Tony Nominee Karen Akers to Kick Off Urban Stages Winter Rhythms 2012, 12/4

Tony-Nominee-Karen-Akers-to-Kick-Off-Urban-Stages-Winter-Rhythms-2012-124-20010101

Urban Stages, in association with producer/director/lyricist Peter Napolitano, announces a series of musical evenings entitled WINTER RHYTHMS 2012, beginning on Tuesday, December 4 and running through Friday, December 15, 2012 at Urban Stages Theatre (259 West 30th Street). Tickets are $25 per show (both shows in one night, $40). Beer and wine will be available for a $3 donation. Tickets may be purchased on www.smarttix.com or 212 868-4444.

WINTER RHYTHMS 2012 marks the fourth year that Urban Stages has brought noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. Proceeds from this critically acclaimed musical series helps to fund Urban Stages’ On Tour Outreach Program, bringing over 300 FREE “arts in education” presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs.

The celebrated cabaret entertainer and Tony nominee Karen Akers will open WINTER RHYTHMS 2012 at Urban Stages on Tuesday, December 4 with her acclaimed tribute show to the songs of Cole Porter entitled Anything Goes: Karen Akers Sings Cole Porter with musical direction by Don Rebic. This special Patron’s Night Performance will be followed by dinner at Seven Resturant. Tickets are $125.

Other performers to present solo/duo shows in the series are Tony winner Adriane Lennox with Broadway veteran Andrea Frierson, jazz vocalists Mary Foster Conklin and Cleve Douglass, cabaret artists Julie Reyburn, Susan Winter, Marissa Mulder and Erin Cronican, Broadway and television veteran Carole Demas with special guest Paula Janis, multi-instrumentalist Sean Hagerty and singer/songwriter Lora-Faye Whelan.

Musical theatre is represented by performances of songbook revues and excerpts from new American musicals including “The Songs of Douglas J. Cohen”, Peter Napolitano’s “Songs From a Wedding, a Penthouse, and a Pinocchio,” featuring Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli; Mary Liz McNamara’s “The Good Girl in Concert”; “Smile On My Face: The Songs of Richard Eisenberg”; and “Hopelessly in Love: The Lyrics of Tom Toce”.

Special one night only group performances include musical director/pianist Bill Zeffiro’s “Birthday Tribute to Frank Sinatra” hosted by TV personality Bill Boggs with a cast of cabaret notables, Emmy Award winner Glen Roven’s “Poetic License” with TV/stage actor David Garrison, opera star David Okulitch and others to be announced, musical director/pianist Barry Levitt’s ”Jazz Jam” with vocalists Kat Gang, La Tanya Hall and Gabrielle Stravelli; “Very Special Material,” an evening of the songs of Sean Harkness, Nicholas Levin and Tracy Stark; and a special closing night concert, “From All of Us to All Of You: Seasonal Songs and Disney, Too.”

Other participating Artists From Broadway, cabaret, classical music and jazz to include Karen Oberlin, Terese Genecco, Shaynee Rainbolt, Jenna Esposito, Stacy Sullivan, Valerie Lemon, Ronnie Whyte, Carole J. Bufford, Jack Donahue, Paula Janis, Ritt Henn, Raissa Katona Bennett, Tracy Sallows, James Stephens, Rob Langeder, Adam Shapiro, Stacie Perlman, Janice Hall, Marcie Henderson, Miles Phillips, John McLaughlin, Mick Bleyer, and more to be announced.

WINTER RHYTHMS 2012
December 4- 15, 2012
Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30 Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues
Performance schedule: Monday through Friday at 7PM & 9PM
Saturday & Sunday 5PM, 7PM & 9PM
Tickets are $25 ($40 for two shows, one night)
Opening night show and dinner featuring Karen Akers is $125.00
Closing night concert and reception is $40.00

Tickets for all shows can be purchased by visiting www.SmartTix.com or calling 212 868-4444
For more information please visit www.urbanstages.org or call 212 421-1380.
Artists and schedule are subject to change.

WINTER RHYTHMS 2012 SCHEDULE*

Tuesday, Dec. 4 7PM Karen Akers in Anything Goes: Karen Akers Sings Cole Porter – Patron’s Night Benefit Show and Dinner.

Wednesday, Dec. 5 7PM Peter Napolitano’s “Songs From a Wedding, a Penthouse and a
Pinocchio,” excerpts from three original musicals with Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Jeckyl & Hyde), Janice Hall, Marcie Henderson, Julie Reyburn, Susan Winter, Carole J. Bufford, Miles Phillips, Mick Bleyer, etc.

9PM Lora-Faye Whelan, award-winning singer/songwriter.

Thursday, Dec. 6 7PM Award-winning jazz vocalist Mary Foster Conklin in Life Is a Bitch – Celebrating the Poetry and Lyrics of Fran Landesman.

9PM Cleve Douglass in Nat ‘King’ Cole: Unforgettable Smooth Grooves

Friday, Dec. 7 7PM Multiple award-winning cabaret artist Julie Reyburn in Winter Songs.

