TONY AWARDS CONCERT IN TOKYO Stars Matthew Morrison, Kelli O'Hara and Yoshio Inoue
WOWOW, Japan's leading premium pay TV broadcaster, announced today that Matthew Morrison ("Finding Neverland" "South Pacific," "Hairspray"), Kelli O'Hara ("The King and I") and well-known Japanese actor Yoshio Inoue have signed on as headline performers for WOWOW's highly anticipated "Tony Awards Concert In Tokyo," which will take place on March 18th, 2017.
Morrison, who most recently starred as "J.M Barrie" in the Harvey Weinstein musical "Finding Neverland," and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in "The Light in the Piazza," and O'Hara, the 2015 Tony-Award winner for "The King and I," will bring cherished Broadway hits to life and recreate the magic for the Japanese audience. WOWOW will broadcast the concert from the Tokyo International Forum, which seats over 5,000 people.
Kayo Washio, who runs WOWOW's Los Angeles office, and is producing the concert event for WOWOW, said, "These performers have instilled in me a passion for theater over the years. Matthew's reputation on Broadway precedes him. And Kelli's voice takes me to another time and place. Yoshio has established himself as the foremost musical actor in Japan and I can't wait to see what he'll bring to our stage. I'm so honored to have them all on board for our special concert."
"It's an honor to have been invited to participate in this special event, and to bring Broadway's rich tradition to the beautiful people of Japan," said Morrison. "I look forward to sharing some of what I consider the most important music in performing arts history, and to commemorate the productions that originally brought these songs to life."
O'Hara added "After spending over a year working with my brilliant leading man, Ken Watanabe, in 'The King and I,' nothing excites me more than traveling to his beloved homeland for the very first time to perform with another of my favorite leading men, Matthew Morrison!"
The premium musical concert has official recognition from the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League. An increase in Broadway musical fandom in Japan has led to aspirations for this concert to become an annual event, with WOWOW to continue to produce alongside a variety of major stage show programs such as straight plays, musicals, ballets, traditional Japanese theatre, and opera (WOWOW is official broadcaster of New York's' famed Metropolitan Opera "The Met").
WOWOW has an agreement to broadcast the Tony Awards that see the annual show broadcast live in Japan, exclusively on WOWOW. The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
The concert set list will consist of renowned Broadway musical songs and memorable performances from the Tony Awards.
About Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison is a versatile actor who is recognized for his work on-stage and on-screen. He has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards.
Morrison most recently starred as "J.M Barrie" in the Harvey Weinstein musical "Finding Neverland" through January, 2016. The Broadway production is an adaptation of the 2004 film written by David Magee. The story follows the relationship between Barrie and the Davies family, who became the author's inspiration for the creation of Peter Pan. Morrison received two Drama Desk nominations for his role, and won the category of Favorite Actor in a Musical in the Broadway.com Audience Awards.
In 2015, Morrison wrapped the final season of Fox's musical comedy series "Glee," where he starred as the director of the glee club, "Mr. Schuester." The show was created by Ryan Murphy and received Golden Globe award "Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical" in 2010 and 2011, as well as Emmy Awards.
Morrison released his Broadway standards album, "Where it All Began," in June 2013, which was produced by legendary music producer Phil Ramone.
Morrison studied musical theater, vocal performance and dance at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He made his debut on Broadway in "Footloose" but his big break came when he was cast as heartthrob Link Larkin in the hit "Hairspray." Morrison was later nominated for a Tony Award for his role in "The Light in the Piazza," and received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for "10 Million Miles." He also starred in the Tony-winning revival of "South Pacific" at Lincoln Center Theater in New York.
About Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway's great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I recently garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations.
The year before was an exceptionally busy year. Her performance as Francesca in the musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC's live telecast of "Peter Pan" alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year's Eve, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming.
A native of Oklahoma, Kelli received a degree in opera, and after winning the State Metropolitan Opera Competition, moved to New York and enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Institute. She made her Broadway debut in Jekyll & Hyde and followed it with Sondheim's Follies, Sweet Smell of Success opposite John Lithgow, and Dracula. In 2003 Kelli committed to a production of The Light in the Piazza at Seattle's Intiman Theatre. The show landed on Broadway in 2005 and earned Kelli her first Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations. She moved from one critical and commercial success to another when she joined Harry Connick on Broadway in the 2006 Tony award-winning production of The Pajama Game, for which Kelli received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. Kelli starred in the Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, enrapturing audiences and critics alike with her soulful and complex interpretation of Nellie Forbush, and garnering Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. She later teamed up with Matthew Broderick in Broadway's musical comedy Nice Work if You Can Get it, earning Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations, as well as the Fred Astaire Nomination for dance.
