Anthony Rapp, Julia Murney, et al. Set for FREE TO DREAM Concert, 7/22

This summer, Broadway actors Darlene Love, Julia Murney, Anthony Rapp and Matt Dengler star in "Free to Dream: New Songs for the American Journey," a concert specially adapted for Colonial Williamsburg. Television personality Willard Scott also lends his recorded voice to the program, which showcases the people and places that make up the fabric of America with musical styles from country, rock and pop to swing and the blues. It is a compilation of pieces by Grammy-winning composer Doug Katsaros and two-time Emmy-nominated lyricist William Schermerhorn. A nine-piece band accompanies the singers.

Performances are Friday, July 22 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, July 23 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Colonial Williamsburg's Kimball Theatre. Tickets are $39 for adults, $35 for seniors and military, and $19 for students and children. Tickets can be purchased now by calling 1-800-447-8679 or online after July 1 at www.kimballtheatre.com. The program is part of the collaboration between The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Virginia Arts Festival. Ticket proceeds support the educational mission of the non-profit Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Darlene Love, a 2011 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is best known for her hit songs "He's a Rebel," "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "He's Sure the Boy I'm Gonna Marry." Love has lit up the stage in "Hairspray," "Grease" and "Leader of the Pack." On the silver screen, she is most recognizable as Danny Glover's wife in the "Lethal Weapon" films. Julia Murney last appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in "Wicked" and in Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party." Anthony Rapp originated the role of Mark Cohen in the Tony Award-winning rock opera "Rent." He has also starred in films including "Dazed and Confused," "A Beautiful Mind," and "Six Degrees of Separation," among others. Matt Dengler understudied the role of Henrik in the Broadway revival of "A Little Night Music" and played the role of the Mute in the off-Broadway revival of "The Fantasticks."

Katsaros and Schermerhorn have been collaborating for nearly a decade, writing songs for national audiences as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and other notable events. They debuted "Free to Dream: New Songs for the American Journey" in July 2010 to rave reviews. In addition to the title song "Free to Dream," the July concert program will include the original songs "It's All About Tonight," "Beneath a Summer Sky," "Gift of Light" and "Sing Another Day."

Doug Katsaros
Composer, arranger, keyboardist and vocalist Doug Katsaros has worked on recordings with a variety of performers such as Elton John, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, Kiss and Cher. In musical theater, Katsaros has composed for numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including "Rockabye Hamlet," "The Life," "Hair," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Footloose," "Laughing Room Only," "Altar Boyz," "A...My Name Is Alice," Hal Prince's "Diamonds," "Abie's Island Rose," "Just So " and "The Toxic Avenger" among others. He is currently in pre-production for his opera "Moby Dick," and his musical about the Orphan Train will soon tour under the direction of Patricia Birch.

Katsaros has provided original music for the feature films "If Lucy Fell" (Sarah Jessica Parker, Elle McPherson), "Me And The Mob" (Sandra Bullock, Steve Buscemi), and the science fiction classic "Star Crystal" as well as TV programs "The Jim Henson Hour", "Mancuso FBI" and the animated series "The Tick." He has conducted "Great Performances" on PBS and written special material for the Tony Awards. His latest score for HBO is entitled "The Collector."

Katsaros' many projects have garnered Emmy and Drama Desk nominations, and a Grammy Award. He has been commissioned to write music for Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® on NBC, Universal Studios Orlando, the Ringling Brothers Circus, the Seville Worlds Fair, and much more. Among his jingles for numerous advertising campaigns, Katsaros wrote "By Mennen!" (www.themusicofyourdreams.com)


William Schermerhorn
As vice president and creative director of Macy's Parade & Entertainment Group, William Schermerhorn is the leader of the creative team responsible for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and other extravaganzas for "America's Department Store." He received his second "Outstanding Original Song" Daytime Emmy nomination in 2011 for "Yes, Virginia (There's A Santa Claus)." He received an "Outstanding Original Song" Daytime Emmy nomination in 2009 for the Christmas song "I Believe" and in the same year celebrated the Carnegie Hall debut of his "American River Suite," a five-piece musical tone poem written with composer Stephen Flaherty. Schermerhorn has also written original material for Julie Andrews, Harvey Fierstein, Kermit the Frog, Deborah Voigt and the Clique Girlz, and his songs have been performed at Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub, Feinstein's, Universal Studios Orlando, Walt Disney World's EPCOT, Boston Common and in London's West End. He was born on the 4th of July.

Elise Morris
Elise Morris is an award-winning vocalist, pianist and composer who has worked with a wide range of artists including Joe Jackson, Cy Coleman, Tan Dun, and Joan La Barbara, among others. She has written lyrics for jazz greats Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden, and performs internationally and at numerous venues in NYC as a singer/songwriter.

Elise has composed for Off-Off Broadway as well as various Dance Scores, and in 2010 she was awarded top prize for "Sound Sculpture" in a juried exhibition and gala by I-Park in East Haddam, Conn., followed by an artist's residency at the site in April 2011.

In 2009, Morris traveled to Mali, Africa to premier "Qui Suis-Je?" a commissioned dance score for Choreographer Gabi Glinz. Morris was also invited by the Centre Culturel of Bamako to conduct collaborative workshops with local musicians and dancers which culminated in a performance on the prestigious stage of the Centre. Currently, Morris' voice can be heard on the opening theme for the TV series "Cold Case."

She is married to composer Doug Katsaros, and they live in Northport, N.Y., with their two daughters.


Darlene Love
From her first number one recording, "He's A Rebel," through her string of label hits with legendary producer Phil Spector, including "Da Doo Ron Ron," "He's Sure The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and "Christmas Baby Please Come Home," to the countless songs for which she sang backup for artists like Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Cher, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin, Darlene Love is still blazing a trail of success in the music industry and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her albums include "Age of Miracles," recorded live in New York City and her first gospel album, "Unconditional Love," released by Harmony records.

Over the course of her career, Darlene has been hailed as the greatest singer in pop music. She has proven herself a talented actress as well, on stage and screen, starring as Danny Glover's wife in all of the "Lethal Weapon" films and lighting-up Broadway in such musicals as "Grease" and the Tony-award nominated "Leader of the Pack." Darlene also starred for three years on Broadway as "Motormouth Maybelle" in the Tony-Award-winning musical "Hairspray."

Darlene Love was just a high school sophomore in Los Angeles when she was discovered in a gospel choir and asked to join a burgeoning girl group called The Blossoms, who began recording for Phil Spector. Soon thereafter, other artists like Sam Cooke were attracted to her powerful sound, and sought Darlene on their recordings. With The Blossoms and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, Darlene sang lead vocals on some of the greatest music hits of the 60s. The Blossoms landed a weekly spot on the landmark television series "Shindig," and through the 60s and 70s, Darlene continued to perform with and back up such diverse artists as The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas, Tom Jones, The Righteous Brothers and Sonny & Cher.

Darlene then put background singing to the side in order to pursue a solo career, and when she did, even greater things began to happen. She has received great national press exposure, including a feature in People magazine, a CNN television documentary on her life, and bookings on numerous national television programs, including TODAY, Rosie O'Donnell, Maury Povich, Politically Incorrect, Donny & Marie and the Oprah Winfrey show, plus her yearly holiday stint on the David Letterman show where she has appeared for 20 years strong.

Darlene's first studio Christmas album, "It's Christmas, Of Course" was released December 2007 to national critical praise. In 2010, Darlene began a tour of Australia starring as "Miss Sherman" in "Fame: The Musical." Darlene has also released a CD and DVD of her live concert "The Concert of Love" produced and released by Reel Good Productions.

Darlene was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bette Midler was chosen to induct Darlene at the ceremony, which took place in New York on March 14. This year will also see a feature film based on Darlene's autobiography "My Name Is Love." The film is currently scheduled to begin shooting in the spring-summer. www.darleneloveworld.com and www.whoisdarlenelove.com
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Julia Murney
Julia Murney last appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in "Wicked" after playing the role on the national tour for which she received an Acclaim Award. Other New York credits include "Lennon," Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party" (Drama Desk nomination), "The Vagina Monologues," "A Class Act," "Saved," "Crimes of the Heart," "First Lady Suite," and "Time and Again" (Lucille Lortel nomination). She's been seen regionally all over the country - Signature, Williamstown, Reprise!LA, Sacramento Music Circus, NCT, Lyric, Rubicon and Goodspeed, to name a few - and in concert she has performed at Joe's Pub, Feinstein's at The Regency, The Kennedy Center, Caramoor, Town Hall and Birdland as well as with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops and Steven Reineke and the Cincinnati Pops. Among her TV credits are "30 Rock," "Sex and the City," "Ed," "NYPD Blue," all three "Law and Order" franchises and about a gazillion voiceovers. A Syracuse University graduate, her recordings include the original cast albums of "The Wild Party" and "A Class Act," the Grammy-nominated Actor's Fund Benefit of "Hair" and her first solo album, "I'm Not Waiting," which is available on Sh-K-Boom records.

Anthony Rapp
Within an extensive list of achievements, Broadway star Anthony Rapp is best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Tony Award-winning rock opera "Rent." He reprised the role both in the 2005 film version opposite other members of the original cast, and in the recent "Rent" tour with original cast member Adam Pascal. Rapp will next be seen in Don Roos' "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" opposite Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow.

Rapp has an extensive theatre background; his most recent Broadway show was Second Stage Theatre's "Some Americans Abroad." Other Broadway credits include the revival of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and John Guare's "Six Degrees of Separation." His Broadway debut was in "Precious Sons" with Judith Ivey and Ed Harris, for which he received an Outer Critics Circle award and a Drama Desk nomination. Film credits include "Adventures in Babysitting." "School Ties," "Dazed and Confused," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Man of the Century," "David Searching," "Road Trip," "A Beautiful Mind" and "Winter Passing" (a film written and directed by his brother Adam Rapp). Television credits include "The Lazarus Man," "The X-Files," "The Beach Boys: An American Family," "Kidnapped" and "Law & Order."

Rapp adapted his book "Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent" into a one-man show entitled "Without You" which he has performed throughout the country. In 2000, he released his debut album, "Look Around."


Matt Dengler
Broadway: "A Little Night Music" (swing/Henrik us); Off Broadway: "The Fantasticks" (The Mute/Matt us); favorite credits include workshop of "Little Miss Sunshine" (Dwayne Hoover), Allen in "Babes in Toyland" at Lincoln Center, Max in "Nighttime Traffic" (NYMF 2010), Marius in "Les Miz" (Forestburgh Playhouse). Matt recently made his Carnegie Hall debut in The New York Pop's 2011 Gala Honoring Bob Hope. Matt is a 2010 graduate of NYU/CAP21.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is an interactive not-for-profit educational institution and cultural destination dedicated to the preservation, restoration, interpretation and presentation of 18th-century Williamsburg, Va. The Foundation's mission "that the future may learn from the past" extends from within the Historic Area to the first-class Colonial Williamsburg Hotels experience to lecture series in and out of Williamsburg. With the award-winning Revolutionary City®, Colonial Williamsburg demonstrates its undertaking to expand its thought-provoking programming as well as its dedication to cultural and historical authenticity. Guests are invited to be part of the story as they enjoy educational and entertaining programming in the Historic Area and at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg; the WILLIAMSBURG brand and shopping experience, offering a variety of home products inspired by the destination; The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg; the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club; fine dining; and the Colonial Williamsburg Hotels. Be part of the story at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com.

Founded in 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival began as a two-week festival bringing world-class artists and tourists to Hampton Roads. Now in its 15th year, the Festival has grown into a spring event that spans over six weeks in nine cities across the region including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg. The Festival's mission is divided into four parts: bring world-class performing arts to the region, provide outstanding educational programs, commission innovative performances of national and international significance, and create positive economic support for the region through cultural tourism. www.vafest.org

Located in Williamsburg's Merchants Square, the beautifully restored theatre presents films, live performances, musical concerts and special programs. Creative programming alliances with the College of William and Mary, community organizations and Colonial Williamsburg link the past with the present. The 410-seat theater also houses a 35-seat screening room which enables the theater to offer films to the community seven days a week, even when live performances are staged in the main theater. For more information, call (757) 565-8588 or visit www.kimballtheatre.com.

 

Photo Credit: Monica Simoes



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