SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CELEBRATES GREAT WHITE WAY

Christopher Sieber



The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra celebrates the Great White Way with “Broadway Spectacular” NJSO POPS concerts May 30–31 in Newark and New Brunswick, respectively. Conductor Todd Ellison—music supervisor for the acclaimed Broadway production of An American in Paris—leads a program of favorites from Carousel, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Shrek the Musical, 42nd Street and more. Vocalists Beth Leavel, Christopher Sieber and Kathryn Guthrie perform hit songs like “’Til There Was You” from The Music Man, “All I Care About is Love” from Chicago and a medley from A Chorus Line.



Performances take place on Saturday, May 30, at 8 pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark and Sunday, May 31, at 3 pm at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. The May 31 performance is presented in collaboration with the State Theatre.



The program’s featured artists have each garnered critical acclaim. The New York Times hails Ellison as one of “Broadway’s electric conductors.” The Denver Post called Sieber the “main draw and superior pleasure” of La Cage aux Follies, calling the two-time Tony nominee “a theatrical force” and praising his ability to carry “the musical’s heft and poignancy.”



Broadway.com writes of Leavel: “When Beth Leavel is leading a show, the rest of the cast can relax in the knowledge that she will make them look good while nailing her own songs, dances, comic moments, love scenes and anything else she is asked to do. No wonder the audience at the 2006 Tony Awards cheered especially loudly when this 20-year Broadway veteran won for her inspired comic performance as the drunken title character in The Drowsy Chaperone: Leavel deserved it, and she is one of their own.” The Huffington Post wrote that Guthrie “outshone any other single moment on stage” in her New York City Opera debut in Prima Donna.



NJSO Accents include special festivities preceding each concert. Patrons can dance to the swinging sounds of the Michael Arenella Sextet in the NJPAC lobby on May 30 and can join in a sing-along of classic Broadway songs at the State Theatre on May 31.



TICKETS


Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at www.njsymphony.org, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person. The NJSO Patron Services and Sales office is located at 60 Park Place, 9th floor, in Newark; tickets are available by phone or in person Monday–Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Tickets are also available, by phone only, on concert-weekend Saturdays, 11 am to 5 pm.



Tickets for the May 31 performance are also available from the State Theatre ticket office online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org, by phone at 732.246.SHOW (7469) or in person. The State Theatre ticket office is located at 15 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick—hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 am to 6 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 1 to 5 pm, and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified.



THE PROGRAM


Broadway Spectacular with the NJSO

Saturday, May 30, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sunday, May 31, at 3 pm | State Theatre in New Brunswick



Todd Ellison, conductor

Beth Leavel, vocalist

Christopher Sieber, vocalist

Kathryn Guthrie, vocalist

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra



United Airlines, the official airline of the NJSO, is the concert sponsor of the May 30 performance. The May 31 concert is presented in collaboration with the State Theatre.


Full program information is available HERE.



NJSO ACCENTS


Designed to inspire audiences, NJSO Accents are pre- or post-concert events that complement the concert experience and provide audience members with more opportunities to personally connect with the music and music makers.



Pre-Concert Festivities—Sat, May 30, and Sun, May 31

Patrons can dance to the swinging sounds of the Michael Arenella Sextet in the NJPAC lobby on May 30 and can join in on a sing-along of classic Broadway songs at the State Theatre on May 31.






NJSO Accents in Newark are generously sponsored by the Prudential Foundation.



THE ARTISTS


Todd Ellison, conductor


One of the most accomplished and sought-after music directors working today, Todd Ellison is currently music supervisor of the new Broadway production of An American in Paris. His credits include Annie, Monty Python’s Spamalot (Tony Award, Best Musical), La Cage aux Folles (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), 42nd Street (Tony Award, Best Revival), Elton John’s Lestat, Michel Legrand’s Amour, The Wild Party, On The Town, Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), How to Succeed (starring Matthew Broderick), She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf and A Class Act.



Ellison was the music director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the famed Radio City Music Hall for several seasons. He has conducted more than 20 albums, including the Grammy Award-winning cast albums of his shows. He has accompanied such stars as Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Barry Manilow, Tyne Daly, Bea Arthur, David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry and Kelsey Grammar.



Born in Essex, Connecticut, Ellison began his piano lessons at age 6 and is a graduate of Boston University School of Music with a degree in piano performance.



Beth Leavel, vocalist


Beth Leavel received Tony, Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle and LA Drama Critics awards for her performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. She also received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her role as Florence Greenberg in Baby It’s You.



Other Broadway roles include Emily in Elf, Donna in Mamma Mia!, Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein, Dorothy Brock in the revival of 42nd Street, Tess in the original company of Crazy For You, Mrs. Bixby in The Civil War, Ellie in Hal Prince’s Showboat and Anytime Annie in 42nd Street (her Broadway debut).



She has performed the role of Sally Adams in Call Me Madam at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias at the North Carolina Theatre, Berthe in Boeing-Boeing at the Paper Mill Playhouse and Lucille in No, No, Nanette at New York City Center.



She has numerous Off-Broadway, regional theater, commercial and television credits, including the final episode of “ER.” She has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.



Christopher Sieber, vocalist


Christopher Sieber was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has been performing since the age of 9. Sieber has been a Broadway mainstay for more than 15 years, performing in more than a dozen Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast as Gaston; Thoroughly Modern Millie as Trevor Grayden opposite Sutton Foster; Into the Woods as Wolf and Rapunzel’s Prince, with Vanessa Williams; Chicago as Billy Flynn and Monty Python’s Spamalot as multiple roles in the original cast, for which he received his first Tony Award nomination.



Other Broadway credits include Shrek the Musical, creating the role of Lord Farquaad, for which he received his second Tony nomination, opposite Sutton Foster and Brian D’Arcy James, and King Charlemagne in the revival of Pippin. Currently, he is known as the evil headmistress Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical.



Television credits include “Two of a Kind” on ABC, in which he played Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s dad; “Sex and the City;” “It’s All Relative;” “Ed;” “Elementary;” “The Good Wife” and numerous soap operas in which his recurring characters never went anywhere. Follow him on Twitter at @therealsieber.



Kathryn Guthrie, vocalist


Soprano Kathryn Guthrie is equally praised for her sharp-witted interpretations of contemporary classical and musical theater works. After debuting at New York City Opera in 2012 as Marie in folkpop star Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna, Guthrie has traveled the world promoting the opera including performing at Madrid’s Teatro Real, and appears on the cast recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, to be released later in 2015.



A champion of new music, Guthrie’s has also performed with New York City Opera in the VOX 2012 concert and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland as the Cheshire Cat. She appears on The Shakespeare Concert’s “The Fair Ophelia” and “Orpheus with His Lute Made Trees” on Navona Records. She has traveled the country performing musical theater with Todd Ellison, including a recent concert with the Philly Pops.



Guthrie was a member of Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artists Program, and holds a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory—where she received the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award for Contemporary Music—and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Connecticut. More information is available at www.kathrynguthriesoprano.com.



NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA


Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.



Under the bold leadership of Music Director Jacques Lacombe, the NJSO presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.



In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People performances and multiple offerings—including the three-ensemble NJSO Youth Orchestras and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project)—that provide and promote in-school instrumental instruction as part of the NJSO Academy. The NJSO’s REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony) chamber music program annually brings original programs—designed and performed by NJSO musicians—to a variety of settings, reaching as many as 17,000 people in nearly all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.



For more information about the NJSO, visit www.njsymphony.org or email information@njsymphony.org. Tickets are available for purchase by phone 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.



The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors. United is the official airline of the NJSO.



STATE THEATRE


The State Theatre is a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre’s programs are made possible in part by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations and individuals.



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