Randy Skinner to Choreograph THE AMBASSADOR REVUE at Town Hall, 6/27
The Town Hall 2014 Summer Season: Broadway Preludes will launch on Friday, June 27 at 8PM with the American premiere of a lost Cole Porter treasure, The Ambassador Revue. This one-night-only event will feature choreography by three-time Tony-nominated choreographer Randy Skinner (42nd Street, Irving Berlin's White Christmas), who will also perform as a featured dancer with Sara Brians and Mary Giattino-Styles. The previously announced all-star cast from the worlds of jazz, Broadway, opera and beyond features Grammy Award-winning 1920s and 30s musical interpreters Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks (HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," Woody Allen's Radio Days, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator), as well as special guest stars including acclaimed soprano Amy Burton (The Metropolitan Opera, City Opera, Carnegie Hall), Tony Award nominee Anita Gillette (Chapter Two, They're Playing Our Song, Brighton Beach Memoirs), Jason Graae (Falsettos, A Grand Night for Singing), Ted Levy (Jelly's Last Jam, Black and Blue), Grammy-winning jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell (featured on soundtracks for HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and the film Kill Your Darlings), and two-time Tony nominee Tom Wopat (Catch Me If You Can, Annie Get Your Gun, Sondheim on Sondheim). The Ambassador Revue features direction by author and musical theatre historian Ken Bloom (Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time; The American Songbook: The Singers, Songwriters & The Songs).
When the Jazz Age crossed over to France in the 20s, Cole Porter was in the center of it all. In 1928, he created a revue for the Café des Ambassadeurs, Paris' hottest night club, which became quite the sensation. Later that year, Porter had his first hit on Broadway and The Ambassador Revue fell into oblivion until 2012 when the score was rediscovered by Ken Bloom and Christophe Mirambeau in an archive in Milan, Italy. Bloom and Mirambeau mounted a concert staging of The Ambassador Revue in Paris that relaunched the historic Maison de la Mutualite in 2012, nearly 85 years after its Parisian premiere. Bloom's Town Hall staging of the revue will mark the first time that Porter's score will be heard on an American stage and the first time that the original musical arrangements by Freddy Buck will be heard since the 1928 production in Paris.
"The Ambassador Revue features a score of clever and topical, comedic songs; lush, romantic ballads; and of course, those patented, double-entendre ditties for which Porter would come to be notorious," says director Ken Bloom. "With titles including 'Lost Liberty Blues' (sung by none other than The Statue of Liberty herself) and 'Military Maids' (sung by a chorus of militant feminists demanding social equality), this was the score that ultimately brought Porter back to Broadway and set him on his path to the pantheon of great musical theatre songwriters. Performed by this stellar cast of performers, this is going to be a very special event for any aficionado of musical theatre and the Great American Songbook."
"The discovery of a lost Cole Porter score is a reason to celebrate so I knew that I wanted to be a part of this American premiere," says Vince Giordano. "In addition to performing, the initial plan was that I would create original music arrangements in the spirit of 1920s Paris. But recently we unearthed the original orchestrations in the Fred Waring archive at Penn State, so not only do we get to introduce American audiences to this score, but we will bring the original arrangements back to life for the first time in nine decades."
The Ambassador Revue is the first event in The Town Hall 2014 Summer Season: Broadway Preludes, a trio of unforgettable one-night-only events featuring music from some of Broadway's most beloved songwriters, critically acclaimed musical performers, and fresh-faced talent on the brink of discovery. On Monday, July 14 at 8PM, the series continues with Broadway Rising Stars, the annual event at which The Town Hall gives recent graduates from the nation's leading performing arts schools a chance to showcase their talents and perform on the legendary stage. On Thursday July 17, Hershey Felder (George Gershwin Alone), critically acclaimed master entertainer and virtuoso pianist, portrays the great Leonard Bernstein in Maestro Bernstein, a play with music.
TICKETS FOR THE AMBASSADOR REVUE: Tickets are on sale at The Town Hall Box Office, 123 West 43rd Street, (noon-6pm, Mon-Fri) and Ticketmaster.com, 800.982.2787. Tickets range from $30 - 65.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE TOWN HALL 2014 SUMMER SERIES: A $125 three-show subscription series can be purchased by mail-order-only. Mail order forms are available at www.TheTownHall.org. Save 20% by purchasing a "Gold Circle" subscription for $150 and get the best seats in the house.