Adrian Marchuk's THE SWEETEST SOUNDS Comes to Birdland Tonight
Journey through the last one hundred years of musical theatre through the lives and music of Richard Rodgers (Oklahoma, The Sound of Music), his daughter Mary Rodgers (Once Upon A Mattress) and his grandson Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza) in The Sweetest Sounds: A Century of Song from Rodgers to Guettell, a musical retrospective of one of Broadway's most important and enduring musical families. Conceived and written by Adrian Marchuk, the show will be presented for one exclusive performance at Birdland Jazz Club (315 West 44th Street- between 8th & 9th Avenues) tonight, February 3 at 5:00 p.m. (Doors open at 4:30). Tickets are $30 (with a $10 food/drink minimum). For reservations, visit www.birdlandjazz.com.
The all-Canadian cast includes Adrian Marchuk (Jersey Boys - Frankie Valli - Toronto, Las Vegas), Sara Farb (Next To Normal - Toronto, Calgary), Jeigh Madjus (La Cage - 1st National Tour), Samantha Hill (Phantom of the Opera - Christine Daae - Broadway - current) and David Atkinson (Musical Director/Arranger).
" I began working on the project at the end of 2009 while playing Frankie Valli in the Toronto production of Jersey Boys" explains Mr. Marchuk. "I had been approached by a local theatre company, Acting Up Stage (Caroline, Or Change, Elegies, A New Brain, Falsettos), to perform at a cabaret series during their run of The Light in the Piazza. I came up with the idea of telling the unique story of Richard Rodgers and his family - the only family to have three generations of award-winning Broadway composers. I collaborated with pianist David Atkinson and we began weaving together the stories and songs from the beginning of Rodgers' career with Larry Hart in 1925 to the most recent Tony-Award winning success by his grandson, Adam Guettel, in 2006. We brought on three more singers to help bring to life just a few dozen of the over 1000 songs composed by the Rodgers family. The show was performed under the title Words & Music for one night only at a 200-seat theatre in downtown Toronto. The response from the audience was electrifying, and I was immediately approached about a remount. Although my commitments to Jersey Boys kept me busy for the next year, the show was produced in late 2010 with its new title where it received a standing ovation and cheers from a rapturous audience of 400 at the Toronto Centre For The Arts. Since then, the show has been produced multiple times in Canada and I am now thrilled to be able to bring the show to New York's historic Birdland Jazz Club which just happens to be ten blocks from where Rodgers & Hart's first hit song, 'Manhattan', was first performed."
Adrian Marchuk (Author/Performer) was most recently seen as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys (Toronto, Las Vegas), as Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza (Vancouver), and Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine in Next To Normal (Toronto). Regional theatre includes Bat Boy (Edgar), Joseph and...Dreamcoat (Joseph), Much Ado About Nothing (Claudio), Hello Again (The Soldier), Lend Me A Tenor (Max), and the Ontario Tour of Anne & Gilbert (Gilbert). Adrian wrote and developed The Sweetest Sounds in 2009 with pianist David Atkinson, and is beyond excited to bring it to New York.
Sara Farb (Performer) was most recently seen playing Natalie in Next to Normal at Theatre Calgary and the Citadel Theatre in Alberta, Canada, as well as in Toronto at the Tarragon Theatre. Past credits include Adele in The Passion of Adele Hugo (Eastern Front Theatre, Robert Merritt award nominee for outstanding lead actress), Songs for a New World, Scrooge (Rose Theatre),The Sisters Rosensweig (Harold Green Jewish Theatre), Edges: A Song Cycle (Acting Up Stage), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Canadian Stage), Jane Eyre, and Oliver! (MirvishProductions). Sara will be making her Stratford Festival debut this year as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, starring Brian Bedford as Shylock. Sara loves New York, and getting to sing these songs in this city at this venue makes her really happy. Huge thanks to Adrian for making this happen.
Samantha Hill (Performer) is proudly from Winnipeg, Canada, and is currently the alternate for Christine Daae in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera. In Canada, Samantha has performed in regional premieres of August: Osage County (Jean), The Light in the Piazza (Clara), Spring Awakening (Wendla), Nine (Carla) and Cats (Rumpleteaser). Other shows include Annie (Lily St. Regis), Chicago (Hunyak), and Beauty and the Beast (Belle). Samantha received an Ovation Award nomination for her work in The Light in the Piazza in Vancouver, Canada. She completed her BFA in Acting at the University of Alberta and also has a BA in Theatre from the University of Winnipeg. www.samanthahill.ca.
Jeigh Madjus (Performer) was born and raised in Toronto. Theatre credits: Jacob in La Cage aux Folles (1st National Broadway tour), Lola in Prison Dancer: The Musical (NYMF Outstanding Individual Performance Award), Chip Tolentino in Spelling Bee (STC), Mark in Altar Boyz (Angelwalk Theatre - Dora nominated) and Man 3 in Myths and Hymns (TIFT). Film/TV: Servitude, Prison Dancer: The Web Series. Jeigh is so excited to be continuing on this journey with The Sweetest Sounds. Thanks to Adrian and the amazing cast, and most importantly his friends and loving and supportive family. www.jeighmadjus.com.
David Atkinson (Musical Director/Arranger) has free-lanced everywhere from orchestra pits (Jersey Boys, Wicked) to Roy Thomson Hall (Canadian Tenors), in a range of styles including blues (Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth), modern jazz (The Thing Is), and world music (Os Tropies). In 2008, David joined the silent film-inspired Keystone Theatre as music director, with whom he received the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Sound Design/Composition for his work on their first play "The Belle of Winnipeg". More recently, David appeared in Elton John's ensemble at this year's Fashion Cares benefit, as well as CBC Television's "Over The Rainbow" where he acted as Assistant Music Director.