Photo Flash: Queens Theater In The Park Presents CLOSER THAN EVER
Queens Theatre in the Park (QTP) and Bristol Riverside Theatre, in association with Neil Berg and Adam Friedson, will present a new production of the award-winning musical revue Closer Than Ever directed by Richard Malty. Jr. and starring original cast members Sally Mayes and Lynne Wintersteller along with Broadway alums George Dvorsky and Sal Viviano from April 16-25 (Wednesday and Thursday at 2PM; Friday and Saturday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm; and Sunday at 3pm) in the Claire Shulman Playhouse Main Stage Theatre at Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY. Tickets are $32-38 and are available at www.queenstheatre.org or by phone at 718-760-0064. Con Edison is the sponsor of "Closer Than Ever" at Queens Theatre in the Park.
In this 20th Anniversary production cast members Mayes and Wintersteller along with original musical director Patrick Brady are reunited under the direction of Tony award winning director, Richard Maltby Jr. The production is also part of a month long celebration and series of events honoring Maltby & Shire including their toast at CAP 21's annual gala on March 11th ,the opening night gala of Closer Than Ever on April 16th , and the opening April 30th at the McCarter Center of their new musical Take Flight.
With music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr., Closer Than Ever is a theatrical revue filled with wise and witty "songs of experience," that reflect on marriage, parents, children, and lasting friendships. As part of their ongoing efforts to update and keep the work relevant to a new generation of theatergoers Maltby and Shire are adding new material which includes a new song called "Dating Again" about the pitfalls and pleasures of being single again, as well as updating outdated lyrics and additional material.
In addition to the early casting including Ms. Mayes and Ms. Wintersteller, the production will also feature co-direction & musical staging by J. Kurt Stamm, musical direction by Patrick Brady, scenery designed by Roman Tatarowicz, costumes designed by Thom Heyer and lighting designed by Ryan O'Gara.
Closer Than Ever won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and Maltby, Shire, and Wintersteller garnered Drama Desk Awards. Howard Kissel of The NY Daily News noted, "Probably the best musical we'll see this season...There is more genuine drama in each Maltby and Shire song than in the entirety of most of the bloated spectacles that now pass for Broadway musicals. The cast overflows with talent!Michael Kuchwara of AP wrote ‘One of the finest scores of the year. Closer Than Ever is an exhilarating musical revue that reaffirm's one's belief that the American musical theater isn't dead yet." And Stephen Holden wrote in the New York Times, "The songs of Maltby and Shire communicate something rarely found in theatre music nowadays: a rich sweeping sense of lives being lived and people changing over time."
After the Queens performance dates, Closer Than Ever will also play May 4-23 dates at the Bristol Riverside Theatre in Bristol, PA.
David Shire An Oscar and Grammy winner and multiple Tony and Emmy nominee, Shire has composed prolifically for the theater, films, television and recordings. Broadway: Baby (Tony nominations, Best Score, Musical); Big (Tony nomination, Best Score). Off-Broadway:
Starting Here, Starting Now (Grammy nomination); Closer
Than Ever (Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Score, Musical). Take
Flight (pre-Broadway) currently at McCarter Theatre. Film scores
include Norma Rae (Academy Award), The Conversation, All
the President's Men, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, Zodiac,
Saturday Night Fever (two Grammys). Numerous television
scores have garnered five Emmy nominations. Songs recorded by
Barbra Streisand, Maureen McGovern, Melissa Manchester, Jennifer
Warnes, John Pizzerelli, Kiri Te Kanawa, Liz Callaway, Nancy
Lamont, many others. His "With You I'm Born Again" was an
international hit single for Billy Preston and Syreeta.,
Richard Maltby, Jr. Broadway: conceived and directed two Tony Award-winning musicals: Ain't Misbehavin' (1978; Tony, NY Drama Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards, also Tony Award for Best Director), Fosse (1999; Tony, Outer Critics, Drama Desk Awards) and Ring of Fire, the Johnny Cash musical show (2006). With composer David Shire: director/lyricist: Baby (1983; book by Sybille Pearson; seven Tony Award nominations); lyricist: Big (1996; book by John Weidman; Tony nomination, Best Score); lyricist/conceiver: Take Flight (book by John Weidman), world premiere 2007 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London, also produced in Japan the same year. Co-lyricist: Miss Saigon (1990, London Evening Standard Award, Best Musical; 1991, Tony nomination, Best Score). Co-bookwriter/lyricist: The Pirate Queen (2007). Director/co-lyricist: American version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song & Dance (1986 Tony Award for star, Bernadette Peters). Off-Broadway: director/lyricist: Starting Here, Starting Now (1977 Grammy nomination); Closer Than Ever (1989, two Outer Critics Circle Awards: Best Musical, Best Score), both written with composer David Shire. Regional: director, Mask (2008, Pasadena Playhouse); director, The 60's Project (2006, Goodspeed Opera House). Film: screenplay, Miss Potter (2007) about Beatrix Potter, starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor (Christopher Award, Best Screenplay). 30-year association with Manhattan Theatre Club. Contributes devilish crossword puzzles to Harper's Magazine. Son of well-known orchestra leader; five children: Nicholas, David, Jordan, Emily and Charlotte.
