Jim Dale, Simon Jones, KT Sullivan, Mark Nadler, Adam B. Shapiro, Janice Hall To Headline WINTER RHYTHMS 2018

Continuing its 35th Anniversary season, Urban Stages (Frances Hill, Founding Artistic Director; Tom Toce Producer) proudly announces the line-up for this year's award-winning series, WINTER RHYTHMS 2018, which will begin Wednesday, December 12 featuring some of New York's best musical performances through Saturday, December 22, 2018 at Urban Stages Theatre (259 West 30th Street, just East of 8th Avenue).

Tickets are $30 per show (except for Patron's Night, Monday, Dec. 17th), $50 for two shows on the same day, and may be purchased by visiting urbanstages.org or by calling (866) 811-4111. For complete schedule information, visit www.urbanstages.org.

WINTER RHYTHMS 2018 marks the 10th year that Urban Stages welcomes noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. The mission of WINTER RHYTHMS is to bring the talents of well-known and up-and-coming singers, musicians, lyricists and composers to the attention of the New York Theater community while performing at Urban Stages Theater. WINTER RHYTHMS was the winner of the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series and the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award. Proceeds from WINTER RHYTHMS benefit Urban Stages' acclaimed Outreach Program, which brings over 200 free "arts in education" presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs.

This year's benefit series will present 20 shows, many of them created especially for WINTER RHYTHMS, all of them with sound design by Douglas Mills and lighting design by Kim T. Sharp. Victoria Ordin is Production Manager. After seven years of producing and programming WINTER RHYTHMS award-winning producer/writer/director Peter Napolitano will pass the baton to Tom Toce, who has been associated with the celebrated series as a feature songwriter and producer for the past six years. Napolitano will act as a consultant during this years festivities as well as a featured songwriter.

Winter Rhythms will include a very special Patron's Night Gala Celebration on Monday, December 17 at 7pm with Noel Coward AND FRIENDS featuring Jim Dale, Jeff Harnar, Edward Hibbert, Simon Jones, Sidney Myer, Marissa Mulder, KT Sullivan and more. Tickets are priced from $160-$500, including cocktails at 7pm, the show at 7:30pm and dinner afterwards.

Current Performance Schedule*

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 at 7pm: TEN YEARS OF WINTER RHYTHMS

Producer/Director/Lyricist and former Urban Stages Director of Musical Theatre, Peter Napolitano will host a retrospective of ten years of Winter Rhythms, featuring some of his favorite moments from the award-winning series he has produced and programmed from 2011-17. More than a dozen past performers will come back to recreate their performances or in some cases, sing something entirely new, including Mark Nadler, Adam B. Shapiro, Janice Hall and many more. Matthew Martin Ward on piano.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 at 7pm: JARMILA NOVOTNÁ: HER LIFE IN SONG

William V. Madison will direct and host a program celebrating his recent book, Jarmila Novotná: My Life in Song, the memoir of the great Czechoslovak soprano (1907-94). Though she worked continuously at the principal opera houses in New York, Berlin, Vienna, and Prague, she was also one of the original crossover stars, excelling in film (The Search, with Montgomery Clift) and on Broadway (Helen Goes to Troy; Sherlock Holmes, with Basil Rathbone). On radio, she sang with Bing Crosby; on TV, she clowned with Abbott and Costello, and played Tab Hunter's mother. Her extraordinary range embraced everything from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Bill Haley and the Comets. Performers will include opera star and MAC Award-winner Janice Hall, MAC nominee Hanna Burke, and newcomers Brendan Eprile and Greg Driscoll. Novotná's granddaughter, violinist Tatiana Daubek of the acclaimed chamber ensemble House of Time, will perform as a Special Guest Star.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 at 9pm: THE BEST OF THE HARVARD-YALE CANTATA

The Harvard-Yale Cantata is the brainchild of new Winter Rhythms producer Tom Toce. It's a competition of Harvard songs (written and performed by alumni) against Yale songs. The fourth annual competition was recently held at Feinstein's/54 Below. Yale team captain (and WR Production Manager) Victoria Ordin has selected the best songs, and the best performers, from the past four shows. She will host and present a cast of singers including Sam Bolen (star of the recent off-Bway hit Midnight at the Never Get), along with Cantata veterans Megan Loughran, Nathaniel Dolquist, Mallory Baysek, and Jac Huberman, as well Cantata newcomers who just joined their respective teams this past fall, including Derek Speedy, Michael Wingate, and Elisabeth Ness.

