Bill Bolcom & Joan Morris, The Chenille Sisters Headline Performance Network's 30th Anniversary Season Launch Cabaret

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In just two weeks, on September 22nd, Performance Network Theatre will launch its 30th anniversary season with a Gala cabaret featuring a variety of beloved local acts. Entertainment for the event was announced today with popular singing trio The Chenille Sisters and Grammy winner Bill Bolcom and Joan Morris at the top of the list. Each act will perform a cabaret set on the evening's theme "Diamonds and Pearls" to coincide with the modern and traditional gifts for a 30th anniversary.

The evening will be Emceed by the always original Malcolm Tulip, a Performance Network Associate Artist and long-time member of the PNT artistic family. Special guests from the theater's past will also take the stage to tell their favorite gems of stories, and offer their pearls of wisdom for the future. Artistic Director David Wolber said "It's going to be a fun, funny, reflective, and even poignant look back on how we got here today. All the backstage stories, the blood, sweat and tears, the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows - they'll all be there. This is going to be an event that no follower of Performance Network will want to miss."

The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. with a VIP reception featuring a buffet dinner provided by local restaurants: Savas, Mercy's at the Bell Tower, West End Grill, Amadeus, Afternoon Delight, The Blue Nile, Arbor Brewing Company, Shakolad, Slap Happy Cookery, and Smart Cookie Gluten-Free Bakery. The performance starts at 8 p.m., and will be immediately followed by a Champagne and Dessert reception with the performers.

THE FULL LIST OF ENTERTAINERS INCLUDES:

Naz Edwards:
Naz was born and raised in Philadelphia. By the age of seven, Naz was taking voice lessons, learning operatic pieces in French and Italian. One day, her teacher placed a mirror in front of her, and announced that she was going to learn something new - which she called "musical theatre." She told Naz to look in the mirror and entertain herself while she sang. Naz was entertained, and never looked back. By her late teens she had her first professional gig, as Adelaide in GUYS AND DOLLS, followed by Fanny in FUNNY GIRL. By the age of twenty Naz had her Actors' Equity card, and was on her way. After a series of regional productions, including THE BAKER'S WIFE (Denise, with Scott Bakula) and CARNIVAL (Rosalie, with Judith Blazer), Naz found herself starring on Broadway as the Leader in ZORBA, with Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova. At the end of its Broadway run, the cast of ZORBA went on national tour, during which Naz played to outstanding reviews in every city. At PNT she has been featured in the musicals "She Loves Me," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Souvenir," and "The Drowsy Chaperone," as well as several other comedic and dramatic roles.

Bolcom and Morris:
On their travels throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad, Joan Morris and William Bolcom frequently give master classes focusing on "classic American popular song." Its something they know a thing or two about. In April 2004 Joan was a soloist in the performance of Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience (texts by William Blake), which celebrated the reopening of the newly-renovated Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The concert, which combined 450 orchestra and chorus members from the University of Michigan School of Music and community with professional soloists, was conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The recording of this event went on to win four Grammy Awards, garnering recognition for her as Soloist on the album. She has also performed Songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London's Royal Festival Hall, broadcast live over BBC Radio 3 (1996) and in Costa Mesa with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra (2003). Named 2007 Composer of the Year by Musical America, and honored with multiple Grammy Awards for his ground-breaking setting of Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Bolcom is a composer of cabaret songs, concertos, sonatas, operas, symphonies, and much more. In addition, He was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Twelve New Etudes for piano.

The Chenille Sisters:
The Chenille Sisters' paths first converged on the small stage of an Ann Arbor bistro in 1985. Over the years they've criss-crossed the map, amassing tens of thousand of fans young and old. A Chenille's performance is a blending of three uniquely gifted souls into a musical phenomenon that's more poignant, funny and entertaining than any single performer anywhere - and oh, those exquisite harmonies! What these three women have in common are heavenly voices, a lot of witty wisdom and a passion for connecting with their audiences. Cheryl Dawdy draws on her background as a balladeer to tell stories that shimmer with human emotion, from sorrow to wonder to tenderness - all delivered with a sly smile that slowly grows wider, warming the heart. Grace Morand can project a powerful note clear to an auditorium's restrooms. Her performance is as much musical theater as it is singing, with one reviewer inviting the audience to relish the experience of her "silly putty face." Connie Huber's musical acumen is as varied as it is powerful. Her deft guitar playing is a strong element in the musical mix, and her rich vocal presence transports audiences to places they visit only in their dreams. So while these are very different women with very different histories and experiences, the union of the three makes them a bona fide force of nature.

