Quartet of Broadway, West End Talent Leads KISS ME, KATE at BBC Proms Tonight
Following the enormous success of the semi-staged performance of My Fair Lady at the Proms in 2012, John Wilson returns to perform Cole Porter's Tony Award-winning musical Kiss Me, Kate. Joining John Wilson and the John Wilson Orchestra, Broadway stalwarts Ben Davis, Alexandra Silber, Tony Yazbeck and West End star Louise Dearman lead the cast in an irreverent reworking of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew -- a play within a play. This is the BBC Proms debut for all four performers as they sing the energetic score in its original 1948 arrangement.
Ben Davis: Ben has most recently been seen on Broadway where he played The Preacher in the Tony-nominated musical Violet, also starring Sutton Foster. Prior to that, he was seen in BAM/NYC Opera's production of Anna Nicole the Opera, as Anna's first husband, Billy. Other Broadway credits include: A Little Night Music with Bernadette Peters (Mr Lindquist), Baz Luhrmann's production of La bohème (Marcello) for which he was given a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, LES MISERABLES (Javert & Enjolras) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon). He appeared opposite Kelli O'Hara and Victor Garber at Lincoln Center in Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday and has also appeared opposite Ms O'Hara in concert. Television and film credits include: Numb3rs, 30 Rock and Mozart's The Magic Flute, directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh with a new English translation by Stephen Fry. He can be heard in recordings of Violet, Knickerbocker Holiday, The Magic Flute and La bohème.
Alexandra Silber: Alexandra was born in Los Angeles California and grew up outside Detroit, Michigan. She attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts, graduating with the Young Artist Award and continued her training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) in Glasgow, majoring in Acting. She graduated in 2005 with the Faculty Student of the Year award just days before her West End debut as Laura Fairlie in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White. Her roles since have spanned the UK and the USA, and include critically acclaimed turns in Fiddler on the Roof and Carousel (both directed by Lindsay Posner), West Side Story, the one-woman musical Arlington and the world premiere of David Del Tredici's opera Dum Dee Tweedle. She debuted two of her solo cabarets entitled London Still and Ex Libris, at the New York nightclub Feinstein's at The Loews Regency, and has also appeared as a guest star on all three branches of the Law & Order series (SVU, Criminal Intent and the original).
Tony Yazbeck: Tony has starred on Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago, Phil Davis in Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Tulsa in Gypsy with Patti LuPone (earning an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), and Al in the revival of A Chorus Line. Other Broadway credits include Oklahoma!, Never Gonna Dance, and Gypsy with Tyne Daly. He appeared off-Broadway in Fanny Hill at the York Theatre, and he has performed in numerous New York City Center Encores! presentations: Little Me, On the Town, Gypsy, The Apple Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Pardon My English. This August, Tony makes his 54 Below debut in New York City with his show The Floor Above Me. He was seen in NBC's Smash, and the feature documentary Every Little Step. This September Tony will star in On the Town on Broadway at The Lyric Theatre. Tony is a master teacher and panelist for the National YoungArts Foundation.
Louise Dearman: Louise is a widely known British musical theatre actress, who has built up a formidable catalogue of performances both on national tours and in the West End. She is the first actress in the history of the worldwide production of hit musical Wicked to have starred as both Glinda and Elphaba. Louise graduated from Laine Theatre Arts College where she won the Musical Theatre and Opera Award. Immediately after graduating she joined the touring cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as the lynchpin role of The Narrator. In 2000 Louise was cast to play Jan for the UK tour of Grease, later returning in 2003 to the Victoria Palace Theatre to play the same role. Other roles Louise has played include Sarah Brown in the national tour of Guys and Dolls, Lucy Harris in the UK national tour of Jekyll and Hyde and, in 2007, Debbie in the Edinburgh Festival's production of Debbie Does Dallas, Cinderella in both Stoke-On-Trent in 2007 and Milton Keynes in 2009 and the Fairy Godmother in Wimbledon's 2008 production of the pantomime.
The 120th season of the BBC Proms, the world's largest classical music festival, opened at the Royal Albert Hall on 18 July 2014, presenting leading artists and orchestras from the UK and around the world, as well as a host of free Proms Plus events including talks, workshops, and family events.
Bringing together great orchestras, ensembles, soloists and artists from across the globe, the BBC Proms 2014 sees two months of world-class classical music making across over 90 concerts. The season culminates with the ever-popular Last Night of the Proms - itself the most famous classical music event in the world, which spills out of the Royal Albert Hall into all four nations of the UK on Saturday 13 September, with Proms in the Park events in Belfast, Glasgow, Hyde Park and Swansea.
As ever, the magic of the Proms will be relayed into people's homes via BBC radio, television and online. All Proms programmes are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and this year there will be more Proms content available to listen to online for longer than ever before across PC, mobile and tablet, so you can enjoy the Proms whenever and wherever you are.
In 2014 selected Proms will also be broadcast on a number of other BBC Radio networks including BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and, for the first time, BBC Radio 5 live. Television broadcasts will go out on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBeebies and the Saturday evening magazine show, Proms Extra, will return on BBC Two.
The Proms runs now through Saturday 13 September 2014, and full information on the season is available at bbc.co.uk/proms.