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Laura Benanti, Broadway Boys, et al. to Perform at Lucille Lortel Awards, 5/6


The Off-Broadway League today announced the confirmed performers for the 2012 Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway. Additionally, the remaining tickets to the show have been released for sale to the public at a discounted rate of $35 each. The 27th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards will be handed out this Sunday, May 6, 2012 at NYU Skirball Center, beginning at 7:00pm EST, in a ceremony that will once again benefit the Actors Fund.

To purchase $35 tickets to the awards ceremony, visit www.nyuskirball.org or call (866) 811-4111 and use the code 35BALC. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Skirball Center box office located at 566 LaGuardia Place on Friday and Saturday from Noon - 6pm. Seating is in the balcony.

Tony® Award winner Laura Benanti will perform as part of her presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to producer Richard Frankel. Benanti earned the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her revelatory portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy, opposite Patti LuPone and directed by Arthur Laurents. She recently starred and garnered a Tony nomination in the Broadway production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown for Lincoln Center. Additional Broadway roles include her Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominated performance of Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and her sultry Tony nominated turn in Swing! Benanti also starred opposite Antonio Banderas as his muse in the celebrated revival of Nine. She began her multi-faceted career as Maria in The Sound of Music, opposite Richard Chamberlain. Up next, Benanti can be seen starring opposite Matthew Perry in NBC’s new comedy series, Go On.

2012 Lucille Lortel Award recipients for Outstanding Alternative Theatrical Experience, VOCA PEOPLE have taken New York by surprise - and delight - with a completely original, thrilling musical adventure unlike anything you've experienced before. Performed by eight snow-white ruby-lipped aliens with perfect harmony, this international hit features over 70 a cappella and beat box versions of the songs the whole family will love, including favorites from Madonna, Queen and even Mozart. No instruments, no sound effects -just eight incredible talents breathing life into the greatest music on earth. Originally a YouTube sensation, VOCA PEOPLE has had intergalactic success with sold-out tours in Europe, South America, the Middle East, Mars and Uranus. VOCA PEOPLE is currently performing at New World Stages.

The Broadway Boys, created in June of 2005, are a collection of the hottest male voices currently working on the New York stage. Through their dynamic vocal prowess and redefining arrangements, the Boys add elements of Pop, Funk, Gospel, Jazz, and Folk to showtunes and classic pop songs. Performing in groups of six, the Boys are able explore harmonies rarely presented by Broadway singers. Their goals are to introduce audiences outside the theater community to genres of music they may not be familiar with by fusing Broadway music and pop styles; and to present the Broadway community and its audiences with new arrangements of familiar songs.

Hosted by the fabulous Mario Cantone, the irreverent and hilarious comic and star of Sex and the City, the 27th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards ceremony will feature appearances by Alexis Bledel, Christian Borle, Michael Cerveris, Will Chase, Anna Chlumsky, Oliver Chris, Hugh Dancy, Paige Davis, Tate Donovan, Halley Feiffer, Steve Guttenberg, Rose Hemingway, Steve Kazee, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Fran Kranz, Norm Lewis, Lucy Liu, Constantine Maroulis, Cristin Milioti, Patrick Page, Annie Parisse, Sarah Paulson, Condola Rashad, Jeremy Shamos, Michelle Trachtenberg and Josh Young.

This year’s show will again be directed by Michael Heitzman, with musical direction by Henry Aronson and choreography by AC Ciulla. Featured dancers include Brad Barnes, Marc Heitzman, Ricky Kuperman, Reed Luplau, Sean McKnight, Holly Shunkey and Matthew Tiberi.

Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists and academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation. Additional support provided by Theatre Development Fund.

The Off-Broadway League's Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Terry Byrne, Denise Cooper, Margaret Cotter, George Forbes, Melanie Herman, Catherine Russell, Steven Showalter, and Carl D. White) produces the Lortel Awards Ceremony.

For updates, additional news and media releases, including a full list of this year’s nominees, visit www.LortelAwards.org. Follow the Lortel Awards on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/LortelAwards and become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LortelAwards.

About director Michael Heitzman
Michael Heitzman (Director) is one of the songwriters of “Throw That Girl Around” from the Broadway musical Swing! His musical Bingo (The Winning Musical) had a successful Off-Broadway run and continues to have numerous productions nationally and internationally. It was honored with the 2007 Bay Area Critics Association Award for Best Musical. His critically acclaimed musical Vices: A Love Story was produced at the Caldwell Theatre where it was nominated for eight 2010 Carbonell Awards including Best New Work and Best Musical. Vices: A Love Story, the musical that Variety called “a minor miracle...a sensual celebration,” has received multiple regional productions and is currently planning a New York City run. A 2009 Dramatist Guild Fellow, he and longtime writing partner Ilene Reid (www.heitzmanreid.com), are currently developing their original musical, Solana, with Indiana University Premiere Musicals as part of a two-year residency. In addition to having several TV and film scripts in development, he and Ms. Reid wrote for the NBC series “Just Deal” and their sitcom “Scott Free,” developed with Barbra Streisand’s Production Company Barwood Films and Kelsey Grammer’s Production Company Grammnet, was purchased by Paramount Pictures. Michael Heitzman is a member of The Dramatists Guild, BMI and the Writer’s Guild of America, East.

About music director Henry Aronson
Henry Aronson is the music director/conductor of Rock of Ages on Broadway. Also on Broadway: music director for Grease, The Times They Are A-Changin’, In My Life, Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, Rocky Horror Show, and Starmites; associate conductor of Cry Baby, Good Vibrations, Parade, Saturday Night Fever, Mail, and Prince of Central Park; and conductor of The Who’s Tommy. He is the composer/lyricist of Loveless Texas, a new musical in development.

About choreographer AC Ciulla
Broadway: Footloose (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). Off-Broadway: Lucky Guy (Joe A. Callaway Award nomination), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Lucille Lortel and Audelco Award nominations), Ghetto Superstar. Regional: The Last Smoker in America (CATCO; forthcoming New York premiere), Vices: A Love Story (2010 Carbonell Award for Best Choreography), Being Alive (Westport Country Playhouse), The Plexiglass Slipper (Asolo Rep), Footloose (Dir/Chor, Carousel Dinner Theatre), among others. Film, television and commercial credits including: Stars on Ice (Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography of a Television Special), “Starr X’d Lovers” (DGA Award), 1-800-OK-Cable Commercial (Dir/Chor), among many others. For the past two seasons, AC has appeared as a guest choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance” (UA).

The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, the Lucille Lortel Foundation in addition to theatre journalists and academics and other Off-Broadway professionals serve on the Voting Committee.

The awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Actor and Actress, Featured Actor and Actress, Scenic, Costume, Lighting and Sound Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), the Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence, Service to Off-Broadway Award and induction onto the Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see www.LortelAwards.org

Lucille Lortel Foundation was created by Lucille Lortel to foster excellence and diversity in the theatre, as well as to faithfully preserve the rich history and support the continued prosperity of Off-Broadway. The Foundation has several major programs, including its general operating support program that has provided millions of dollars to small to mid-size theatres in New York City, universities, and theatre service organizations. The Foundation created and maintains the Internet Off-Broadway Data Base (www.lOBDB.com). For a listing of all of the Foundation’s programs, previous Lortel Award nominees and recipients, information on the Lucille Lortel Theatre and Playwrights’ Sidewalk, and much more, please visit www.lortel.org

TDF, which recently received a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, is the largest nonprofit performing arts service organization in the United States, returning over $130 million to hundreds of productions annually through a variety of programs. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Created in 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 80 million people with access to performances at affordable prices. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access and education programs – as well as its Costume Collection – help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. www.tdf.org/

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone – performers and those behind the scenes – who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 12,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has – for nearly 130 years – been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. www.actorsfund.org

The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU’s mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center’s mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance. www.nyuskirball.org


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