Max Von Essen, Daniel Breaker and More Set for BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE: THE BARD AND THE BROADWAY MUSICAL, Beg. Tonight

By: Jun. 01, 2013

Petruchio and Katherine backstage. Romeo and Juliet on a fire escape. From Kiss Me, Kate to West Side Story, Shakespeare has left his mark on the American Songbook. Tony Award-nominated director Mark Lamos (Cymbeline, Seascape) makes his Lyrics & Lyricists debut revealing the ties between Stratford-on-Avon and Shubert Alley in the 2013 season closer, Brush UpYour Shakespeare: The Bard and the Broadway Musical, tonight, June 1 and June 2 & 3. Tickets from $52 (35 and Under tickets, $25). Lamos is joined by vocalists Christine Andreas, Daniel Breaker, Britney Coleman, Max von Essen, and Heather Jane Rolff. For more information, click HERE.

"A rich and surprising body of work has been inspired by the plays of William Shakespeare, not the least of which can be discovered in some of the greatest Broadway musicals of the last 100 years, as well as pop, rock, and classical genres," says Lamos. "Our program celebrates a wide variety of styles in music and lyrics, and our performers will enlighten you with their performances of some of the usual suspects (Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story, The Boys From Syracuse) along with a surprising mix of jazz and pop from the worlds of Hollywood and cabaret."

Making his Lyrics & Lyricists debut, Mark Lamos has been artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse since 2009; his most recent play is A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room and last year he directed Sondheim and Lapine's Into the Woods. Prior to Westport, he spent 17 seasons as artistic director of Hartford Stage, which received a Tony Award for Regional Theatre in 1989; while there, he staged 14Shakespeare plays. Lamos made his Broadway debut directing Hartford Stage's Our Country's Good, which earned him a Best Director Tony Award nomination. His other Broadway directing credits include Cymbeline, Seascape, The Rivals, The Grand Manner, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm and The Deep Blue Sea. His other New York Shakespeare credits include Measure for Measure at Lincoln Center Theater, which won a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival and As You Like It at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. For the Metropolitan Opera, Lamos's directorial work includes Adriana Lecouvreur with Placido Domingo and the world premiere of John Harbison's The Great Gatsby; he has directed new productions for the opera companies of San Francisco, Glimmerglass, Santa Fe,St. Louis, Los Angeles, Gothenburg and Munich.

Making his 92Y debut with Mark Lamos is his frequent collaborator, music director Wayne Barker. He was music director for Lamos's stagings of Into the Woods and She Loves Me at the Westport Country Playhouse and A Little Night Music at Baltimore's Center Stage. Barker is composer of the Tony Award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher, which earned him a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination. He performed with Dame Edna Everage for five years, writing the music and appearing as Master of the Dame's Musik for Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance and contributing to the recent All About Me, co-starring Michael Feinstein.

Christine Andreas, vocals: Andreas's recent 54 Below show, be-Mused, earned unanimous critical praise and is being recorded for release in early June by PS Classics. One of L&L's most popular artists, this award-winning singer, Broadway star and Tony nominee recently completed a year in La Cage aux Folleswith Kelsey Grammer and an acclaimed national tour in The Light in the Piazza. Andreas first created a sensation on Broadway as Eliza Doolittle in the 20thanniversary revival of My Fair Lady and garnered Tony nominations for her roles in Oklahoma! and On Your Toes.

Daniel Breaker, vocals: Breaker is best known as the Donkey in Shrek: The Musical, for which he garnered a Drama Desk Award nomination. He also received Drama Desk, Tony Award and Theater World nominations for his role as the Youth in Passing Strange, a role he recreated for the Spike Lee-directed film version. Breaker previously worked with Mark Lamos in the Hartford Stage's production of Cymbeline on Broadway; his other Shakespeare credits include The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

Britney Coleman, vocals: Coleman has been starring in regional Theater Productions as Deena in Dreamgirls, and last spring appeared in the Mark Lamos/Wayne Barker-led production of Into the Woods, co-produced by the Westport Country Playhouse and Baltimore Center Stage. As part of the University of Michigan student-created parodies A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel, her appearance as Bellatrix Lestrange/Dean Thomas went viral to millions of views; A Very Potter Musical was named one of "The 10 Best Viral Videos of 2009" byEntertainment Weekly.

Max von Essen, vocals: Von Essen's Broadway credits include Evita, LES MISERABLES, Dance of the Vampires and Jesus Christ Superstar. He appeared in the world premiere of Death Takes a Holiday at the Roundabout Theater Company, and in the Transport Group's revival of Michael John LaChiusa'sHello Again. Von Essen was also in Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, Finian's Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theatre and The Fantasticks at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. Nationally, he spent more than a year on roller skates as the star of the Broadway tour ofXanadu, played Mary Sunshine in the national tour of Chicago and starred in the Kennedy Center's staging of Mame.

Heather Jane Rolff, vocals: Rolff recently finished performing in the record-breaking 25th anniversary North American tour of LES MISERABLES. She made her Broadway debut in Shrek: The Musical and will return to the swamp this summer at The Muny in St. Louis. Her off-Broadway credits include Silence! the Musical, Wanda's World, Sophie, Totie & Belle and Pirates of Penzance; the latter aboard the four-masted Peking ship at the South Street Seaport. Rolff's extensive regional theater credits include Footloose; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; Grease; Oklahoma!and The Full Monty.

Long one of 92nd Street Y's most popular programs, the American Songbook series Lyrics & Lyricists was launched in 1970 when longtime Broadway conductor Maurice Levine and lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (The Wizard of Oz) took to the stage to talk about the then-unusual topic of songwriting. Over the years the series has featured great Broadway and Hollywood lyricists including Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Johnny Mercer, Stephen Sondheim, Dorothy Fields, and Alan Jay Lerner. Since 2004, L&L has featured original programs created by accomplished champions of the repertoire, including John Pizzarelli, Rob Fisher, Sheldon Harnick, Robert Kimball, Rex Reed, Billy Stritch, Lucie Arnaz and Ted Sperling. Each show is designed to celebrate the American Songbook through a blend of narrative and entertainment with a particular focus on lyrics. For more information, visit

Lyrics & Lyricists is supported by The Henry Nias Foundation, courtesy of Dr. Stanley Edelman; Gilda and Henry Block; Kenneth Kolker; and the Estate of Sanford Goldstein, in memory of Harold W. and Ida L. Goldstein.

92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y's extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y's New York City venues annually, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit


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