is on the Way for the Holidays-VIII
December 3, 2006
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The Barbary Coast Cloggers were founded in San Francisco to bring the rowdiness and unique spirit of North America’s indigenous dance form, called clogging or American step dancing, out of the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the West Coast. Performing since 1981, the company’s innovative performance style is an exciting synergy of traditional American dance imbued with originality, flare, and a certain creativity that is characteristically Californian. The San Francisco Chronicle says, “They are the snappiest ensemble dancing and seem to have leaped out of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” The Cloggers have toured in the United States and Canada, including performances at the New Orleans and Vancouver World’s Fairs, C.L.O.G. Nationals in Nashville and San Diego, and extensively throughout California under the auspices of the California Arts Council Touring and Presenting Program. The company has a long history with the Harvest Festival, performing up to 50 times a year in as many as seven venues in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Barbary Coast has performed more than a dozen times in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and the Artistic Director of World Arts West, producers of the festival, has written that BCC performances “are highlights of the program and an inspiration to many other dance companies who aspire to the level of professionalism and precision the company demonstrates.” This is their third appearance in a Help is on the Way production.
Kevin, whose Broadway credits include Trevor Graydon in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," as well as the Broadway and National Touring Companies of "Les Miserables," recently released his debut CD entitled “Earley Standards,” featuring timeless classics from such composers as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George and Ira Gershwin. Available at kevinearley.com. Kevin was also just nominated for an Ovation Award for the Los Angeles Premiere of "It Came From Beyond."
For the last several years Kevin has enjoyed being a part of the Los Angeles theater community, working with such companies as CLO South Bay – "Titanic," "Carousel;" Laguna Playhouse – "Spirfire Grill," "Enter the Guardsmen;" La Mirada – "My Way," Johnny Guitar;" McCallum – "City of Angels;" Musical Theater West – "Guys and Dall," "I Love a Piano;" and The Colony – "Side Show" (Ovation Nomination for Terry Connor). He has also done seven show with LA’s Reprise!including "City of Angels," "Applause," "A New Brain," "Assassins," "Follies," "Most Happy Fella" and "1776" (LA Drama Critic's Circle Award for Rutledge). At Los Angeles’s Kodak Theater, Kevin played Ramases the Pharaoh against Val Kilmer’s Moses in the highly publicized "Ten Commandments."
marked Kevin’s fourth season soloing with the California Philharmonic
and has performed at The Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
in "The Music Man, "Camelot" and as Freddy in "My
From a young boy who was never supposed to be able to speak, to a man with a golden voice – Anthony Fedorov has truly beaten all the odds. As an "American Idol" season four Top 4 Finalist, to being voted the Number 2 most popular performer in the 2005 Idol summer tour, Anthony has begun the ascent he has dreamed about all his life. His presence commanded attention, his voice commanded respect and endeared him to the over 130 million viewers and voters that tuned in, week after week to vote him into the top 10. Anthony ultimately landed in the top 4 with Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice and Vonzel Solomon and by that time had become instantly recognizable and much loved by fans of the show everywhere.
Anthony was born in the Ukraine in 1985 to a very musical family. His grandmother sang opera and, what can be called, Russian “country” music and his father plays guitar and accordion. As a very young child Anthony was stricken with a growth in his throat which needed removal. The doctors feared that removal of the growth would result in his inability to ever speak. For a considerable time that was true. But, with the strength and caring of his family, Anthony overcame that hurdle however, the physical scar remains -- as in the tracheotomy which is so clearly visible and frankly has become one of Anthony trademarks.
At the age of 9, Anthony moved with his family to the USA. His only words in English at that time were ‘thank you’, which he learned in school in Russia. By age 10 he was speaking fluent English and by age 14 he was singing with the promise of the powerful voice to come in the clubs and restaurants around his hometown of Philadelphia and within New York. By this time Anthony was singing in Spanish and Italian as well – his knack for languages is uncanny.
joined the 2005 American idol summer tour which played in 44 cities to
over 1⁄2 million people. Anthony has appeared on many of the most
popular TV talk shows including the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno,"
the "Ellen Degeneres Show," "Live with Regis and Kelly,"
"The Tony Danza Show" and a host of Fox Network Shows.
