Jonathan Groff, Norm Lewis, Patina Miller, Ann Harada & More Set for AMERICAN SONGBOOK's 2014 Season!

Jonathan Groff, Norm Lewis, Patina Miller, Ann Harada & More Set for AMERICAN SONGBOOK's 2014 Season!

Now in its 16th season, Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook will continue to expand its scope celebrating the best in American singing and songwriting. New this year, the opening night concert will befree, in the David Rubenstein Atrium, on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. "Live From Lincoln Center," the Emmy Award-winning program broadcast nationally on PBS stations, will shoot four of the first week's American Songbook concerts in The Allen Room: by James Naughton, Lawrence Brownlee, Jason Isbell, and Patina Miller. These performances will be broadcast nationally beginning in Spring 2014. In addition, American Songbook concerts taking place in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center will be live-streamed via http://watch.lincolncenter.org.

American Songbook is sponsored by Prudential Investment Management

Another new initiative for the 2014 season of American Songbook will be a partnership with Prudential Investment Management to "Invest in the Future of American Song." Information about this program will be announced at a later date.

"We are proud of our new partnership with American Songbook--an investment that celebrates the history of America's music and supports its future," said David Hunt, CEO and president of Prudential Investment Management, which ranks among the world's largest asset managers. "The opportunity to support outstanding artists who meet their audiences in intimate settings on some of the world's most important stages reflects the values our business and clients hold dear--strong relationships, a strong community and a vibrant culture."

"American Songbook in The Allen Room" will run from January 28 through March 8, 2014 and will present 17 nights of music from Broadway old and new, country, pop, gospel, rock, and folk. From March 19 through April 5 American Songbook will continue with "American Songbook in the Penthouse," a series of concerts by performers and composers presented in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, an intimate yet elegant venue that brings artists closer to the audience in a cabaret-style setting. With a seating capacity of just 225, the Kaplan Penthouse allows an acoustic performer such as Matt Alber to be heard to best advantage - near to the audience and without elaborate amplification. Complimentary glasses of wine and bottled water will be served to audience members, who will be seated at cocktail tables. The Kaplan Penthouse shares with The Allen Room stunning city views.

The "American Songbook in The Allen Room" series starts off with the warm baritone of Tony Award-winner James Naughton, who will sing the music of Randy Newman in the first of American Songbook's evenings honoring composers and lyricists. Others being celebrated this season in The Allen Room are Michael John LaChiusa, one of the most heralded composers of musical theater and a master storyteller, New York's own Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls, SideShow), and the timeless Joni Mitchell, who will be honored by singer Jessica Molaskey.

The stunning voice of Lawrence Brownlee, one of the most in-demand operatic tenors in the world, will perform an evening of American spirituals. In the mix of musical genres are two nights of country singing at its best: veteran stars of the Grand Ole Opry husband and wife Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, who rarely appear together, and relative newcomer Jason Isbell, whose CD, Southeastern, has been earning critical acclaim in 2013.

The Allen Room series will feature several popular singer-songwriters: folktronica star Beth Orton and Brooklyn-based Aoife O'Donovan, along with rising star bluegrass instrumentalist and singer Sarah Jarosz, who will appear with the singing and playing duo The Milk Carton Kids. Indie band Deer Tick will bring its rousing rock, written by founder John McCauley, to The Allen Room as well.

Broadway music old and new will be well represented in the shows by Jonathan Groff, star of television's Glee and Broadway'sSpring Awakening, comedienne Ann Harada from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, last season's Tony Award winner from Pippin, Patina Miller, and sumptuous baritone Norm Lewis. Traditional cabaret will have a rousing outing when Jim Caruso's Cast Party Goes to the Movies! with Billy Stritch zeroes in on the golden age of Hollywood musicals.

"American Songbook in the Penthouse" will embrace adventuresome performers and celebrate a composer worth a second look. Carolyn Leigh wrote for Broadway and Hollywood in the mid-20th century but her work is in danger of being forgotten. But along with an upcoming revival of "Little Me," Leigh is getting a fresh look from a list of talented guest artists under the direction of Ben West.

A rising singer-songwriter who is broadening his appeal beyond the gay audience, Matt Alber sings about love in all its difficult permutations. But Alber's classically-trained voice carries more than a note of hope in his self-penned songs. The same might be said of singer-songwriter and former Miracle Legion member Mark Mulcahy, an artist with a completely different sound but who also finds humor and sun mixed in with the clouds.

