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'Tribute to Sammy Cahn' at Wilshire 9/21

The Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, 8440 Wilshire Boulevard; Beverly Hills, CA  90211, will open its doors to the general public on Sunday, September 21, 2008, after being closed for several months for completion of Phase I of the historic venue's Revitalization Project.  Corky Hale Productions will present a star-studded musical event, entitled, 'It's Magic! A Tribute to Sammy Cahn' celebrating the life and lyrics of one of Hollywood's greatest Academy Awardâ-winning songwriters.

The event will benefit the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills Revitalization Project. The stellar cast includes:  Sam Harris, Karen Morrow, Byron Motley, Judith Owen, Freda Payne, Harry Shearer and Steve Tyrell, with narration provided by Leonard Maltin.  Corky Hale will serve as Producer and Director, assisted by Les Traub as Associate Producer and Jeff Lass as Musical Director.  Tickets for the show are $35 each for General Admission.  A limited number of tickets at $125 each are available for V.I.P. Seating and a Post-Concert Reception with the Artists.  Tickets can be purchased through the Box Office by calling 323-655-0111. Box Office Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 Noon – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  For further information, please visit the website, www.wtbh.org.

The concert will serve as a celebration of the songs and life of the multiple Academy Award-winning lyricist, Sammy Cahn, and what would have been his 95th birthday year, as well as marking the 78th Anniversary of the opening of the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills.  'It's Magic! A Tribute to Sammy Cahn' will feature Sammy Cahn standards like:  "Three Coins in the Fountain," "All The Way," "High Hopes," "Call Me Irresponsible," "It's Magic," "Be My Love," "Because You're Mine," "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen," "Come Dance With Me," "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry," "Teach Me Tonight" and many more!!!

This will be one of the theatre's first major events open to the general public since the renovations began several months ago.  Phase I of the theatre's Revitalization Project has included refurbishing of the stage's proscenium, the installation of new Art Deco carpeting and plush new seats.
 
David Baron, president of the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, said: "The renovations for the theatre will roll out over the course of two to three years as part a $30 million campaign.  The renovations and modernizations to the theatre will include 5.1 Surround Sound, and making the facility digital. Our theatre was originally designed by legendary architect, S. Charles Lee.  The Revitalization Project is being overseen by Jeff Green of Evergreen Renovations, and Ed Kelsey, a Supervising Project Manager.  Our goal is to revitalize, modernize, preserve, restore and endow our magnificent venue."
 
Corky Hale (Producer/Director) In 2003, Hale produced her show, 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams', which broke box office records at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida.  In 2000 she was the associate producer of the hit show, 'Fully Committed,' which played at the Coronet Theatre in Hollywood.  She also produced three other hits – 1998's 'Lullaby Of Broadway' at the Tiffany Theatre in West Hollywood, voted one of the "10 Best Shows" of the year by the Los Angeles Times and a concert version of the show starring Sally Kellerman.  Hale also produced 'Give 'em Hell Harry,' starring Jason Alexander at the Tiffany Theatre in Los Angeles in 1992.  In addition to her producing career, Hale has also played harp for Liberace, Judy Collins and Frank Sinatra, piano for Billie Holiday and Mel Tormé, and has sung with the bands of Harry James, Ray Anthony and Jerry Gray.  She has performed at The White House with Tony Bennett, soloed with Barbra Streisand in Central Park and at the Hollywood Bowl and performed with Björk on her MTV Special in London.  Hale has also appeared with George Michael at London's Royal Albert Hall and RFK Stadium.  Her sold-out performances at the Oak Room at the Algonquin in New York, Davenport's in Chicago, the Cinegrill in Los Angeles, the Plush Room in San Francisco, and Pizza On The Park in London have led Los Angeles Times' jazz reviewer Don Heckman to observe that Hale is "more than a triple threat," and Philip Ellwood of the San Francisco Examiner noted her performance is "one of cyclonic proportions."  On November 22, 2007, Hale made her debut at Carnegie Hall as a Soloist with the New York Pops Orchestra, under the baton of Guest Conductor, Barry Levitt.  Hale resides in West Hollywood, CA with her husband Mike Stoller.  To learn more about Corky Hale, please visit the website, www.corkyhale.com.

