Lee Summers Holds Birthday Benefit Concert for Actor's Fund Tonight
Lee Summers, a veteran performer having made his Broadway debut in the original production of Dreamgirls, continues as a voice in the American Musical Theater. His works have been presented at numerous New York and regional theatres such as The Milwaukee Repertory, The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre, Karamu Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre, The Meadow Brook Theatre, The Madison Theatre, Theaterworks Palo Alto, The Triad Theatre, New World Stages, Urban Arts Theatre, AMAS Musical Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, RACCA's Seaport Salon, The Kirk Theatre, The Gramercy Theatre, Radio City Music Hall's workshop spaces and many others.
A member of the Dramatists Guild, Summers' award-winning body of work as a writer, composer and lyricist has introduced audiences to the contributions of outstanding African American artists in shows like "Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song" "From My Hometown: A Rag To Riches Celebration of the American Dream In Classic Rhythm & Blues" "If These Shoes Could Talk: A Tap Dance Tale." Summers has also written African American interpretations of classic literature in musicals such as "Yo' Alice: A Soulful Adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass," among many others.
Summers' "funk" musical The Funkentine Rapture is unique in today's panorama of Broadway bound shows. Featuring an original score which resists the "Juke Box Musical" format so often utilized on Broadway (using hit songs recorded previously), source materials by the iconic artists known best for the genre celebrated in The Funkentine Rapture serve as the creative inspiration for Summers' music and lyrics in these compositions.
Summers' compositions solo or in collaboration, have been recorded or performed by such artists as Andre DeShields, Billy Porter, Harold Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers, Tony Winner Adriane Lenox, Tony Nominees BJ Crosby and Brenda Braxton, Adrian Bailey, Marva Hicks, Todrick Hall, Chester Gregory, Jeffery V. Thompson, Shana Steele, Ryan Shaw, Mykal Kilgore, Rhonda Ross, Lawrence Stallings, Ebony Jo Ann, Lee Truesdale, Marty Thomas, Maia Wilson, Capathia Jenkins, Aisha DeHaas, Virginia Woodruff, Destan Owens, Robert Fowler, Ty Stephens and many others.
As creator of the Just A Piano Concert Series, Lee Summers has presented top artists performing to Just A Piano for seven years at the Triad Theatre. Artists include, Tony Winner LaChanz, Tony Winner Lillias White, Tony Nominee Norm Lewis, Tony Winner Melba Moore, Two Time Grammy Winner Caron Wheeler and many others.
Lee Summers works have received critical acclaim along with such honors as The New Professional Theatre's "Our Voices Award" eight AUDELCO Award nominations, selection and presentation in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals, a developmental workshop at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, California, a developmental workshop at Radio City Musical Hall, developmental support from The Shubert Organization, a Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Commendation for his work in American Musical Theater, New York's Bistro Award and four Michigan 2012 Wilde Award nominations and a recent win for Best Ensemble.
In 2001 Lee Summers returned to the Broadway stage performing with Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, Billy Porter, Tamara Tunie, Heather Headley and others in the 20th Anniversary of Dreamgirls Benefit for the Actors Fund.
Tonight, December 12th 2012, Lee Summers gathers his friends and collaborators in his own birthday celebration benefit for the Actors Fund. Participating Artists include Robert Ball, Carmen Ruby Flyod and Adrian Lennox.
Tickets are $25 for general seating and $20 for the mezzanine. To ourchase tickets and for more info visit www.Brownpapertickets.com and www.studio72.com.