Megan Mullally, Audra McDonald & More to Play NOCCA This Spring
Megan Mullally is a two-time Emmy-winning star of TV's Will & Grace, and recent star of Broadway's Young Frankenstein. On April 6, she makes her New Orleans debut in the acclaimed Broadway @ NOCCA series for two shows only, at 7:30PM and 9:30PM, joined by Seth Rudetsky at piano. For tickets please visit http://www.broadwaynola.com/. Megan will also attend a special Meet and Greet reception directly following her 9:30 show that will benefit The NOCCA Institute. Tickets to the reception, which will take place at Reilly Hall at NOCCA, are also available at the above link. The Broadway @ NOCCA series is also announcing that it will initiate a new, $2,500 per-year scholarship.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to one graduating NOCCA senior who will be going on to a conservatory or college and specializing in Musical Theater performance. Each annual award recipient will be selected by the school's faculty, based on merit and need. The first recipient of the Broadway @ NOCCA scholarship will be awarded onstage by 5-time Tony-Award winning star Audra McDonald immediately after her performance at Broadway at NOCCA on May 18th, 2013.
Audra McDonald, the five-time Tony Award winner and recent star of Porgy and Bess on Broadway and TV's Private Practice, makes her New Orleans debut with two shows only on May 18 at 7:30 and 9:30. The series' season closes with Betty Buckley, the Tony winning legendary star of Cats and Sunset Boulevard, with two shows only on June 1 at 7:30 and 9:30. Preceding them in the star-studded series were Patti LuPone in January and Sutton Foster in March.
Tickets for all remaining concerts can be purchased at www.broadwaynola.com or by calling 800-838-3006. The visiting Broadway artists will all be giving master classes for the NOCCA Institute's high school-aged musical theatre students. All concerts are produced by Mark Cortale, long time producer/manager of Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman, and will be hosted by Sirius/XM radio star Seth Rudetsky at the piano. The series is sponsored exclusively by the New Orleans Hotel Collection and Gambit.
Megan Mullally is best known for playing the iconic role of Karen Walker on the groundbreaking hit TV series Will & Grace for which she won two Emmy Awards, from a total of seven consecutive nominations between 2000 and 2006. She is also a three-time winner of the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, a winner with her cast-mates of the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, is one of only two actresses to win a SAG Award three years in a row, and was nominated four years in a row for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. She made her Broadway debut as Marty in the 1994 revival of Grease with Rosie O'Donnell and subsequently appeared as Rosemary in the hit 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opposite Matthew Broderick. In 2007, Mullally starred as Elizabeth in Mel Brooks' original Broadway musical, Young Frankenstein. She can be heard on the cast albums of all three productions.
In addition to her breakout role on Will & Grace, Megan Mullally made her television debut in 1986 in The Ellen Burstyn Show. Since that time she has appeared on Seinfeld, Frasier, Wings, Ned and Stacey, Mad About You, Caroline in the City, and Just Shoot Me!, and Murder, She Wrote. Following Will & Grace, she hosted her own talk show titled The Megan Mullally Show, and has hosted Saturday Night Live, the TV Land Awards, and guest-hosted The Late Show with David Letterman. Most recently she's been seen on 30 Rock, Kathy Griffin: My Life on The D-List, Campus Ladies, Parks and Recreation, the Starz series Party Down, Adult Swim's Children's Hospital, ABC's Happy Endings, and Fox TV's Breaking In. Her film work includes Anywhere But Here with Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman, About Last Night with Demi Moore and Rob Lowe, Speaking of Sex with James Spader, Stealing Harvard with Tom Green and Jason Lee, and the 2009 remake of Fame. Broadway @ NOCCA is proud to present star of Broadway, TV and film star, Megan Mullally on April 6.
Audra McDonald became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime, placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She won her fourth in 2004 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun, a role she reprised for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway's The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, thus tying a record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for most Tony Awards won by an actor. She also maintains her ties to classical repertoire with an active concert and recording career, performing song cycles and operas as well as concerts throughout the U.S. Audra's many television appearances include four seasons as Naomi Bennett in Private Practice, as well as Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order: SVU, Having Our Say, Mister Sterling, The Bedford Diaries, Kidnapped, the television remake of the musical Annie, and HBO's Wit with Emma Thompson. Her film roles include Cradle Will Rock, Object of My Affection, It Runs in the Family, Best Thief in the World, and Seven Servants.
Betty Buckley won two Tony Awards, as Grizabella in Cats and for Triumph of Love on Broadway, and received an Olivier Award nomination for her critically acclaimed performance as Norma Desmond in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard - a role she repeated to rave reviews in the Broadway production. Other Broadway roles include 1776, Bob Fosse's Pippin, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Carrie. Off-Broadway, she's been seen in White's Lies, Lincoln Center's Elegies, the original New York Shakespeare Festival production of Edwin Drood, The Eros Trilogy at The Vineyard Theatre, and Second Stage Theatre's production of Juno's Swans directed by Marsha Mason. Her many starring film roles include M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, Brian de Palma's classic film of Stephen King's Carrie, Bruce Beresford's Tender Mercies, Roman Polanski's Frantic, Woody Allen's Another Woman, and Lawrence Kasdan's Wyatt Earp. On television, Betty appeared as Abby Bradford in the hit series Eight is Enough, and starred for three seasons on HBO's series OZ. Other guest starring television roles include Evergreen, Roses for the Rich, Without a Trace, Law & Order: SVU, and Pretty Little Liars. Her concert appearances include, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Café Carlyle, The Bottom Line, The Blue Note, Feinstein's, Town Hall, among many others.
Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon Broadway host on Sirius XM satellite radio and was recently featured in the film Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads. As a musician, he has played piano for over a dozen Broadway shows including Ragtime, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera. He was also the Artistic Producer and Music Director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts, which included Dreamgirls with Audra McDonald (recorded on Nonesuch Records) and Hair with Jennifer Hudson (recorded on Ghostlight Records, Grammy nomination). As a comic he was awarded "Funniest Gay Male in NY" at Stand-Up NY and is a three-time Emmy nominee as a writer for The Rosie O'Donnell Show. As an actor, he made his Broadway debut in The Ritz directed by Joe Mantello, and has appeared on television on Law and Order C.I. and All My Children. As an author, he wrote the books The Q Guide to Broadway, Broadway Nights, and My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan on Random House, has an audio book on audible.com featuring Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, SNL's Ana Gasteyer, Smash's Megan Hilty, and also writes a weekly column on Playbill.com. This summer he added "television mogul" to that long list as Seth TV, his new, web-based entertainment network, launched. Go behind-the-scenes of the Broadway ringmaster's a-MAH-zing life with original shows like Seth's Reality, celebrity concerts and more.
About NOCCA: New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is a regional, pre-professional arts training center that offers students intensive instruction in culinary arts, dance, media arts: filmmaking & audio production, music (classical, jazz, vocal), theatre arts (drama, musical theatre, theatre design), visual arts, and creative writing, while demanding simultaneous academic excellence. The Freda Lupin Memorial Hall on the NOCCA campus is used for student, local theatre and dance performances. Producer Mark Cortale is thrilled to be launching the New Orleans premiere of the Broadway @ NOCCA series in association with this outstanding organization.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos