'REACHING FOR THE MOON' Concert to Feature 'Unsung' Songs of Irving Berlin at 1st Stage
Two veteran local performers, vocalist Lesley Hamilton and jazz pianist Eric Levin, are the featured artists in an upcoming concert designed to explore and pay tribute to some of the more neglected songs of the late Irving Berlin.
Titled "Reaching for the Moon: The Unsung Irving Berlin," the performance is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd. in Tysons, VA.
"We're thrilled to be presenting an evening of music from one of the great composers in American history," said a spokesperson for 1st Stage, one of the area's leading regional theaters. "Lesley Hamilton and Eric Levin will be applying their impressive talents to some neglected songs-unsung and under-sung, swinging and soulful-from America's master composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin."
Lesley Hamilton, a resident of Fairfax, has performed on concert, cabaret and jazz stages throughout the country celebrating the composers and lyricists of the Great American Songbook, including "The Richard Rodgers 100th Birthday Celebration" (with the late Celeste Holm), "I Remember It Well: The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner" (with Leslie Caron) and "Andre Previn's Hollywood Years." An original member of San Francisco's famed 42nd Street Moon, she has appeared as a principal in many of that theater company's acclaimed revivals of American musical theater classics.
Trained at Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, she has appeared as a soloist with major symphony orchestras, including those of Cincinnati, San Francisco and Oakland, CA, as well as with several vocal jazz ensembles. She also appears on the original cast recordings of Cole Porter's "Something for the Boys" and "Leave It to Me."
Eric Levin, a resident of Alexandria, has, as pianist, composer and musical director, been exploring and extolling the treasures of the Great American Songbook for decades, specializing in the life and work of Irving Berlin.
Trained at Philadelphia's famed Settlement Music School and at Temple University, he has been featured as a pianist in small group jazz, as a theatrical rehearsal pianist and accompanist, as a choral director and as a musical director for regional theatrical productions. As a composer he has written original scores for television commercials and documentaries, which he also wrote and directed. He is also a published author, writing on popular culture for national publications.
He has played at leading local hotels and jazz clubs, including the Bombay Club, the Watergate and the Fairmont, where for many years he headlined the popular Sunday jazz brunch.
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