42nd St Moon to Celebrate Strouse at Gala June 30th
42nd Street Moon begins its 16th season of uncommon musicals with a gala concert at the Alcazar Theatre on Monday, June 30, 2008. "You've Got Possibilities!" celebrates the great musicals of the 1960s, and will offer a special 80th birthday salute to the prolific Award-winning composer Charles Strouse, who will be in attendance. Great Broadway songs from the era will also be sung by special guest stars Klea Blackhurst, Nancy Dussault, Andrea McArdle, Linda Posner (Leland Palmer), and Susan Watson, plus favorites who have appeared on the 42nd Street Moon stage. The evening also marks several reunions: Susan Watson, Andrea McArdle, and Leland Palmer all starred in Charles Strouse musicals early in their careers, and Palmer and Watson were featured together in A Joyful Noise in 1965.
Charles Strouse won his first Tony for his first Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie in 1960, and went on to wrote musicals like Golden Boy starring Sammy Davis, Jr., and It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman (which introduced the song "You've Got Possibilities), Rags, and Nick and Nora. He won his second Tony for Applause (1970), and his third for Annie (1977), which also garnered two Grammy Awards. Film scores included Bonnie and Clyde, There Was a Crooked Man, and The Night They Raided Minsky's, among many others. In addition, he wrote numerous songs running the gamut from pop to hip-hop, as well as orchestral works, chamber music, piano concertos and opera.
Nancy Dussault is best known for her co-starring role with the late Ted Knight in "Too Close for Comfort." She has starred in numerous Broadway shows, including The Sound of Music, Side by Side by Sondheim, Into the Woods and more recently Sunday in the Park with George.
Andrea McArdle was the original Annie on Broadway, and at the time was the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award. She went on to star in Starlight Express, State Fair and Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, and now performs frequently in concert and in cabaret to great acclaim.
Linda Posner's Broadway credits (as Leland Palmer) include Bajour, A Joyful Noise, Hello, Dolly!, Applause and Pippin, receiving two Tony nominations along the way. Movie buffs will remember her from Valentino and from Bob Fosse's All That Jazz in which she played a central character modeled on Fosse's wife, Broadway star Gwen Verdon. This gala marks Posner's first stage appearance since her retirement form show business in 1977.
Bye Bye Birdie was the Charles Strouse musical in which Susan Watson began her Broadway career. She also starred as Nanette in the 1971 revival of No, No, Nanette!, and appeared in Carnival, The Fantasticks, Ben Franklin in Paris opposite Robert Preston, and she was the first Laurey to play the role and dance the ballet herself in a Lincoln Center revival of Oklahoma!
Klea Blackhurst, an internationally popular cabaret and concert singer, starred in Cole Porter's Red Hot and Blue! for 42nd Street Moon in 2005, and has been featured in several of their previous galas. She tours frequently with Everything the Traffic Will Allow!, her salute to Ethel Merman.
The gala begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction, and the performance follows at 7 p.m. The Alcazar is located at 650 Geary Street. Tickets at $100 ($75 tax deductible) may be purchased through the Box Office at 415/255-8207.