J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company Has Announced LAGNIAPPE Programs as Part of its Inaugural 2020 Season

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J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company Has Announced LAGNIAPPE Programs as Part of its Inaugural 2020 Season

 

The newly formed J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company (Jim Jimirro, Executive Producer/Co-Founder; Robert W. Schneider, Artistic Director/Co-Founder) announced today a bonus series of programs for its inaugural 2020 season. Opening the season is Seesaw, which will play February 13-23, 2020, followed by No Strings (February 27 - March 8, 2020) and A Class Act (March 12-22, 2020) at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). Free and open to ticket holders, Lagniappes, from the Louisiana French meaning a bonus or gift, are designed to enhance audience appreciation of classic works with cast talkbacks, visits with the producers, and interviews with the cast and personnel of the original productions.

"The goal in all we do at our company is to provide our patrons with the best possible experience, states Jim Jimirro, Executive Producer and Co-Founder. "The lagniappes will help us do this. There's no doubt that the more one knows about a show - history, background, other insights - the greater the appreciation can be. Lagniappes, fun and interesting, will provide our ticket-holders with a better understanding of each show and, as a consequence, enrich their entire experience."

Co-founder and Artistic Director Robert W. Schneider shares "Sometimes the most inspiring moments in the theater come from hearing those artists who created the piece explain their artistic journey. As educators and unabashed lovers of musical theatre lore, Jim and I wish to make J2 Spotlight a forum of theater education and these lagniappes will offer our audiences a chance to observe and interact with our artists in a way that will foster dialogue between actor and audience."

The Lagniappe schedule for the three-show inaugural season is as follows:

LAGNIAPPES SCHEDULE FOR SEESAW

· SUNDAY FEBRUARY 15: BEHIND THE CURTAIN

A Post-Show Talk Back with the cast and creatives of Seesaw. Moderator: Associate Artistic

Director Benjamin Nissen.

· SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16 AT 2:00PM: THE STORY OF SEESAW

Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, after scoring big with Sweet Charity, gave it another

go with another gritty musical, again set in NYC. This talk will be presented by Executive

Producer and Co-Founder Jim Jimirro.

· THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 AT 6:30PM: SEESAW

An Original Cast Reunion - Join members of the original cast and creative team of Seesaw

to look back on the show's creation and tumultuous road to Broadway. Panelists will be

announced soon.

· SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22: BEHIND THE CURTAIN

A Post-Show Talk Back with the cast and creatives of Seesaw. Moderator: Associate Artistic Director Benjamin Nissen.

LAGNIAPPES SCHEDULE FOR NO STRINGS

· THURSDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 27: THE SWEETEST SOUNDS

Join Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, in a Q&A about

The development of No Strings. Moderator: Artistic Director and Co-Founder Robert W.

Schneider

· SATURDAY AFTERNOON, FEBRUARY 29 AT 2:00PM: BEHIND THE CURTAIN

A Post-Show Talk Back with the cast and creatives of No Strings. Moderator: Associate

Artistic Director Benjamin Nissen.

· SUNDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 1 AT 2:00PM: THE STORY OF NO STRINGS

Richard Rodgers after decades of working with Oscar Hammerstein and Larry Hart, goes

it alone. This talk will be presented by Executive Producer and Co-Founder Jim Jimirro.

· THURSDAY EVENING, MARCH 5 AT 6:30PM: Q&A WITH Yvonne Constant

Yvonne Constant, who played Jeanette in the original Broadway production of No Strings,

will be on hand to look back on the show and the creative process.

· SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 7 AT 2:00PM: BEHIND THE CURTAIN

A Post-Show Talk Back with the cast and creatives of No Strings. Moderator: Associate

Artistic Director Benjamin Nissen.

LAGNIAPPES SCHEDULE FOR A CLASS ACT

· SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 14 AT 2:00PM: BEHIND THE CURTAIN

A Post-Show Talk Back with the cast and creatives of A Class Act. Moderator: Associate

Artistic Director Benjamin Nissen.

· SUNDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 15 AT 2:00PM: THE STORY OF A CLASS ACT

Ed Kleban, lyricist of A Chorus Line, literally 'willed' this biographical musical. This talk will

be presented by Executive Producer and Co-Founder Jim Jimirro.

· THURSDAY EVENING, MARCH 19 AT 6:30PM: THE LIFE OF Ed Kleban

Family, friends, and colleagues of Ed Kleban will be present to explore Kleban's work

and desire to change the future of the American musical. Panelists will be announced soon.

· SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 21 AT 2:00PM: BEHIND THE CURTAIN

A Post-Show Talk Back with the cast and creatives of A Class Act. Moderator: Associate

Artistic Director Benjamin Nissen.

