Liliane Montevecchi and Karen Akers to Star in WE'LL TAKE A GLASS TOGETHER
A cast of Broadway favorites will perform songs from films and Broadway musicals by legendary songwriters Robert Wright and George Forrest, including Kismet, for which they both won Tony Awards, Grand Hotel, for which they received a Tony nomination and two Drama Desk nominations, Song of Norway, Kean, Anastasia: The Musical, the revised version of their Broadway musical Anya (not to be confused with the current Broadway musical of the same name), The Carefree Heart and more. The musical revue is written and directed by Walter Willison, a longtime friend and collaborator of Messrs. Wright and Forrest, with musical direction and special arrangements by Jose C. Simbulan.
Tony Award winner and 2017 Ziegfeld Society Lifetime Achievement Award and winner Liliane Montevecchi (Grand Hotel, Nine) stars alongside Tony nominee & Theatre World Award winner Karen Akers (Grand Hotel, Nine), Marcy DeGonge Manfredi (Phantom of the Opera, Cats), Katie Dixon (Cats), Matthew Drinkwater, John Drinkwater, Diane J. Findlay (Fish in the Dark, Tales of the City In Concert, Sister Act), Lee Horwin (Jacques Brel is Alive..., The Tonight Show), 2017 OBIE Award winner Heather Mac Rae (Transport Group's Come Back, Little Sheba and Picnic, Falsettos), Lynnette Perry (Grand Hotel, Ragtime) and Tony nominee & Theatre World Award winner Walter Willison (Grand Hotel, Pippin, Two By Two).
Robert Wright and George Forrest met at ages 15 and 14, respectively, when they were both students at Miami High School. Beginning their professional careers as contract lyricists and composer/adaptors at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Hollywood, they wrote over 2,000 compositions for stage musicals and revues, as well as for over 60 motion pictures, numerous cabaret acts, and television and radio programs. Which rightfully earned them the official and unchallenged title of "The Longest Running Songwriting Collaboration in the History of Show Business"!
Wright and Forrest received three Academy Award nominations, for "It's a Blue World" and "Always and Always" and "Pennies for Pepino." Many of their songs have gone on to become standards, including "Stranger in Paradise", "Baubles, Bangles and Beads", "And This is My Beloved", "Strange Music", and their first big hit, "The Donkey Serenade", written in collaboration with Herbert Stothart, adapted from a theme by Rodolph Friml. Their films include Maytime, Sweethearts, Broadway Serenade, The Firefly, I Married An Angel, Saratoga, Music in My Heart, Dance Girl Dance and Kismet. Although their screen credit for their MGM films often read "special material by", they rewrote or adapted entire musical scores for a string of now classic Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy musicals, beginning with Maytime.
It was their talent for fashioning songs using themes from classical composers that eventually led them to Broadway, where they composed memorable scores for musicals based on melodies by Grieg, Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Villa-Lobos, as well as writing original music and lyrics for Grand Hotel, Kean, The Copacabana Revue, and others.
All proceeds from admission to this one time only performance will benefit The Ziegfeld Society of New York City, a not-for-profit organization that aspires to enlighten, entertain and educate current and future generations of theatergoers and young artists about the legendary performers, songwriters and creators of our vast musical theater heritage. The brainchild of Executive Producer Mark York (Just Jim Dale), TZS presents monthly performances featuring Broadway stalwarts performing alongside young up-and-coming artists, as well as presentations by authors and screenings of lost film and television musicals, for seniors, students and the general public at modest, affordable prices.
Tickets for the We'll Take a Glass Together! are $23 for General Admission, $15 for Seniors, and $12 for Students. All contributions are tax deductible. For reservations call 917-371-5509 or visit www.theziegfeldsociety.com.
Photo credit: Maryann Lopinto