Carving out a career niche as a "post-classical siren" (Time Out New York) Mellissa Hughes sings early and contemporary classical music as well as rock in a ringing soprano voice. Another wonderful voice - adept with new composers from musical theater - is Rebecca Naomi Jones. Jones' expressive voice earned her critical attention for her role in American Idiot. Adding to this mix of music will be Hurray for the Riff Raff, swinging country folk from young, Puerto Rican, Bronx-born singer-songwriter ALynda Lee Segarra.

TICKETS can be purchased online beginning November 12, 2013 at Lincoln Center's website for the festival at http://AmericanSongbook.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Tickets for the Friends of Lincoln Center go on sale October 31, and single tickets go on sale to the public beginning November 12.

Premium packages-including wine, dinner, and the best seats in the house-are available for $250. More information at http://AmericanSongbook.org.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 7:30 and 9:30 pm James Naughton: The Songs of Randy Newman

Actor-director-singer James Naughton's "bass baritone voice is a phenomenon, both in its caressing resonance and in the ease with which he slides from traditional crooning to jazz-inflected swing" (The New York Times). It also can deliver any type of song, from Rodgers and Hammerstein melodies to witty and gritty tunes by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Randy Newman. Naughton has sung Newman songs before in his cabaret shows, but never a full evening until now. Newman's work as a Hollywood soundtrack composer of the past thirty years was preceded by years as a prolific and highly successful songwriter of such hits as "I Think It's Going to Rain Today," "She's a Real Emotional Girl," "Sail Away," and "I Love L.A."

Tickets for the 7:30 pm show start at $50

Tickets for the 9:30 pm show start at $35

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 8:30 pm Lawrence Brownlee: Spiritual Sketches

With a voice described as "gloriously lyrical" (The New York Times) and "thrilling . . . stunning" (Opera Today) Lawrence Brownlee has become a star on opera stages from New York to Munich, Cape Town to Milan. In a career just a dozen years long, he has won every major vocal competition available to him, including both the Marian Anderson Award and the Richard Tucker Awards - unprecedently in the same year - and he balances recitals, opera roles, and recordings with aplomb. He recently recorded a CD of traditional American spirituals, Spiritual Sketches, in which his amazing voice gives "performances that ravish the ears and take the heart on a journey from bleakest despair to the summit of exuberant faith, from which it is possible to see beyond eternity" (Opera Today).

Tickets start at $50

Thursday, January 30, 2014, 8:30 pm Jason Isbell

Born into a family of musicians in a town just a few miles from Muscle Shoals, Alabama ? home to the best guitarists in the music business ? Jason Isbell's career choice was a bit pre-destined. He started writing songs at an early age, and at 21 joined the rock group, the Drive-By Truckers. Isbell wrote and recorded with the Truckers through three albums and six years, leaving in 2007 to come out with a solo album. He then formed a band, The 400 Unit (the colloquial name for the former psychiatric ward of an Alabama hospital), which recorded a couple of CDs full of melancholy country ballads and rousing roots rock. Isbell's most recent work is the critically-acclaimed Southeastern, with songs about atonement and redemption, Southern-style.

Tickets start at $35

Friday, January 31, 2014, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm Patina Miller

Future Tony Award winners are often spotted early on, from their first or second appearances on the Broadway stage. Liza Minnelli in Flora the Red Menace and Barbra Streisand in I Can Get It for You Wholesale - each gave incandescent performances that audiences and critics loved from the beginning. Patina Miller is in the same storied company. Her first Broadway show, Sister Act, earned her nominations for both a Tony Award and an Olivier Award, and Variety called her "a nonstop dynamo discovery." In her second Broadway show, Pippin, she won the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. Her voice is a powerhouse of sound, equal parts dazzle and warmth.

Tickets for the 7:30 pm show start at $50

Tickets for the 9:30 pm show start at $35

Saturday, February 1, 2014, 8:30 pm Heartbreak Country: Michael John LaChiusa's Stories of America

Critically-lauded Michael John LaChiusa is a musical theater composer and lyricist who tells stories from the intimate to the epic, from the obscure to the familiar, and from the light to the dark. LaChiusa is most well-known for The Wild Party (nominated for seven Tony Awards), Marie Christine, and the more recent shows, Queen of the Mist and Giant, as well as his collaborations with the singer Audra MacDonald and others. For his concert on February 1, LaChiusa will bring along Tony nominees Marc Kudisch, Mary Testa, Emily Skinner, and other experienced interpreters of his work. LaChiusa writes modern music, and his songs and musicals epitomize compelling storytelling.

