JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN Closes at El Portal Theatre 9/25
Today is the last chance to catch the Los Angeles Premiere of the critically acclaimed new musical, JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN, starring Broadway veteran Mike Burstyn as Al Jolson. The show closes at the historic El Portal Theatre; 5269 Lankershim Bouelvard (at Weddington Street), North Hollywood, CA 91601 on Sunday, September 25, 2011.LA Weekly says: "Go! Burstyn captures Jolson's distinctively brassy voice and vocal mannerisms with almost phonographic accuracy...The show is slickly directed and choreographed by (Bill) Castellino on Timothy R. Mackabee's lavish, glitzy set, with with sharp musical direction by Christopher McGovern. There's clearly still a remarkable amount of affection for Jolson, even among the majority of audiences to young to have heard him in his heyday."
Back Stage raves: "Burstyn exudes warmth and humor, and he has a brassy singing voice suited to the material of the era. Three accomplished actor-singers (Jacqueline Bayne, Laura Hodos, and Wayne LeGette) join Burstyn...Christopher McGovern's musical direction and vocal arrangements are top notch...incorporating skillful renditions of a smashing array of song classics (‘Blue Skies,' ‘Swanee,' ‘April Showers') from the wonder years of show biz."
San Diego Jewish World writes: "Oh mammy, Burstyn does Jolson to a turn! JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN, which opened this week at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, was created and written by Burstyn and director/choreographer Bill Castellino, and for the more than 300 patrons who packed the main auditorium on opening night, it was, literally, a physical reincarnation. Burstyn has it all down pat: the mushy-mouthed Brooklynese, the bombastic presentation, the little toss of the head at the end of a song as he spreads his arms wide to accept the adulation of the crowd. But most of all, Burstyn has captured the voice. It's much more than an impersonation; if you listen with your eyes closed, it's absolutely the real thing."
Performances of the musical continue through this Sunday, September 25, 2011 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, CA, Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m., with matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35, $50 and $60. For tickets and further information please call the Box Office at 877-SEE-PLAY (877-733-7529) or buy online at www.ElPortalTheatre.com. Group Rates are available; please call to inquire. The view a clip from the show, please visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNbwTYq8_lk.
The new musical, which was co-written by the production's Director and Choreographer, Bill Castellino, along with Mike Burstyn, features a supporting cast including Jacqueline Bayne, Laura Hodos and Wayne LeGette, backed by six piece on stage live band helmed by Musical Director, Christopher McGovern. The show is produced by Dan Israely Productions, Dan Israely, Producer and Zahava Atzmon, Producer, with Kit Productions.
The musical's live on stage band consists of: Marissa Benedict, Trumpet; Michael Benedict, Woodwinds; Charlie Morilles, Trombone; Glen Ochenkoski, Drums; Ernie Nunez, Bass and Christopher McGovern, Piano, Music Director and Vocal Arranger. Other Production Personnel include: Timothy R. Macabee, Scenic Designer; Christopher Ash, Projection Designer; M. Shan Jensen, Costume Designer; Gerard Kelly, Wig Designer; David Siegel, Orchestrator; Michael White, Production Stage Manager; Joseph Shannon, Assistant Stage Manager and Steve Moyer Public Relations, Press Representative.JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN is a recreation of Al Jolson's famous Sunday concerts at the noted New York Broadway theatre, the Winter Garden. The musical includes crowd-pleasing songs popularized by Al Jolson like: "Swanee," "My Mammy," "For Me and My Gal," "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody," "Toot Toot Tootsie," "Sonny Boy" and "Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be in Carolina," to name a few. Mike Burstyn starred in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of "Barnum." He has won two Israeli "Oscars," two New York Drama Desk Award nominations and two New York Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. He has also appeared in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway productions of "Lansky," "The Rothschilds" and "On Second Avenue." Burstyn was born in New York to a famed family of Yiddish-language actors, the late Pesach Burstein and Lillian Lux. He first walked on stage at the age of three and has since enjoyed a unique international career entertaining audiences on stage, screen and television, in nightclubs and on concert stages throughout the world.
The musical, JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN, received its World Premiere production to rave reviews at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, FL in February and March of 2011 under the leadership of Andrew Kato, Artistic Director and Tricia Trimble, Managing Director. The original cast included: Mike Burstyn, Jacqueline Bayne, Laura Hodos and Wayne LeGette under the direction of Bill Castellino.