Kelli has worked regionally & Off-Broadway in Far from Heaven at Williamstown Theater Festival & Playwrights Horizon, King Lear at The Public Theater, Bells Are Ringing at City Center Encores, Sunday in the Park with George at Reprise, My Life With Albertine at Playwright's Horizons & Beauty at the La Jolla Playhouse. Kelli received critical acclaim for her performances at the New York Philharmonic's productions of Carousel & My Fair Lady as both Julie Jordan & Eliza Doolittle respectively. She has sold out her solo show at Carnegie Hall & Town Hall and performed with symphonies and orchestras across the country. She is a frequent guest artist on the PBS Memorial Day and July 4th telecast and has performed several times as part of the Kennedy Honor tributes for Barbara Cook, Jerry Herman and Barbra Streisand.
Among her film and television credits are Masters of Sex, Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese's short The Key to Reserva opposite Simon Baker; The Dying Gaul, Blue Bloods (NBC pilot), All Rise (NBC pilot), Alexander Hamilton (Maria Reynolds) starring Brian F. O'Byrne (PBS), NUMB3RS (CBS), All My Children, the animated series Car Talk, and numerous live performances on national television shows. Kelli's voice can be heard on many cast album recordings including The Bridges of Madison Country, Nice Work if You Can Get it, South Pacific (Sony), The Light in the Piazza (Nonesuch records; Grammy nomination), The Pajama Game (Sony; Grammy nomination), The Sweet Smell of Success (Sony), My Life with Albertine (PS Classics), Dream True (PS Classics), Jule Styne Goes Hollywood (PS Classics). She has released two solo albums including Always & Wonder in the World.
About Yoshio Inoue
Yoshio Inoue is a well-known Japanese actor who has been featured in musicals, stages, movies and television series. He made his musical theatrical debut in the musical, "Elisabeth" as the role of Rudolf in 2000 while he was still attending University. His stage presence and outstanding singing ability were highly acclaimed and he has appeared in many musicals and stages since then. He starred in "Suite Massacre"
in the leading role of Takiji Kobayashi. "Suite Massacre" was written by Hisashi Inoue, a leading Japanese playwright, and it became his posthumous work.
Inoue is also an active musician with several albums and concerts under his belt. He expanded his acting career into television and film in recent years, earning a high reputation as an actor. He has received The 63th Art Recommendation of Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science Rookie Award (theater department) and many others.
WOWOW is Japan's leading premium pay TV broadcaster with approximately 2.8 million subscribers and the first 24/7, 3 channel, full-HD broadcaster in Japan. With a focus on quality entertainment and exceptional customer service, WOWOW has seen nine years of continuous net growth in subscribers. As of July 2011, all of the company's subscribers are now on a digital subscription, which includes access to WOWOW's groundbreaking Members On Demand service.
Listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock exchange, WOWOW's subscription offering includes 3 premium Full-HD channels and a streaming service:
WOWOW Prime covers a wide range of genres, including 7 popular overseas TV drama series per week along with our original series, movies, and documentaries. WOWOW Prime is also the official channel for the live broadcasts of both the Oscars and the Grammy Awards in Japan.
WOWOW Live brings exclusive live broadcasts of the world's greatest sports events along with live concerts and stage performances. Sports featured on WOWOW Live include the NBA, La Liga Española, LPGA, and more. Additionally, WOWOW Live broadcasts all four tennis Grand Slam Championships including the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
WOWOW Cinema carries titles from major studios and a lineup of approximately 1400 movie titles from all over the world. WOWOW Cinema provides an experience to the world of cinema through a selective collection of movies.
WOWOW Members On Demand offers subscribers the ability to view our quality programming anywhere and anytime. The streaming service features live events and sports as well as popular series and movies
WOWOW aspires to become a channel where viewers can always encounter something they had never experienced, and by doing so transform the role of television from something that is viewed passively, to a place where new and exciting encounters can be expected.
About the Tony Awards
The 2017 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Robert E. Wankel is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theater Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chairman and Heather A. Hitchens is President.
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