STAGE TUBE: Brian Stokes Mitchell Sings On The Today Show
Brian Stokes Mitchell visited The Today Show to sing a selection from his new CD/DVD "Ring Christmas Bells."
Mitchell also discussed his "Lights on Broadway With Brian Stokes Mitchell" children's book, a benefit for The Actors Fund. Each book comes with a CD single of "I was Here."
Dubbed "The Last Leading Man" by the New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film, along with appearances in the great American concert halls.
His musical versatility has kept him in demand by some of the country's finest conductors and orchestras. He has performed selections from "Porgy and Bess" with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Performed works by Aaron Copland and various contemporary composers at the Hollywood Bowl with the L.A. Philharmonic under the batons of Leonard Slatkin and John Mauceri; Broadway tunes at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC under the baton of Marvin Hamlisch (most recently at the National Symphony Orchestra's 75th season Pops concert debut), and Jazz and standards with Maestro John Williams at Disney Hall and with the Boston Pops. He recently debuted pulitzer prize winning composer David Del Tredici's "Rip Van Winkle" with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.
He reprised his Tanglewood performance in John Williams' Jazz version of "My Fair Lady" last December at Disney Hall singing with Dianne Reeves.In 2005 he made his cabaret debut as both singer and musical arranger in New York at Feinstein's at the Regency in his critically acclaimed one-man show "Love/Life" which then moved to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. He received both the New York Bistro and Nightlife awards for his cabaret debut. He returned there in November of 2008 with a critically acclaimed concert where he was accompanied by a guitarist, a bassist and a percussionist.
He headlined the Carnegie Hall concert presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" with Reba McEntire, which aired on PBS in the Spring of 2006. It was also released on DVD and CD . He reprised his role along with Reba McEntire in July of 2007 at the Hollywood bowl then returned to The Hollywood bowl
in August of 2008 starring as Javert in Les Miserables.
His Broadway career includes performances in "Man of La Mancha" (Tony nomination and Helen Hayes Award); "Kiss Me Kate" (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); "Ragtime" (Tony nomination); August Wilson's "King Hedley II" (Tony nomination); "Kiss of the Spider Woman;" "Jelly's Last Jam;" David Merrick's "Oh, Kay!" and "Mail," which earned him a Theatre World award for outstanding Broadway Debut.
At Encores he has starred in "Do, Re, Mi" and "Carnival" and this last season starred in "Kismet." In 1998 he joined the likes of Helen Hayes, Sir John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones when he became the sole recipient of that year's Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League, the nation's oldest theatrical honor, for his performance in "Ragtime."
His long television career began with a seven year stint on "Trapper John, MD." Numerous film and TV appearances more recently include "One Last Thing" which debuted at this year's Toronto Film Festival, recurring roles on "Crossing Jordan" and "Frasier," PBS' "Great Performances," DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt ," and his "Presidential Debut" in "The Singer and the Song" from the White House.
In 2006 he released his self-titled album as the inaugural artist on the newly -formed Playbill Records label. In addition to singing, Stokes produced the album and also wrote many of the arrangements and orchestrations. The executive producers are Playbill Record's president, Philip Birsh and Richard-Jay Alexander . It was mixed by 15-time Grammy winner Al Schmitt and the liner notes were penned by John Williams. For more information, visit www.Playbillrecords.com
He continues to perform as both a soloist and a guest star at concerts all over the United States. In December of 2008 he is performing as the musical guest artist at "Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square". The concert will be aired on PBS during Christmas of 2009.
Stokes has enjoyed working with numerous charitable organizations from the March of Dimes to the USO and is President of the Actors' Fund.