Santa Monica Kicks Off 'Jazz of the Lawn' Free Concerts with Valarie Pettiford, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Leslie Odom, Jr. and More 8/9
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On Sunday, Aug 9 at 5pm - The City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division kicks off the 4th annual "Jazz on the Lawn" series at City Hall with a free concert from L.A.'s renowned Upright Cabaret featuring Tony Award-nominee Valarie Pettiford (Broadway: Fosse), Jennifer Leigh Warren (Broadway: Big River, Little Shop of Horrors, Marie Christine), Leslie Odom, Jr (Broadway: Rent, TV: CSI) and Brenna Whitaker (Jazz Chanteuse, Michael Buble's Protégée) and Music Director Brett Ryback.
With room for a picnic on the front lawn of Santa Monica City Hall and fresh breezes from the beach nearby, " Jazz on the Lawn" is the place to be for four Sundays from 5-7pm starting August 9th. The series features free jazz and world music performances from hot talent and future stars. Upright Cabaret brings some of the best vocalists of Hollywood and Broadway together for a live performance sure to knock your socks off! For their August 9th appearance, the Cabaret plays host to Tony Nominee Valarie Pettiford.
Pettiford has had a distinguished career as a "Fosse Dancer", working with Fosse in Dancin' and Big Deal. She was last seen on Broadway in Fosse, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Her other Broadway and national tour credits include Sophisticated Ladies and the 30th anniversary tour of West Side Story. She made her West End debut in Chicago as Velma Kelly opposite Chita Rivera, and in 2005, she was "Queenie" in Michael John La Chuisa and George C. Wolfe's The Wild Party, where she received a Garland Award. On television, she has had recurring roles on House of Payne, The District, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and she has appeared on Criminal Minds, CSI Miami, Bones, Frasier, The West Wing, and The X-Files. Pettiford has also appeared in such memorable films as Stomp the Yard, The Wiz, and The Cotton Club. Currently, she is performing in Guys and Dolls at the Hollywood Bowl with Jessica Beil, Beau Bridges, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Ms. Pettiford will soon be debuting her new one woman show on Sept 25-26, 2009 at Upright Cabaret's new Los Feliz venue.
Hearkening back to the days of supper clubs like the Coconut Grove, Upright Cabaret boasts one of the most extensive and diverse rosters of talent in the country. Broadway divas, talented troubadours, cabaret legends, Hollywood notables, pop sensations and many future stars have found their way to the Upright stage. Featuring stars from shows such as Wicked, Xanadu, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hair, this group has brought the Golden Age of entertainment back to life with style and sophistication.
The City of Santa Monica's "Jazz on the Lawn" series will take place at Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, Ca. Showtime: 5pm, free parking after 4pm at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street. This is a "Free" concert brought to you by the City of Santa Monica.