Stephen Schwartz, Ana Gasteyer and More Set for Bay Area Cabaret's 2014 Opening Gala, 9/27

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Stephen Schwartz, Ana Gasteyer and More Set for Bay Area Cabaret's 2014 Opening Gala, 9/27

Bay Area Cabaret, devoted to presenting audiences with top performers who expand the definition of cabaret, launches its 11th season this fall at the Fairmont San Francisco's historic Venetian Room with an Opening Night Gala celebrating the work of songwriter/composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, Pocahontas, Enchanted, Prince of Egypt). The evening will feature two on-stage interviews with Mr. Schwartz by ASCAP's Director of Musical Theatre Michael Kerker, and performances by Saturday Night Live's Ana Gasteyer, who performed the role of 'Elphaba' in Wicked on Broadway, and by two masterful interpreters of Schwartz' work, Liz Callaway and Michael McCorry Rose. Bay Area Cabaret's Opening Night Gala Tribute to Stephen Swartz will take place 8 pm, Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco. Tickets ($75 general/$60 subscribers) can be purchased by calling (415) 392-4400 or online at www.bayareacabaret.org.

On March 23, 2006, the Broadway production of Wicked passed 1,000 performances, making Schwartz one of only four composers in history to have three shows reach that mark (his other two were Pippin - which will be playing in San Francisco during its national tour in September - and The Magic Show). In 2007, Schwartz became one of only two composer/lyricists to have had three shows run longer than 1,500 performances on Broadway. Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy awards, three Academy Awards and six Tony nominations, Mr. Schwartz also serves as President of the Dramatists Guild and leads ASCAP songwriting workshops to develop the next generation of songwriters.

Said Marilyn Levinson, "Growing up, Stephen Schwartz' early musicals -- Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show - were the reason my friends and I fell in love with musical theatre. They were defining musicals for our generation. Now, more than three decades later, for our children's generation, the same is true of Wicked. For years, I have dreamed of presenting an evening to pay tribute to one of our nation's most talented and enduring songwriter/composers. I am thrilled that, on September 27th, Bay Area Cabaret will have the chance to honor Mr. Schwartz."

Bay Area Cabaret's tribute will showcase selections from Schwartz' repertoire -- from "Corner of the Sky," "Lion Tamer," and "Meadowlark," to the Grammy-winning "When you Believe," highlights from Wicked's score and a special segment by Mr. Schwartz on the evolution of a song. Appearing on stage to perform the songs of Mr. Schwartz will be a trio of leading performers:

Ana Gasteyer is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live. Recently, she starred on ABC's Suburgatory, and her roles in HBO's Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Good Wife, Showtime's Reefer Madness, and more. Gasteyer has starred in a range of theater productions since her Broadway debut in the revival of The Rocky Horror Show. In 2006, Gasteyer starred in Wicked on Broadway as 'Elphaba' and originated the role for the Chicago production, which earned her a Jefferson Award nomination. Her other credits also include Tony-nominated Broadway productions of The Royal Family, The Threepenny Opera, and many others. On film, Ana will soon be seen in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and has appeared in Rapture-Palooza, Peeples, Fun Size, Dare, and Mean Girls, among others. This fall, she is set to guest star on ABC's The Goldbergs as drama teacher of Ms. Cinoman.

Tony nominee and Emmy winner Liz Callaway's Broadway credits include Merrily We Roll Along, Baby, Miss Saigon and Cats. She received a Drama Desk nomination for The Spitfire Grill, and recently played 'Norma Desmond' in Sunset Boulevard. Ms. Callaway has provided the singing voice for numerous animated movies including the title character of the Oscar-nominated Anastasia. Her extensive cabaret and concert career has taken her to London, Paris, Barcelona, Australia, China, Iceland and nearly every major city in the U.S. She has five solo recordings including her new Christmas album Merry and Bright as well as two CDs with her sister, Ann Hampton Callaway: Sibling Revelry and Boom! Live at Birdland.

Michael McCorry Rose has appeared in the Broadway and national touring productions of Wicked as 'Fiyero.' He has also been seen in national tours and regional theatres across the country in leading roles in productions including Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease!, 1776, Urinetown, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Miss Saigon, Oklahoma!, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Cinderella, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and others.

The evening's stars will be joined onstage by some exciting young talent, most notably Burlingame native, Bay Area Cabaret's Bay Area Teen Idol 2014 winner and former ACT-YC Advanced Cabaret Ensemble member (University of Michigan 2018) Peter Scattini.

Having presented cabaret seasons in a variety of elegant showrooms, Bay Area Cabaret found a permanent home four years ago when it was invited to reopen the Fairmont Hotel's historic Venetian Room, which had been dark as an entertainment venue for over 21 years. Following a gala opening (featuring Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch), the company went on to present such musical legends as Elaine Paige, Chita Rivera, Christine Ebersole, Tommy Tune, and the Bay Area Teen Idol competition, with judges from American Idol and Wicked. Having been awarded exclusive music booking rights to the Venetian Room, Bay Area Cabaret has continued to provide top caliber lineups, and now begins its fourth year in residence, to present Bay Area Cabaret's eleventh season of music.

Subscribers who purchase six shows receive both substantial ticket discounts and reserved seats, and are allowed to exchange tickets among shows. For patrons of Bay Area Cabaret, the Fairmont Hotel offers a lavish buffet supper in the Laurel Court for $44 (plus tax and tip), plus free parking for all who dine in the Laurel Court.

Bay Area Cabaret (BAC) is a not-for profit organization founded by Marilyn Levinson, a fifth generation San Francisco native. Through its concert series and wide-ranging outreach activities, BAC aims to expand the definition of cabaret and broaden the audience for intimate entertainment, featuring Great American Songbook offerings from George and Ira Gershwin and Stephen Sondheim to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joni Mitchell. Past seasons have featured Norm Lewis, Sutton Foster, Barbara Cook, Peter Gallagher, Nellie McKay, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jane Monheit, and Karen Mason.

The Bay Area Cabaret season continues November 2 with Tony winner Leslie Uggams (Hallelujah, Baby!, Beulah, Roots) and December 7 with Andrew Lloyd Webber protégé and star of Broadway's Phantom of the Opera and Little Mermaid Sierra Boggess in her newest show. Bay Area Cabaret's series resumes in 2015 with a rare San Francisco appearance by Grammy-nominated chanteuse Stacey Kent on February 1, 2015 performing selections from her new bossa nova album The Changing Lights. On Saturday February 28 and Sunday, March 1, singer/songwriter Judy Collins returns with a brand new show. The Venetian Room will swing on Saturday, March 21 when multiple-Grammy-winning pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis makes his first Venetian Room appearance in over three decades, with Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist and guitarist John Pizzarelli, in a tribute to Venetian Room regular Nat King Cole. The Tony-nominated Broadway and television star Annaleigh Ashford will make her West Coast cabaret debut on Sunday, April 19. Bay Area Cabaret's season concludes with two shows on Sunday, May 31: the cabaret debut of rising Broadway star Bobby Conte Thornton at 5pm, and the highly acclaimed new cabaret piece by Broadway veterans Lillias White & Billy Stritch at 8pm.

All shows are presented in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont San Francisco. Tickets to most shows are $50 ($45 subscribers), with no food or drink minimum required. Subscribers enjoy substantial discounts, reserved seating, and free ticket exchange among series performances.

Tickets for individual concerts are available at www.bayareacabaret.org or by phone at City Box Office (415) 392-4400. Subscriptions, and discounts for groups of 8 or more, are available directly from Bay Area Cabaret at (415) 927-4636.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

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