Anika Noni Rose and Gay Marshall Featured In GIFT OF LIGHT 10/28
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. announced today that in celebration of the Statue of Liberty's upcoming 125th Anniversary on October 28th, Macy's has committed the proceeds from the sale of its newly recorded song "Gift of Light" to benefit the Foundation's non-profit mission for projects at Liberty and Ellis Islands, working in partnership with the National Park Service.
With music by Grammy- winning composer Doug Katsaros and words by Emmy-winning lyricist William Schermerhorn, "Gift of Light" was first recorded by Ann Hampton Callaway and The Broadway Inspirational Voices as a highlight of the 2004 Macy's 4th of July Fireworks score.
In honor of the anniversary of Lady Liberty's dedication 125 years ago in 1886, the song has been expanded and recorded specifically as a special feature of the musical accompaniment for the Macy's Fireworks display which will be the grand finale of the upcoming October 28th festivities on Liberty Island.
This new version, in English and French, celebrates the Statue as a gift of friendship from France to America, and features Tony Award winning actress Anika Noni Rose and cabaret artist Gay Marshall, currently on the road with the Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles.
The "Gift of Light" single is available on iTunes with proceeds to benefit The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
For more information on the work of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, please visit www.ellisisland.org.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy's stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments, including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Composer, arranger, keyboardist and vocalist Doug Katsaros has worked on recordings with a variety of performers such as Elton John, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, Kiss, and Cher. In musical theater, Katsaros has composed for numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including Rockabye Hamlet, The Life, Hair, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Footloose, Laughing Room Only, Altar Boyz, A...My Name Is Alice, Hal Prince's Diamonds, Abie's Island Rose, Just So, and The Toxic Avenger among others. He is currently in pre-production for his opera Moby Dick, and his musical about the Orphan Train will soon tour under the direction of Patricia Birch.
Katsaros has provided original music for the feature films If Lucy Fell (Sarah Jessica Parker, Elle McPherson) Me And The Mob (Sandra Bullock, Steve Buscemi), and the science fiction classic Star Crystal, as well as TV programs "The Jim Henson Hour", "Mancuso FBI", and the animated series "The Tick". He's conducted "Great Performances" on PBS, and written special material for the Tony Awards. His latest score for HBO is entitled "The Collector".
Katsaros' many projects have garnered Emmy and Drama Desk nominations, and a Grammy Award. He has been commissioned to write music for Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade® on NBC, Universal Studios Orlando, the Ringling Brothers Circus, the Seville Worlds Fair, and much more. Among his jingles for numerous advertising campaigns, Katsaros wrote "By Mennen!" (www.themusicofyourdreams.com)
As VP/Creative Director of Macy's Parade & Entertainment Group, William Schermerhorn is the leader of the creative team responsible for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and other extravaganzas for "America's Department Store." He won an Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song" in 2011 for "Yes, Virginia (There's A Santa Claus)". He received an "Outstanding Original Song" Daytime Emmy nomination in 2009 for the Christmas song "I Believe," and in the same year celebrated the Carnegie Hall debut of his American River Suite, a five-piece musical tone poem written with composer Stephen Flaherty. Schermerhorn has also written original material for performers as diverse as Julie Andrews, Harvey Fierstein, Walter Cronkite, Deborah Voigt and the Clique Girlz, and his songs have been performed at Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub, Feinstein's, Universal Studios Orlando, Walt Disney World's EPCOT, Boston Common and in London's West End. He was born on the 4th of July.
From Broadway to the silver screen, Anika Noni Rose has shown her range as both an entertainer and a performer. Most recently, Anika was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture" for her potrayal of ‘Yasmin' in Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls.
A Tony Award winner, Anika trained at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater. Shortly after moving to New York, she transitioned to the Broadway stage with a featured role in Footloose. She garnered an Obie Award with Laura Nyro's Off-Broadway retrospective Eli's Comin'. Anika also earned a Lucille Lortel award for her portrayal of ‘Emmie Thibodeaux' in Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change, which moved to Broadway from The Public Theater. For this, she also received a Tony Award, The Theater World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award, and a Drama Desk nomination. Anika continued with the play when it moved to the west coast where she won both The Los Angeles Critics' Circle Award and an Ovation Award.
