Mandy Gonzalez Set for THE AMANDA MCBROOM PROJECT at Laurie Beechman, Now thru 3/17
Broadway's Mandy Gonzalez (Wicked, In the Heights, Dance of the Vampires, Lennon) has joined the cast of The Amanda McBroom Project, set for tonight, March 14, 15, and 17 at 7pm at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42 Street (Between 9 and 10 Avenues.) For Reservations: 212.695.6909Music charge $20. Food/drink minimum $15
One of the most powerful and versatile voices in musical theater, she is best known for playing the role of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award winning musical In The Heights. Mandy was last seen starring as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, and has appeared as Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical Aida. She starred in the Broadway show Lennon, where she portrayed John Lennon as well as other characters. Mandy received an Obie Award for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli's Comin', directed by Diane Paulus, the musical based on the music and lyrics of singer-songwriter Laura Nyro.
Amanda McBroom has been called "the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match." Her name first came to the attention of the listening public when Bette Midler's version of Amanda's song "The Rose" hit number one all over the world. But it was Amanda's performance of her own songs on the Golden Globes, the Grammy awards, and the Tonight Show that launched her career as a singer as well as a songwriter. Her songs have been recorded by the likes of Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, Harry Belafonte, Betty Buckley, The Manhattan Transfer, and Donny Osmond.
Her love of, and background in, musical theater (she starred in the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and European productions of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, on Broadway in Seesaw, and in Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Mame) compelled her to create a musical based on her songs. Heartbeats made its debut in Los Angeles and the play has enjoyed over 15 regional theater productions around the U.S.
Now, the bright new production of the Amanda McBroom Project, created by Eric Michael Gillett, Arthur Masella and Jeff Cubeta, brings leading ladies of both cabaret and theater together to interpret her exquisite songs over a run of three nights.
"Each and every performer hit a home run with the interesting and often thrilling material they had to work with. Kudos to Eric who put this remarkable tribute together, to the stellar cast of performers who all brought their A-game to the proceedings, and especially to Amanda McBroom for her incredible insights and brilliant songs." - Linda Amiel Burns, TheatreLife.com
"Amanda McBroom is a national treasure, as both writer and performer. She speaks to us like few have done writing some of the best smart, perceptive, witty, and empathetically moving songs of the generation. I highly recommend acquiring CDs until she's back in town or the new review goes up." - Alix Cohen, Woman Around Town
"Bringing together some of cabaret and theater's leading singers, each with her own personality, vocal interpretation and technique, and matching them with the personality of the magnitude of McBroom songs, was no easy challenge. But it's now a brilliant reality. The songs cover every truth, emotion, love or loss of, life's funny moments, and the resilience of the human spirit. This monumental undertaking is only the beginning as it refines and winds its way to something much more." - Sandi Durell, Examiner.com
Eric Michael Gillett is known as a director, an actor, a singer, and a teacher. Mr. Gillett's own cabaret shows have included Cast of Thousands: The Songs of Craig Carnelia (for which Eric was named MAC's Major Male Vocalist of 2012), It Takes Two: The Duets of Stephen Sondheim (with Melanie Vaughan), Careless Rhapsody: The Lyrics of Lorenz Hart, and his critically-lauded collection of radio songs of the past forty years, Hook, Line, and Singer. Mr. Gillett has directed some of the top ladies in cabaret including Karen Akers, Marieann Meringolo, KT Sullivan, Sheera Ben-David and Lari White, as well as some of Broadway's brightest young stars, including Jarrod Spector and Mandy Gonzalez. He is the recipient of both the MAC Award for Outstanding Direction and the Dick Gallagher Award, bestowed by the Mabel Mercer Foundation, for his unique contributions to the art of cabaret. And watch for his next feature film from Warner Bros. which will be released in October 2014, The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. www.ericmichaelgillett.com
Arthur Masella has worked with Hal Prince on a number of projects, including remounting Phantom of the Opera for the smash hit 5 year run of the show at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Mr. Masella has directed shows internationally, including long runs of Sweet Charity and Fiddler on the Roof. The Amanda McBroom Project continues a collaboration between Eric Michael and Artie Masella that began when Mr. Masella cast Eric Michael in the New York City Opera production of Candide, in which Mr. Masella directed him twice, thus beginning a collaboration which has included Mr. Gillett's solo shows, Cast of Thousands and Careless Rhapsody: The Lyrics of Lorenz Hart.
Musical director Jeff Cubeta is a vocalist, songwriter, and pianist. He has musical directed numerous shows for Eric Michael Gillett. His solo show of all his original music, Sing This, was a sold-out hit during its run in 2013 and he is currently in the process of recording the CD with artists Aisha de Haas, Mandy Gonzalez, Charlie Stevens, Venessa Diaz, and LaTanya Hall. www.jeffcubeta.com