'AN ENCHANTED EVENING', Starring Doreen Taylor and Davis Gaines, Begins Off-Broadway Tonight
Fresh from the sold-out premiere in Philadelphia, the new docu-musical An Enchanted Evening: A Night With Oscar Hammerstein II comes Off-Broadway for a limited engagement starting tonight, December 8.
The evening presents award winning vocalist and Billboard Top 100 recording artist, Doreen Taylor in her Off Broadway debut and a special performance by renowned Broadway star, Davis Gaines (Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, Man of La Mancha). The show will have ten performances only, starting tonight, Friday, December 8, and running through Sunday, December 17. The show opens on Sunday, December 10.
Benefitting the Oscar Hammerstein II Museum & Theatre Education Center, AN ENCHANTED EVENING runs at the 777 Theatre at the Roy Arias Theater Center (777 Eighth Avenue, between 47th and 48th Streets). Proceeds will be donated to help save Highland Farm in Doylestown, PA.
After receiving critical acclaim in its Philadelphia debut, this 90-minute "docu-musical" highlights Oscar's evolution to become one of the most important lyricists of all time. Possessing a rare opportunity to work closely with William Hammerstein - Oscar Hammerstein's grandson - to obtain personal stories, rarely before seen images and videos and an in-depth glimpse into the life of Oscar Hammerstein, AN ENCHANTED EVENING is a one-of-a kind, intimate show highlighting Oscar's life and music through documentary story-telling and imaginative performances.
Dubbed by The Huffington Post as "an excellent performing artist to keep your eyes on," being able to return to her musical theatre roots in her home state of New York while supporting a cause that helps save a historic Broadway landmark, makes this evening an extra special achievement for Doreen. "I grew up performing in the great shows that Oscar Hammerstein II helped create and to think that the very place these shows were conceived is now being threatened is a travesty. I created this show from a very special place in my heart and as a labor of love. I revere Oscar and will always be grateful for forever changing the landscape of musical theatre history and being able to help save this legendary landmark is a great honor for me."
Oscar Hammerstein II moved to Highland Farm in Doylestown, PA in 1940 and over the next 19 years, the farm became the birthplace for timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, including: Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Carousel, King and I, and Sound of Music. He also mentored a young Stephen Sondheim there, who famously said, "In one afternoon at Highland Farm, I learned more about songwriting and musical theatre, than most people learn in a lifetime."
Shortly after Oscar's passing in 1960, the Hammersteins sold the farm and is now being threatened by a four lot subdivision. The Oscar Hammerstein II Museum and Theatre Education Center will not only help save the farm and what most consider "the birthplace of American modern musical theater," but also restore the house for tours, a museum and to build a new theatre, where the Hammerstein legacy of great musical theatre, social engagement and mentorship can be honored. For more information, visit HammersteinCenter.org.
DOREEN TAYLOR is a multiple award winning singer/songwriter and has been dubbed "an excellent performing artist to keep your eyes on" by The Huffington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer raved that "Taylor's enthusiasm, personality and musicality are engaging." Doreen was also named one of the hottest up and coming artists by countless publications and television outlets like the Lifetime Network, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CW Network, Ok!TV, Consumers Digest, etc. With 2 degrees in voice and opera performance, Taylor has played numerous leading roles in various musical theater and operatic productions across the country; including the Philadelphia Scottish Opera premiere as Cunegonde in Candide where she received rave reviews from multiple publications and critics. In 2012, Taylor took the leap into mainstream music releasing her debut album Magic which garnered her the "Suggested Artist of the Year" Award from the 'Song of the Year' international songwriting competition. Doreen's music has been hand-selected by Bose, Sharp Electronics and the #1 home shopping network, QVC, to be played on all on-air demonstrations and on QVC.com to promote their products. She has been named a celebrity advocate for countless charitable causes and has been the face for brands such as Failte Vodka and Hades Footwear. Most recently, her cross over, adult contemporary single "Toy" charted on Billboard's Hot 100 (in the top 50) and reached #31 on the Adult Contemporary Chart after receiving heavy airplay on radio stations nationwide. Her newest album, "Happily Ever After" has received critical acclaim and is slated to be developed into a full Off Broadway musical in 2018/19. She has sold out multiple concerts in support of her solo albums across the country and she has gained national recognition as both a performer and a songwriter. Taylor was honorably chosen to collaborate on a new national anthem in honor of the US National Parks. "Colors of the USA" premiered at the "Salute to the Parks Gala" in Washington, D.C. Doreen was named an 'Ambassador of the National Parks' for her ongoing efforts to connect children and the millennial generation to parks for their centennial in 2016.
DAVIS GAINES performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, during his run on Broadway, in Los Angeles, (where he remains LA's longest-running Phantom), and in San Francisco, (where he received the Bay Area Critics' Award for Best Actor). Subsequently, he was chosen by Hal Prince and Lloyd Webber to play the leading role in the World Premiere of Whistle Down the Wind. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! (with Carol Channing), Camelot (with Richard Burton) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with Alexis Smith). Gaines' Off-Broadway appearances include Des McAnuff's The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed from Earth, the Maury Yeston/Larry Gelbart musical One Two Three Four Five, Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, She Loves Me and Forbidden Broadway. He made his New York City Opera debut in The New Moon and appeared in the concert versions of Parade, Sitting Pretty, The Cat and the Fiddle, Pippin and the Encores! production of The Boys from Syracuse. Gaines played Anthony Hope in the 20th anniversary concert productions of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in Los Angeles (with Kelsey Grammer and Christine Baranski), in London (with Len Cariou and Judy Kaye) and in New York, San Francisco and Ravinia Festival (with George Hearn and Patti LuPone). He played Sweeney Todd inSweeney Todd (with Faith Prince), and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, both with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Film work includes a featured role inWarlock: The Armageddon (with Julian Sands) and television credits include "Desperate Housewives," "Charmed," "Chicago Hope," "Veronica's Closet," "Bodies of Evidence" and "Murder, She Wrote." He appeared in three PBS Great Performances broadcasts (Emmy Award-winning Sweeney Todd with the San Francisco Symphony, Broadway Originals with the Boston Pops and Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Bowl), as well as the televised specials of the 1994 Kennedy Center Honors and the opening ceremony of the 1998 Goodwill Games. Additionally, Gaines has sung for five U.S. Presidents and with every major symphony orchestra in North America, including the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. His voice can be heard over 30 cast recordings and compilation albums, as well as two solo CDs, Against the Tide and All My Tomorrows: Songs of Sammy Cahn. Visit www.davisgaines.com for more.