Klea Blackhurst is an actress, singer and comedienne known for her award- winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow. Most recently she starred in the highly acclaimed production of Hello, Dolly! at The Goodspeed Opera House and The Nutty Professor, which premiered in Nashville, directed by legendary comedian, Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. Klea also played Rose in Drury Lane Chicago’s Gypsy, garnering rave reviews in 2012. She’s performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad including the London Palladium presentation of Jerry Herman’s Broadway with Angela Lansbury, the recent Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tribute to Marvin Hamlisch,, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 15 Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Conventions, New York’s Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y Lyrics & Lyricists, The Chicago Humanities Festival and as Ado Annie in the BBC Proms concert of Oklahoma! in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Klea’s nightclub engagements include tributes to the Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke at the Café Carlyle with a subsequent sold-out engagement at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater and “Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael,” a collaboration with Billy Stritch. TV and radio: Shelby Cross on the IFC Channel comedy series, “ Onion News Network.” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Sesame Street” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” Theatre credits include: New York – A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Bingo, By Jupiter, Radio Gals, Oil City Symphony; Regional – Call Me Madam, Chicago, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Red Hot and Blue, Anything Goes. Klea’s albums are on the Ghostlight Records label and available at www.ghostlightrecords.com. She’s featured on “Jule Styne in Hollywood” on PS Classics; the original cast recordings of Bingo and Radio Gals; “Lost in Boston IV,” “Unsung Irving Berlin,” and “The Best of Off Broadway.” Klea is a Distinguished Alumna of The University of Utah and a member of Trinity Boxing Club NYC.
John Boswell has served as musical director for Judy Collins, Andy Williams and Bob Newhart as well as the concert tours of “Cinema Toast,””That’s Life: A Toast to Sinatra,””Blockbuster Today,” “Three Men and a Baby Grand,” “Blockbuster Broadway!” and “The Spy Who Loved Me” starring Sheena Easton. John played the role of “Moose” in the national tour of Crazy For You. Broadway/Off-Broadway credits include Crazy For You, The Secret Garden, Back To Bacharach And David, and The Kathy And Mo Show: Parallel Lives. Most recently John composed music for the HBO special Kathy And Mo: The Dark Side. John has six CD’s of original music on Hearts Of Space Records; THE PAINTER, KINDRED SPIRITS, COUNT ME IN, FESTIVAL OF THE HEART, TRUST and LOVE.
Liz Callaway made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. Other Broadway appearances include Baby (Tony Nomination), The Three Musketeers, Miss Saigon, Cats, and The Look of Love. She has appeared off-Broadway in The Spitfire Grill (Drama Desk Nomination), No Way to Treat a Lady, Marry Me a Little, and Brownstone. Other New York appearances include the legendary Follies in Concert (Lincoln Center), An Evening with Paul Williams and Jimmy Webb (Feinstein’s), Fiorello! (Encores), and Hair in Concert (New Amsterdam Theatre). She recently appeared in Bill Finn’s Elegies at Reprise! in Los Angeles. The award winning show Sibling Revelry (created with sister Ann Hampton Callaway) was presented to great acclaim at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The sequel, Relative Harmony, recently played in New York and Los Angeles.
Liz has performed extensively in concert, most recently on tour with The Boston Pops, and in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Kennedy Center and in Toronto. Worldwide, she has appeared in China, Estonia, Iceland, Germany, France, Slovenia, and just about every major city in the United States. Liz has provided the singing voice for many animated films including the title character in the Oscar nominated Anastasia. She is also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s The Return of Jafar, and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Other film work includes The Swan Princess, Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, Beauty and the Beast, and The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars. She received an Emmy Award for hosting Ready To Go, a daily, live children’s program on CBS in Boston.
Other TV credits include In Performance at the White House, Inside the Actor’s Studio: Stephen Sondheim, and Christmas with the Boston Pops. Liz has released three solo recordings: The Beat Goes On, The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway On and Off-Broadway, and Anywhere I Wander: The Music of Frank Loessor. Other recordings include A Stephen Sondheim Evening, Unsung Irving Berlin, Sondheim at the Movies, and The Maury Yeston Songbook.