Summer 2006 has been very productive for Anthony. While touring and performing live, working on solo material with some of music’s most successful songwriters and producers - including Desmond Child, Diane warren and Richard Marx - he also found time to co-star as a judge in the MTV networks original show ‘MRV’s "Little Talent Show Triple Threat’ which is slated to air on the network later this fall. Anthony appears in 4 episodes. Aside from the fame he has enjoyed from his experience competing on "American Idol," Anthony has remained true to his passion of creating and performing great music. One can only expect that, with a story like this, the true beginning has yet to be written. This is Anthony's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way Production."
Jacquelynne Fontaine is the reigning Miss California after winning the title of Miss Santa Barbara. Aside from her obvious beauty, she is a gifted singer who's rendition of "Vissi d' Arte" from Puccini's "Tosca" helped ensure her the crown and title of Miss California 2006. Her platform for the competition was Diabetes Awareness. Jacquelynne received a Masters in Music and Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Magna Cum Laude from California Lutheran University. Her scholastic honors included the Dean's Scholarship and a 4.0 GPA, Magna Cum Laude Graduate with Departmental Honors, CLU 2004 from USC, Dean's List, 2000-2004, CLU Merit Scholarship 2000-2004 and listing in Who's Who Among America's High School Students from 1998-2000. Ms. Fontaine has worked as a private voice and piano instructor, opera soloist for Symphony benefits, Assistant Choir Director and soloist for Bethlehem Lutheran Church and a Server and Law Clerk. She has sang in cathedrals and toured throughout England with University Choir and recently sand a duet with Dale Kristien in "What a Pair 4," a breast cancer benefit for the John Wayne Research Insitute. This is Jacquelynne's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
"Out of this World" is the breakthrough CD that Sony Holland fans have been waiting for. It showcases this emerging vocalist at her best, applying her outstanding technique in the subtle service of melody and lyric. With effortless swing and perfect pitch she jazzes up a phrase by sliding gracefully into silken high-notes and soothing lows. This new disc is a collection of standards re-imagined, like the heartfelt rendering of "I've Got You Under My Skin," the smoldering Latin flavor of "Summer Night," and the celestial passion of the title track. Not to mention Sony’s soaring blue-eyed bluesy take on the Etta James classic, "At Last," which loyal fans demand as an encore to her live shows. The "San Francisco Chronicle" says, “Her voice combines the pop stylings of Nancy Wilson and the open-throated bell tones of Streisand.”
Sony was born in the icy north of Minnesota where Dad was a Minister and Mom directed the choir. She studied music mostly by listening to favorites like Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee, and honed her craft during long performance runs in Asia. At home in San Francisco she keeps sharp by gigging in every possible setting including concert halls, nightclubs, parties, galas, cafés, weddings, and festivals. In the process she has developed into a world-class entertainer with a style uniquely her own.
She has built an ardent following initially attracted by her 2003 CD of original material titled "On a San Francisco High. Sony and her band have played to packed houses at all of the top Bay Area jazz venues including Yoshi’s, Pearl’s, The Empire Plush Room, The Carmel Jazz & Blues Company, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, the Lesher Center, the San Francisco Jazz Summerfest, the Fillmore Jazz Festival, the Sausalito Arts Festival, etc, etc… Among her career highlights she lists singing our National Anthem for the baseball Giants, performing for Royal Princess Masako of Japan and joining an all-star cast in a fundraiser for the Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation at the Palace Of Fine Arts. This is Sony's second appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Roslyn Kind is a dynamic, multi-talented entertainer who has forged a successful career in all facets of entertainment from critically acclaimed recordings to sold-out performances on Broadway and in top concert venues and nightclubs the world over. A vibrant musical artist, Ms. Kind is familiar to both national and international audiences for her headlining appearances at some of the most prestigious venues including Lincoln Center, The Greek Theater and London’s Café Royal. The London Times noted “To say she is superb would be an understatement.” In 2006 she made her long awaited and rapturously received Carnegie Hall debut with her frequent musical collaborator and friend, Michael Feinstein.
