle; and Little Miss Sunshine. He has also directed on Broadway David Henry Hwang's Golden Child; The Diary of Anne Frank; Michel Legrand's Amour; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; and the 2012 revival of Annie. Among his many off-Broadway offerings were three Shakespeare productions for The Public Theatre.
With Frank Rich he co-produced and also directed the HBO documentary "Six By Sondheim," for which he received an Emmy nomination and a Peabody award. Lapine wrote the screenplay for the film version of Into the Woods directed by Rob Marshall and the film Custody, which he also directed and which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
He has been nominated for twelve Tony Awards (winning on three occasions) and has received five Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame and in 2015 was the recipient of the Mr. Abbott Award presented by the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers for a lifetime of exceptional achievement in the theater.
Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994), and Bounce (2003), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99), and Moving On (2001) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist.
For films, he composed the scores of Stavisky (1974) and co-composed Reds (1981), as well as songs for Dick Tracy (1990). He also wrote the songs for the television production Evening Primrose (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away with Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), Twigs (1971), and The Enclave (1973). Saturday Night (1954), his first professional musical, finally had its New York premiere in 1999. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, the national association of playwrights, composers, and lyricists, having served as its President from 1973 to 1981.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2017, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the thirteenth year in a row at the 28th Annual Pollstar Awards. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer.