SRT's 'Sonnet Sings the Bard' Benefit to Feature Shaiman, Wittman, Shire & More, 11/16; Seth Rudetsky Hosts

By: Nov. 02, 2009

Sonnet Repertory Theatre (SRT) has announced its scheduled line-up for 'Sonnet Sings the Bard' concert, which takes place on November 16 at the 92YTribeca. Contributing composers to this one-night-only benefit event include: Tony, Grammy, Emmy and Drama Desk Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated composers and lyricists Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Patti LuPone on Broadway), Tony, Grammy and Emmy-nominated and Academy Award-winning composer David Shire (Baby, Closer Than Ever, Big, Saturday Night Fever), Georgia Stitt (This Ordinary Thursday: The Songs Of Georgia Stitt with Sara Ramirez, Kelli O'Hara, Faith Prince, and many more), Ray Leslee (Avenue X, Educating Rita, Standup Shakespeare), Karl Mansfield (conductor and keyboardist for Broadway's Xanadu, La Boheme, 13, Dracula, Corum Boy, Sweet Charity, and Off-Broadway's Grey Gardens, Toxic Avenger, Shafrika the White Girl and Alter Boyz), and Wade McCollum (composer and lyricist for ONE, and award-winning performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

Swth Rudetsky will host the event. Seth is the Broadway host, seven days a week, on Sirius Satellite Radio. He was the artistic producer and music director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts including Dreamgirls with Audra MacDonald, and Hair with Jennifer Hudson. He made his Broadway acting debut in The Roundabout Theater's The Ritz, directed by Joe Mantello, and Off-Broadway includes the critically acclaimed Rhapsody In Seth (directed by Peter Flynn) at the Actors Playhouse. As an author, Rudetsky penned the books The Q Guide to Broadway, now in its third printing, and the recently published Broadway Nights which was just released as an audio book on featuring AndRea Martin, Jonathan Groff and Kristin Chenoweth. Recently, Seth was the vocal coach on MTV's Legally Blonde reality show and he currently writes a weekly column on

Scheduled performers include: Tony, Drama Desk and Theatre World Award-winning actress Celia Keenan-Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Les Miserables), Tituss Burgess (Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, Jersey Boys, Good Vibrations), Lawrence Clayton (Bells Are Ringing, The Civil War, Once Upon A Mattress, Dreamgirls), Jenn Colella (High Fidelity, Urban Cowboy), Jimmy Ray Bennett (founding member of the Off-Broadway and L.A. cult hit The Nuclear Family, as well as the Extended Family on the Sundance Film Channel), Julia Murney (Wicked, Lennon, Drama Desk-nominated for The Wild Party), Lynne Winterseller (A Grand Night For Singing, Annie, the National Tour of the Revival of Company and Drama Desk-nominated for Closer Than Ever).

Music director and contributing composer for the evening is Rick Hip-Flores (composer and lyricist for Neon Mirage, A Tooth Fairy Tale, My New York, Dido and Aeneas, and music director for High School Musical, Singin in the Rain, Jacques Brel, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Shakespeare on Broadway, 8 by Tenn, Henry and Mudge, A Christmas Carol, The Last Smoke in America, and numerous productions for Musicals Tonight!).

SRT, a non-profit company dedicated to classic theatre for the modern planet, and now moving into its eighth consecutive season, debuts original songs inspired by Shakespeare's cannon as part of an annual fundraising event, Sonnet Sings the Bard.

Additional casting is to be announced. SRT's Co-Artistic Directors are Tiffany Little Canfield (Telsey + Company Casting, the team responsible for 9 to 5, Memphis, Equus, Speed the Plow, You're Welcome America, Wicked, Hairspray, Rent, The Drowsy Chaperone, Grey Gardens, South Pacific, In the Heights, Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, Company, Tarzan, and for other non-profit theaters such as MCC Theater, Signature Theater Company and Atlantic Theater Company), and Todd Loyd (The Color Purple, La Boheme, Across The Universe, as well as various works at The Kennedy Center, NYMF, NAMT, and LCI).

The Sonnet Sings the Bard benefit takes place on Monday, November 16 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm
at the 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street (at Canal Street). Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online through Smarttix at or by call 212.868.4444. For more information visit

Sonnet Repertory Theatre, Inc. is dedicated to classic theatre for the modern planet. SRT promotes classic plays and adaptations, providing forums for collaboration between emerging artists and established professionals. With Classics in the Classroom, SRT aims not only to entertain, but also to educate young people by engaging them with timeless literature through expressive theatre.