URBAN STAGES Announces 20 Shows & 100-Plus Broadway and Cabaret Stars for 12-Day WINTER RHYTHMS 2015, December, 2-13

Urban Stages (Frances Hill, Founding Artistic Director, Peter Napolitano, Producer/Director of Musical Programming) today announced the line-up for this year's Award-Winning Musical event WINTER RHYTHMS 2015, which will begin Wednesday, December 2 and will feature some of New York's best musical performances through December 13, 2015 at Urban Stages Theatre (259 West 30th Street, just East of 8th Avenue). Tickets are $25 per show and may be purchased by visiting urbanstages.org or by calling (866) 811-4111. For complete schedule information, visit urbanstages.org.

WINTER RHYTHMS 2015 marks the seventh year that Urban Stages has brought noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. The mission of Winter Rhythms is to bring the talents of known and unknown singers, musicians, lyricists and composers to the attention of the New York Theater community while performing at Urban Stages Theater. Winner of the 2015 Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award, WINTER RHYTHMS benefits Urban Stages' acclaimed Outreach Program, which brings more than 200 free "arts in education" presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs. This year's event features 20 shows and more than 100 artists.

The Winter Rhythms 2015 20-Show Program Schedule:
Artists, programming and schedule subject to change

Wednesday, December 2

7PM Any Wednesday Sings Again

An all-star reunion of performers from the popular CD release concert series held at the former Lincoln Center locations of Tower Records and Barnes & Noble. Featuring KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar, Natalie Douglas, Barbara Fasano & Eric Comstock, Cynthia Crane, Gary Crawford, Karen Oberlin, Daryl Sherman, Julian Yeo and special surprise guests! Hosted and produced by Bart Greenberg. A champagne reception with the artists follows.

Thursday, December 3

7PM Marissa Mulder and Bill Zeffiro (photo left) in Unconventional

This pair of MAC Award-winning artists reprise their acclaimed program of beloved standards, contemporary classics-to-be and special material by Zeffiro, including a sneak preview of their upcoming tribute to music from the films of Woody Allen. Directed by Peter Napolitano.

9PM Tim Connell in Here's the Thing

This talented and affable Broadway veteran and cabaret artist shares songs and stories about the diversity of life's moments, including material by Dan Fogelberg, The Carpenters, Stephen Sondheim and more. Directed by Steven Petrillo. Musical Director: James Followell.

Friday, December 4

7PM UNTIL NOW...The Songs of Ron Abel & Chuck Steffan

A bevy of dynamic singers including Broadway/Theatre/Cabaret veterans Raissa Katona Bennett (Phantom, CATS, Parade), KLea Blackhurst (Oil City Symphony, Gypsy, Hazel) and Andrea Frierson (Once on This Island, Lion King, Marie Christine) will be presenting an evening of Abel/Steffan songs including highlights from their new musical, Hazel, which will open at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago this Spring on its path to Broadway.

9:30PM ZaZa Peaks and her Holiday Balls...um Bells or A Holiday Drag Spectacular!

Joseph Macchia, producer of NYC's Next Top Drag Queen Competition and Tom Gamblin, host of Metrostar Talent Challenge, join forces to present an all live-singing drag extravaganza! With ZaZa Peaks, Rev. Yolanda, Louvel, Strawberry Fields, Witty Repartee, Ruby Powers and Nomi SAS. Musical Director: Tracy Stark.

Saturday, December 5

3PM Sue Matsuki's Two Are Better Than One: An Evening of Famous, Historical Duets!

A stellar cast of over 30 of New York's award-winning singers including Danny Bacher, Edd Clark, Rich Flanders, Ann Tarpey Flanders, Dana Lorge, Julie Reyburn, Susan Winter, Warren Schein, etc., pairing up to perform legendary duets from Broadway, pop, jazz, and more. Hosted and Produced by Sue Matsuki.

7PM Lennie Watts' ROCKARRANGE: Paying Tribute to the Top 20 Groups of All Time

Great classic rock tunes, given a new point of view and a fresh arrangment. From The Supremes to Metallica, you'll be hearing your favorite songs in a whole new way, performed by Natasha Castillo, Tommy J. Dose, Karen Mack, Wendy Russell, Jim Speake and more. Hosted, directed and conceived by Lennie Watts. Musical Directors: Ted Stafford & Steven Ray Watkins.

Sunday, December 6

3PM New and Noteworthy Today

Excerpts from new American Musicals by award-winning writers including a one woman portrait of famed singer Mabel Mercer, written and performed by Tony Award winner Trezana Beverley (For Colored Girls...).

7PM New and Noteworthy Tonight

Exciting, emerging musical theatre writers and their favorite performers in an eclectic mix of new work.

Monday, December 7

7PM That Way In Concert

Songs from a new musical by Peter Napolitano and Barry Levitt about a gay man's experiences spanning fifty years, from the silence in the sixties to the progress towards acceptance in the present. The cast includes Adam B. Shapiro, Brian Charles Rooney and Janice Hall. And there's a party afterwards to celebrate Peter's 60th Birthday!

Tuesday, December 8

7PM The Best of Ricky Ritzel's Broadway

Sidney Myer, Alison Nusbaum, Aaron Morishita, Tommy J. Dose, Barb Malley, Christina Aranda, Michelle Dowdy, Bob Diamond, Jon Satrom and more perform highlights of the acclaimed series produced and hosted by Ricky Ritzel (photo left) featuring songs from both classic hits like Hello, Dolly! and cult favorites like 70 Girls 70. Ritzel photo by Maryann Lopinto.

