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Stephen Schwartz, Leslie Uggams, Sierra Boggess and More Highlight Bay Area Cabaret's 2014-15 Lineup

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Stephen Schwartz, Leslie Uggams, Sierra Boggess and More Highlight Bay Area Cabaret's 2014-15 Lineup

Bay Area Cabaret, devoted to presenting audiences with top performers who expand the definition of cabaret, enters its 11th season this fall with a sparkling lineup at the Fairmont San Francisco's historic Venetian Room. The new season features a star-studded lineup of performers making their Bay Area Cabaret debuts, as well as the return of a few favorites.

The season kicks off on Saturday, September 27, 2014 with a tribute to songwriter Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, Pocahontas, Enchanted, Prince of Egypt), starring Mr. Schwartz, SNL's Ana Gasteyer, Broadway's Liz Callaway and Michael McCorry Rose. The 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.

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.

Bay Area cabaret debuts of Kinky Boots/Masters of Sex star Annaleigh Ashford follows on April 19.

San Francisco's Bobby Conte Thornton (Equus, Les Mis) gives an early evening debut performance on May 31.

The season closes with Tony winner Lillias White and Grammy winner Billy Stritch performing a new show later on the evening of May 31.

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 and reserved seating. Information is available at www.bayareacabaret.org. Subscriptions can also be purchased at (415) 927-4636 and single tickets at (415) 392-4400.

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, Lillias White, 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.

From 1947 to 1989, the Venetian Room reigned supreme as the city's premier showroom. It was there that Tony Bennett introduced his signature song, 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' and show business legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich, Tina Turner, Peggy Lee, Nat 'King' Cole, and many others held forth for more than four decades. Said Marilyn Levinson, Founding Executive Producer of Bay Area Cabaret, "An evening at a Bay Area Cabaret performance at the Venetian Room is a magical and uniquely San Francisco experience. Both our audiences and our performers have said that they can sense the venue's rich musical history the minute they set foot in the room. Patrons are delighted to enjoy a $44 buffet supper at the beautifully renovated Laurel Court restaurant - which also includes free parking at the hotel - and attend a performance in our City's most glamorous venue for a very reasonable price."

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 Chita Rivera, Elaine Paige, Norm Lewis, Sutton Foster, Barbara Cook, Christine Ebersole, Marvin Hamlisch, Nellie McKay, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jane Monheit, and the high school vocal competition Bay Area Teen Idol.

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. For Bay Area Cabaret 2014-2015 season subscriptions and more information, visit www.bayareacabaret.org.


INDIVIDUAL CONCERT INFORMATION:

Opening Night Gala
Celebrating Stephen Schwartz
When: 8 pm, Saturday, September 27, 2014
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $75/$60 subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

Bay Area Cabaret's Opening Night Gala celebrates one of our nation's finest living songwriter/composers, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, Pocahontas, Enchanted, Prince of Egypt). The evening will feature 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. Mr. Schwartz will perform his own work, and be interviewed on stage by ASCAP's Director of Musical Theatre Michael Kerker.

On March 23, 2006, the Broadway production of Wicked passed the 1,000-performance mark, making Schwartz one of only four composers in history to have three shows run that long on Broadway (his other two were Pippin and The Magic Show). In 2007, Schwartz became one of only two composer/lyricists to have ever 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 serves as President of the Dramatists Guild and leads ASCAP musical theatre and songwriting workshops to develop the next generation of songwriters.