Leonard Maltin (Narrator) is best known for his annual "Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide," which was first published in 1969.  It was joined by "Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide" in 2005.  Since 1982 Maltin has appeared on 'Entertainment Tonight.'  He currently hosts 'Secret's Out' on ReelzChannel and introduces movies on DirecTV Pay Per View.  For three years he co-hosted the movie review show 'Hot Ticket.' He teaches at the University of Southern California, and was a member of the faculty at the New School for Social Research in New York City.  To learn more about Leonard Maltin, please visit www.leonardmaltin.com.

Les Traub (Associate Producer; President of Cabaret West) Cabaret West was founded in 1995 by singer, CameRon Silver.  On October 8, 1995, Cabaret West produced their first show at Tom Rolla's Gardenia Restaurant and Lounge http://www.cabaretwest.org/gardenia.html  in West Hollywood, CA.  Heading the program were performers Billy Barnes, Claiborne Cary, Clay Crosby, Karen Morrow, Bruce Vilanch as Emcee and Wayland Pickard as Musical Director.  The show was a tremendous success with standing room only and confirmed the fact that there was indeed an audience for cabaret on the West Coast.  In November 1997, CameRon Silver handed over the administration of Cabaret West to then Treasurer Les Traub.  To learn more about Cabaret West, please visit the website, www.cabaretwest.org.

Sam Harris is currently releasing his 8th studio album entitled "Free" and preparing for his own network talk show.  His diversified career has run the gamut from singer and songwriter to actor on Broadway, film and television to writer, director and producer. Harris attracted a weekly audience of more than 25 million viewers as he went on to win 'Star Search' in its premiere season.  His debut album "Sam Harris" and the follow-up "Sam-I-Am" both sold over a million copies. "Standard Time" and "Different Stages" (produced and conducted by the legendary Peter Matz), have been listed on numerous "Top 100 Records of All Time" lists.  He has toured extensively in concert and has played to sold-out audiences at major venues including New York's Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheatre, London's West End and with The Boston Pops.  Harris has appeared at The White House, on numerous television specials and live productions, and as a guest on virtually every television talk show.  On Broadway, Harris received a Drama Desk nomination for his role in Tommy Tune's 'Grease' and a Drama-League Award, Tony Award Outer Critic's Circle and Drama Deskâ Award nominations for his work in Cy Coleman's 'The Life'.  He also appeared on Broadway in the Mel Brooks musical, 'The Producers' and in an extensive National Tour of Andrew Lloyd Weber's Broadway production of 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'.  To learn more about Sam Harris, please visit, www.samtube.com.
 
Jeff Lass (Musical Director) has worked as a Musical Director for Corky Hale, Sally Kellerman, Paul Williams, Lamont Dozier, Smokey Robinson, Laverne Baker, Taylor Dane, Patti Austin, John Raitt, Freda Payne and Mike Stoller.  As a composer he has written songs for 16 feature films, including, 'Dick Tracy' and 'Rage In Harlem,' as well as for Madonna's "Breathless" album.