She began her performing career while still in her teens with the release of her first album, "Give Me You." A whirlwind of performing activity followed including engagements at the nation’s top nightclubs, acclaim from "Time Magazine" and three appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Sho"w leading up to her show-stopping New York debut at the Plaza Hotel’s legendary Persian Room. Her follow up singles and a second album, "This is Roslyn Kind," showcased her growth as a recording artist comfortable in a wide range of musical genres. Ms. Kind’s latest CD release, "Come What May," which the "New York Times" described as “splendid and sizzling”, further establishes her reputation as a virtuoso vocalist possessing impeccable phrasing, a richness and clarity of tone and an undeniable emotional connection to her always first-rate material.
Concurrent with her recording career, Ms. Kind is an accomplished theatrical performer. On Broadway, she starred in the crowd-pleasing musical revue "3 from Brooklyn." Additional theatrical credits include the Off-Broadway production of "Show Me Where the Good Times Are", "Leader of the Pac"k and" Ferguson the Tailor." She also stopped the show in a critically lauded Los Angeles production of William Finn’s "Elegies;" The Hollywood Reporter noted, “Roslyn Kind sings like a dream…..”
Ms. Kind’s extensive list of television credits include the film" Switched at Birth", multiple episodes of NBC’s "Gimme a Break,' "Throb" starring Jane Leeves and a humorously memorable turn as herself on CBS’s "The Nanny." This appearance also showcased her talent as a songwriter in a performance of her composition, "Light of Love". She also performed the title song for the made-for-TV movie" Not Just Another Affair." Ms. Kind has appeared on virtually every major talk/variety show including "The Tonight Show," "Saturday Night Live,"" Entertainment Tonight", "Access Hollywoo"d and "Good Morning America.' Among her international television credits are England’s "Pebble Mill Show," Canada’s "Musique Plus," and "For Me – Formidable," a Charles Aznavour special for European TV co-starring Dusty Springfield. In motion pictures, Ms. Kind has had starring roles in" The Underachievers" and" I’m Going to Be Famous."
Kind also takes pride in her work for various animal welfare, Alzheimer’s
and AIDS related charitable organizations including HSUS, APLA and Broadway
Cares Equity Fights AIDS for which she contributed a song selection to
"Cabaret Noel," a recent volume in their annual series of holiday
"The New York Post" summed it up best “She’s so good on so many levels; it’s difficult to categorize her. This elegant, beautiful, petite, dynamo delight rules the stage with a royal command that demands adoration from every seat in the house.” A native of Brooklyn, New York she currently resides in Los Angeles. Visit her online at www.roslynkind.com. This is Roslyn's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Dale is best known for her portrayal of Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” a role she played for over 1700 performances, both on Broadway and for the entire four and one half record-breaking years in Los Angeles. She starred with the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, on Broadway and then premiered the show together in Los Angeles. She and Mr. Crawford have continued their alliance ever since, appearing together in concert all over the world and in a television special for PBS as well as for three U.S. Presidents and an English Prince.
Dale first appeared on Broadway in “Camelot” starring the original stage King Arthur, Richard Burton, followed by the original film King Arthur, Richard Harris. She then played the role of Magnolia on Broadway and in the Huston Grand Opera production of “Show Boat” starring Donald O’Connor. Dale’s career has included her own concerts, countless musicals, television appearances, her debut album “The Beauty of Broadway” and cursing the high seas. She continues to donate her time to such worthy causes as AIDS, Alzheimer’s, The American Heart Association and The Actor’s Fund. This is her second appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production.
Comedic, sagacious, welcoming, and astonishing are words that describe the short, petite, and stunning songwriter and songstress, La Toya London. With her chocolate colored skin and brilliant smile that illuminates the television screen and stage, London was voted a top performer not only on TV, but also on her summer 2004, American Idol World Tour. La Toya’s composed demeanor and buoyant approach to her performances while touring made her a favorite to watch and work with.
