Lorna Luft Joins All-Star Lineup for NY Pops Celebration of Judy Garland, 3/11
Fifty years after her legendary Carnegie Hall debut, The New York Pops and Music Director Steven Reineke pay tribute to Hollywood icon Judy Garland on Friday, March 11 at 8:00 PM, with a song-for-song re-creation of the 1961 performance referred to by so many as "the greatest night in show business history". Reineke has announced the newest addition to the concert's lineup of stunning artists, acclaimed entertainer - and daughter of Judy Garland - Lorna Luft. Ms. Luft will take the stage of Carnegie Hall as a Special Guest Star alongside the previously announced trio of Broadway luminaries - Mary Poppins star Ashley Brown, Grammy Award-winner Heather Headley and West Side Story's Karen Olivo - in this vibrant revival of the historic concert, which features signature Garland favorites such as "Over the Rainbow", "The Trolley Song", "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "The Man That Got Away".
"I'm thrilled to recreate this iconic concert back here in Carnegie Hall," said Reineke."To perform the original arrangements of these timeless classics is a dream come true. Even more, I'm excited to be working with four of the industry's finest leading ladies!"
Judy Garland attained international stardom as a master of every venue of show business: film, television, recordings, radio, the concert stage, and even vaudeville. A Grammy, Golden Globe, Tony, and Academy Award-winning artist, Garland was signed to MGM as a teenager - she would go on to star in 30 films with the studio, including the film with which she would be most identified, The Wizard of Oz. After her release from the studio, Garland gained renewed success through a well-regarded but short-lived television series, multiple concert appearances, and a return to the silver screen with critically acclaimed performances in A Star Is Born and Judgment at Nuremberg.
In 1959, Garland was hospitalized with Hepatitis, and told by doctors that she would never be able to perform again. Yet against all odds, Garland came back stronger than ever, and the 1961 Carnegie Hall concert was described by The New York Times as "a tour de force for Garland", as it marked her remarkable comeback to show business - "(The concert) turned into something not too remote from a revival meeting" ... "the star-studded, wildly applauding crowd was in a transport of ecstasy". The performance became known to the world through the chart-topping live recording Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, which was certified gold, charting for 95 weeks on Billboard, including 13 weeks at number one. The album won an unprecedented five Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Female Vocal of the Year, and has never been out of print.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Lorna Luft, born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, is a celebrated live performer, stage, film and television actress, best-selling author, recording artist and Emmy nominated producer. At age 11, she made her television debut singing on her mother's series, The Judy Garland Show, and since then has had starring roles in both television and film. Most recently, Ms. Luft joined Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho as part of the talented voice cast of Logo Network's animated series Rick & Steve.
Ms. Luft is no stranger to the stage and has enjoyed numerous successes across the globe, including Broadway and the West End. She starred in the 2006 blockbuster UK premiere production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas: The Musical, and the 2007 hit revival of Rodgers and Hart's Babes in Arms at the prestigious Chichester Festival Theatre. Lorna reprised her role in White Christmas: The Musical for the 2007 winter season.
Concurrent with her theatrical career, Lorna is a gifted live performer frequently featured as a concert artist at the world's most prestigious venues including: The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, The London Palladium, and L'Olympia in Paris. One of her most ambitious projects to date is the highly acclaimed multi-media production Songs My Mother Taught Me--A Celebration of the Music of Judy Garland. This theatrical extravaganza melds one of the world‘s most familiar songbooks with personal memories of a loving daughter. Songs My Mother Taught Me, which Variety called "a rousing, dramatically riveting musical event," was awarded two L.A. Theatre Alliance Ovation Awards (Best World Premiere Musical & Best Musical Direction.) The L.A. Times called her performance "heart-stopping and thrilling... an incandescent revelation not to be missed." A CD based on the concert, produced by Barry Manilow and Colin R. Freeman, was released on October 22, 2007 from First Night Records.
