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Encompass New Opera Theatre to Honor Barbara Cook & Lee Adams at National Arts Club


Encompass New Opera Theatre (Nancy Rhodes, Artistic Director) and Gala Honorary Chairs Sheldon Harnick, Charles Strouse, and Maury Yeston will honor legendary Broadway performer BARBARA COOK - on the exact day of her 88th Birthday - and lyricist LEE ADAMS (Bye Bye Birdie, Golden Boy, Applause) with a star-studded musical salute on Sunday, October 25. The evening - hosted by Midge Woolsey of Thirteen /WNET and WQXR Radio - will feature entertainment from stage stars and songwriters such as Penny Fuller, Jason Graae, Sheldon Harnick, Marc Kudisch, Rebecca Luker, Amanda McBroom, Erin Mackey, Karen Mason, Charles Strouse, KT Sullivan, Lauren Worsham, Karen Ziemba and David Zippel, in addition to surprise guests. Beth Ertz serves as Music Director and Arranger. The gala is produced by Michael A. Kerker of ASCAP and Nancy Rhodes.

The event will take place at The National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South in New York City) on Sunday, October 25, starting at 6:00 PM with a Cocktail & Hors d'oeuvres Reception, the Musical Program at 7:00 PM, followed by a Champagne and Dessert Party. Gala tickets are $500, with special discounts on companion tickets available before October 13, 2015. To buy tickets, to place a congratulatory ad in the program, or for more information, visit or call (718) 398-4675.

This is the 12th year for the Encompass Musical Salute. Past honorees include Sheldon Harnick (both for his 80th and 90th Birthdays), John Kander, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman, Jerry Bock, Maury Yeston, Joseph Stein, Richard Maltby, Jr., David Shire, John Weidman, Marvin Hamlisch, Alan Menken, Joel Grey and Jeanine Tesori.

Encompass New Opera Theatre - under the leadership of Artistic Director Nancy Rhodes - is dedicated to the creation, development and production of adventurous new music theatre and contemporary opera, as well as the revival of important musical works by American and international composers. Devoted to widening the recognition of America's dramatists, composers, singers and musicians, Encompass has produced over 60 full-scale productions with orchestra and staged readings of over 160 new works, from jazz and cabaret to musicals and opera. Encompass is proud to announce that it was selected by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to produce The Astronaut's Tale, a new multi-media opera at BAM Fisher January 28 - 31, 2016, for five performances.

The gala chairs are Daniel J. De Siena and Casey McNamara. The gala vice chairs are Carmine Esposito, Roger Feffer, Russ Lapso, Lynn Martindale, Barbara Sexton, Harriet Slaughter and Daniel Smetana. The Gala Honorary Committee is comprised of Patrick Cook of BMI, Jason Danieley, Michael Feinstein, Jason Graae, Michael A. Kerker of ASCAP, Judy Kuhn, Vasi Laurence, Carolyn and Thomas Meehan, Tommy Tune and David Zippel.

BARBARA COOK has been captivating audiences for over 50 years as an Award winning Broadway performer and cabaret and concert singer. She has won the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, in addition to the Tony Award, and originated roles in classic musicals such as Candide, The Music Man, and She Loves Me, in addition to roles in Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center, and Sondheim on Sondheim. Her concert, Barbara Cook's Broadway, was lauded by USA Today and Associated Press as one of the top ten theatre productions of 2004.

LEE ADAMS made his Broadway debut with Bye Bye Birdie in 1960. Forty-six years later, Birdie remains the most performed musical for schools and amateur theaters. Adams received the first of his two Tony Awards for Birdie, followed on Broadway by All American (1962); Golden Boy with Sammy Davis (1964); ....It's Superman (1966); Applause with Lauren Bacall (1970), for which he won his second Tony. In 1972, with his composer-collaborator Charles Strouse, Adams wrote a much-acclaimed musical, I and Albert in London. He wrote the lyrics for TV's long-running "All in the Family" theme, "Those Were The Days." And with Strouse he wrote the score for the film The Night They Raided Minsky's, a cult favorite.

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