SCOTT COULTER is one of New York’s most honored vocalists. For his work in cabaret, Scott has received five MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs), five Bistro Awards and two Nightlife Awards for Outstanding Vocalist and has performed at most of NYC’s top rooms including Birdland, 54 Below, The Oak Room at the Algonquin, and Feinstein’s at The Regency where he spent a record-setting eight months performing the revue 11 O’CLOCK NUMBERS AT 11 O’CLOCK which he also co-created, directed and musically arranged. His self-titled debut CD won the 2003 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and was chosen as the best recording of the year by TheatreMania and Cabaret Scenes magazine which pronounced it “quite simply, the best these ears have ever heard.”
Scott was director and star of A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE SYMPHONIC CONCERT in its world premiere with the Baltimore Symphony and reprised his performance in the Emmy-nominated PBS production which premiered in December 2013.
Since 1997, Scott has performed around the country with award-winning songwriting duo Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich in their many revues. While singing with Goldrich and Heisler he was discovered by Oscar and Grammy winning composer Stephen Schwartz who then invited him to join the revue STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & FRIENDS. That revue (starring Schwartz and Coulter along with Liz Callaway and Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte) has been performing all over the world since 1999. Schwartz has said, “One of the greatest things that can happen to a composer is to have his music interpreted by Scott Coulter.”
Scott regularly performs in concert both as a solo artist and with a variety of legendary performers including Stephen Schwartz, Tony-winner Ben Vereen and Grammy-winner Sheena Easton. He has performed with symphonies all over the world including San Francisco, Baltimore, Seattle, Phoenix, Winnipeg, St. Louis and Calgary. Noted for his soaring high notes and pure tone, Scott’s vocal versatility has garnered rave reviews from coast to coast. “Coulter is a stratospheric tenor” (The Wall Street Journal) who “sings to the balcony with a soaring theatrical savvy.” (Variety) “Coulter’s distinctive tenor packs an emotional wallop” (Huffington Post) while possessing “an 80s pop rock star strength, reminiscent of Phil Collins.” (San Francisco Examiner)
As a director Scott’s credits include many shows for The Town Hall in NY (BROADWAY BY THE YEAR, BROADWAY’S RISING STARS, BROADWAY ORIGINALS, BROADWAY UNPLUGGED) and BBTY for The Berkshire Theatre Festival and Broadway by the Bay. Along with Michael Kerker and ASCAP, he’s produced and directed several installments of Michael Feinstein’s STANDARD TIME at Carnegie Hall. He is creator, arranger and director of several touring shows including CINEMA TOAST, SOUTHERN COMFORT, BROADWAY’S ELITE, THAT’S LIFE: A TOAST TO SINATRA, YOU’VE GO T A FRIEND: CAROLE KING, NEIL SEDAKA AND THE MUSIC OF THE BRILL BUILDING, BLOCKBUSTER BROADWAY! and his critically acclaimed solo show, THE FELLA SINGS ELLA, which honors the life of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. His concert creation THE KING: THE MUSIC OF ELVIS premiered with the Calgary Philharmonic and is currently playing symphony halls across America and Canada.
Scott has taught master classes from Los Angeles to Kalamazoo to Riga, Latvia and is creator of his own unique group vocal coaching series called SONGBOOK. Scott recently wrote the book for the new musical GOT TO BE THERE which celebrates the life and music of songwriter Elliot Willensky.
Scott is founder/owner of Spot-On Entertainment. He’s a resident director of programming at 54 Below (Broadway’s Supper Club) in NYC and is a graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
The New York Times recently said, “Nowadays, probably no other performer could infuse (that song) with the manic mischief that Jason Graae, a frisky clown with a real tenor, pumped into it…”
Jason Graae has starred on Broadway in “A Grand Night For Singing”, “Falsettos”, “Stardust”, “Snoopy!”, “Do Black Patent Leather Shows Really Reflect Up?”. Off- Broadway shows include “Forever Plaid”, “Olympus on My Mind”, “All in the Timing”, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Drama Desk Nomination- Best Actor in a Musical)” and many more.
