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Lillias White & Billy Stritch to Close Bay Area Cabaret Season at the Venetian Room, 5/31

Bay Area Cabaret, the organization dedicated to presenting world renowned artists who expand the definition of cabaret, will conclude its season by welcoming Tony winner Lillias White with music director/performer Billy Stritch. In her latest show, which just enjoyed a sold-out run at New York's 54 Below (and earned her the coveted Bistro Award earlier this year), Ms. White addresses Broadway producers directly in an "open audition" for her next big role. With one of the most breathtaking voices in the business, Ms. White has been described as a "one-of-a-kind performer who combines the sass of a classic blues mama with the skill of a Broadway star. What sets her above, and apart from, most Broadway pop-blues shouters is her ruthless honesty and self-awareness" (The New York Times). Bay Area Cabaret will present Lillias White and Billy Stritch at 8pm on Sunday, May 31 in the historic Venetian Room of the Fairmont San Francisco. Tickets ($50) and information are available at www.bayareacabaret.org or by phone at (415) 392-4400.

Often described as a blend between Sarah Vaughn and Dinah Washington, Lillias White has been recognized with the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and The Outer Critics Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her 1997 role as "Sonja" in The Life. In 1990 she won The Obie Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of "Hennie" in Romance in Hard Times. In addition, she won The Drama Logue Award for Best Actress in a Musical for playing "Effie" in the national tour of Dreamgirls. Other theater credits include the Broadway productions of Fela! (Tony nomination Best Featured Actress in a Musical), How to Succeed in Business, Once on This Island, Rock n' Roll: The First 5,000 Years, Barnum, Carrie, and Dreamgirls, as well as the off-Broadway productions of Paris, Texas (2015 Lucille Lortell Award nomination Best Actress), Crowns, The Vagina Monologues, Waiting for Godot, The Princess & The Black-Eyed Pea, and Dinah Was. Ms. White has performed in the national and international tours of Ain't Misbehavin', Tintypes, and The Wiz and her screen credits include featured roles in the films Pieces of April, The Grinch That Stole Christmas, Gloria, North, and Disney's Hercules. In 1992, Ms. White won an Emmy Award for her role as Sesame Street's "Lillian Edwards." The singer also has an extensive list of recordings which include cast records and featured vocalist performances. She recorded Dream Girls: The Concert, Too Hot To Handel: The Gospel Messiah, and was featured with Tony Bennett on Cy Coleman's record "It Started with a Dream." She regularly appears in concert at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center as well as a guest soloist on the PBS specials such as "A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" and "In Performance at The White House.

Performing with Ms. White will be Grammy-winning musical director and performer Billy Stritch. Mr. Stritch has made major contributions to the Great American Songbook as a composer and an arranger, working with some of the biggest names in musical theatre including Liza Minnelli, Christine Ebersole, Reba McIntyre, Linda Lavin, and the late Marvin Hamlisch. A gifted vocalist and jazz pianist in his own right, Mr. Stritch has thrilled live audiences, displaying range and sophistication in his performances, while still maintaining an easy sense of humor and showmanship. His original works span the spectrum of musical genres from jazz to country, and include the Grammy Award-winning single, "Does He Love You," performed by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis.

Bay Area Cabaret (BAC) is a not-for profit organization founded by Marilyn Levinson, a fifth generation San Francisco native. Through its concert series and wide-ranging outreach activities, BAC aims to expand the definition of cabaret and broaden the audience for intimate entertainment, featuring Great American Songbook offerings from George and Ira Gershwin and Stephen Sondheim to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joni Mitchell. Past seasons have featured Marvin Hamlisch, Elaine Paige, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Norm Lewis, Barbara Cook, Peter Gallagher, Nellie McKay, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jane Monheit, and Sutton Foster.

The 2014-2015 Bay Area Cabaret season will conclude with two shows on Sunday, May 31: the cabaret debut of rising musical theatre star Bobby Conte Thornton at 5pm, followed at 8pm by the West Coast debut of the acclaimed new cabaret show by Tony winner Lillias White with musical direction by Billy Stritch.

For Bay Area Cabaret patrons, The Fairmont San Francisco offers a delicious buffet dinner in the Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar for $44 (plus tax and tip), plus four hours of free parking for all who dine in the Laurel Court. For more information, visit www.bayareacabaret.org.


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