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The Ordway Presents The Words and Music of Contemporary Broadway


The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts presents its second installment in the popular Broadway Songbook Series: "The Words and Music of Contemporary Broadway," January 20-22 in the Ordway's McKnight Theatre. This three-event series is executively produced by David and Mary Choate and highlights the lives histories, and stories of musical theater legends.

The new series brings fresh insight, energy and joy to the songs you love, making every show a warm, humorous and moving portrait of musical theater legends. Conceived and directed by the Ordway's Vice President of Theatrical Programming and Producing Artistic Director, James A. Rocco, each Broadway Songbook program features a dynamic mix of composer life stories, discussion of what made their work so extraordinary, and performances by an ensemble of renowned artists from the Twin Cities musical theater, jazz and cabaret scenes.

The Words and Music of Contemporary Broadway Songbook focuses on what is running now on Broadway and the crop of young composers that are changing the face of Broadway. Audiences will hear a great mix of favorite songs from long-running shows and discover new favorites including selections from "Follies," "The Addams Family," "Anything Goes," "Chicago," "The Lion King," "Mary Poppins," "Godspell," "Phantom of the Opera," "The Book of Mormon," "Sister Act," "Memphis," and more by the likes of Stephen Schwartz, Billy Joel, Elton John and the brightest names writing for Broadway today.
Performers will include:

Raymond Berg (Musical Director) ORDWAY: "Cinderella," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "Grey Gardens," "White Christmas," "Yankee Doodle," "Blues in the Night," "The Sound of Music," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Spamalot," "Love Janis," "My Way," "Hot N Cole," "8 Track," "Grand Night For Singing," "Plaid Tidings." Cardinal Theatricals: "The Rocky Horror Show." Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: "Footloose," "Always Patsy," "Altar Boyz," "Forever Plaid," "Forbidden Broadway," "42nd Street;" Mixed Blood Theatre: "Messy Utopia," "Maria Maria...;" History Theatre: "Sisters of Swing," "Rigged For Laughter" (Raw Stages); Illusion Theater: "Vanishing Point," "Six of One," "Angel Headed Hipster" (Fresh Ink); Hey City Theater: "Forever Plaid," "Beehive," "Nat King Cole;" Troupe America: "1940's Radio Hour," "Nunsense," "Lovely Liebowitzes;" Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop. Musical Arrangements: MTI: "Plaid Tidings," "Sounds of Plaid;" R & H Library: "Grand Night For Singing;" "Sisters of Swing;" Florida Stage; MusicalFare NY; Deutsches Theatre Gottingen, Germany; Seaside, FL; Meadowbrook, MI; Penn State, Foothills Stoneham, MA. Compositions: SteppingStone Theatre: "History Detectives;" AHA: "Quiltmaker and the King;" ACF Community Partners City Songs. Commercial/Industrial: General Mills, NFL, NWA, Shell Oil, Target, McDonald's, Great Clips. Awards: 2007 Ivey Award for Musical Direction and Performance ("Love Janis" - Ordway), Star Tribune "Best Musical Director 2007." Residencies/Teaching: Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota State Arts Board, Children's Theatre Company, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, McNally Smith College.

James A. Rocco (Writer/Host) ORDWAY: Director/Choreographer: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Singin' in the Rain," "Yankee Doodle;" Director: "Grey Gardens;" "Love Janis" (Ivey Award); Producer: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "Blues In The Night," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Cabaret" (Ivey Award). Broadway: Musical Staging and Choreography: "Wizard of Oz;" Off-Broadway: Co-writer, Director: "Streakin'!;" Co-Creator: "Nite Club Confidential;" Director: "Sweeney Todd." Other Directing: London: "Doin' What Comes Naturally;" Tokyo: "Singin' in The Rain," "Galaxy Express" (World Premiere); Los Angeles: "The Melody Lingers On," "She Loves Me," "The Bad Seed," "Crazy For You" (Ovation Award Nominee), "Superstar," Chess. Regional: "Irving Berlin's White Christmas," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "What A Glorious Feeling" (World Premiere), "As Bees In Honey Drown," "A Little Night Music," "Smokey Joe's Café" (multiple awards), "Guys & Dolls" (multiple awards), "On The Town," "Violet," and 50 more. Film & Television: "The World We Create" (regional Emmy nominee), "21 for the 21st," "Born of a Dream," "Galaxy Express, Monsters;" "Commissioned: "A Country Christmas Carol." Writer: "Rock & Roll Christmas," and "The Words & Music Series." Before becoming a full-time producer/director Rocco played The Rum Tum Tugger in "Cats" on Broadway among many other theatrical roles, sang with The Duke Ellington Band and Herbie Hancock's Super Sounds. Rocco is a member of SSDC, AEA, ASCAP, The Broadway League, National Alliance for Musical Theatre Producers and the Independent Presenters Network. Last year he released a new solo CD, "It's Between Us." The album's single, "And The Night Stood Still" can currently be heard on college radio stations around the country. More information at