Frank Pahl:
Frank Pahl received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Wayne State University, Detroit and a master of fine arts degree in art and design with an emphasis in sound art from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has received over 80 commissions to write music for theater, film and dance and has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan. His music has appeared on over 70 releases. Since 2000, he's actively created kinetic sound installations, which are frequently designed to accompany his music. Pahl has taught sound design at College for Creative Studies, Detroit and sound-related courses at University of Michigan. His current music projects are Scavenger Quartet and Little Bang Theory. HIs work has been seen at Performance Network in "The Threepenny Opera," "Humble Boy," "Dada Boy Paints on Canvas," and "The Day Everything Went Wrong."

Mosaic Youth Theatre:
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an internationally acclaimed youth development program that concentrates on helping young artists excel on stage and in life. Mosaic's mission is to empower young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of first-rate theatrical and musical art. Founded by Rick Sperling in 1992, Mosaic was born out of a need to fill the gaps in arts education in metro Detroit schools while providing an artistic home for young actors, singers, and stage technicians. Each year more than 165 youth from over 50 different schools benefit from involvement in Mosaic's Youth Ensemble and Intermediate Training Programs. An additional 1000 youth participate in Mosaic's First Stage programs within schools and community centers throughout metro Detroit. Filled with youthful energy, passion, and musical and theatrical talent, a Mosaic Youth performance is a "must-see" experience.

George Shirley:
Mr. Shirley is in demand nationally and internationally as performer, teacher and lecturer. He has won international acclaim for his performances in the world's great opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera (New York), Royal Opera (Covent Garden, London), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Téatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), L'Opéra de Monte Carlo, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera (Glasgow), Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera (Kennedy Center), Michigan Opera Theater, Glyndebourne Festival, and Santa Fe Opera. He has recorded for RCA, Columbia, Decca, Angel, Vanguard, CRI, and Philips and received a Grammy Award in 1968 for his role (Ferrando) in the RCA recording of Mozart's Così fan tutte. Professor Shirley was the first African-American to be appointed to a high school teaching post in music in Detroit, the first African-American member of the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C., and the first African-American tenor and second African-American male to sing leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, where he remained for eleven years.

Courtney Myers
Part Chanteuse, part belter, and all performer, Courtney is an accomplished musical theatre actress and is as comfortable singing rock anthems as swing tunes. As the Managing Director for the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Theatre Program at the University of Michigan - Courtney has toured to campuses around the country including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of California at Irvine, University of Chicago, and more. She has been seen at Performance Network in "Little Shop of Horrors," and "Next Fall" as well as with the cabaret groups Luna Soiree and local Swing giants Accidentally Hip.

Malcolm Tulip
In the Department of Theatre & Drama at U of M, Tulip serves as Head of the Directing Concentration, teaches Movement, Acting, Clown and Directing, and directs a mainstage production each year. Malcolm has worked for three decades as a freelance actor, director, writer and teacher, performing in festivals and tours of the United Kingdom, Europe (I Gelati Theatre Co.) and the U.S. (Theatre Grottesco.) His interest in fusing physicality with his previous dramatic experience led him to the École Jacques Lecoq: Mime, Movement & Theatre, where he studied with the world-renowned teacher Jacques Lecoq. In 1990 he founded Prospero Theatre Co., writing, directing and performing in eight new works including Asylum/ Asylum, a play with no text, Eine Soirée en la Metamortue de Enrique Miasmo, a play in invented language and most recently The Day Everything Went Wrong, a clown play. He is an Associate Artist and mainstay of the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor, where he has performed and directed for over twenty years grappling with a wide dramatic repertoire, from Pinter's "The Caretaker" to Brecht's "The Threepenny Opera," and from "Amadeus" to "I Am My Own Wife."

TICKETS:
$150: VIP ticket - includes 6:30 reception, 8 p.m. performance, and dessert afterglow
$100: General admission - includes 8 p.m. performance and dessert afterglow

Tickets are available online at www.performancenetwork.org, or patrons can order over the phone at 734-663-0681 during box office hours, 11am-6pm, Monday through Saturday.

 

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