Ashley Brown will be back on Broadway in March reprising her title role in Mary Poppins for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the show's national tour, for which she garnered a 2010 Garland award for "Best Performance in a Musical". Ms. Brown's other Broadway credits include Belle in The Beauty and The Beast, and she has starred in the national tour of Disney's "On The Record". Ms. Brown recently starred at the La Jolla Playhouse in a production of "Limelight" based on the life of Charlie Chaplin. Ms. Brown has performed with many orchestras including the Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Disney Hall, The Pittsburgh Symphony, twice with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the BBC orchestra opposite Josh Groban. Future projects include a PBS special to be released nationwide June 2011, and a solo concert at the Kennedy Center as part of Barbara Cook's Spotlight series. Ms. Brown also recently made her cabaret debut to great acclaim at the renowned Feinstein's at the Regency in New York City. Ms. Brown's long awaited debut album of American Songbook standards was recently released nationwide on Ghostlight/Sony.
Heather Headley is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning artist who stole the national spotlight in 1997 when she originated the role of Nala in the Broadway adaptation of The Lion King. Headley's performance was highly lauded, and soon after, she originated the title role in the Broadway production of Aida, earning the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress. In 1999, she appeared in the Encores! production of Do Re Mi, with Nathan Lane, Randy Graff, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. She also starred in a concert version of Dreamgirls alongside fellow Tony Award winners Audra McDonald and Lillias White.
In 2006, Headley sang "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", from the 1968 musical Promises, Promises for "The Kennedy Center Presents: The 2006 Mark Twain Prize," honoring playwright Neil Simon, an event which was broadcast on PBS. She has also performed on tour with Andrea Bocelli, and in the Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial with Josh Groban. Headley received a Grammy nod in 2002 for her debut album, This Is Who I Am (RCA), and her second album In My Mind was released in 2006. In 2010, Heather won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album for Audience of One (EMI).
Karen Olivo recently starred as Anita in the acclaimed Broadway revival of West Side Story, directed by Arthur Laurents, a role which garnered her the 2009 Tony Award, as well as nominations from Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle. Olivo originated the role of Vanessa in both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of the 2008 Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights. Furthermore, Olivo joined Lin-Manuel Miranda and the rest of the multi-ethnic cast in In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams, a televised documentary highlighting their road to the New York stage. Olivo made her Broadway debut as Mimi in Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning musical, Rent, a role she also performed in the first touring production of the show. In 2004, she originated the role of Faith in the Broadway production of Brooklyn The Musical, directed by Jeff Calhoun. Olivo has also been a recipient of the Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer on Broadway. Additional theatre credits include the Off-Broadway production of The Miracle Brothers, The Public Theatre's 40th Anniversary concert production of Hair, and The Ford Theatre's production of Children of Eden. Olivo will soon be seen opposite Keanu Reeves in the Mark Mann film Generation Um, scheduled to hit theaters in 2012. Among Olivo's television credits include guest-starring roles in "Criminal Minds," "Chase," "The Good Wife," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Conviction," "Law & Order," and "All My Children."
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of the venue's highest subscription renewal rates of any series. The New York Pops was founded by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich musical heritage. Along with performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks. The orchestra's media projects include performing for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC, nationwide radio broadcasts, and numerous recordings. The orchestra's extensive education programs allow thousands of public schoolchildren to participate in concert and music-making experiences at Carnegie Hall and in schools throughout New York City's five boroughs.
Steven Reineke's boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation's most sought-after pops conductors, composers and arrangers. In 2010-2011, he began his second season as Music Director of The New York Pops. In addition to conducting the orchestra's annual Carnegie Hall concert series, Reineke leads concert tours, recordings and nationwide telecasts, including the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks on NBC. Reineke also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, where for fifteen years he served as a composer, arranger and conducting protégé of the late celebrated conductor Erich Kunzel. Steven Reineke's notable guest conducting appearances include the National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra and his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 2007. Mr. Reineke is also an established symphonic composer, with his works most recently performed by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
TICKETS Single tickets are priced from $33 to $106. Subscriptions to the 2010-2011 Carnegie Hall series are also available, at $145, $165, $210, $350, $460 and $510. Purchases can be made at the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street and 7th Avenue) or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. Visit www.carnegiehall.org for more information.