For months, La Toya London captivated audiences across the United States and world when she delivered powerful, show-stopping performances—seemingly with ease—on the 2004 season of the hit reality show “American Idol”. Her talents even managed to ignite the razor sharp tongue of none-other than the program’s most infamous judge, Simon Cowell, to go so far as to hail La Toya as the odds-on favorite to win the 2004 competition. But as fate would have it, millions of American voters along with the show’s celebrity judges were dumfounded as La Toya was unceremoniously voted off the show at what seemed the crest of her success in the final weeks of competition. This pitfall proved not to be the end. Along with La Toya’s millions of loyal TV viewing fans, a number of record labels had also fallen under the hypnotic spell of this young Chanteuse’. Peak Records, in partnership with Concord Records (the last record label of the late-great Ray Charles), instantly signed La Toya to a recording contract. There she made a home with fellow legendary label mates, Regina Belle and Miki Howard. Her debut album Love & Life, are a collection of timeless, original R&B and soul classics fused with songs, written by La Toya. The CD, which will be in stores September 20, 2005, will no doubt establish her as a victorious star.
in Allen Temple Baptist Church, La Toya has been a natural singer since
the age of four. London was born in San Francisco, but has lived in East
Oakland majority of her life. She graduated from Skyline High School,
where she was in the same arts program made famous by actor Tom Hanks.
La Toya has participated in several choirs, including the Youth Choir
at Allen Temple Baptist Church, the Oakland Youth Chorus and Skyline Gospel
La Toya has showcased her vocal talents at the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, 100 Black Men fundraising gala, NABFEME PRESENTS Women Who Jam, FOX-TV Good Day Atlanta, WGN-Chicago, Vibe Music Festival, California State Fair and the Clear Channel holiday party. London has also performed the national anthem for numerous NFL teams and the Atlanta Braves. She was also a featured performer at the 2005 Super Bowl NFL Commissioner pre-game party. She celebrated the late Ray Charles’s life during Concord Record’s Grammy party, by singing a tribute song for him.
La Toya has immersed herself in career pursuits designed to mold her into a true triple-threat. Most recently, she has added “actress” to her resume. She played one of the lead roles as Chastity in the Latarras R. Whitfield stage play Issues: We All Got ‘Em that toured nationally Spring 2006. La Toya was simply outstanding earning rave reviews from city to city. After a stirring performance in New York, La Toya is currently being considered for roles in the Broadway production of "The Wiz" and "Rent". La Toya London is no longer an "American Idol." She has her sites set on becoming a true American Icon. This is La Toya’s fourth appearance in a “Help is on the Way” production.
"A Little Travelin’ Music" is the title of Russ Lorenson’s debut CD, but it also pretty well sums up his varied career thus far. His talents have made him equally at home in jazz and pop as well as on stage, in the recording studio, and on TV. From Pennsylvania to California, from San Diego to San Francisco, Russ has been travelin’, for sure, but he’s never strayed far from his love for the music of the Great American Songbook. And it certainly shows in the warmth, range, and musicality of his compelling interpretations.
Russ’ career began as a youngster, making his stage debut at the ripe old age of seven, and he continued singing and acting throughout his early school years. High school found him more focused on “legit” music, where he performed and toured with an award-winning classical vocal ensemble. He also gained experience as both a choral conductor and composer, winning the high school music division of a young artists’ competition in his school district for his composition work. After college, he continued his work as a choral conductor and voice coach, working for five years as Associate Conductor of the award-winning California Youth Chorale. He returned to theatrical performing as well, appearing in musical productions with San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, Starlight Musical Theatre, and Lyric Opera San Diego.
In the late 90’s, Russ took a major detour away from life on the boards. This multi-talented artist plunged into the high-tech world just as the dot-com boom was exploding. Never one to do things by halves, he moved to San Francisco, began working in start-ups and found himself flying high in all senses of the word. Extensively traveling in his various jobs, Russ racked up nearly a million air miles and boasted an income that easily surpassed the meager earnings of an actor and singer. Performing fell by the wayside, but after a break of nearly 10 years, the scene changed once again. Although continuing in high-tech, Russ began appearing with San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon. He has appeared in their productions of "Finian's Rainbow," "Minnie's Boys," Cole Porter’s "Red, Hot & Blue!," and in 2006, he appeared in the company’s first foray into opera, with their production of "The Golden Apple."
In 2005, Russ made the great leap and left the high-tech world to return to his passion. With his band, under the musical direction of renowned jazz pianist Kelly Park, Russ has quickly established a reputation as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading interpreters of jazz standards. He does not shy away from theatricality but always knows when to infuse jazz sensibilities into an old Broadway chestnut, bringing new life to a song audiences think they know so well. Russ’ sound and approach place him at the intersection of Broadway, jazz, and pop – the very essence of the Great American Songbook.