Karen Morrow starred on Broadway in 'I Had A Ball,' 'A Joyful Noise,' 'I'm Solomon,' 'Music Music,' 'The Selling of the President,' 'The Grass Harp,' the Tony Award-winning 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,' and the National Company of 'Showboat!' On television, she was a regular on 'The Jim Nabors Hour,' 'Friends,' 'Tabitha,' 'Ladies Man,' 'Goodnight Beantown,' 'Song by Song,' 'Great Performances' on PBS, and 'Singin' for CBS cable.  She has guest starred on 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch,' 'The Tonight Show,' 'The Today Show,' 'Alice,' 'Too Close for Comfort,' 'Loveboat,' 'Falcon Crest,' 'Murder She Wrote,' 'Night Court,' 'Trapper John M.D.,' 'The Trials of Rosie O'Neile,' 'The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,' and has been a featured favorite on radio's "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor."  She has performed at Carnegie Hall, the U.S. Library of Congress, The White House, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl.  Morrow has received an Emmy Award, the coveted Theatre World Award and Five Drama-Logue Awards.  She has recorded 13 albums, the most recent being "White Christmas," the stage production. She has sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the Honolulu, Pacific, Minnesota, Milwaukee, and Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras.  She is currently on the faculty of AMDA-LA and conducts Master Classes at USC, and other major universities and Arts conferences across the country.  A sought after adjudicator for national vocal competitions, she conducts a bi-monthly Master Class in performance and audition skills in Los Angeles.  To learn more about Karen Morrow, please visit. www.karenmorrow.com.
 
Byron Motley is a singer and songwriter.  He has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Melissa Ethridge, Barry Manilow and "American Idol" winners Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.  He performed on Broadway alongside Patti LuPone in the acclaimed show 'Patti LuPone On Broadway.'  He has also lent his vocal talents to movie soundtracks including 'Ghosts of Mississippi', 'Amistad', 'Frozen Assets' and 'Men of Honor.'  Motley, a native of Kansas City, holds a Master's degree in Music from the University of Southern California, and has performed on three separate occasions with the Boston Pops Orchestra under the baton of conductor/composer John Williams.  With diverse interests and talents, Motley is also producing a television documentary about the historic Negro Baseball Leagues entitled 'The Negro Baseball Leagues - An American Legacy'. Producer/Director Penny Marshall is at the helm as Executive Producer.  Motley has had a long fascination and appreciation of the Negro Leagues having heard many tales about the leagues from his father Bob Motley, who umpired in the leagues for several years.  He has recently added author to his numerous accomplishments having co-authored his father's memoir 'Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants & Stars: Umpiring in the Negro Leagues & Beyond' (Sports Publishing, LLC, 2007).  'Ruling…' chronicles his father's journey of growing up in a segregated America to becoming one of the first African-American Marines to his experiences in Negro baseball.  The book is a candid, funny and emotional story that contains much historical relevance as well.  His latest CD "Jazz & Cocktails" (Cocoa Blu Records) has garnered wonderful reviews.  To learn more about Byron Motley, please visit the website, www.byronmotley.com.


Judith Owen has relentlessly followed her muse, independently releasing recordings that have captivated fans, Hollywood music supervisors, fellow artists and the most discerning critics.  With the same determination she has applied to finding her voice, she has also found her audience.  Her albums and tours have led to her being featured by NBC's 'Today Show' and NPR's 'Weekend Edition Sunday' and lauded by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Washington Post, among others.  Owen's newest album is Mopping Up Karma (Courgette Records).  The beginning of Owen's rapid ascent was her 1996 debut album, "Emotions On A Postcard," which included "Hand On My Heart," the single featured in the 1997 film "As Good As It Gets."  Owen's sophomore recording "Limited Edition" resulted in several tracks being showcased on television shows aired by CBS, NBC, HBO and the WB.  An acclaimed third album featuring a dozen tracks titled, "12 Arrows," earned the singer, songwriter and pianist an opening slot on tour with k.d. lang.  2005's "Lost & Found" release and tour culminated in a sold-out performance at Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall.  In 2005, Owen formed the Warner Music/ADA-distributed Courgette Records with her husband/collaborator Harry Shearer and her manager, Bambi Moé.  To learn more about Judith Owen, please visit the website, www.judithowen.net.