Saturday, Dec. 8 5PM Hopelessly in Love: The Lyrics of Tom Toce with Carole J. BuffordJack Donahue and Marissa Mulder. Special Guest: Karen Oberlin.

7PM Broadway and TV’s Carole Demas (Grease original Sandy, “The Magic Garden”) with special guest Paula Janis (“Magic Garden”)

9PM Sean Hagerty, experimental violinist and multi-instrumentalist.

Sunday, Dec. 9 5PM Excerpts from New American Musicals with writers and performers TBA.

7PM Susan Winter in Rise Up Singing, a celebration of Jewish heritage.

9PM Very Special Material 2012, featuring the songs of Sean HarknessNicholas Levin and Tracy Stark with performers TBA.

Monday, Dec. 10 9PM Emmy winner Glen Roven’s Poetic License with David GarrisonDaniel Okulitch, etc.

Tuesday, Dec. 11 7PM Tony winner Adriane Lennox (Doubt) and Andrea Frierson (Once on This Island, The Lion King) with The Barry Levitt Trio

9PM Barry Levitt’s Jazz Jam with The Barry Levitt Trio and vocalists Kat Gang, La Tanya Hall and Gabrielle Stravelli.

Wed., Dec. 12 7PM Bill Zeffiro’s Birthday Tribute to Frank Sinatra, hosted by Bill Boggs, with Karen Oberlin, Terese Genecco, Shaynee Rainbolt, Ronnie Whyte, Valerie Lemon, Stacy Sullivan, Jenna Esposito, Sigali Hamberger, Julie Reyburn, Marissa Mulder, etc.

9PM Marissa Mulder in Listen to My Heart:: The Jimmy Van Heusen Songbook

Thursday, Dec. 13 7PM Mary Liz McNamara’s The Good Girl in Concert, highlights from a new musical with Tracy Sallows, James Stephens, Raissa Katona Bennett, Ritt Henn, Julie Reyburn, etc.

9PM Smile on My Face: The Songs of Richard Eisenberg with Erin Cronican, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman and Adam Shapiro.

Friday, Dec. 14 7PM The Songs of Douglas J. Cohen with cast to be announced.

9PM Erin Cronican in her solo cabaret debut

Saturday, Dec. 15 5PM From All of Us To All of You: Seasonal Songs and Disney, Too! Closing night gala concert with performers to be announced. Champagne reception afterwards.

*artists and schedule subject to change

URBAN STAGES (Producer) is an award-winning, not-for-profit Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. Over the past 27 years, Urban Stages has produced over 80 productions (mostly world premieres) most recently the world premiere of Bill Bowers Beyond Broadway, and the award winning musical Langston in Harlem by Kent Gash, Walter Marks with Langston Hughes poetry, this production received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress, a John Callaway Award for Best Choreography and four Audelco Awards including Best Musical. The New York Premiere of ReEntry by KJ Sanchez and Emily Ackerman produced in 2010 is currently touring military bases and regional theatres across the country. The world premiere of the Joe Iconis musical ReWrite. Urban Stages’ 2011 Musical Legends garnered several nominations and awards from the prestigious MAC committee. They also presented the American Premiere of Oxford Roof Climbers’ Rebellion by Stephen Massicotte which transferred to Albany's Capital Repertory Theatre. Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Eisa Davis’ Bulrusher (2007), two Drama Desk nominations, an Outer Critic's Circle Award, an Obie nomination, and eight Audelco nominations. Our productions of Men On The Verge Of A Hispanic Breakdown, by Guillermo Reyes, and Minor Demons, by Bruce Graham subsequently moved to commercial theatres. Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). The majority of works developed at Urban Stages have had further productions commercially, regionally, and abroad. Numerous projects developed at Urban Stages have been adapted into film and television projects, including Scar, by Murray Mednick, Conversations with the Goddesses, by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary, by Alexandra Viets. Urban Stages has a consistent history of discovering new writers to the theatre community and introducing their plays into theatrical repertory.

Peter Napolitano (Producer, Urban Stages Winter Rhythms) has received the BMI Bistro Award (director) and three MAC Awards (director, lyricist, producer) for his recent work in virtually every major NY cabaret venue. In musical theatre, he was lyricist of Tropicana, book and direction by the legendary George Abbott, produced by Musical Theatre Works; and lyricist/librettist of The Lady in Penthouse B, music by Matthew Ward, produced “Mufti Style” by the York Theatre, starring Nancy Dussault. He is currently developing two musicals at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop: Pinocchio of Chelsea with music by Mark Janas and Nicky’s Wedding (adapted from his prize-winning play) with music by Barry Levitt, while also writing special material for some of NY’s outstanding cabaret artists. A guest lecturer for Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Napolitano is currently Producing Consultant for Urban Stages, a prize-winning Off Broadway not-for-profit theatre and produces its annual Winter Rhythms music series. Other highlights of his varied career: working with the ground-breaking Off-Broadway Ridiculous Theatrical Co. and The Glines; directing the early solo work of Charles Busch; contributing editor of The Blockbuster Guide to Movies on Video (Dell); and author of a Modern Love essay for The New York Times.

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