Russ’s first nightclub show, "A Little Travelin’ Music," played to sold-out audiences on both coasts, including San Francisco's legendary Empire Plush Room and The Hideaway Room at Helen’s in New York City. His debut CD of the same name, was released in May 2006 on the LML Music label and features songs from his show and includes duets with special guests Shawn Ryan and Klea Blackhurst. His second CD, "What I Want For Christmas," will hit music stores in September 2006.
In recognition of his solid and sophisticated musical vocabulary, Talkin’Broadway.com called Russ “an elegant performer who has faultless musical taste and vocal phrasing. He has a voice that is reminiscent of some of the great singers like Tony Bennett, Chet Baker and a little of Mel Tormé.” The Los Angeles Times said that he brings “a supple voice and strong sense of characterization to all his songs." The San Diego Union-Tribune said that his “relaxed, easy deliveries...seem natural and heartfelt..." BeyondChron.com said, “Not only does Lorenson have the soul of the greats – Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and other dream crooners of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – he has the band with him to really bring those decades to life.” The Coronado Journal simply called him “…irresistible…” The best is yet to come as Russ honors the legendary Tony Bennett in his new show, "Benedetto/Blessed: A Tribute to the Life and Music of Tony Bennett." The world knows him as Tony Bennett, whose star shines brighter than ever as he celebrates his eightieth birthday in 2006. But his birth name - Benedetto - means "blessed," an accurate adjective to describe both the man and his fans. "I find great inspiration in Mr. Bennett’s music and artistic vision," says Lorenson. "The Great American Songbook has had no greater champion, and I am honored to be singing Mr. Bennett’s greatest hits." Russ’ tribute to the man whom Frank Sinatra called "the best singer in the business" will debut in San Francisco and will play select cities throughout the US, including Los Angeles and New York. This is Russ' first appearance in a 'Help is on the Way" production.
by audiences and critics alike, vocalist and musical theatre performer,
Meg Mackay, is a popular and distinguished member of the San Francisco
Bay Area performing arts scene. Meg has been a frequent performer in Bay
Area cabarets and theaters for over fifteen years. A sophisticated actress
with a distinctive voice, Meg has received an amazing eight Drama-Logue/Dean
Goodman awards and seven Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle awards.
Meg is best known for her diverse repertoire that includes both the familiar and the rarely-heard: American pop songs from the 30's and 40's, Broadway show tunes and original works. Her one-woman cabaret show has been well-received in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles and at San Francisco's famous showcase, the Plush Room. Her accompanist is her long-time collaborator (and husband), Billy Philadelphia.
Mackay's versatility as a performer is further demonstrated by her shining list of musical performance credits. Following "Beach Blanket Babylon," she toured for two years (and played two roles) with the National Touring Company of the Tony award-winning play, "Torch Song Trilogy". Back home, her more recent credits include performances with the Marin Symphony, 'Putting It Together," "She Loves Me" and 'The World Goes 'Round" at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, "A Karen Carpenter Christmas" at the Marsh in San Francisco, two Stephen Sondheim revues at Marin Theatre Company, the original company of the award-winning, "And What, Give Up Show Biz?" and both the San Francisco and Los Angeles companies of "Stardust." Most recently she played the title roles in both the Mountain Play's production of "Hello, Dolly!" and 42nd Street Moon's "Call Me Madam." This is Meg's 12th appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Madame, a nationally recognized entertainer, best known for her years partnering with the multi-talented Wayland Flowers, is returning to the stage after 15 years of silence. Although she has been physically out of the spotlight, Madame’s persona is still a part of the current culture. Howard Stern, the self proclaimed “King of All Media,” mentions Madame on his top-rated national radio show. Madame has even been brought to television in animated form, on an episode of the FOX Television series, Family Guy. Madame can be seen in VH 1’s; "I Love the 70’s Part 2" series. Madame has attended many of the Launch Parties for Fashion Week September 2005 in New York and has been asked back to attend Fashion Week February 2006 as the hostess of the Accessory Show, in New York City. Madame and her new handler (pardon the term) have been seen about New York City at many a fashionable party. They just concluded a four week engagement at a trendy club in the Big Apple.
Born of humble beginnings, Madame encountered puppeteer Wayland Flowers on a bus ride in New York in the mid-sixties. Immediately smitten with Madame’s beauty and bawdy sense of humor, Flowers recognized her untapped talent and presented the idea of the two of them working together as a comedy team. She accepted the challenge on the condition that she got all the laughs and first choice on gowns. Madame recalls the first few gigs as being tough. “But honey, it wasn’t long before he knew just what strings to pull and we were bringing down the house!” The two were on the road, performing in honky-tonks, hole-in-the wall comedy clubs and the occasional bath house. “It was the free love decade, but I always demanded tips.” It wasn’t long before they traveled overseas and found that club-goers from London to Bangkok enjoyed their double-entendre comedy as much as the fans back home.
Madame, the two-time Emmy award winning performer, made her first television appearance with Flowers on "The Andy Williams Show." Madame’s biting humor was an immediate hit with viewers and soon the team of Wayland Flowers and Madame were in demand. She followed with guest appearances on" Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In" which gave the country a taste of the beautiful aging diva’s quick wit. Wayland received his first Emmy for "Old is Something Else," he was the first performer to win an Emmy Award for talent in the News and Documentary category for his performance. His second Emmy was received for" Free To Be You & Me" with Marlo Thomas. Next the inseparable duo occupied the much coveted center square on the popular game show "Hollywood Squares" where they kept audiences laughing but wanting more.
meet the call of their fans, they spent four years on the popular music
variety show, "Solid Gold." “Disco was king and I was
queen and believe me, my fans tried to wrestle me for that crown, many
a night!” It was still not enough. Madame knew that she would have
to give even more of her talent, even more of her time. Flowers realized
that the stage belonged to Madame, so he took a back seat so she could
stand in the spotlight alone for the syndicated television series,"
Madame’s Place." A comedy ahead of its time, it gave television
viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how a variety show is made. With Madame
in the starring role, she played the host of a talk show where the audience
got a peak at Madame at home and her backstage antics Showtime gave Madame
her own television special titled "Madame in Manhattan," which
was released on video, copies of which have since become a collector’s
item on Ebay. Madame also performed for years in Las Vegas, most notably
starring in "Madame Goes to Harlem" in the main room at The
Mason has starred on Broadway, Off-Broadway, television, and recording:
and "has few peers when it comes to ripping the roof off with her
amazing voice that knows no bounds!" (TheatreScene.net) Karen is
an nine time MAC Award winner and has won the MAC Award for Major Female
Vocalist of the Year for six consecutive years. She has also won the 2006
Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist and three Bistro Awards. Ms.
Mason originated the role of Tanya on Broadway in Abba's "Mamma Mia!,"
and was awarded a 2002 Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress. Her other
leading roles include Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard," which
she performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations on Broadway and
in Los Angeles for three years; Mazeppa in "Jerome Robbins' Broadway;"
Rosalie in "Carnival" (another Drama Desk nomination); plus
featured roles in Broadway's "Torch Song Trilogy;" and "Play
Me a Country Song."
In regional theatre, Karen starred in the world premiere of the stage production of "White Christmas," (playing the Rosemary Clooney role at St. Louis Muni Opera), "Side by Side by Sondheim" (Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida), "Gypsy" (Sundance Theatre in California), the world premiere of "One Tough Cookie" (Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago), "Heartbeats" (Goodspeed Opera House in NY) and "Company" (Huntington Theatre in Boston). Most recently in New York, Karen starred in the one-woman musical about Dorothy Parker "You Might as Well Live."
Karen has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Feinstein's at The Regency, Rainbow & Stars, the Algonquin, Arci' Place, The Supper Club and The Ballroom in NYC; The Cinegrill and the UCLA/ASCAP Concert Series in Los Angeles; The Plush Room in San Francisco; and Davenport's in Chicago. She has shared concert stages with Luciano Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Jerry Herman, and John Kander & Fred Ebb, among others. Karen has given concerts in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Brazil, Scotland, Tokyo and Osaka. Her starring symphonic performances include The New York Pops with Skitch Henderson, The Oklahoma Philharmonic with Joel Levine, the premier performance of The Chicagoland Pops, The Indianapolis Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony with John McDaniel.
