Klea Blackhurst Performs Tonight at the Encompass Jazz Cabaret Gala
Nancy Rhodes, artistic director of Encompass New Opera Theatre, announced today that Klea Blackburst, actress, singer and comedienne best known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow, will be the featured performer at the Encompass Jazz Cabaret Gala in Manhattan tonight, June 25th, 2014. The benefit will take place at 7:00 PM in a spacious penthouse with panoramic views at 66 Leonard Street.
Ms. Blackhurst will honor the songs and sass of Ethel Merman with nods to American Songbook favorites by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerry Herman, Marvin Hamlisch and more. Accompanying her on piano will be music arranger and composer, Michael Rice.
This one-night-only event will take place at 66 Leonard Street, New York, NY 10013 (between Church Street & Broadway) in the penthouse of Mr. Chip Seelig. Guests can also expect savory hors d'oeuvres and enjoy wines from his private collection. Ticket prices begin at $250 and may be purchased online at www.encompassopera.org or via phone at 718-398-4675. Visa/MC/AMEX or checks will be accepted for payment. Directions by train to 66 Leonard Street: 1 train to Franklin Street or A, C, E to Canal Street.
Klea will perform highlights from Everything the Traffic Will Allow, which won rave reviews from New York critics, and led to a national tour and a well-regarded CD. Last year, Ms. Blackhurst earned accolades as Dolly Levy in Hello Dolly! at Goodspeed Opera House. In 2012 she created a lead role in The Nutty Professor, a musical directed by legendary comedian Jerry Lewis, and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes.
Michael Rice, currently the resident musical director for Trinity Rep is a well known music director/arranger On and Off Broadway and was the original Music Supervisor for Nunsense. He first performed with Klea in the Off Broadway productions of Radio Gals and Oil City Symphony.
ENCOMPASS NEW OPERA THEATRE, one of the nation's leading companies creating and producing new music theatre/opera for over 35 years launched its Jazz Cabaret Gala 5 seasons ago to showcase some of the nation's best cabaret and jazz artists including Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway. Over the years Encompass has premiered such works as Angel of the Amazon by Evan Mack, Elizabeth and Essex by Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble, Richard Engquist, and Doug Katsaros, Only Heaven by Ricky Ian Gordon, The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigori Frid, I Tre Compagni by Louis Gioia, and the operatic works of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson.