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El Portal Theatre Announces New Year's Eve Celebration With Sam Harris, Levi Kreis & More

El Portal Theatre in association with producers Jay Irwin and Pegge Forrest will present a very special New Year's Eve celebration December 31, 2011 with an all-star lineup for two performances only at 4 pm and 10 pm. The all stars are headed by Sam Harris with Todd Schroeder at the piano, 2010 Tony Winner Levi Kreis, 2011 Ovation Winner Lesli Margherita and David Burnham, one of Broadway's bright lights.

Sam Harris got his start as the first grand champion of Ed McMahon's Star Search in its premiere season. He gained international acclaim and became best known for his winning rendition of the song "Over the Rainbow" on the show. "Over the Rainbow" has since become his signature song. His appearance on Star Search led to him landing a contract with Motown Records. His first single, "Sugar Don't Bite," was a Top 40 hit, reaching #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1984. He is a multi-million selling recording artist with nine studio albums to his credit. He has played to sold-out audiences at major venues including New York's Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheater and London's West End and with the Boston Pops at the White House.

On Broadway, Sam received a Drama Desk nomination for his role in the Tommy Tune-directed revival of Grease, and a Drama League Award as well as Tony, Outer Critic's Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations for his work in Cy Coleman's Tony nominated musical The Life. He's also appeared on Broadway in Mel Brooks' Tony Award winning musical The Producers, played the leading role in the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and in the musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, Hair, and Pippin and the film-to-musical adaptation of The First Wives Club.

Harris television work includes the series Down to Earth, which he co-created (1984, which ran for 4 years and 104 episodes). He was a series regular on The Class, and was a recurring character on Rules of Engagement. He has also appeared on numerous talk shows including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil's 500th episode, The View, The Tyra Banks Show and The Dr. Drew Show. Sam most recently appeared with Lisa Minelli at New York's Birdland in November to sold out crowds.

Joining Sam for the New Year's Celebration are three award winning musical theatre stars. Levi Kreis originated the role of Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway's new musical Million Dollar Quartet. His scorching performance received the Tony Award for "Best Featured Actor In A Musical" for the role. His debut album was released on November 17, 2005, accompanied by an appearance on a special XM radio edition of NBC's The Apprentice. Levi Kreis and his team won the challenge, launching Levi's recording career worldwide. He has since released four studio albums with plans for a fifth.

Lesli Margherita won the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in the Gypsy Kings' Zorro the Musical, on the West End in London. She won the 2011 Ovation Award for her performance as Kate in Kiss Me Kate at REPRISE! Other credits include Lady of the Lake in Spamalot opposite Gary Beach, and as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors for La Mirada/McCoy-Rigby, the west coast premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's See What I Wanna See, and Gloria in Jason Alexander's production of Damn Yankees. She returns to El Portal where she played Grace Slick (among others) in the hit BEEHIVE. Her critically acclaimed nightclub act ALL HAIL THE QUEEN debuted to sold out crowds in NYC and continues to play in and around Los Angeles.

David Burnham just returned from New York where he played Fiyero in the Broadway production of Wicked having created the role in the original Los Angeles workshop productions. David was a member of the original Broadway cast of the 6-time Tony Award winning musical The Light In The Piazza, performing on both the Tony Awards and the PBS telecast Live From Lincoln Center. David first gained critical acclaim when, after a two year search, he was chosen to replace Donny Osmond in the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a role which he has subsequently played 4 more times in productions all over the country.

Both the 4pm and 10 pm shows include desserts following the performance, and at the 10pm show there will be champagne, hats and horns, and dancing in the Forum Theatre "Disco"!


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