Tickets start at $35

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 8:30 pm Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids

"One of acoustic music's finest talents," (The New York Times) Sarah Jarosz leaves audiences breathless with her skills on the octave mandolin, banjo and guitar, as well as with her songwriting. Already Grammy-nominated at 22, and a recent graduate from the prestigious New England Conservatory, her latest release Build Me Up From Bones is earning accolades for its dark take on contemporary roots music. USA Today writes "the lavishly talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist shimmers and haunts," and WNYC Soundcheck calls the new album "her boldest work yet." Joining Jarosz for her American Songbookevening is contemporary folk-bluegrass duo, The Milk Carton Kids. Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale are The Milk Carton Kids and they perform as "two voices singing in harmony, the delicate interplay of two acoustic guitars, and the beauty and strength of great songwriting" (Mix Magazine).

Tickets start at $30

Thursday, February 13, 2014, 8:30 pm The Songs of Henry Krieger

As a product of the 1960s, New Yorker Henry Krieger grew up surrounded by the R&B music of the era as well as the burgeoning civil rights movement. Both of these urban influences are evident in his compositions, the first major one being the musical Dreamgirls, which he co-wrote with Tom Eyen, opening on Broadway in 1981. Dreamgirls won six Tony Awards, and Eyen and Krieger "gave theater an undeniable moment of greatness," wrote The New York Times. Dreamgirls was made into a feature film twenty-five years later and three of Krieger's songs were nominated for Oscars, and the cast album won a Grammy. Other scores of Krieger's include The Tap Dance Kid from 1983, and the much-acclaimed Side Show, which will be revived in 2014 with a production in LaJolla, CA, that then moves to Washington's Kennedy Center.

Tickets start at $30

Friday, February 14, 2014, 8:30 pm Beth Orton

The British-born singer-songwriter Beth Orton is a pioneer in the combination genre of folktronica, which bridges the gap between acoustic song craft and digital dance beats. She has recorded six albums since her debut in 1997, with a voice described as "a gorgeous instrument - airy and lilting with a twinge of melancholy" in the Washington Post. She performs in clubs around the world, and has recently gained exposure to a larger mainstream American audience as films such as Vanilla Sky and TV programs including Charmed and Grey's Anatomy have featured her songs on their soundtracks. Her most recent and most successful CD, Sugaring Season, shows Orton moving more to the folk side of things and away from the electronic, but with a sound still contemporary and timeless.

Tickets start at $30

Saturday, February 15, 2014, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm Jonathan Groff

As a young boy in Lancaster, PA, Jonathan Groff played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in a family production in a barn. It got him started on a love of performing, and once he saw Annie Get Your Gun in elementary school he knew he would have a life in the theater. He got his wish, appearing in Off-Broadway productions including Prayer for My Enemy, The Singing Forest at The Public Theater, the Broadway musical In My Life, and several regional tours, all leading to his starring role as Melchior in the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening, for which he earned a Tony nomination. Groff's sweet tenor landed him on the popular TV show Glee, and he can be seen in the upcoming film The Normal Heart. Groff concertizes as well, singing pop tunes and Broadway songs "that we can turn on their head a little bit and make it surprising and interesting for us as well as for the crowd."

Tickets for the 7:30 pm show start at $35

Tickets for the 9:30 pm show start at $30

Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 8:30 pm Marty Stuart and Connie Smith

Country music, with its focus on tender love, raw disappointment, and bare-bones heartbreak, often finds its practitioners in the throes of what they sing about. When Marty Stuart first went to hear Connie Smith in concert when he was 12, he told his mother "one day I will marry her," and he did, twenty-five years later, in 1997. Stuart, whose style of foot-stompin', honky-tonk, "hillbilly rock" has made him a five-time Grammy winner, is a singer, guitarist, songwriter, country music archivist, and Grand Ole Opry star. Connie Smith, a legend in country music, is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the person about whom no less an authority than Dolly Parton once said there are "only three real female singers: Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Connie Smith."

Tickets start at $35

Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm Portraits of Joni: Jessica Molaskey Sings Joni Mitchell, with special guests Larry Goldings and others

Jessica Molaskey is a rare vocalist, equally comfortable singing jazz, show tunes, pop, folk, bossa nova, you name it. She is a veteran of a dozen Broadway shows, including Dream, Parade, and the recent revival of Sunday in the Park with George, and she has recorded four solo albums to fervent critical acclaim. Molaskey brings great musicality and a ringing intelligence to her work, something she shares with Joni Mitchell, the giant of 20th-Century music who she will pay tribute to on February 20. And perhaps they share one thing more - a memorable voice. About Molaskey's, "Just below a surface bubbling with tenderness and cheer flows a current of sadness, which lends her performances a charge of emotional electricity" (The New York Times).