Jason made his Metropolitan Opera House debut as the male vocalist in Twyla Tharp’s “Everlast” with American Ballet Theatre. Jason has performed his one man show all over the country from Rainbow and Stars and Birdland in NYC to Feinstein’s and the Plush Room in L.A. and San Francisco, winning 4 Bistro Awards and a N.Y Nightlife Award, also making TimeOut NY’s Top Cabaret shows of the year. His current critically acclaimed show with Faith Prince, “The Prince and the Showboy” was recently seen at 54 Below and the pair won a 2nd Nightlife Award for Best Duo.
In Los Angeles, he recently won his second L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award – the 2008 Joel Hirschorn Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre. He won an Ovation Award for “Forbidden Broadway Y2KLA!”, an Artistic Director’s Achievement Award for “Fully Committed” and a Santa Barbara Indie Award for “High Button Shoes”. Jason originated the role of “Houdini” in the L.A. production of “Ragtime” at the Shubert Theatre. At the Hollywood Bowl, he was Benny Southstreet in “Guys and Dolls’” and Marcellus in “The Music Man”. He was seen in “See What I Wanna See” at the Blank and “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”at La Mirada. Recently, he played the 7 Sid Caesar roles in “Little Me” with the 42nd Street Moon Theatre Co.in San Francisco, and Jerry/Daphne in “Sugar” with Sacramento Music Circus. He was told he was not an attractive lady.
On television, Jason has appeared on many shows including “Six Feet Under”, “Rude Awakening”, “Friends”, “Frasier”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, “Living Single”, “Caroline in the City”, “Providence”, etc. On PBS, he was a guest soloist twice with the Boston Pops and once with Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony on “Holiday for the Troops at The Kennedy Center” and in “Words and Music by Jerry Herman”.
Movie appearances include the title role in “Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms” (2008 Toronto and London Film Festivals), Disney’s “Home on the Range”, “On Edge”, “Gepetto”, “The Dukes of Hazzard in Hollywood”, and “Awakening of Spring” . He has been heard on many cartoons and for 5 and 1/2 years he was the voice of “Lucky, the Leprechaun” for Lucky Charms Cereal, a balanced part of your complete breakfast.
He made his Los Angeles Opera debut as “Njegus” in “The Merry Widow”, repeating the role with Dallas , New Orleans, and Houston Grand Opera . Also with L.A. Opera he was featured as “Offenbach” in “The Grand Duchess” , directed by Garry Marshall. He has played “Frosch” in “Die Fledermaus” with the Washington National and San Francisco Operas, the Manhattan School of Music, and most recently with Houston Grand Opera.
Jason has recorded over 45 CDs, including original cast albums, concerts, compilations, and his two solo CDs, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile – Jason Graae Sings Charles Strouse”, and “Jason Graae LIVE at The Cinegrill” (Fynsworth Alley), and “Perfect Hermany-the songs of Jerry Herman.” Upcoming recordings- “And The World Goes Round” (Kritzerland) and “Roberta” (New World Records).
One of Broadway’s biggest personalities, Debbie Gravitte has found herself in demand from the Broadway Stage to the concert stage and beyond. She won the prestigious Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in JEROME ROBBINS’ BROADWAY, along with a Drama Desk Award Nomination and New York Showstopper Award. After making her Broadway debut in the original cast of THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, she went on to appear in: PERFECTLY FRANK (DRAMA DESK AWARD NOMINATION), BLUES IN THE NIGHT, AIN’T BROADWAY GRAND, ZORBA, CHICAGO, and LES MISERABLES. Debbie has appeared in the ENCORE’S series productions of THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, TENDERLOIN, and CARNIVAL at New York’s CITY CENTER.