George Dvorsky most recently played Baron Bomburst /Lord Scrumptious in the National Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Broadway credits include the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel and Henry Spofford in the revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Other Broadway credits: the Tony Award-winning Passion, Marilyn: An American Fable and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Off-Broadway: Pete Bartel in Pete N Keely, the revival of Dames At Sea and ‘And The World Goes Round. George starred in the NYC Premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella as Prince Charming at Lincoln Center where he also played Tommy in Brigadoon. He also starred as Billy Crocker opposite Chita Rivera in Anything Goes at the Paper Mill Playhouse. George has performed with symphonies all over the globe including Iceland, Hong Kong, Sweden and Italy. He was featured in PBS' "Passion: Live At Lincoln Center" starring Patti LuPone and starred with Bea Arthur and the Boston Pops in "Bernstein's Broadway" also on PBS. His solo CD, In The Still Of The Night is available on the JAY Records label. www.georgedvorsky.net
Sally Mayes made her Broadway debut in Cy Coleman's WELCOME TO THE CLUB. Her performance won critical praise along with a Theater World Award and Outer Critics Circle nomination as one of Broadway's Outstanding Newcomers. On Broadway, Sally is perhaps best known for her performance in the Roundabout Theater revival of SHE LOVES ME for which she won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Sally's most recent critical acclaim comes from her role as Aunt Corene in URBAN COWBOY (Drama Desk nomination). She recently drew raves as Mae West in the National Tour of DIRTY BLONDE, and also appeared in the Broadway revival of STEEL MAGNOLIAS. She has also starred in several Off-Broadway productions including CLOSER THAN EVER (Outer Critics Circle nomination),DAS BARBECUE, and PETE N' KEELY (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical), PLAY IT COOL, and her current show, GOOD OL' GIRLS. Film and television credits include CITY HALL and BYE BYE BIRDIE, LAW AND ORDER, CRIMINAL INTENT, SEX AND THE CITY, and THE JOB. Sally also appears on countless cast recordings including, CLOSER THAN EVER, SHE LOVES ME, DAS BARBECUE, BYE BYE BIRDIE, LOST IN BOSTON, UNSUNG MUSICALS, UNSUNG SONDHEIM, NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, to mention a few. Sally has five solo albums, THE Dorothy Fields SONGBOOK, OUR PRIVATE WORLD, THE COMDEN AND GREEN SONGBOOK, THE STORY HOUR, BOYS AND GIRLS LIKE YOU AND ME, and VALENTINE . Her rare and much anticipated nightclub appearances have garnered her rave reviews from coast to coast, and she has been nominated for twelve Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) awards, and has won two Back Stage BISTRO awards for excellence in cabaret and recording..
