The Concerts for City Greens, the free outdoor series that brings the sounds of music to the heart of Midtown, hosts "A Giant, Wild Party," a musical tribute to the celebrated composer/lyricist/librettist Michael John LaChiusa, on Wednesday October 3 at 6:30pm at Tudor City Greens. (Rain date: Thursday October 4 at 6:30pm.) Fêting the 2-time Emmy winner and 5-time Tony nominee, whose new musical "Giant," opens at The Public Theater this fall, will be the Broadway veterans D.C. Anderson ("Queen of the Mist," "Rebecca," "Phantom") and Leah Hocking ("Wild Party," "Billy Elliott," "Mama Mia," "Hairspray"); the cabaret legend and Broadway star KT Sullivan"; and the singer/songwriter and actress Katie Thompson (who is featured in LaChiusa's "Giant"). "A Giant, Wild Party" brings to a close The Concerts for City Greens' fifth annual season of free outdoor summer concerts.
An innovative opera and musical theater composer, lyricist and librettist, LaChiusa is best known for "Hello Again," "Marie Christine," "The Wild Party," "See What I Wanna See," and "Chronicle of a Death Foretold." The Public's upcoming production of "Giant" stars Brian d'Arcy James and Kate Baldwin.
A Broadway veteran (Christine in "Phantom of the Opera") and Bistro & MAC award-winning cabaret artist, Raissa Katona Bennett is the evening's creator host and producer. Returning as series regulars are Bennett's side-kicking drummer -- multiple MAC and Bistro award-winning little big band innovator Terese Genecco, and the MAC Award-winning composer-pianist Bill Zeffiro. The concert's featured instrumentalists are Jeff Cubeta and Mark Janas on piano, and Matt Scharfglass on bass.
Making special guest appearances to premiere two of the eight semifinalist songs competing in the Concerts for City Greens song contest are KT Sullivan, who introduces Larry Kerchner's "Winter in Manhattan," and the Brooklyn-based songwriting collective Inland Traveler (consisting of Katie Locke, Lucas Madrazo and Gerald Edward), who will debut their entry "City Wild."
The semifinalist tunes -- all of which celebrate the different roles green spaces play in the lives of New Yorkers -- were performed throughout the summer by prominent guest artists from the worlds of Broadway, jazz, cabaret and classical music. Three songs, chosen through a combination of online and jury voting, will move forward to the final round in a benefit concert at Feinstein's at Loews Regency at the end of the year. (TBA). Online voting begins after October 6. To listen to the eight semi-finalist songs and participate in audience voting, visit www.raissakatonabennett.com
Conceived and developed by Raissa Katona Bennett, Concerts for The City Greens is dedicated to exposing diverse audiences of all ages to free, professional live music in city settings, while linking with other community groups and organizations to promote effective dedication to the "greening" of cities. Bennett won the 2010 Bistro and 2011 MAC Award for hosting the concerts
Four of this summer's five concerts have been dedicated to the musical output of these illustrious jury members: Amanda McBroom (May 30), Neil Sedaka (August 1), Ann Hampton Callaway (September 12) and Michael John LaChiusa (October 3). (The contest's other judges are the quadruple-platinum songwriter and Today Show regular David Friedman, and the two-time Emmy Award-winning MTV executive Matthew Parillo). For information visit www.raissakatonabennett.com
The concerts take place at the South Park of Tudor City Greens Park (between 41st & 42nd Streets, and 1st & 2nd Avenues)