Debbie has performed her nightclub act worldwide, from New York’s RAINBOW AND STARS, 54 BELOW, to London’s PIZZA ON THE PARK, and back home again to Atlantic City, where she’s had the honor of performing with JAY LENO, HARRY ANDERSON, and the legendary GEORGE BURNS. A favorite with Symphony audiences, she has sung with over 100 Orchestras around the world. She has toured with KEITH LOCKHART AND THE BOSTON POPS, appeared with LANG LANG and the CHINESE PHILHARMONIC in Beijing, along with PETER NERO AND THE PHILLY POPS, NATIONAL SYMPHONY (WITH MARVIN HAMLISCH), THE NY POPS WITH THE LEGENDARY SKITCH HENDERSON, ATLANTA SYMPHONY, CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY, UTAH SYMPHONY, ST. LOUIS, HOUSTON, DALLAS and SAN DIEGO SYMPHONIES.
Overseas, Debbie has sung with the LONDON, AALBORG and BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS, STOCKHOLM PHILHARMONIC, the GOTESBORG and JERUSALEM SYMPHONIES, MUNICH PHILHARMONIC, the ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA, ORCHESTRA MASSIMO DEL PALERMO and
SYMPHONICA OF BRAZIL, along with THE MALAYSIAN PHILHARMONIC.
On television, Debbie co-starred on the CBS series TRIAL AND ERROR, was seen on NBC’S PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, and has starred in several specials for PBS, including LIVE FROM THE KENNEDY CENTER, THE BOSTON POPS CELEBRATE BERNSTEIN, RODGERS AND HART for GREAT PERFORMANCES, and IRA GERSHWIN’S 100th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.
Debbie has 3 solo CD’s to her credit: DEFYING GRAVITY, THE MGM ALBUM, and PART OF YOUR WORLD, THE MUSIC OF ALAN MENKEN. Her other recordings include: CALAMITY JANE, UNSUNG SONDHEIM, LUCKY STIFF, MISS SPECTACULAR., LOUISIANA PURCHASE, A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS, as well as MACK AND MABEL IN CONCERT: live from the DRURY LANE THEATRE among others. She is currently working on her latest project: BIG BAND BROADWAY.
Debbie has sung with the NEW YORK CITY BALLET in PETER MARTIN’S “THOU SWELL” at LINCOLN CENTER, appeared with BETTE MIDLER in the Universal Feature, ISN’T SHE GREAT?, and can be heard as one of the voices in DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID. Debbie is the proud mother of three beautiful children. For more info, please visit www.debbiegravitte.com or www.debbietunes.com.
JESSICA HENDY is widely recognized as one of Broadway’s best belters. Her numerous Broadway credits include starring roles in CATS (Grizabella), Elton John’s AIDA (Amneris), and AMOUR. She has toured the US and Canada in both CATS (Grizabella) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator). In New York, she garnered rave reviews for her one woman cabaret, “A Life To Call Your Own,” and received a Bistro Award for her cabaret debut in the musical comedy revue “Get Your Tickets Now.” Jessica’s NYC pre-Broadway workshops include DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES, Elton John’s AIDA and THE MOLLY MAGUIRES.
She played Diana Goodman in the regional premier of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical NEXT TO NORMAL, at The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Her performance was so well reviewed that the show became the hottest ticket in town. In turn, the ETC production was such a hit that it was brought back for a second run the following summer. The result was another stellar run. Her performance as ‘Jeanne’ in THE GREAT AMERICA TRAILER PARK MUSICAL at The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati earned her an ACCLAIM Award for Best Actress. Jessica has had the pleasure of working at many theaters around the country including Pittsburg CLO and North Shore Music Theatre where she starred in MISS SAIGON (Ellen), and the Helen Hayes Perf Arts Center in SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD with the Tony-winning Jason Robert Brown at the piano.
Jessica’s symphonic concert work includes performances with Cincinnati Pops, Modesto Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Symphony. She travels the country as featured vocalist in several concert events including “Broadway Today!” and “Cinema Toast: The Music of the Movies.” Ms. Hendy is a proud graduate of the University of Cincinatti College-Conservatory of Music.
LEE LESSACK’s graceful lyric baritone vocals and sophisticated yet endearing persona have made him a shining star of the international concert scene. Billboard Magazine calls his singing, “Cabaret romanticism of a high order.” Touring extensively in the United States and Europe to sold-out performances and releasing five albums, Lessack has proven himself both as performer and recording artist.
