Tony-Winner Len Cariou Brings BROADWAY & THE BARD to Bay Area

Tony-Winner Len Cariou Brings BROADWAY & THE BARD to Bay Area

Tony® Award-winning actor Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Applause) comes to the Bay Area this summer, starring in his acclaimed one-man show Broadway and the Bard: An Evening of Shakespeare & Song, conceived by Cariou, Barry Kleinbort and Mark Janas, with direction by Kleinbort and musical direction by Janas. It will be presented in a limited engagement June 21-24, 2018, with performances 8:15pm Thursday/Friday/Saturday, 2:15pm Saturday/Sundayat the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Tickets ($20-40) are available at www.lesherartscenter.org, by phone at 925-943-7469, or at the Lesher box office (open 12-6pm Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sun, 12-7:30pm Fri/Sat).

Broadway and the Bard premiered Off-Broadway in 2016, opening to critical acclaim. The New York Times declared, "Broadway & the Bard serves delicious combos. Intelligent and eloquent. Exemplary." Curtain Up concurred, "It is a delicious confection of Shakespeare and Broadway songs, served a la Cariou." The Huffington Post found the musical pairings, "Outstanding. Clever. Show-stopping as well as heart stopping" while Onstage noted, "The iconic stage actor and his accompanist (Mark Janis), in collaboration with director Barry Kleinbort, triumph in achieving Mr. Cariou's idea of combining his two great loves - Shakespeare and the American Musical."

Although recognized for his presence on television for the past eight seasons (as Tom Selleck's dyspeptic father on the long running hit series "Blue Bloods"), Cariou has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the theatre, including originating leads in two landmark Stephen Sondheim musicals. In Broadway and the Bard, he is able to give full voice to an idea that he has harbored since his first prophetic Broadway season when he appeared as Shakespeare's Henry V and followed by a starring role in the musical Applause. In this delightful play of verse and song, Cariou combines his two great loves - Shakespeare and American Musical Comedy -into one rich and diverse tapestry. Offering trenchant classical soliloquies and sonnets with inventive musical pairings from the Great White Way results in an 80-minute melding of superb speech and memorable song by a one-of-a-kind master actor of exquisite vintage, in what the Bard might refer to as "a most rare vision." As The Huffington Post noted, "The veteran performer continues to exert masterful control. Once more into the breach, indeed."

The creative team for Broadway and the Bard also includes Josh Iocavelli (sets) and Matt Berman (lights and sound). The tour is produced by special arrangement with Aruba Productions, LLC and Starry Night Productions.

Len Cariou is a distinguished member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and a three-time Tony® nominee for Applause, A Little Night Music, and for his legendary performance as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tony® Award winner, Best Actor). His other Broadway credits include Nightwatch, Cold Storage, Teddy & Alice, Dance a Little Closer, The Speed of Darkness, Neil Simon's The Dinner Party, and Proof. Showing his range, he toured the U.S. as Cap'n Andy in Showboat, and as Nils Bohrin in Copenhagen. He scored his most recent triumph in The Gate Theatre's definitive, hit production of All My Sons in Dublin, Ireland, reprising his role as Joe Keller, for which he also won raves at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles in 2007.

In addition, he was recently lauded for his performance as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon at the Vancouver Playhouse and Canadian Stage. In 2008 he directed a production of Glengarry Glen Ross (Manitoba Theatre Centre) which sold out its mid-winter run despite outside temperatures of 40º below zero. His classical stage repertoire is far ranging, encompassing the title roles in Oedipus the King, Macbeth, Cyrano, Coriolanus, and two productions of King Lear, as well as Iago, Petruchio, Prospero and many others. Off-Broadway, he is proud of his work as Ernest Hemingway in Papa, William O. Douglas in Mountain, and Joseph Stalin in Master Class.

