Melissa Errico and More Set for Symphony Space's KURT WEILL ON BROADWAY, 10/7
Symphony Space will open its 2013-14 Music season with 'Kurt Weill on Broadway,' Monday, October 7 (8 pm) at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. The show takes place on the 70th anniversary of the Broadway opening of Weill's One Touch of Venus. Ted Chapin hosts a stellar cast featuring Melissa Errico, Brent Barrett, Judy Blazer, and Ron Raines, plus winners of the international Lotte Lenya Competition.
The orchestra for the evening is the dynamic young ensemble Le Train Bleu. The conductor and musical director is Weill specialist James Holmes, with additional instrumental numbers conducted by Ransom Wilson; stage direction is by Richard Jay-Alexander.
Also performing are Richard Todd Adams, Doug Carpenter, Cooper Grodin, Justin Hopkins, Zachary James, Analisa Leaming, Jacob Keith Watson, and Maren Weinberger, all winners of the Lotte Lenya Competition. The Competition is an international contest that bridges the worlds of opera/operetta and Broadway musical theater and recognizes talented young singer/actors who excel dramatically and musically in a wide range of repertoire.
One Touch of Venus, with lyrics by Ogden Nash and book by S. J. Perelman and Nash, is a madcap spoof of the Pygmalion myth, revolving around a statue of Venus that comes to life when Rodney, a dimwitted New York barber, impulsively slips an engagement ring meant for his fiancée on the statue's finger.
The original Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre on October 7, 1943 and closed on February 10, 1945 after 567 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan, featured choreography by Agnes De Mille, and starred Mary Martin, Kenny Baker and Paula Laurence. Marlene Dietrich reportedly turned down the title role, calling it "too sexy and profane", which gave Martin the opportunity to establish herself as a Broadway star. Among other gems, it introduced the seductive ballad Speak Low.
The first half of the evening spotlights numbers from Venus, while the second offers selections from Lady in the Dark, Street Scene, Love Life, Knickerbocker Holiday, The Threepenny Opera, and Happy End. (Note: the program is subject to change.)
Speak Low (Kurt Weill recording accompanied by orchestra Entr'Acte from Lady in the Dark
Entr'Acte from One Touch of Venus Oh, Fabulous One (LADY IN THE DARK)
One Touch of Venus One Life to Live (LADY)
I'm a Stranger Here Myself This is New (LADY)
How Much I Love You Wouldn't You Like to Be on Broadway? (STREET SCENE)
Foolish Heart What Good Would the Moon Be? (STREET SCENE)
Way Out West in Jersey Lonely House (STREET SCENE)
West Wind I Remember It Well (LOVE LIFE)
Very, Very, Very Love Song (LOVE LIFE)
That's Him Lost in the Stars (LOST IN THE STARS)
The Trouble with Women It Never Was You (KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY)
Speak Low September Song (KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY)
Mr. Right (LOVE LIFE)
Army Song (THREEPENNY OPERA)
Surabaya Johnny (HAPPY END)
Here I'll Stay (LOVE LIFE)
Brent Barrett has entertained millions of fans around the world from the stages of Broadway, the West End, concerts halls, recording studios, and television. His recent roles include Captain Hook in Peter Pan opposite Cathy Rigby, Billy Flynn in the Tony Award winning Chicago The Musical (for which he received a LA Drama Critics Award), and the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular. Brent received an Olivier Award nomination for his starring role in the London premiere of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate. He also starred in the City Cente r Encores! production of The Pajama Gameand as King Arthur in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Camelot. Other Broadway roles include "Frank Butler" in Annie Get Your Gun opposite Reba McEntire, "Charles Castleton" in Dance a Little Closerand "Baron Felix Von Gaigern" in Grand Hotel. Brent made his Broadway debut as "Tony" in the 1980 revival of West Side Story, which he subsequently reprised in the International Tour. Additional New York performances include "Maximillon" in the Broadway revival of Candide, and "Tommy Albright" in New York City Opera's production ofBrigadoon. In New Zealand, he appeared as "Archibald" in that country's production of The Secret Garden. On the road, Brent played "Victor Duchesi" in the pre-Broadway Tour of Busker Alley, and he starred opposite Cathy Rigby in the National Tour of Annie Get Your Gun.