Her next major film role was when Bill Condon chose her to play ‘Lorrell Robinson' in his production of Dreamgirls. The movie received an AFI ensemble award, as well as a SAG award nomination. Anika herself received a nomination for an NAACP award and both the soundtrack and the song "Patience" were nominated for Oscars. She recently filmed "Have a Little Faith" with Oscar winner Martin Landau, Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne and Emmy winner Bradley Whitford and "Bag of Bones" with Pierce Brosnan in the fall.
Anika made her first trip to Africa to portray secretary ‘Mma. Makutsi' in Anthony Minghella's adaptation of the popular series of books, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Shot entirely on location in Botswana, it aired on both HBO and the BBC. It also received the prestigious Peabody Award in 2010. Anika has also recently been seen as Assistant District Attorney ‘Wendy Scott-Carr', a surprise candidate running for office opposite Chris Noth's ‘Peter Florrick' on The Good Wife for CBS. She also recently filmed the season premiere of "Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit."
But perhaps Anika's most dynamic role has been her portrayal as the voice of ‘Princess Tiana' in Disney's The Princess & The Frog. A self motivated young woman with a big dream, Anika brings exactly that aspect of herself to the character of Tiana to create a completely new and special kind of Disney Princess, leading The Princess & The Frog to three Oscar nominations, including Best Animated feature and two Best Songs. On August 19, 2011, Anika was named Disney Legend for her extraordinary and integral contributions to the Walt Disney Company.
Anika has since revisited her stage roots on Broadway, starring as ‘Maggie' in Deborah Allen's acclaimed production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Anika has sung all over the world, including the Vatican, Carnegie Hall, and at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. In early 2011, she made her solo cabaret debut in NY as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series. Closely followed by a solo concert at the Fairmont Hotel's legendary Venetian Room in San Francisco, CA.
In addition, Anika Noni Rose, alongside Orlando Bloom and Malcolm McDowell, has given the works of William Shakespeare a new spin in Los Angeles, joining conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a new classical experience of 'The Bard'. The three movie stars recited selections from Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet and The Tempest, as Dudamel and his orchestra performed pieces from Tchaikovsky, inspired by the plays.
Anika also starred in a semi staged production of Stephen Sondheim's "Company" with the New York Philharmonic. Joining her in these performances was Emmy Award nominee Christina Hendricks, star of "Two and Half Men" Jon Cryer, Patti LuPone and Neil Patrick Harris. The performances ran from April 7th through April 9, 2011.
Anika is the proud recipient of an honorary PhD. from Florida A&M University.
Gay Marshall is from Cleveland where she began doing shows at the age of 9 wherever she could. Her love of theater sent her to the Interlochen Arts Academy for high school, then on to England to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for two glorious years of acting training in modern, classical and Shakespearian theatre. After returning to the States, however, and upon discovering both Edith Piaf and Dixieland Blues, she began singing in clubs in Cleveland five nights a week and obsessively attending ballet classes during the day ‘til the Cleveland Playhouse called with an offer of a real job in the professional theater. A Chorus Line came through town and offered her the role of Maggie, which eventually led to her Broadway debut as DiAna Morales in that show singing "What I Did For Love".
Meanwhile, Gay's love of Edith Piaf's repertoire inspired her to write a one woman show about the French singer which she performed in Cleveland, Dayton and The Missouri Rep in Kansas City. Singing all that French ignited a desire to go to Paris where she quite unexpectedly ended up falling in love and living and working in French and English in theatre, television, concerts and recording studios. You can find her singing "Memory" on the French cast recording of Cats.
Gay then wrote a one woman musical based on the experience of being an American actress in Paris called If I Were Me, which received raves at the Edinburgh Festival and named by the Daily Express as the No. 2 show on the Fringe. Director Gordon Greenberg saw it and brought her to New York to do The Baker's Wife, working with Stephen Schwartz and Joe Stein; he then hired her for a production of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well... which resulted in a year-long run Off Broadway, a cast album and finally the opportunity to record a CD of her treasured Piaf repertoire: "Gay Marshall Sings Piaf: La Vie l'Amour". After a wonderful interview on NPR with Scott Simon, Gay turned up on Billboard's World Music Chart at #12 as a "hot-shot debut", while playing the Metropolitan Room, Joe's Pub, and Feinstein's at Loews Regency in New York City.
At the moment Gay is the road with the Broadway production of La Cage Aux Folles with George Hamilton and Chris Siebert, and she's looking forward to her new CD release in November of 20's and 30's New Orleans Blues called "Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night". Gay's website will give you links to videos, audio tracks, and how to buy her CD's from CDBaby.com - just go to www.gaymarshall.com.