J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company presents professional revivals of worthy Broadway musicals; in doing so it provides an opportunity for patrons to re-visit these shows and, in some cases, experience them for the first time. The Company chooses shows that it deems deserving of continued exposure. The company, as part of its casting, will introduce audiences to emerging artists within the New York theatrical community; they will work alongside established actors. The productions will include frequent lagniappes* designed to enhance audience appreciation of the classic works *Lagniappes: from the Louisiana French, meaning a bonus or a gift. These will include cast talk-backs, visits with the producers, and even interviews with the cast and personnel of the original productions.

The Honorary Board members for the Company are Lynn Ahrens, Jim Brochu, Peter Filichia, Stephen Flaherty, Randy Graff, LaChanze, Donna McKechnie, Mel Miller, James Morgan, Lonny Price, Ken Page, Robbie Rozelle, Stephen Schwartz, and Allyson Tucker-Mitchell.

The inaugural production will be the 1972 musical Seesaw (February 13- February 23, 2020), with book by Michael Bennett, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, based on the play Two for the Seesaw by William Gibson. From the composing team of Sweet Charity, Seesaw tells the story of Jerry Ryan, a reserved lawyer from Omaha, who has fled to New York City looking for a change in his life. There he meets Gittel Mosca, a single, loveable lunatic who lives life to the fullest. Will their love affair be able to survive the big, noisy, dirty island known as Manhattan? Songs include: "It's Not Where You Start," It's Where You Finish," "Welcome to Holiday Inn," and "Nobody Does It Like Me." Seesaw is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. Performances begin Thursday, February 13, 2020 for a limited run through February 23, 2020.

Followed by the 1962 hit musical No Strings, with book by Samuel Taylor and words and music by Richard Rodgers. The only musical for which he wrote both music and lyrics, explores the allure of Paris and its seductive embrace. A successful high-fashion model from Harlem meets and falls in love with an American writer who has made Paris his home. Convinced that their love only needs one another to survive, they embark on a romantic adventure through Europe, clinging to the City of Lights as the harsh reality of America threatens their union. Songs include: "The Sweetest Sounds," "No Strings," and "Nobody Told Me." No Strings is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: www.rnh.com. Performances begin Thursday, February 27, 2020 for a limited run through March 8, 2020.

Closing out the inaugural season is the 2001 musical A Class Act with book by Linda Kline and Lonny Price, music and lyrics by Edward Kleban. Ed Kleban, the Tony Award winning lyricist of A Chorus Line and one of the unsung champions of Broadway, returns to his own memorial service to set the record straight in A Class Act, this vibrant musical about musicals. A colorful gallery of friends and loved ones in Ed's life including the relentlessly peppy Marvin Hamlisch and stage wizard Michael Bennett all appear to celebrate Ed's life, loves, and legacy. Songs include: "Better," "Paris Through the Window," and "The Next Best Thing to Love." A Class Act is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: www.rnh.com. Performances begin Thursday, March 12, 2020 for a limited run through March 22, 2020.

The J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company series will play the following performance schedule: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.

ON SALE: Single tickets are priced at $55 and may be purchased at telecharge.com, or by calling 212-239-6200. $25 Student Rush tickets will be available on the day of performance. A 3-Show Package is available at $124, a 25% discount, and may be purchased online at: www.j2spotlightnyc.com.

BIOS

Jim Jimirro (Executive Producer & Co-Founder) is the creator and founding President of The Disney Channel and Walt Disney Home Video. During his tenure at the helm of The Disney Channel, Mr. Jimirro was responsible for the conception, development and launching of the fastest-growing pay service in history. Under Mr. Jimirro's guidance, The Disney Channel introduced many innovations, such as interactive programming and The Disney Channel Magazine. He has been honored as Distinguished Alumnus by Penn State and was the Vision Fund of America honoree for achievement in the entertainment industry. Mr. Jimirro is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars). He is active in a number of enterprises involving the Great American Songbook, the music of Porter, Rodgers and Berlin, et al. These include having served as chairman of the selection committee in the Traditional Pop category at The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys).

Robert W. Schneider (Artistic Director & Co-Founder) is an original programming producer for Feinstein's/54 Below in New York City. In this capacity he has been heavily involved in the MAC Award Winning 54 Sings...series which brings both classic and obscure musicals back to New York City. Such shows include the OBC reunion of Curtains, the NYC premiere of We Will Rock You, and star-studded concert versions of cult musicals Woman of the Year, Golden Rainbow, A Broadway Musical, and Working amongst over 80 others. He has had the great honor of collaborating with such theatrical institutions as Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, The York Theater, Walnut Street Theater, Center Theater Group. Robert also holds academic positions with Penn State University, the New York Film Academy and has guest lectured at Yale University. He co-hosts the podcast Behind the Curtain: Broadway's Living Legends and is the co-author of the upcoming book "Fifty Key Musicals," which will be published by Routledge Press in 2021.

 




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