Freda Payne grew up in Detroit, MI.  Payne's dream was to express herself by means of the playing the piano.  At the age of 12, under the direction of piano teacher Ruth Johnson, dance instructor Beatrice Summers and mentor Mack Ferguson, Payne received the kind of guidance that would prove to be the foundation of what would follow.  At the age of 13, Payne performed her first studio recordings (United Sound Studios in Detroit), "Father Dear," "The Moon Rock" and "Applications of Love" – written and produced by impresario and Motown Recording Company founder, Berry Gordy, Jr.  From those early recordings to her 1970 mega-hit "Band of Gold," written and produced by Holland, Dozier, Holland, for Invictus, to her latest project titled "On The Inside," Payne has sculptured a noteworthy musical legacy.  She was hired (her first paying gig) by the legendary Pearl Bailey as one of her premiere background singers when she was 17 years of age. Payne's "Band of Gold" reached gold status and launched to #3 for six consecutive weeks on U.S. Billboard's pop chart, and rocketed to #1 in Great Britain.  "Bring the Boys Home" was another golden smash hit and received tremendous worldwide acceptance, along with the ever popular "Deeper and Deeper," "You Brought The Joy" and "Cherish What Is Dear To You."  In theatrical productions Payne has appeared in 'Sophisticated Ladies,' 'Ain't Misbehavin',' 'Blues in the Night,' 'Jelly's Last Jam', Donald Welch's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' and in 'Ella Fitzgerald:  First Lady of Song,' which opened to rave reviews at the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J.  Her film credits include:  'Nutty Professor II:  The Klumps,' 'Rag Doll,' 'Rhapsody,' 'Book of Numbers' and 'Reptilian.'  Her television appearances include:  'The Tonight Show,' 'Soul Train,' 'Merv Griffin,' 'Dick Cavett' and 'David Frost.'  To learn more about Freda Payne, please visit, www.fredapayne.com.
 
Harry Shearer is a comic personality who takes "hyphenate" to new levels.  First and foremost an actor, he is also an author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist and record label owner.  For 19 years the Los Angeles native has enjoyed enormous success and planted the fruits of his talents in the heads of millions worldwide thanks to his voice work for 'The Simpsons' and 'The Simpsons Movie.'  Shearer plays a stable of characters:  most notably Mr. Burns, Smithers, NEd Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy and Scratchy.  In July, 2007, Shearer plunged into the on-line video universe when the Harry Shearer Channel became a cornerstone of My Damn Channel (www.MyDamnChannel.com), an entertainment studio and new media platform specifically created to empower artists to co-produce, distribute and monetize original, episodic video content.  Each week a new political or pop culture satire written by and featuring Shearer is unveiled. In October 2006, Shearer released his first novel, "Not Enough Indians" (Justin, Charles & Company). Last November, movie audiences saw Shearer's newest collaboration with Christopher Guest and friends from 'A Mighty Wind,' in the feature film, 'For Your Consideration,' a depiction of independent filmmaking and how the "buzz" about a potential award nomination impacts the lives of three actors played by Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara and Shearer.  Shearer attended UCLA as a political science major, where he edited and wrote for the school humor magazine.  He pursued graduate work at Harvard University and served a political internship in Sacramento before turning to freelance journalism, most notably covering the Watts riots for "Newsweek."  In the early 1980s, he and friends Michael McKean and Christopher Guest, along with director Rob Reiner, began to incubate an idea for a fake documentary about an aging heavy metal band.  The resulting movie, 'This Is Spinal Tap,' became the granddaddy of the mock-umentary genre and gave the world new insight into the concepts of spontaneously-combusting drummers and amps that go up to 11. Theatrically, Shearer has collaborated with writer Tom Leopold and composer Peter Matz to create the book and lyrics for an original musical about J. Edgar Hoover simply called 'J. 'Edgar!: The Musical.'  The play premiered to sold out houses and critical raves at The Aspen Comedy Festival and is currently being developed for Broadway.  On radio, Shearer's one-hour satirical sandbox 'Le Show' is heard weekly on stations worldwide.  Shearer's film credits include 'The Right Stuff,' 'The Fisher King,' and 'The Truman Show,' among others.  He has been a regular cast member on 'Saturday Night Live.'  He has won two Cable Ace Awards. He is married to singer/songwriter, Judith Owen.  To learn more about Harry Shearer, please visit the website, www.harryshearer.com.
 