Sal Viviano Detroit native, ‘opened' for many legendary Comedy Greats, in Chicago. Degrees (on Football Scholarship) from Eastern Illinois University. Broadway: The Three Musketeers, Romance / Romace, Ciyt of Angles, Falsettos, The Life, The Full Monty. Off-B'way: THE BIG TIME, GOLF, THE MUSICAL * (Backstage Award), BEAU JEST, CATHER COUNTY, WEIRD ROMANCE *, CATCH ME IF I FALL *, BROADWAY JUKEBOX, HAMLET, THE OPERA (for Joseph Papp)... Tours: EVITA, ANYTHING GOES !, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, HAIR; H E L E N H AY E S AWA R D (Best Actor) nomination SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Last NY: CHICAGO (Billy Flynn). Films: LEGALLY BLONDE 2 *, BLACK ROSES*, THE JITTERS, SPIKE OF BENSONHURST *, LIFE WITH MIKEY's * title song. Television: LAW AND ORDER, COSBY MYSTERIES, every SOAP; THE WORLD OF FILM (PBS); VanGogh on Disney's OUT OF THE BOX; 'Opener': COMEDY CENTRAL'S FRIAR'S CLUB ROAST OF Chevy Chase; Peter Jacobson'S UNPLUGGED. Solo Concert Artist (last 12 years): Symphonic Pops Concerts with over 120 Orchestras around the World; ‘Big Bands‘: The Iridium, The Russian Tea Room, The 92nd Street Y (15 seasons), The White House, The Presidential Inaugural Concert, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall (B'WAY BY THE YEAR -1955*); NYC outdoor venues: Arthur Ashe Stadium - U.S. Open, Bryant Park, Snug Harbor, Prospect Park, World Trade Center Plaza, Union Square, Wolf's Pond Park; NJ's Liberty State Park. Sal's (over 60) Recordings: his new CD, THE STANDARDS OF LOVE, recorded LIVE with full Orchestra (FRIARecords); *'d titles above, dozens of Compilations, etc... As a FRIAR, Viviano annually participates in many notable fund-raising events for deserving charities. Recently: ‘opened' THE FRIAR'S CLUB CELEBRITY ROASTs of The Smothers Brothers, Friar's Club Abbot, Jerry Lewis; Donald Trump, Pat Cooper, LeRoy Neiman, Don King... National Anthems: Stadiums/Arenas across the Continent; including 27 seasons for NY's Mets (Shea Stadium/City Field). Resides: NYC; with actress Liz Larsen, and their boys, Alessandro Gian and Joseph Dante.
Lynne Wintersteller Broadway: A Grand Night For Singing and garnered "Best Actress" Drama Desk nomination for Maltby/Shire's Off-Broadway hit Closer Than Ever. Her Grace in Annie, includes Broadway, First & Fourth National Tours. Off-Broadway: I Sent A Letter To My Love; Nunsense; Gifts of the Magi; Levinsky; Grass Harp; Richard Cory (NYMF Best Actress Award); The Mistress Cycle. Lynne received an LA Ovation "Best Actress" Nomination for her performance in The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and had the honor of playing Margaret Johnson (twice regionally) in The Light In The Piazza. Television: Law & Order CI; Total Security; Big Brother Jake; Chappelle's Show plus numerous Commercials. Recordings: A Grand Night For Singing; Closer Than Ever - featured solo artist (Varese Sarabande label) Broadway Sings Christmas, Lost in Boston III and Unsung Musicals II. Academy Award-winning composer David Shire & Lynne keep busy with their own symphony pops concerts. Recently, Cleveland Pops maestro Carl Topilow and Guest Vocalist Lynne shared an exciting evening with the Firelands Symphony in Lynne's hometown of Sandusky, Ohio.
Tickets are available:
* Online at www.queenstheatre.org.
* By phone at 718-760-0064, Tue-Sat, 12-6pm.
* In person at Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY.
Queens Theatre in the Park is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY.
By Subway: Take the 7 train to Mets-Willets Point stop. Exit and turn left after passing through turnstile, walk downstairs on the parking lot side and follow the theatre shuttle signs. Take free trolley to the Theatre. Trolley runs for one hour before and after all performances.
By Car: Take the Grand Central Parkway to exit 9E (from Manhattan) or 9P (from Long Island) and follow the signs for the Theatre. Free parking in adjacent lot.
Photo credit: Carol Rosegg