In addition to his solo concert appearances, Lessack also tours with critically acclaimed vocal trio, 3 MEN AND A BABY…GRAND!, and appears in concert with television favorite, Linda Purl (“The Office,” “Matlock,” “Happy Days”.)
His fifth and most ambitious recording to date, In Good Company, was released to great acclaim. Intimate and impeccably produced, the album beams with outstanding performances. Featuring duets with music notables like Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern, Amanda McBroom, Ann Hampton Callaway and Stephen Schwartz, it has earned a MAC and Bistro Award for Best Recording of the Year.
Other recordings include Mr. Lessack’s self-titled debut solo album, his GLAMA Award®-winning, I Know You By Heart, the cast recording of An Enchanted Evening: The Music of Broadway, and a LIVE recording of his critically acclaimed vocal trio, 3 Men and a Baby…Grand Salute The Rat Pack.
A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Lessack makes his home in Los Angeles, where in 1996 he founded LML Music, whose catalog of CDs includes over 100 of the country’s top live recording artists and performers.
KELLI RABKE AGRESTA got her “big break” playing the role of Dorothy in Paper Mill Playhouse’s acclaimed production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Shortly thereafter, she was handpicked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to play the lead role of the Narrator in the Broadway revival of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (US Cast Recording). Following that, she played her dream role: Eponine in LES MISERABLES on Broadway. She went on to perform in regional theaters across the country in such roles as Mabel in MACK AND MABEL, Christine in PHANTOM, and back to Paper Mill Playhouse in Stephen Schwartz’s CHILDREN OF EDEN as Yonah (American Premiere Recording). She is one of the only Broadway stars to originate a role in both a Stephen Schwartz and an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical — a distinction for which she is incredibly honored.
She has been seen and heard in tons of TV commercials and voice-overs, and was the voice of several animated characters, including Kat in the Discovery Kids series KENNY THE SHARK. She also played the recurring role of Bernadette on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.
Kelli left the bright lights of the stage for a few years and turned her attention to her family. Her proudest accomplishments to date are her son, Joseph, an daughter, Abigale. A new chapter in her career began when joining the board of the BergenPAC in Englewood, NJ. There she developed the Kidz Cabaret series, the BeyondMusic program of instrumental lessons, and her personal favorite: MUSIC SPEAKS – an early childhood music education class for infants through 4 years old. She has sung on numerous CD’s for Music Speaks (including a duet with her son!) and is so excited to see the new Performing Arts School at BergenPAC opening this fall. Kelli also served as producer and creative director for “Beyond the Storm” – a Hurricane Sandy relief concert which raised money for local towns hard hit by the storm.
Kelli was thrilled to return to the NYC stage at the beautiful and historic Town Hall where she has been seen in numerous concerts including BROADWAY ORIGINALS and BROADWAY UNPLUGGED. Recently, she was the headliner for the BROADWAY ON THE BOARDWALK concert in Ocean City, NJ, performed at BROADWAY BALLYHOO at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Her solo cabaret debut,”No Place Like Home” has it’s NYC premier at 54 Below in June. Her concert work has taken her all over the world and she couldn’t be happier.
A Tony Award nominee for the acclaimed production of Follies, Ron has had an illustrious international career spanning musical theater, opera, concert, and television. Born and raised in Texas, Ron Raines attended Oklahoma City University and The Juilliard School. He was a three-time Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Award nominee for his role as villain Alan Spaulding on CBS’s longest running daytime drama Guiding Light. Ron has appeared on Elementary and Person Of Interest. He starred on Broadway in Annie, Newsies, Chicago and Show Boat, and originated the role of Nick Longworth in Teddy and Alice with Len Cariou.
