Anika Larsen to Make Solo Concert Debut at Birdland for New Album SING YOU TO SLEEP, 3/23
ANIKA LARSEN, the 2014 Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner currently starring on Broadway in Beautiful -- The Carole King Musical, will introduce her debut solo CD Sing you to Sleep with a special concert at Birdland Jazz Club as part of the "Broadway at Birdland" series on Monday, March 23 at 7:00 PM. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are $25 with a $10 minimum. Visit BirdlandJazz.com for more information.
The collection of dreamy ballads and standards -- recently released on Yellow Sound Label -- was hailed as "a charming, deliciously soothing album" by BroadwayWorld. The songs are drawn from contemporary pop ( "Fields of Gold" by Sting), legendary singer/songwriters ("Make You Feel My Love" from Bob Dylan), musical theater ("Summertime" from Porgy & Bess) and animated classics (An American Tail's "Somewhere Out There," with lyrics by Anika's Beautiful character Cynthia Weil). Special guests for the evening at Birdland are her Beautiful co-stars: Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller and Tony Award nominee Jarrod Spector. Dan Watt serves as executive producer for the concert.
"I never thought I'd record an album," says Anika, "and I never thought I'd perform at Birdland. So combining two such major firsts into one evening makes me, as we say in Boston where I'm from, wicked psyched."
Sing you to Sleep is a tuneful and personal album for adults and children alike, which Larsen recorded with her nine siblings and fourteen nieces and nephews in mind. Jessie Mueller, who won the 2014 Tony Award winner for playing Carole King in Beautiful, is featured on the album in a duet with her co-star for James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes." The album is produced by Emmy Award-winner and Grammy Award-nominee Michael Croiter (Matilda, Big Fish, Heathers), with Dan Watt serving as executive producer.
When Anika opened on Broadway in Beautiful last season, she was praised for her "megawatt scene-stealing abandon" (Entertainment Weekly), "enormous warmth" (The Hollywood Reporter) and "breezy elegance" (New York Daily News). She was hailed as "sharp and spunky" (New York Observer), "bubbly and brainy" (NBC New York) and "vibrant, quick-witted and firmly independent" (San Francisco Chronicle). Beautiful is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The Beautiful original Broadway cast recording, which features Larsen, was released in April 2014.
Anika Larsen -- who has also starred on Broadway in Rent, All Shook Up, Xanadu and Avenue Q -- grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts with nine brothers and sisters from different races and countries. She made her performance debut singing with her siblings at her parents' annual Christmas parties. Her mother thought they were the multi-cultural Von Trapps. After majoring in theater at Yale, Anika moved to New York City where her first professional job was Rent, during which she was given the nickname Shafrika. In addition to her Broadway credits, she also appeared in Disaster!; Unbroken Circle; Closer Than Ever; Miracle Brothers; Zanna, Don't!, and more. Anika is the only person on the planet who can say she was in the original casts of both Xanadu and Zanna, Don't!
Anika co-founded Jaradoa Theater with director April Nickell in 2007. Their mission was to promote mercy, beauty and truth through performance and service. For four years they produced theater that strove to resonate, inspire and reach audiences that didn't usually have access to theater. The company presented shows in public middle schools, at-risk youth centers, teen alternative-to-incarceration programs, nursing homes, and homeless senior centers. In 2009, Jaradoa Theater produced Shafrika, The White Girl, a musical Anika wrote about her childhood. She and Orlando Bishop co-wrote "The Joneses," one-hour dramedy TV pilot loosely based on her personal story. Anika is currently writing a new play with her longtime writing partner April Nickell. For more information, visit www.AnikaLarsen.biz.
Yellow Sound Label is a Grammy Award-nominated, cutting-edge record company that produces both established performers and up-and-coming artists. The boutique label takes a hands-on approach in nurturing and producing passionate, focused performers and composers who create quality, noteworthy recordings. The label has featured the best of Broadway (Matilda, Big Fish, First Date), Off Broadway (Heathers - The Musical, The Burnt Part Boys, Murder Ballad, The Shaggs), theater luminaries (Chita Rivera, Alan Cumming, Telly Leung, Christopher Jackson), and rising songwriter/composers (Marcy & Zina, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Lance Horne, Michael Patrick Walker). For more information, visit www.YellowSoundLabel.com.
"SING YOU TO SLEEP" TRACK LIST:
1. Summertime (Music George Gershwin / Lyrics Ira Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward)
2. Somewhere Out There (Music by James Horner & Barry Mann/Lyrics by Cynthia Weil)
3. Count On Me (Music and lyrics by Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine)
4. Sleepy Man (Music and lyrics by Robert Waldman and Alfred Uhry)
5. The Moon is Made of Gold (Music and lyrics by Richard Loris Jones)
6. You Can Close Your Eyes (Music and lyrics by James Taylor) - Duet with Jessie Mueller
7. Four-Leaf Clover (Music by Abra J. Moore / Lyrics by David Lewis and Wayne I. Lewis)
8. Al Otro Lado del Rio (Music and lyrics by Jorge Drexler)
9. Fields of Gold (Music by Sting / Lyrics by Gordon Sumner and Dusan Bogdanovic)
10. Baby Mine (Music by Frank Churchill / Lyrics by Ned Washington)
11. Annie's Song (Music and lyrics by John Denver)
12. Make You Feel My Love (Music and lyrics by Bob Dylan)