Tickets for the 7:30 pm show start at $50

Tickets for the 9:30pm show start at $35

Friday, February 21, 2014, 8:30 pm Aoife O'Donovan

Aoife (pronounced EE-fuh) O'Donovan's cool, silvery vocals are all over the musical map these days. After finishing ten years as lead singer with the Boston alt-bluegrass band Crooked Still, O'Donovan released a solo CD, Fossils, in the summer of 2013 to great acclaim. She has been a regular guest on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" on public radio, she sang most of the tracks on the album Be Still by the jazz group the Dave Douglas Quintet, and she is the guest vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, an album recorded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolinist Chris Thile, and fiddler Stuart Duncan. An in-demand songwriter as well, "I'm trying to access human emotion and capture it in song" is how O'Donovan describes her sharply etched stories of loss and longing.

Tickets start at $30

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 8:30 pm Ann Harada

Heightened hilarity is what Ann Harada brings to her roles, and audiences and critics never fail to notice. In an all-Asian production of William Finn's Falsettoland, The New York Times described her performance as "a full-throttle success." Harada had a long and wonderful participation in the hit show Avenue Q as Christmas Eve, the heavily-accented Japanese therapist, starting with it Off-Broadway in 2000, then moving to Broadway, then opening the London production in 2006. Again The New York Times was tickled: "she drops her pinched voice to deliver, in the show's wittiest coup de théâtre, a full-throated ballad in the manner of a 1950's musical diva...Christmas sings in a shivery, rafters-shaking alto." Following Avenue Q Harada worked in other shows including the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 as well as in television - most notably in Smash - and is currently giving "a hoot of a performance" (NY 1 News) in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella as evil stepsister Charlotte.

Tickets start at $30

Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 8:30 pm Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The 1920s

Time Out New York has called Taylor Mac "one of the most exciting theater artists of our time" and The New York Times has noted that "fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming every one of them." Those are glowing accolades for a dazzling (and bedazzled) performer, one who sings, acts, writes songs, writes plays, directs and produces. Mac is currently writing and performing portions of an epic project entitled "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" in which he explores each decade of American music from the 1770s to the present. For the American Songbook evening, Mac and his band will feature the glorious music and culture of the 1920s -- a one-of-a-kind performance experience that includes a mash-up of surrealism, James Joyce's Ulysses, flappers, and women's suffrage.

Tickets start at $30

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 8:30 pm Deer Tick

Indie rock, alt-country, indie folk - all of those describe music by Providence, RI-based band, Deer Tick. Founded in 2004 by guitarist and singer-songwriter John McCauley, the band's only continuous member, Deer Tick plays fun, boozy, messy rockers and ballads that are deceptively simple. The songs, written by McCauley, are well crafted pieces "touched with the kind of world weary wisdom that extends beyond their years" (The New York Times). It is this dichotomy that defines Deer Tick - good-time, roots punk music on the one hand, and thoughtful introspection on the other - and it is what makes it a band to listen to both live and on through to their fifth and most recent CD, Negativity.

Tickets start at $30

Friday, March 7, 2013, 7:30 and 9:30 pm Jim Caruso's Cast Party Goes to the Movies! with Billy Stritch, featuring Marilyn Maye, Jane Monheit, Christina Bianco, & Jeffry Denman

Jim Caruso's Cast Party has been the destination for Broadway, jazz and cabaret stars to entertain each other and their fans every Monday night at New York's Birdland for the past ten years. This 'extreme' open mic/variety show has also taken to the road, spotlighting great talent in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Chicago. On March 7, the Party comes to Lincoln Center, where Caruso, Stritch and company will celebrate songs from the Golden Age of Hollywood, with material drawn from iconic Fred & Ginger movies, MGM, and the Freed unit, with a special emphasis on arrangements by Kay Thompson.

7:30 show tickets start at $50

9:30 show tickets start at $50

Saturday, March 8, 2014, 8:30 pm Norm Lewis

Google "Broadway baritone" and a photo of Norm Lewis will appear. For two decades he has brought his powerful timbre and creamy tone to roles as different as racketeer Eddie Satin in Golden Boy to Billy Flynn in Chicago to Two Gentleman of Veronain Shakespeare in the Park. In 2005 he captured particular attention, and a Drama Desk Award nomination, in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Dessa Rose, followed by stints as Javert in LES MISERABLES in both New York and London. He originated the role of King Triton in The Little Mermaid, and then went on to appear in the Broadway revue Sondheim onSondheim with Barbara Cook and Vanessa Williams. More recently he played Porgy opposite Audra MacDonald in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, earning him a Tony Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. Lewis also released a solo CD of Broadway, pop, and classical songs entitled This Is the Life in 2008, sung in numerous benefits, galas, and recitals, appeared in films, and played a US Senator in the ABC-TV hit Scandal.

