Lexy Fridell, Steven Weber and More to Star in THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN at the Wallis, 5/3-4

Lexy Fridell, Steven Weber and More to Star in THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN at the Wallis, 5/3-4

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents The Trumpet of the Swan, A Novel Symphony for Actors and Orchestra, adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman from E.B. White's timeless children's novel, with music by Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown. Norman and Brown are also currently represented on Broadway with the new musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County.

The production will feature a cast that includes Lexy Fridell (Broadway's The Pee-Wee Herman Show), Sharon Lawrence ("NYPD Blue," Middle of Nowhere), Rod McLachlan (Magnolia), Steven Weber ("Wings," "2 Broke Girls"), Noah Weisberg ("Modern Family," Legally Blonde - The Musical), Michael-Leon Wooley (Disney's The Princess and the Frog, Dreamgirls) and a 30-piece symphony orchestra.

The Trumpet of the Swan, part of the Jack Elliott Family Concert Series, runs for a limited engagement of three performances, May 3 - 4, 2014 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater.

E.B. White's classic novel is now a symphonic concert experience. The Trumpet of the Swan, like all of White's novels, concerns a young character who must overcome a life challenge. Though Louis is a trumpeter swan, he can't communicate like the rest of his family because he was born without a voice. To overcome this obstacle, he learns to play a real brass trumpet he received from his father. Through the friendship of a young boy, Sam, and a determination to pay back his father's debt on the trumpet, Louis overcomes adversity to attain freedom, fame, fortune and the gift of music through his father's heartbreaking and heroic love. In this uniquely entertaining, theatrical adaptation of the famous book, actors come together with an on-stage orchestra and a trumpet soloist to tell E.B. White's classic story.

Tickets are available at www.thewallis.org or by calling 310-746-4000 or in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center Box Office located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Jason Robert Brown, currently represented on Broadway with The Bridges of Madison County, has been hailed as "one of Broadway's smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim" (Philadelphia Inquirer), and his "extraordinary, jubilant theater music" (Chicago Tribune) has been heard all over the world, whether in one of the hundreds of productions of his musicals every year or in his own incendiary live performances. The New York Times said he is "a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical." Jason is the composer and lyricist of the musical, The Last Five Years, which was cited as one of Time Magazine's 10 Best of 2001 and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics. Jason won a 1999 Tony Award for his score to Parade, a musical written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, which premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre in December 1998, and subsequently won both the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best New Musical. Parade was also presented on a national tour in 2000, which Jason conducted. Jason's first musical, Songs for a New World, a theatrical song cycle directed by Daisy Prince, played Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre in the fall of 1995, and has since been seen in more than two hundred productions around the world. Jason's musical, 13, written with Dan Elish and directed by Todd Graff, premiered in December 2006 to rave reviews at Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum, and opened on Broadway in the spring of 2008. Jason is the winner of the 2002 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics and the 1996 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award for Musical Theatre.

Jason composed the music for a musical adaptation of the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas, in collaboration with screenwriter/director Andrew Bergman, which had a production at Paper Mill Playhouse. Jason is also the composer of the incidental music for David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo and Fuddy Meers, Marsha Norman's Last Dance, David Marshall Grant's Current Events, Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery, and the Irish Repertory Theater's production of Long Day's Journey Into Night. He was a Tony Award nominee for his contributions to the score of Urban Cowboy the Musical.

Marsha Norman, currently represented on Broadway by The Bridges of Madison County, is the winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, Blackburn Prize, Hull-Warriner, and Drama Desk Awards for her play, 'night Mother. In 1992, she won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for her book for the Broadway musical, The Secret Garden. She also wrote the book for the Broadway musical, The Color Purple, for which she also received a Tony nomination. Her new play, The Master Butcher's Singing Club, premiered at the Guthrie Theatre in 2010. She won a Peabody Award for her writing on the HBO television series, "In Treatment," starring Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest. Norman's other plays include, Getting Out, for which she won the John Gassner Medallion and the American Theater Critics Association Citation, Third and Oak: The Laundromat, The Pool Hall, The Holdup, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Loving Daniel Boone, Trudy Blue, and Last Dance.

Marsha Norman's television credits include 'night Mother starring Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft, The Laundromat starring Carol Burnett and Amy Madigan, The Pool Hall starring James Earl Jones, Face of a Stranger starring Gena Rowlands and Tyne Daley, Cooler Climate starring Sally Field and Judy Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Custody of the Heart and most recently, Samantha, An American Girl. Norman spent one year as Co-Executive Producer of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and wrote the Gina episodes of Season 2 of HBO's "In Treatment." She is a recipient of the William Inge Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Theatre Award.

Elwyn Brooks (E.B.) White, the author of the beloved children's classics Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York on July 11, 1899. E. B. White's father was a piano manufacturer, and he had two brothers and three sisters. White graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and worked for United Press International and the American Legion News Service in 1921 and 1922. E.B. White was a reporter for the Seattle Times in 1922 and 1923. For the next two years, he worked at the Frank Seaman advertising agency as a production assistant and copywriter.

In 1925, E.B. White became a contributing editor of The New Yorker magazine in 1927, an association which continued until his death in 1985. E.B. White authored more than seventeen books of prose and poetry and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973. In addition to writing children's books, E. B. White also wrote books for adults, as well as poems and essays, and he drew sketches for The New Yorker magazine. Some of his other books include One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, and Here is New York. He revised and edited William S. Strunk's The Elements of Style, which is widely used in college English courses. Funnily enough for such a famous writer, he always said that he found writing difficult and bad for one's disposition but he kept at it. Mr. White won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, which commended him for making "a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

About The Wallis: Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) transforms a Beverly Hills city block, facing Santa Monica Boulevard, between Crescent and Canon Drives, into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct, elegant buildings: the historic 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office (now the Paula Kent Meehan Historic Building) and the new, contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together these two structures embrace the city's history and future, creating a new cultural landmark. Within the treasured Post Office, existing spaces are re-imagined into the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, a theater school for young people, a café (both opening in 2014), and gift shop (currently a Sugarfina pop-up candy boutique). The Wallis, the first performing arts center to be built in Beverly Hills, is a home for artists from around the world and audiences of every age. For its Inaugural Season, The Wallis is producing and presenting outstanding theater, music and dance, as well as exciting programming for the family audience.

For more information, visit www.thewallis.org.

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