9PM Dawn Derow in Songs for a Winter's Night

A world premiere of a seasonal themed show featuring both the classical and contemporary talents of the award-winning cabaret artist. Directed by Lina Koutrakos. Musical Director: Mark Janas.

Thursday, December 10

7PM A Charles Dickens Christmas

This one-hour musical follows Charles as he struggles to provide his publisher with a Christmas story he promised to write. With the aid of his artistic muse, Dickens faces and comes to terms with his own troubled youth in this highly original take on A Christmas Carol. The cast includes Ryan Silverman (Passion) as Charles, Tony Sheldon (Tony nominee for Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as John Dickens and Nancy Anderson (Yank!) as Elizabeth Dickens. Music by Douglas J. Cohen, Lyrics by Tom Toce, Book by Robert Owens Scott, Directed by Don Stephenson. Musical Director: Lawrence Yurman.

9PM Minda Larsen in Johnny Mercer: Trav'lin' Light

The winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Room Metrostar Talent Challenge performs a personal tribute to one of the great American songwriters, focusing on his (and her) Southern roots. Directed by Peter Napolitano. Musical Director: Neal Kirkwood.

Friday, December 11

7PM The Lovers, The Dreamers and Jim

Returning by popular demand from last year's series, this musical celebration of the life and creations of the late, great Jim Henson is hosted by Adam B. Shapiro, featuring a fantastic lineup of singers, including Broadway's Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Rebecca Larkin (South Pacific), Brian Charles Rooney (Threepenny Opera), and many more!

9PM Somewhere in This Song: The Music and Lyrics of Nicholas Levin

The acclaimed revue written by the six-time MAC Award nominee that Roy Sander of Bistroawards.com called "An exceptional presentation of the work of an exceptional songwriter!" Starring Mick Bleyer, Kristin Maloney, Marissa Mulder and Adam B. Shapiro. Directed by Peter Napolitano. Musical Director: Matthew Martin Ward.

Saturday, December 12

3PM A Charles Dickens Christmas (see Dec. 10, 7PM)

7PM Happy Birthday, Ol' Blue Eyes: The Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration

Outstanding performers from Broadway, jazz and cabaret including: Robert Cuccioli (photo left, Tony nominee for Jekyll & Hyde), Tony Babino, Alexis Cole, Eric Yves Garcia, Marcus Goldhaber, Kristoffer Lowe, Marissa Mulder, Warren Schein and Bill Zeffiro join host/producer Stephen Hanks (Proudcer of Cabaret Life Productions and BroadwayWorld.com New York Cabaret Editor) to pay tribute to the "Chairman of the Board" on the 100th anniversary of his birth! Musical Director: Jon Weber.

Sunday, December 13

2PM The Algonquin Kid

Songs, stories, and priceless projections based on the popular new book about the history of the Algonquin Hotel and how Michael Elihu Colby grew up there, a real-life counterpart to Eloise of the Plaza. Hosted by MIchael with a stellar cast including Robert Creighton (Cagney, Edwin Drood), Natalie Douglas, Leah Hocking (The Last Ship, Billy Elliot) and Martin Vidnovic (Baby, Guys and Dolls). Musical Director: Bill Zeffiro.

7PM From All of Us to All of You: Seasonal Songs and Disney, Too.

Our traditional closing holiday show with a Disney twist. Cast includes Savannah & Chase, Nina Hennessy, Deb Berman, Daryl Glenn, Janice Hall, Kathleen France, Kleban Award winner Beth Falcone, Ritt Henn, Helena Grenot, Charlotte Patton, Jamie Hartman, Elli King of Broadway, Warren Schein and more. Hosted by Adam B. Shapiro. Musical Director: Barry Levitt. A champagne reception with the artists follows.


This Award-Winning, not-for-profit Off-Broadway Theatre Company was founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill (in photo right with Producer/Director Musical Programming Peter Napolitano). For more than 30 years, Urban Stages have produced dozens of world, American, and NYC premieres, including the currently running Unseamly by Oren Safdie (NY Times Critics' Pick) and the Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis. Urban Stages has been honored with awards, nominations and recognition from the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle and more. The world premiere of the musical Langston In Harlem by Walter Marks (music and book) and Kent Gash (book and direction) garnered a Drama Desk Nomination, a Joe A. Calloway award and four Audelco awards including Best Musical Production of 2010. More recently, the 2014 spring premiere of Jim Brochu's Character Man was nominated for a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle award for Best Solo Performance.

After production, most plays move on to larger venues. Men On The Verge Of A Hispanic Breakdown by Guillermo Reyes and Minor Demons by Bruce Graham both moved to commercial theatres. Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). Honky (2013) by Greg Kalleres saw a regional run at San Diego Rep. My Occasion Of Sin (2012) by Monica Bauers won critical acclaim when it moved to Detroit Rep. Bill Bowers has toured the United States and the world with his two Urban Stages premieres blending mime and theatre--Beyond Words (2012) and Under A Montana Moon (2002). Some Urban Stages premieres have even been developed into film and television projects such as Scar by Murray Mednick, Conversations With The Goddesses by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary by Alexandra Viets.

For more information, go to: www.urbanstages.org

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From This Author Stephen Hanks