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Tony Plana & Ada Maris to Perform Music of Paul Cozby at Laurie Beechman Theatre, 1/27


Award-winning Broadway, film and TV actor Tony Plana (Ugly Betty) and actor-singer-comedian Ada Maris are among singers slated to perform the songs of writer/composer Paul Cozby Monday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Lone Star Theatre Co. presents the evening in its "Texas Music/New York Stages" series-Only Humans Like My Music-The Songs of Paul Cozby.

Proceeds of the evening benefit the New York-based company, now in its second season, and additional singers will be announced in the New Year.

"Paul's music runs from comedic show tunes to stirring anthems to moving ballads-even a hard-driving country song or two," said Lone Star's Artistic Director David Davila. "But they all share those essential qualities of melodies that stick and lyrics that engage. We're thrilled to bring Paul's work to a wider audience."

Directed by Dennis Courtney with music direction by Laura Bergquist, Only Humans Like My Music features songs from four musicals in development-Babes at Sea, Cyranose! and Panther City, for which Cozby wrote book, music and lyrics, and Fictitious, written with Tom Hyndman. The night also features some of Cozby's trunk songs.

Lone Star Theatre Co. brings "Texas Pages and Music to New York Stages" in productions with a Texas connection. Lone Star's managing director is Vanessa Garcia and marketing director is Benjamin Wright.

A native Texan, Cozby is a New York-based, award-winning playwright and musical theater writer. His works received first commercial productions in Texas and have been performed in Europe, California and New York.

A veteran of more than 70 films and numerous plays and musicals, Tony Plana is known worldwide for his award-winning performance as Ignacio Suarez, the widowed father to America Ferrera's Ugly Betty, in ABC's landmark series. Tony is an accomplished director and producer as well, and currently is in rehearsals for Second Stage's New York premiere of The Happiest Song Plays Last by Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegria Hudes. Plana appeared on Broadway in The Boys of Winter and Zoot Suit. He is a tireless advocate for arts education and the development of young artists, particular in the Latino community.

Actor, singer and comedian Ada Maris has starred in film, TV and on stage. Recently seen in the NBC series Deception, Maris starred in Nickelodeon's ground-breaking series The Brothers Garcia. She and Plana (husband and wife since 1988) will perform a duet of Cozby's.

Dennis Courtney staged a re-envisioned production of Fiddler On The Roof (currently in its sixth year in Tel Aviv) for which he won the Israeli National Theatre Award, their Tony award. He recently directed the New York workshop premiere of Hurricane Ethel, a show he wrote about the life, times and music of legendary Ethel Waters. He also directed the off-Broadway premiere of Civil War Voices (six Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards) as well as the New York reading of Cozby's Babes At Sea. He has been the director/choreographer of over 150 stage productions including Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby (Los Angeles Drama Critics and DramaLogue Awards for Direction and Choreography) among many other productions, special events and award shows. His performing career includes Broadway, TV, concerts and regional theater.

Laura Bergquist is the musical director and conductor on Allegiance (Jay Kuo and Marc Acito), Daddy Long Legs (Paul Gordon and John Caird) and Jane Austen's Emma (Paul Gordon) all anticipating futures on Broadway. She has conducted national tours of The King and I, Titanic and Miss Saigon, has a large coaching studio in New York and is an ASCAP member and awards recipient for composition.

Only Humans Like My Music will benefit Lone Star Theatre Co. Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 in advance, available through Lone Star Theatre donors (Citizens of Lone Star) can receive free admission. See for details. The Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café is at 407 W. 42nd Street, just west of 9th Avenue. There is a $15 per person food or drink minimum.

Photo by Walter McBride

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