Steve Tyrell is a distinguished Grammy Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominated purveyor of pop standards, as well as a behind the scenes impresario.  His album, "Back to Bacharach" is a deeply personal collection of songs from the piano of Burt Bacharach and the pen of Hal David.  As a bright and ambitious 19-year-old, Tyrell journeyed from Houston, TX to New York City to work at pop and soul music giant Scepter Records.  By that time, he'd already been a recording artist at the age of 15, scoring local R&B hits on the Philips and London labels.  Through his work with Bacharach & David, Tyrell got to work in motion pictures and at a very young age becoming one of the first music supervisors responsible for coordinating hit songs with the release of the films they appeared in.  Those successes included the gold standard of foreplay songs, "The Look of Love" (recorded for the James Bond spy spoof "Casino Royale" by Dusty Springfield), and the theme for "Alfie" (sung by Cher in the film and by Dionne Warwick at the Academy Awards) as well as the theme from the legendary Jacqueline Susan film "Valley Of The Dolls."  The film song that Tyrell played a major role in was "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," the song that earned Bacharach & David the Oscar for 1969's Best Original Song in a Motion Picture.  Tyrell won a Grammy Award in 2004 for producing Rod Stewart's "Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Volume III." Tyrell is also a three-time Emmy Award-nominee.  He co-produced with Peter Asher the groundbreaking "Somewhere Out There" for Steven Spielberg's 1986 feature 'An American Tail.'  It marked the first time a song sung by animated characters was reprised at film's end by pop stars to become a hit - in this case for Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram.  That recording won two Grammy Awards for Song Of The Year and Best Song From A Motion Picture.  Tyrell sang the song, "The Way You Look Tonight" as the wedding singer in Disney's comedy 'Father of the Bride.'  After he sang two more numbers in the 1995 sequel, fans demanded more of Tyrell, resulting in his first album "A New Standard," released on Atlantic Records to a 90-week run on the Billboard jazz chart and peaking in the Top 5.  A switch to Columbia Records resulted in three more Top 5 charters:  "Standard Time" (2001), "This Time of Year" (2002) and "This Guy's In Love" (2003).  To learn more about Steve Tyrell, please visit the website, www.stevetyrell.com.

The Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills was originally named the Fox Wilshire.  The theatre opened its doors on September 19, 1930.  Designed by renowned architect S. Charles Lee, the building serves as an example of Lee's early Art Deco style.  Fox West Coast Theaters built the Wilshire Theatre to house their first-run feature films.  For the first 50 years of its life, the Wilshire served as one of the premiere movie palaces in Los Angeles and has hosted numerous premieres and special events.  In November 1953 the Wilshire Theatre hosted the premiere of 'How To Marry A Millionaire' starring Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall.  On Christmas Day of that year Walt Disney exhibited its new 'Grand Canyonscope' – the first Donald Duck cartoon in Cinemascope which ran with the studio's classic feature '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.'  Other notable events include 1960s special screening of 'GI Blues' starring Elvis Presley and attended by Ronald Reagan and the 1970's exclusive engagement of the film 'Woodstock.'  In 1981 the Wilshire Theatre was renovated and converted into a stage venue.  Since then, the theatre has hosted numerous theatrical productions, concerts and speakers, including:  Billy Idol, Laurie Anderson, Richard Pryor, The National Ballet of Spain, St. Petersburg Ballet, Kenny G., James Taylor, Annie Lennox, Ricky Lee Jones, Linda Eder, Ryan Adams, Taylor Swift, Al Gore, Garrison Keillor, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Billy Crystal's '700 Sundays,' 'Rat Pack' and the West Coast Premiere of Paramount/Dreamworks feature film, 'DreamGirls.'  Today the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills is part of the Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center, a 501c (3) non-profit organization, which also houses the Dolly Saken School of the Arts and the Wilshire Arts Towers.  As a member of the League of Historic American Theatres, the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills has 1,910 seats and serves as a major live theatre venue in Beverly Hills.  David Baron serves as president of the historic theatre.  To learn more about the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, please visit www.wtbh.org .



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