He has delighted audiences around the world with his memorable starring roles in virtually every major American musical and operetta, including A Little Night Music, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, South Pacific, Annie, Kismet, Sayonara, Kiss Me Kate, The King and I, Naughty Marietta, The Merry Widow, Brigadoon, Rose Marie, Oklahoma!, Carousel, Side by Side by Sondheim, Guys and Dolls, and Man of La Mancha at the Covent Garden Festival. He has soloed with over 50 major American and international orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the Philly Pops, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony, and the Israel Philharmonic, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Tanglewood, the London Palladium, Rainbow and Stars, and Royal Festival Hall. He has appeared on four PBS “Great Performances,” and has made two solo recordings on Jay Records and numerous cast albums. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. ronrainesonline.com
JOHNNY RODGERS is an internationally-celebrated singer-songwriter, pianist, music ambassador, Broadway star, and recording artist who is described by Stephen Holden, from The New York Times, as an entertainer “who has show business in his bones” with “fused elements of Billy Joel, Peter Allen and Johnny Mercer.”
Rodgers dazzles audiences with his Americana mélange of original songs and classic favorites. He tours as music ambassador for the State Department to places such as the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. This past summer, Johnny toured throughout Russia performing with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.
Johnny Rodgers doubles as Music Director and piano man for Liza Minnelli performances and tours. He starred in and wrote the song “I Would Never Leave You” for Liza’s Tony Award®-winning Broadway show Liza’s At The Palace, which was later filmed and released by PBS television. Johnny has earned New York’s Nightlife, Bistro and MAC awards for his performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jazz At Lincoln Center, Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, and other premiere clubs. His songwriting has been recognized with Billboard and ASCAP Foundation awards.
Stephen Schwartz was born in New York City on March 6, 1948. He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a B.F.A. in Drama. Upon coming back to live in New York City, he went to work as a producer for RCA Records, but shortly thereafter began to work in the Broadway theatre.
His first major credit was the title song for the play BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE; the song was eventually used in the movie version as well.
In 1971, he wrote the music and new lyrics for GODSPELL, for which he won several awards including two Grammys. This was followed by the English texts, in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, for Bernstein’s MASS, which opened the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The following year, he wrote the music and lyrics for PIPPIN and two years later, THE MAGIC SHOW. At one point, GODSPELL, PIPPIN, and THE MAGIC SHOW were all running on Broadway simultaneously.
He next wrote the music and lyrics for THE BAKER’S WIFE, followed by a musical version of Studs Terkel’s WORKING, to which he contributed four songs, and which he also adapted and directed, winning the Drama Desk Award as best director. He also co-directed the television production, which was presented as part of the PBS “American Playhouse” series.
Next came songs for a one-act musical for children, CAPTAIN LOUIE, and a children’s book, THE PERFECT PEACH. He then wrote music for three of the songs in the Off-Broadway revue, PERSONALS, lyrics to Charles Strouse’s music for RAGS, and music and lyrics for CHILDREN OF EDEN.
He then began working in film, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features POCAHONTAS, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. He also provided songs for DreamWorks’ first animated feature, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, for which he won another Academy Award for the song “When You Believe”. He most recently collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s ENCHANTED.
Mr. Schwartz provided music and lyrics for the original television musical, GEPPETTO, seen on The Wonderful World of Disney and recently adapted for the stage as GEPPETTO & SON. He has released two CDs on which he sings new songs, entitled RELUCTANT PILGRIM and UNCHARTED TERRITORY.
Mr. Schwartz’s most recent musical, WICKED, opened in the fall of 2003 and is currently running on Broadway and in several other productions around the United States and the world. In 2008, WICKED reached its 1900th performance on Broadway, making Mr. Schwartz the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1900 performances. A book about his career, “Defying Gravity”, has recently been released by Applause Books.
Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he runs musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and serves on the ASCAP board; he is also a member of the Council of the Dramatists’ Guild.
Brian Wilson is excited to celebrate the music of Elvis Presley. Originally from Nashville, TN, Brian currently lives in NYC with his wife Kathi and son, James. Brian toured the US and Canada with the Broadway Musical CATS, playing the roles of Old Deuteronomy and Gus, the Theater Cat. In addition to CATS, he has performed regionally, in South Florida, Texas and at Dollywood. Brian would like to thank his family for their support and his fellow singers for including him in this musical celebration.