Regionally, he has starred in a multitude of productions at theatres throughout North America, including The Kennedy Center, The Mark Taper Forum, The Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Stratford Shakespeare Festivals in both Ontario and Connecticut, The Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and The Old Globe. He is a former Artistic Director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and former Associate Director of the Guthrie Theatre. Several feature films include the popular "The Four Seasons," "Executive Decision," "Thirteen Days," and "About Schmidt" with Jack Nicholson, as well as "Secret Window" with Johnny Depp, "Flags of Our Fathers," and "1408." He was awarded a Genie, Canada's Oscar, for Best Actor in the film "One Man." On television, Cariou currently stars as Henry Reagan (Tom Selleck's father) on the hit CBS series "Blue Bloods." He spent two seasons as powerhouse political appointee Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime series "Brotherhood" with Dublin's own Fionnula Flanagan. He has guest starred on "CSI: Las Vegas," "The Practice," "West Wing," "Law & Order," "The Outer Limits," "Swift Justice," and "Murder She Wrote," to name a few. Myriad TV and movie credits include "Surviving," "Man in the Attic," "Who Will Save Our Children," "There Were Times Dear," "Miracle on Route 880," "Killer in the Mirror," Hallmark Hall of Fame's "The Summer of Ben Tyler," "Nuremberg," and as Franklin Roosevelt in HBO's "Into the Storm." Cariou is known for his voice-over work in commercials, books-on-tape and film, especially on The Johnstown Flood, which won an Academy Award, and as Harry Bosch in Michael Connolly's well-known novels.

Barry Kleinbort (Director) has earned the prestigious Edward Kleban Foundation Award for Lyric Writing, two Gilman-Gonzalez Musical Theatre Awards, the Second Stage Musicals Writers Award, the Jamie de Roy/ASCAP award, two BackStage Bistro awards and 10 Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) awards for his directorial and song writing efforts. He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Was (music by Joseph Thalken), which was the inaugural production of the American Musical Theater Project in Chicago. He co-wrote with David Levy Perfect Harmony, a musical play about the lives of the Barry Sisters which ran for six months in South Florida. As a composer/lyricist, he wrote music and lyrics for Metropolita(i)n, a bi-lingual musical revue which has successfully played in Paris and New York. He provided scripts for eight PBS specials and most recently was an artistic consultant for "Cathouse: The Musical" for HBO. His newest musical 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti starring Penny Fuller had a successful off-Broadway run at 59E59 Theaters and made its regional theatre debut last year at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, Massachusetts, again with Fuller, and under Kleinbort's direction. He has directed and/or written material for Brent Barrett, Petula Clark, Marvin Hamlisch, Kaye Ballard, Regis Philbin, John Barrowman, Tony Roberts, Anita Gillette, Karen Mason, Sylvia McNair, Harolyn Blackwell, Heather MacRae, and many others. He has also directed topical revues and intimate theatre productions, including Rita Gardner's Try to Remember - A Look at Off-Broadway and Kaye Ballard's Off-Broadway revue, Kaye Ballard-Working 42nd Street at Last! He adapted and directed the New York premiere of Bob Merrill's musical The Prince of Grand Street for the Jewish Repertory Theatre, and John Epperson's autobiographical one man outing Show Trash at both the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C and off-Broadway as part of the acclaimed Lypsinka trilogy at the Connelly Theater.

Mark Janas (Collaborator) began his piano studies at age three, composed a sonatina at five, and by high school was conducting the Hammond Area Youth Orchestra. At Indiana University he studied with pianist Karen Shaw, composer Bernhard Heiden, and conductors Jan Harrington and Tibor Kozma, among others. While at Indiana, he was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to conduct at Bernstein festivals in Israel and Austria. He was twice Bernstein's assistant, for concerts with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony orchestras. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and a brief stint as associate conductor of Texas Opera Theatre, he acquired a Master's degree in Orchestral Conducting at Rice University, while simultaneously founding and conducting a professional group, Orchestra Texas. In 1982, he was a conducting fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, studying with Bernstein, Tilson Thomas, Hogwood, and Blomstedt. In 1984, he jumped the fence to musical theatre, composing a score for an historical drama The Lone Star, later recorded in London with members of the London Symphony Orchestra, and conducted the Houston Symphony in a performance of a suite from the work. Janas music directed the world's largest production of Hello, Dolly!, creating all-new arrangements for its star, Marilyn Maye. He performed throughout the United States as associate conductor for two national tours of Les Misérables, as well as music directing for the Yale Repertory Theatre, Hippodrome State Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and New Dramatists, to name a few. He music directed the Chautauqua Opera Cabarets in 1998 and more recently has performed and released a CD with 2001 Best Debut BackStage Bistro and MAC award winner Julie Reyburn. Performances with Maree Johnson took him to Australia, and last summer two New York readings of his original musical, PoeSCrypt, were very well received; a recording of the work is currently in process. Janas won the 2002 BackStage Bistro Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction, and, having taught before at Yale, Barnard, Concordia, and New York University, as well as his "Acting The Song" class with colleague Andy Gale.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

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