Audra McDonald and Ramin Karimloo to Join Seth Rudetsky in Concert in San Francisco

Audra McDonald and Ramin Karimloo to Join Seth Rudetsky in Concert in San Francisco

Producer Mark Cortale's Broadway concert series, hosted by Sirius XM radio star Seth Rudetsky, will return to San Francisco for the 2018-19 season at the Herbst Theatre in the iconic San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. Kicking off the series this season will be Tony & Olivier Award Nominee Ramin Karimloo, star of Broadway's "Anastasia", "Les Misérables" and "The Phantom of the Opera" on Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 PM. He will be followed by bonafide living legend and historic six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald on Sunday, January 20 at 5 PM. The unique format of the series that differentiates it from any other is a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky's insightful, funny and revealing questions - and the music from the artists' stellar careers. The result is spontaneous evenings of show-stopping songs and hilarity. The Broadway @ The Herbst series will be raising funds this season for San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, Project Open Hand and Sandy Hook Promise and will continue with a third TBA concert on March 7th. For tickets and information, please visit www.cityboxoffice.com/broadway or call (415) 392-4400.

Called "a global actor for a global time" by The New York Times, Iranian-born, Canadian-raised Tony and Olivier Award-nominated actor and singer Ramin Karimloo has taken the West End and Broadway by storm with stand-out performances in the most iconic roles in musical theatre, as well as nuanced characterizations in new and surprising pieces of theatre. He recently starred on Broadway in the smash-hit new musical "Anastasia," originating the role of Gleb Vaganov, a new character written for the stage adaptation and tailored to his talents. On the West End, Ramin rose to fame in starring roles in both of the West End's longest running musicals: "Les Misérables," where he's played Jean Valjean, Enjolras and Marius; and "The Phantom of the Opera," where he played Raoul and became the youngest person ever to play The Phantom. Ramin was then hand-picked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to originate the lead role of The Phantom in "Love Never Dies," the sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera." For his performance, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical and awarded with the prestigious Theatregoer's Choice Award and the Broadway World Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Additional awards include: Favorite Leading Man in London's West End in the WhatsOnStage Awards, West End Theatregoers Choice Award for his performance as Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables," and the Best Actor in a Musical WhatsOnStage Award in 2011 for his performance as The Phantom in "Love Never Dies."

Audra McDonald holds the record for more Tony Best Performance wins than any other actor in history, and is the only person to win all four acting categories. She became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 for her performances in "Carousel," "Master Class," and "Ragtime," placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years. She won her fourth in 2004 for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun", a role she reprised for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination. On June 10, 2012, McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award win for her portrayal of Bess in Broadway's "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess" thus tying a record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris for most Tony Awards won by an actor. In the 2014 Broadway season, she made history by winning her sixth Tony Award for her role as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill." She also maintains her ties to classical repertoire with an active concert and recording career, performing song cycles and operas as well as concerts throughout the US. Audra's many television appearances include four seasons as Naomi Bennett in "Private Practice," as well as "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Law & Order: SVU," "Having Our Say," "Mister Sterling," "The Bedford Diaries," "Kidnapped," the TV remake of the musical "Annie," and HBO's "Wit" with Emma Thompson and more recently as a cast member of "The Good Wife." In December 2013 Audra won critical acclaim for her performance as the Mother Abbess in NBC's live telecast of "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood. As the host of the PBS series "Live From Lincoln Center," she won her first Primetime Emmy Award in 2015. That same year she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts - America's highest honor for achievement in the arts - from President Barack Obama. In 2018, she joins the cast of "The Good Fight" for the second season of the CBS All Access original drama series. Her film roles include "Cradle Will Rock," "Object of My Affection," "It Runs in the Family," "Best Thief in the World," and "Seven Servants." Ms. McDonald returned to the Broadway stage in 2016 with director George C. Wolfe and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover in the musical "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed," a new retelling of an original musical by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. On the concert stage, she has sung with virtually every major American orchestra, and internationally with Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic. Of Audra McDonald's many roles, she notes that her favorites are the ones performed offstage: passionate advocate for equal rights and homeless youth, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother to her children.

Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's "On Broadway" as well as the host of Seth Speaks on Sirius/XM Stars. As an author, he penned "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan" and the sequel "The Rise And Fall Of A Theater Geek" (Random House) as well as three volumes of "Seth's Broadway Diary" featuring inside scoop and hilarious stories from all of the stars he's worked with. He co-wrote and co-starred in "Disaster!" (NY TIMES "critics pick") recently on Broadway. "Disaster!" also premiered to rave reviews in London's West End. In June 2016, he and his husband, James Wesley, co-produced a recording of "What The World Needs Now" with stars like Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carole King, Audra McDonald which went to number one on iTunes and raised $100,000 for the Orlando shooting victims (and is still raising money. Buy it!). On Inauguration Day 2017, he and James started "Concert For America", a monthly series around the country helping 5 non-profits being hurt by the current administration. Stars such as Kelli O'Hara, Barry Manilow, Stephanie Mills, Vanessa Williams, Andy Cohen and more have performed and you can watch the next one streamed live on ConcertsForAmerica.com.

About the Series: Mark Cortale (Producer) is currently co-producing the new musical "Midnight At The Never Get" by Mark Sonnenblick opening at The York Theatre this fall. He produced "Deconstructing Patti" on Broadway last September at the Nederlander Theatre with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS starring Patti LuPone and Seth Rudetsky. He created the Broadway @ concert series in 2011 at The Art House in Provincetown where he serves as Producing Artistic Director. The series, featuring creative partner Seth Rudetsky as music director and host, had its eighth season this past summer and guest artists over the years have included Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Megan Mulllally, Christine Ebersole and Jessie Mueller. The Broadway @ series also premiered in 2013 in New Orleans, in Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) with Megan Mullally and in London's West End with Patti LuPone at the Leicester Square Theater. The series has since travelled to cities that include Chicago @ The Steppenwolf, Beverly Hills @ The Wallis, Fort Lauderdale @ The Parker Playhouse, San Francisco @ The Herbst Theater and Scottsdale @ Scottsdale Center for the Arts. In the 2018/19 the series will launch in Boston @ the Huntington Theatre with Chita Rivera and Seth Rudetsky. Mark produced the feature film "Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads" and also produces the singing string quartet Well-Strung, which he co-founded. Info at www.markcortalepresents.com

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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