Kym Chambers OTTO (Performer) ORDWAY: "Cinderella" (u/s Stepmother, Queen), "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Wailing Woman). Tours: "Cats" (Jellylorum), "Wizard of Oz" (u/s Wicked Witch), "Cinderella" (Queen). Theater: Kansas City Starlight Theatre: "Anything Goes;" Kansas City Repertory Theatre: "Cabaret," Bushnell CPA: 50th Anniversary Concert of "The Music Man" starring Shirley Jones; NSMT: "Camelot;" Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: "Oklahoma," "42nd Street," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat;" Old Log Theater: "Elves and the Shoemaker;" Forestburgh Playhouse: "Evita," "The Music Man," "La Cage Aux Folles," "Titanic." Training: M.A. Vocal Performance NYU, B.A. Theater St. Olaf College. Special Thanks to Mike, James, Raymond, Renee, and to all of you who continue to support the Arts! AEA since 2005.

JESSICA FREDRICKSON (Performer) ORDWAY: "Cinderella," "Guys and Dolls" Ordway Extra, "9 to 5: the Musical" Ordway Extra; "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (30Saints/Broadway Asia Tokyo tour). Theater Latté Da: "Evita;" Bloomington Civic Theatre: "Oklahoma!," "The Light in the Piazza," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "The Music Man," "Fiorello," "Crazy for You;" StartingGate Productions: "The Hot L Baltimore;" Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: "State Fair;" Bethel University: "Kiss Me Kate," "Steel Pier," "The Importance of Being Earnest." Film: NBC's Three Wishes, Doritos Fresh Films: TTYL. Training: Bethel University; Voice Training: RubyAnn Poulson.

*Joel Liestman (Performer) ORDWAY: "Cinderella," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "The Rocky Horror Show," "The Sound of Music," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (30Saints/Broadway Asia Tokyo tour). Theater: Guthrie Theater: "The Master Butchers Singing Club," "A View from the Bridge;" Children's Theatre Company: "Mr. McGee and the Biting Flea;" Nautilus Music-Theatre: "Apple Tree," "Carousel," "I am Anne Frank" (Ivey Award), "Man of La Mancha;" History Theatre: "A Servants' Christmas;" Theater Latté Da: "King of Hearts;" The E.S.C.: "The Grand National," "Gangster No. 1;" TheatreWorks USA: "Babes in Toyland;" Still Standing Productions: "Skiing on Broken Glass;" North Star Opera: "The Chocolate Soldier;" Burning House Group: "What the Butler Saw." Film: "Still Life," "How to Live Better," "Look Busy." Radio: PowderKeg Live!

*Robb McKindles (Performer) Broadway: "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Grease." Off-Broadway: "A Wedding Album," "Ophelia." Regional: "A Little Night Music," "Our Town," "A Prayer for the Dying," "Chess," "West Side Story," "Breathe." National Tours: "Grease," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "The Scarlet Pimpernel." Local: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: "The Producers," "Oklahoma!," "Married Alive;" Guthrie Theater: "H.M.S. Pinafore," "1776." Film/Television: "Slings and Arrows," "If Spielberg Made a Snuff Film," "Scrubs." Training: B.F.A. University of Michigan.

Allison Tilsen-KASSABIAN (Performer) National Tours: "Chicago," "Grease." Soho Playhouse: "Guilt Without Sex;" Theatre for a New City: "The **** Machine;" BMI Musical Theatre Workshop: "Like You Like It," "The Teddy Bear Habit," "The Jurgens File;" Weathervane Playhouse: "Sweeney Todd," "Lend Me a Tenor;" Theatre L'Homme Dieu: "Funny Thing...Forum," "Fiddler on the Roof," "The Pajama Game." Various Twin Cities/ Minnesota Stages: "Anything Goes," "Once Upon a Mattress," "Jake's Women," "You Can't Take it With You," "Guys and Dolls." Film/ TV: "Chappelle's Show," "Street Smarts," "The Restaurant." Other: "The Glamazons" at Club Fez and CBGB, "Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad" at Caroline's New York. Training: St. Cloud State University, NYU/Musical Theatre Works Conservatory.

*have performed previously in the Ordway's Broadway Songbook Series

The final event in the Ordway's Broadway Songbook Series will be "The Words and Music of Johnny Mercer," from April 13-15, 2012.

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Music Theater and McKnight stages attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway's mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. The Ordway also serves as authorizer for the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists. Together with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances.

Performance and Ticket Information
Broadway Songbook Series
"The Words and Music of Contemporary Broadway"
January 20-22, 2012

Performance Dates:
January 20 at 7:30 p.m.
January 21 at 7:30 p.m.
January 22 at 2 p.m.

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Ordway's McKnight Theatre

Tickets are $26 including fees

Ticket Office: 651.224.4222
Groups: 651.282.3111

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