Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert

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Photo-Coverage-First-Night-The-Tony-Concert-20000101

Tennessee's best and brightest stage stars took to the stage at Franklin's Boiler Room Theatre Monday night, June 6, for First Night: The Tony Concert, to kick-off the 2011 First Night season in Nashville. Performing songs from Tony Award-winning musicals, the concert featured performers from throughout Tennessee - from Nashville to Crossville to Clarksville.

Hosted by BroadwayWorld.com's Jeffrey Ellis, who is the founder and executive producer of First Night, The Nashville Theatre Honors, the show opened with Annette de la Torre performing "Broadway Baby" from Stephen Sondheim's Follies and closed with the concert's entire company singing "The Finale" from Les Miserables. The concert, presented by Keeping Scores Concerts, was directed by Scott Logsdon, a veteran of Les Miserables on Broadway and on national tour.

Between those two numbers, audience members were treated to a veritable feast of Broadway's musical best - designed to call attention to Sunday's Tony Awards telecast on CBS and to focus the spotlight on the production of live theater throughout the Volunteer State.

Among other Act One performances, in addition to de la Torre's "Broadway Baby," were Elliott Cunningham's performance of "Purpose" from Avenue Q; Jaclyn Lisenby Brown's "100 Easy Ways," from Wonderful Town; "Stranger in Paradise," performed by Katherine Sandoval Taylor and Michael Holder, from Kismet; "I Really Like Him," from Man of La Mancha, by Joshua Waldrep; You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown's "Suppertime," courtesy of Bakari King; "Bus From Amarillo," from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, performed by Jama Bowen; Hairspray's "Good Morning, Baltimore," from Amanda Lamb; "I Love a Cop" from Fiorello!, performed by Laura Thomas Sonn; "Being Alive" from Company, sung by Scott Logsdon; and de la Torre and Bowen concluded Act One with "The Grass is Always Greener" from Woman of the Year.

Act Two opened with "She Likes Basketball," from Promises, Promises, performed by Matt Baugher, and continued with Carolyn German's performance of "So Long, Dearie" from Hello, Dolly! The second act continued with Vicki White's rendition of "Fable" from The Light in the Piazza; Ryan Bowie sang "What Do I Need with Love" from Thoroughly Modern Millie; "At the Ballet," from A Chorus Line, was sung by Brandy Rogers, Elizabeth Lombardino and Darci Wantiez; Nicole Begue Hackman and Nate Hackman performed "There Once Was a Man" from The Pajama Game; "Bring Him Home," from Les Miserables, was sung by Will Sevier; Britt Hancock sang "Grand Knowing You" from She Loves Me, recreating his critically acclaimed portrayal of Kodaly in that musical; and Weslie Webster, recreating her performance as Desiree in Cumberland County Playhouse's A Little Night Music, performed "Send in the Clowns."

Accompanying the singers on piano were Ben Van Diepen and Ron Murphy.

Nashville's celebration of the Tonys continues Sunday night with First Night: The Tony Party, starting at 6:30 p.m. on June 12, at Donelson's The Keeton Theatre. Tickets are $15, payable by cash or checks at the door.

Photos by Lauren Gill

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Annette de la Torre

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Elliott Cunningham

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Elliott Cunningham

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Jaclyn Lisenby Brown

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Michael Holder & Katherine Sandoval Taylor

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Joshua Waldrep

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Bakari King

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Bakari King

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Jama Bowen

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Amanda Lamb

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Laura Thomas Sonn

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Laura Thomas Sonn

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Scott Logsdon

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Annette de la Torre & Jama Bowen

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Annette de la Torre & Jama Bowen

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Matt Baugher

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Carolyn German

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Vicki White

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Ryan Bowie

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Ryan Bowie

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Ryan Bowie

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Brandy Rogers

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Darci Wantiez, Elizabeth Lombardino & Brandy Rogers

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Nicole Begue Hackman & Nate Hackman

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Nate Hackman & Nicole Begue Hackman

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Nate Hackman & Nicole Begue Hackman

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Will Sevier

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Britt Hancock

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Weslie Webster

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
The Entire Company

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
The Entire Company of First Night: The Tony Concert

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert
Singing the finale from Les Miserable, the First Night: The Tony Concert's entire company

Photo Coverage: First Night: The Tony Concert

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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