Songwriters include graduates from four decades of both schools: John Forster, Julian Fleisher, Alan Chapman, Benji Goldsmith, Richard Maltby and David Shire, Drew Fornarola, and many more-including Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 at 7pm: THE MUSIC OF SERGEI DREZNIN

Sergei Dreznin is a Moscow-born, New York -based Austro-Russian award winning concert pianist and composer. He has had 17 shows produced on stages in Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Madrid and New York. Mr. Dreznin returns to Urban Stages having composed incidental music for "Roses in December" with Jim Naughton. This two-part evening will feature songs from his musical epic Catherine the Great, which has been running in Russia over ten years to sold-out houses, winning the Golden Mask - Russia's Tony Award. He will also be premiering several songs from his new musical in progress, Bar None, with book and lyrics by Peter Napolitano. Performers will include Brie Cassil and Adam B. Shapiro.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 at 9:30pm: A NIGHT OF JAZZ AND BLUES

This international evening of artists continues with Abou Diarrassouba (Abou Lion Diarra) hails from the Ivory Coast. He founded and was musical director for the powerhouse Black Warriors band premiering in NYC then touring 40 Cities. He recently returned from 8 months playing jazz in Behrain. He is internationally known for his artistry. Abou brought his talents and drums on our stage last spring to add the sounds of Africa in the play Dogs of Rwanda by Sean Lewis. He is internationally known for his musical artistry. He returns with his band that frequently plays at the noted Jazz club in Harlem, Paris Blues. The 69th Street Band will be playing Jazz and Blues.

SATURDAY DECEMBER 15 at 3pm: SONGWRITERS ALLIANCE SHOWCASE

The New York Songwriters Alliance was founded by Tom Toce in 2016. The Alliance is a group of professional songwriters who meet twice a month to share songs, success stories, industry opportunities, and creative energy. This show, hosted by MAC board member Jennie Litt, will include songs by Alliance members Michael Colby, John Forster, Ned Ginsberg, Bobbie Horowitz, Randy Klein, Jennie Litt, Peter Napolitano, Paul Rolnick, Alex Rybeck, Steve Sieck, Tracy Stark, and Tom Toce. Their songs will be showcased by some of the best vocal talent in NY cabaret.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 at 7:30 pm: ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

An evening about the life and art of Johnny Mercer as told by Alberta Hunter. The show is written by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, who has had plays read at Urban Stages. Several of his plays are touring the USA. C. Kelly Wright, a powerful singer and actress, is playing Alberta Hunter. Miss Wright has performed in Off Broadway musicals, plays, televisions, films in the US and Internationally. Miss Kelly is a regular at Urban Stages, starring in Langston in Harlem and just completing six roles in our Retrospective Reading Series at Urban Stages.Joining her will be Terry Burrus, who is known for performing as a leader in various groups around the world including "Golden Opera Voices", "Jazz Commissioners," "Terry Burrus Dance Floor" and many more. He is also a music director, conductor, composer, producer and an artist with a string of solo albums and a new one coming out soon. In addition, Vincent Scott, performer, director, educator and Urban Stages' school coordinator, will complete the evening.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 16 at 3pm: Sally Darling SINGS Beatrice Lillie

Sally Darling is a 2016 MAC Hanson Award winner, a 2017 Bistro Award winner and a multiple MAC Award nominee. Along with Music Director Matthew Martin Ward at the piano, she brings her latest cabaret show, Sally Darling Sings Beatrice Lillie, to Winter Rhythms. According to Darling, "The show is about the songs she's done, with one she WOULD have done--brilliantly. She was called 'the funniest woman in the world,' and Noël Coward said she was 'one of the greatest stars of light entertainment the world has ever known.' Lillie entertained on radio and in television as well as theaters, movie houses, vaudeville palaces and supper clubs in her 50-year career.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 16 at 7pm: TBA

MONDAY DECEMBER 17 at 7pm: Noel Coward AND FRIENDS (PATRON BENEFIT)

Urban Stages Benefit evening of Noel Cowards songs, verse and stories devised and narrated by Barry Day and Friends. Eric Comstock on piano with Jim Dale, Jim Naughton, Jeff Harnar, Edward Hibbert, Simon Jones, Sidney Myer, Marissa Mulder,KT Sullivan. Songs include: Something Very Strange, I'll Follow My Secret Heart, Something to Do with Spring, If Love Were All, Bronxville Darby and Joan. The show includes Coward voice in verse of "Mad Dogs and Englishman." Other verse selections will be read by Mr. Dale, Mr. Naughton, Mr. Jones, and other members of the Cast. A video will be shown of Christopher Plummer, Winston Churchill, Christine Ebersole,Margaret Leighton and others performing Coward. The benefit evening will include, cocktails, show and dinner at local restaurant. Tickets are $500, $300, $200, $160 obtained on Urban Stages Website:urbanstages.org

TUESDAY DECEMBER 18 at 7:00pm: THE PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW

Matsuki Productions & Urban Stages presents Winter Rhythms' The People You Should Know. As a producer, reviewer and writer, Sue Matsuki is presenting some of the most impressive people she has met over the past few years. Some are recent contest winners (MetroStar and Mama's Next BIG Act) and some are people she has met at Open Mics or in class. All of them ar

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