Leslie Uggams in
Classic Uggams

When: 5 pm, Sunday, November 2, 2014
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $50 general/$45 subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

Bay Area Cabaret is honored to present Tony and Emmy Award winning actress/singer Leslie Uggams in her first Bay Area concert in more than two decades. Celebrating over 60 years in show business, Ms. Uggams has starred on television, films, and Broadway, and has recorded more than fifteen albums. Earlier in 2014, Ms. Uggams was featured in the PBS documentary series: The Pioneers Of Television, as she was instrumental in breaking down racial barriers on television and became known for creating a number of "firsts." At age six, Ms. Uggams co-starred on the first sitcom starring an African American playing the niece in 1950 to Ethel Waters's Beulah. By age 9, after singing on the Lawrence Welk and Milton Berle Shows, she became the opening act for such legends as Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington. At age 15, Ms. Uggams was signed to a record deal at Columbia Records by Mitch Miller, who also cast her on his Sing Along With Mitch TV series, making Leslie the first African-American to be a featured regular on a national prime-time variety show. In 1967, Ms. Uggams made her Broadway debut starring in Hallelujah Baby! earning the actress a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Ms Uggams then became the first African-American female to have her own variety show, when The Leslie Uggams Show debuted on CBS in 1969. In 1978, Ms. Uggams starred as Kizzie, in the landmark television mini-series Roots, earning her the Critics Choice Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress as well as Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Broadway and regional shows include Jerry Herman's Jerry's Girls, Stormy Weather, Master Class, Anything Goes, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. In July, Uggams became the first African-American to star as Mamma Rose in a professional production of Gypsy and she will star as Auntie Mame in Jerry Herman's Mame, in December of this year. The New York Post recently raved, "In a powerful voice undimmed by age, she displayed a dazzling stylistic range. Absolutely stunning."

Sierra Boggess
When: 5 pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $50 general/$45 subscribers/$30 under 30 w/ID
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

Bay Area Cabaret is thrilled to present Broadway star and Olivier Award nominee Sierra Boggess in her Venetian Room debut. Ms Boggess was chosen by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to star as Christine Daae in the Las Vegas production of Phantom Of The Opera. She quickly made her Broadway debut when she was cast as Ariel in The Little Mermaid (opposite Norm Lewis), receiving Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical. In 2009, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber cast Ms. Boggess once again as Christine Daae for the world premier of the Phantom Of The Opera sequel - Love Never Dies, in London. Ms. Boggess received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. The Daily Mail stated, "Sierra Boggess as Christine, is the production's great joy - its show saver. She has a soprano of porcelain precision." Sierra reprised her role as Christine for the 25th Anniversary concert of The Phantom Of The Opera At The Royal Albert Hall in London. In 2014, Ms. Boggess returned to Broadway to star in Phantom Of The Opera, opposite her Little Mermaid co-star Norm Lewis, once again to critical praise. Some of her other shows include Music In The Air (opposite Kristin Chenoweth) and Master Class (opposite Tyne Daly). Her solo album debut is Awakening: Live At 54 Below.

Stacey Kent
The Changing Lights

When: 7:30 pm, Sunday, February 1, 2015
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $50 general/$45 subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org.

Bay Area Cabaret presents platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated vocalist Stacey Kent in a long-anticipated performance of bossa nova material from her recent album, The Changing Lights. Since the release of her debut album in 1997, Ms. Kent has become one of the world's foremost jazz singers. With her fresh approach to lyrics and her beguiling, lightly swinging style, she has received critical praise and worldwide popularity, recording also in French and Portuguese, and selling out concert halls from Paris to Hong Kong and all around the globe. With more than nine albums to her credit, including one platinum and two gold albums (her Raconte-Moi became the second biggest-selling French language album worldwide in 2010), Stacey released The Changing Lights, her first studio album in three years, in Fall 2013. A recent Birdland show caused The New York Times to praise Ms. Kent and her husband Jim Tomlinson as "sophisticated, cosmopolitan jazz impressionists."

Hall of Fame Singer/Songwriter
Judy Collins

When: 8 pm, Saturday, February 28 & 5 pm, Sunday, March 1, 2015
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $90 premium seating & meet and greet (limited); $60 general/$45
subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

Grammy winner, Oscar nominee, and American music legend (Both Sides Now, Send in the Clowns) returns to Bay Area Cabaret after her sold-out Venetian Room performance last March, to debut a brand new show.

Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli in
Straighten up and Fly Right: A Tribute to Nat King Cole

When: 5 pm & 8 pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $75 premium (limited)/$65 general/$50 subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

On March 21st, 2015, Bay Area Cabaret's favorite jazz guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli returns to the Venetian Room with multi-Grammy-Award winning jazz pianist, arranger, producer and composer Ramsey Lewis. Lewis is best known for his recently re-mastered gold album Sun Goddess, and for his hits "The In Crowd" (Grammy Award - Best Jazz Performance 1965 and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame 2009), "Wade In The Water" (Gold Record), and "Hang On Sloopy" (Grammy Award). Lewis and Pizzarelli will perform Straighten up and Fly Right: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. Mr. Cole, of course, was a regular in the Venetian Room, and Mr. Lewis will return to the room after more than three decades. At this homecoming, the room will swing!

Annaleigh Ashford
Lost in the Stars

When: 7:30 pm, Sunday, April 19, 2015
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $50 general/$45 subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

With a gift and a passion for cabaret, versatile Tony-nominated Broadway and television star Annaleigh Ashford will make her West Coast cabaret debut as part of Bay Area Cabaret's series. She currently stars as the hooker Betty
Dimelo in the hit Showtime series, The Masters Of Sex, and Ashford's recent shows at New York's 54 Below met with rave reviews. Originating the role of Lauren in Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper's Tony winning musical Kinky Boots, Ms. Ashford received Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Variety called her "sizzling and sensational." She made her Broadway debut in 2006, originating the role of Margot in Legally Blonde: The Musical. After a year, she starred as Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked, then on Broadway in Hair and Grease. Her films include Sex and The City: The Movie and Rachel Getting Married. Ms. Ashford will return to Broadway this fall, to co-star with James Earl Jones in the first bi-racial revival of You Can't Take It With You.

Bobby Conte Thornton
Concert Debut
Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander
When: 5 pm, May 31, 2015
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $40 general/$30 subscribers & under 21
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

Winner of Bay Area Cabaret's 2011 Bay Area Teen Idol, featured performer in Bay Area Cabaret's Gala 2013 Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch and star of Boxcar's Equus and Papermill Playhouse's Grease, San Francisco's own Bobby Conte Thornton will take the Venetian Room stage for the first time in his own cabaret show on Sunday, May 31. Directed by the nation's foremost concert director, Richard Jay-Alexander (Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Kristin Chenoweth), Mr. Thornton will present a personal account of what it means to be at beginning of one's adult life, with all the possibilities that life has to offer. Jay-Alexander directed Thornton in the role of Enroljas in Les Miserables at St. Louis MUNI and describes this young man's talent as "an unstoppable freight train."

LILLIAS WHITE & BILLY STRITCH
Bay Area Cabaret Season Finale
When: 8 pm, Sunday, May 31, 2015
Where: Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street, atop Nob Hill, San Francisco
Tickets: $50 general/$45 subscribers
(415) 392-4400 or www.bayareacabaret.org

Bay Area Cabaret will conclude its season by welcoming back another favorite: Tony winner (Cy Coleman's The Life) Lillias White. In her latest show, an open audition for her next big Broadway role which just returned for an encore at 54 Below, Ms. White addresses Broadway producers directly...very directly! On Broadway, White has received critical acclaim for her many starring roles, in The Life, Barnum, Fela!, Once on this Island, Chicago, Dreamgirls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. This fall, she'll star in a new off-Broadway play by Tony winner Billy Porter. With the most breathtaking voice on Broadway, and an ability to reach her audience emotionally, Ms. White is a "one-of-a-kind performer who combines the sass of a classic blues mama with the skill of a Broadway star. What sets her above, and apart from, most Broadway pop-blues shouters is her ruthless honesty and self-awareness.." (New York Times) Performing with her to close Bay Area Cabaret's 11th season is Grammy-winning musical director and performer Billy Stritch (42nd Street, Liza Minelli, Reba McIntyre, Linda Lavin).

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