O'Hara, Grammer to Star in NY Philharmonic's My Fair Lady
On Wednesday, March 7, 2007, the New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala will celebrate My Fair Lady. The Gala Chairmen for this black-tie benefit are Mr. and Mrs. Stephen S. Crawford, Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Schaefer, and Mr. and Mrs. Stanford S. Warshawsky. For information about the pre-concert reception, concert, and post-concert dinner with the artists, please contact Eve Helfstein, (212) 875-5757, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted from George Bernard Shaw's 1912 play and Gabrial Pascal's motion picture, Pygmalion, the musical sported songs such as "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "With a Little Bit of Luck," "The Rain in Spain," "I Could Have Danced All Night," and "On the Street Where You Live." The show starred Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins, Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle, and Stanley Holloway as Alfred P. Doolittle, and ran for 2,717 performances, winning numerous Tony Awards and other kudos. The story, about a Cockney flower girl who is trained by a bachelor linguistics expert to speak proper English in six months' time as part of a daring challenge, was also made into a 1964 film that starred Audrey Hepburn - whose singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon - with Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway reprising their stage roles.
The musical received numerous awards and nominations, including 1957 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Rex Harrison), Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith), Best Choreography (Hanya Holm), Conductor and Musical Director (Franz Allers), and Best Direction (Moss Hart).
Musicals at the New York Philharmonic
The Philharmonic's last semi-staged presentation of a Broadway musical was Leonard Bernstein's Candide, in May 2004, conducted by Marin Alsop and starring Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LuPone, Paul Groves, Stanford Olsen, and Sir Thomas Allen, with Lonny Price directing; its telecast on Thirteen/WNET New York's Great Performances earned it an Emmy nomination. In May 2000 the Philharmonic presented three concert performances of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, starring Patti LuPone, George Hearn, Audra McDonald, John Aler, Davis Gaines, Heidi Grant Murphy, Neil Patrick Harris, Stanford Olsen, and Paul Plishka. Andrew Litton conducted and Lonny Price directed. A recording of the live performances was released on the Philharmonic's Special Editions label and was nominated for a Grammy Award. In September 1985, the Orchestra offered Stephen Sondheim's Follies, conducted by Paul Gemignani and directed by Herbert Ross, with a cast that included Licia Albanese, Carol Burnett, Liz Callaway, Betty Comden, Barbara Cook, Adolph Green, George Hearn, Howard McGillin, Erie Mills, Liliane Montevecchi, Phyllis Newman, Mandy Patinken, Daisy Prince, Lee Remick, Elaine Stritch, and Andre Gregory. The concert and a recording of the live performance were produced by Thomas Z. Shepard, and a BBC Television documentary about the making of the show was later combined with parts of the performance for DVD release.
Kelli O'Hara (Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who becomes the object of a linguistics bet between Henry Higgins and Col. Pickering) was most recently seen on Broadway opposite Harry Connick Jr. in the 2006 Tony Award-winning production of Pajama Game, for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics awards. Other Broadway credits include The Light in the Piazza (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations); The Sweet Smell of Success opposite John Lithgow; Stephen Sondheim's Follies; Dracula; and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional and Off-Broadway credits include My Life With Albertine at Playwright's Horizons; The Light in the Piazza at Seattle's Intiman Theatre and The Goodman Theatre; and Beauty at La Jolla Playhouse. Her film and television credits include The Dying Gaul, starring Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott, and Alexander Hamilton, starring Brian F. O'Byrne (PBS). In April 2007 Ms. O'Hara will perform a solo debut concert with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. She has sung in concerts at Carnegie Hall with Barbara Cook; The Kennedy Center with Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony Orchestra; Lincoln Center; Town Hall; Joe's Pub; and with the Philly Pops conducted by Peter Nero. Her recordings include The Light in the Piazza (Nonesuch, Grammy nomination), The Pajama Game (Sony, Grammy nomination), The Sweet Smell of Success (Sony), Jule Styne Goes Hollywood (PS Classics), and an upcoming solo album. Ms. O'Hara has a degree in opera from Oklahoma City University, and won the Oklahoma State Metropolitan Opera Competitions. She studied drama at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City.
Kelsey Grammer (Professor Henry Higgins, professional bachelor and world-famous phonetics expert) has played Dr. Frasier Crane on three different television series (Frasier, Cheers, and Wings) over a span of 20 years. He has won four Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, and a SAG Award for the role, and received a total of 16 Emmy nominations, eight Golden Globe nominations, and 16 SAG nominations. Mr. Grammer most recently played Dr. Henry McCoy, also known as 'Beast,' in the summer film, X-Men: The Last Stand. He also stars in the soon-to-be-released Even Money, a film by Mark Rydell. Mr. Grammer voices the character of Sideshow Bob on the Simpsons, for which he won an Emmy Award in 2006. He also lent his voice to the feature films Toy Story 2, Anastasia, Teacher's Pet, and the television series Father of the Pride, Animal Farm, and Gary the Rat, in which he also served as executive producer. His Paramount-based Production Company, Grammnet, has produced several television series, including Medium, Girlfriends, and The Game. Mr. Grammer studied at The Juilliard School, which was followed by a three year stint at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where he performed works by Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw. Broadway credits include Macbeth and Othello. He also performed the title role in Richard II, and played Lucio in Measure for Measure at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Charles Kimbrough (Colonel Hugh Pickering, a retired British officer and the "author of Spoken Sanscrit") last appeared in New York in A.R. Gurney's The Fourth Wall. He has had a long association with Mr. Gurney, including his plays The Dining Room (Astor Place Theater), Later Life (Playwrights Horizons), and Sylvia (Manhattan Theatre Club). He made his debut on Broadway in John Guare's Cop Out in 1969, and the following year was lucky enough to be associated with Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company, for which he received a Tony nomination. Candide followed in 1974 at the Broadway Theater. He managed to finally close the long-running Same Time, Next Year, and then participated in E. L. Doctorow's Drinks Before Dinner at The Public Theater, directed by Mike Nichols. He appeared in the revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever, directed by Brian Murray, and reunited with Stephen Sondheim in Sunday in the Park with George, written and directed by James Lapine. For 10 years he portrayed Jim Dial in Murphy Brown on CBS television.