Tickets start at $35

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 8:00 pm Mark Mulcahy

Mark Mulcahy is the former front-man for a much-loved and much-missed band from New England, Miracle Legion that played during the 1980s to mid-90s. After it disbanded Mulcahy formed Polaris, a house band for the alternative TV series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. After the show's cancellation in 1996, Mulcahy composed and performed his own shows in and around New York, attracting fans in the music business such as Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Michael Stipe of REM for his spellbinding songwriting, playfulness of spirit, and wry warble of a voice. After losing his wife in 2008 Mulcahy took years off to raise his twin daughters, but he re-emerged musically in 2013 with a new CD, Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You, that The New Yorker noted "is yet another feather in the cap of one of American music's most deserving - and one of its most puzzlingly underappreciated - singer-songwriters."

Tickets start at $30

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 8:00 pm Mellissa Hughes

"A postclassical siren" is how Time Out New York describes Mellissa Hughes, a soprano equally comfortable singing contemporary art song, electronica, and pop music. Hughes is a dedicated performer of living composers, including Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, and TEd Hearne - all of whom she will perform works by in her concert in The Penthouse - as well as 20th century masters John Cage and Morton Feldman. In the classical concert hall she has sung Mozart's Vespersand Requiem under the baton of Sir Neville Mariner, and she performed the world premiere of David Little's Am I Born, a solo orchestral work written for her, with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In Jacob Cooper's electronic opera TimberBrit she was praised as "beautiful, haunting, and deranged" for her portrayal of pop star Britney Spears. She is also lead vocalist of Newspeak, an amplified alt-classical band. The New York Times has written that Hughes "is indispensable to New York's new-music ecosystem."

Tickets start at $30

Friday, March 21, 2014, 8:00 pm Matt Alber

Born and raised in the Midwest, Matt Alber is one of the few openly gay singer-songwriters on the scene, a small group that includes Rufus Wainwright (whom he has often been favorably compared.) After studying music in college, and being torn between his love for Haydn and a fondness for Billy Joel, Alber joined the Grammy-winning classical men's a cappella group, Chanticleer, and toured and recorded with them for five years. He left to write his own songs and pursue the difficult life of a touring singer-songwriter. He released his first CD in 2008 and his song, End of the World, has become a cult classic about the vicissitudes of love and the eternal hope that it can happen. A recent project, Matt Alber with Strings Attached, has him performing and recording with the Cello Street Quartet - again combining his stirring blend of pop and classical sounds.

Tickets start at $30

Friday, April 4, 2014, 8:00 pm Rebecca Naomi Jones

Rebecca Naomi Jones is the product of a culture-saturated New York childhood. She had a musician father and photographer mother, and she knew when she performed in a sixth-grade production of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book that she wanted to be on stage. Jones has pursued that goal ever since, studying voice, dance, and acting in high school and in college. Returning home to New York, one of her first major roles was in Stew and Heidi Rodewald's Passing Strange, where it was cathartic as a biracial woman for her to work in a play about finding your place in the world. A next major role for Jones was inAmerican Idiot, the musical version of the rock group Green Day's album American Idiot.

Tickets start at $30

Saturday, April 5, 2014, 8:00 pm Unsung Carolyn Leigh with Donna Bullock, Rachel de Benedet, Drew Gehling, Autumn Hurlbert, Jenny Powers, Megan Sikora, Max von Essen

Carolyn Leigh was a lyricist of songs such as "Witchcraft," "The Best Is Yet to Come," and "Young at Heart" as well as Broadway shows including the hit, Little Me with Sid Caesar (1962, and scheduled for a revival in 2014) and Peter Pan with Mary Martin (1954). Her lyrics spoke of a persistent optimism, and she left a legacy of smart, sophisticated songwriting. Her principal collaborators were Elmer Bernstein, Cy Coleman, Morton Gould, and Lee Prokriss. This Tony- and Grammy-nominated songwriter will be celebrated on April 5th with a jazz-filled evening directed by Ben West for UnsungMusicalsCo., and featuring numbers from several of her unproduced Broadway musicals including Caesar's Wife, Gatsby, and Smile, which she was working on with Marvin Hamlisch at the time of her death. Hamlisch noted "she was one of the few people who had genuine wit in her lyrics."

Tickets start at $30

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