In addition to her live performances, her voice graces the soundtrack of "Jeffrey" (Varese Sarabande), the studio cast recording of "Wonderful Town" (Jay Records), the original cast album of "And the World Goes 'Round" (RCA Victor), "The Child in Me Vol. 1" (Harbinger Records) and "Lost in Boston II" (Varese Sarabande). In 2005, Karen released her fifth universally acclaimed CD, "Sweetest of Nights," after winning the 2002 MAC Award for Major Female Recording of the Year for "When the Sun Comes Out." Her other CD's are "Better Days" (featuring the 1998 Emmy winning song, "Hold Me", by Brian Lasser); "Not So Simply Broadway;" and her live recording "Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!" (all on Zevely Records). This is Karen's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Olivor is a very special woman, both in her music and in the mesmerizing
impact she has with audiences. On stage and on record, Jane's voice has
a presence that is the central element of her performance. It is an instrument
which weaves soft images on the air while her face, flashing eyes, and
movements of her hands and body complement the heat of her voice and the
emotional power she brings to the lyrics of a song. She takes those songs
and strips them to their essential elements, interpreting them so that
they become undeniably hers. Simply stated by a Toronto Star journalist,
“Part Piaf, part Garland, part Streisand, with a touch of Jacques
Brel, Olivor sings about the vulnerabilities of life that touch us all
with a deep emotion that permeates her whole body.”
Whether it is acting, singing, or charming Regis Philbin on "America's Got Talent," East Bay Native Shawn Ryan is taking the music world by storm! "Shawn Ryan is Entertainment" and this local boy has done more than just make good – he’s changing the world one tune at a time! Shawn Ryan is one of the brightest stars in the jazz cabaret world having what the Los Angeles Times calls “a charm that is rare!” Coming straight off the semi-final round of NBC's summer hit, "America's Got Talent," Shawn is skyrocketing to the top of the music scene with two albums, numerous national television appearances, and his Upcoming 2007 InterNational Tour encompassing over 20 cities. Shawn and his partner of 5 years, John Ainsworth are the Directors/Founders The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp held in The Bay Area as a way to give back to the young artists of tomorrow! (www.youngactorstheatrecamp.com. Shawn's Film and Television work includes "Boston Public", "American Pie 3:" "American Wedding," and "First Daughter." Visit www.shawn-ryan.com for tour info and to purchase CDs. This is Shawn's second appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
the mid 1960s, with songs like “So Long Babe” and ‘”How
Does that Grab You, Darlin’?,” Nancy Sinatra took the image
of a girl crying over her diary for a boy who wouldn’t behave and
changed it to a woman who let her men know, in no uncertain terms, just
how things were going to be. “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”
kicked open the doors for a whole new category of women in music. Nancy’s
tough girl attitude preceded women’s liberation and created the
first rebel chick singer. The era of the female rocker was born. Armed
with a signature style, catchy songs and memorable album covers and photo
spreads, Nancy has scored more than 24 chart hits in the US and Internationally
and become a role model for young, independent women as well as an icon
of pop culture. After “Boots” went to #1 in 1966, the theme
of independence and free thinking that appealed to women and men was perpetuated
by “How Does That Grab You,” a #7 charter and “Sugar
Town”, a #4 chart record. Nancy’s recording of the title song
of the James Bond movie, “You Only Live Twice,” became an
anthem for many who still request it when she performs today. Her legendary
#1 record with her father, “Somethin’ Stupid,” is always
on the “best of” lists, as are many of her duets with her
mentor/producer Lee Hazlewood, including “Sand,” “Summer
Wine” and “Jackson.” Their “Some Velvet Morning”
was listed as the best duet ever recorded, by the London Daily Telegraph
The core of her original band (some of whom still perform with her) was the world famous “Wrecking Crew,” L.A.’s finest rhythm section, who also worked with the Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Phil Spector and other rock legends. Producers whom Nancy considers herself fortunate to have worked with are Don Costa, Bones Howe, Snuff Garrett, Charles Calello, Jimmy Bowen, Tutti Camarratta, Lee Hazlewood, L. Russell Brown, Billy Strange, Duane Eddy and now AJ and Matt Azzarto. Nancy’s current band has included former Guns & Roses Guitarist Gilby Clarke and Drummers, Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello’s band and Clem Burke of Blondie.
staple of television variety shows, Nancy appeared on the "Ed Sullivan
Show," "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," "The Glen
Campbell Show," "The Bobby Darin Show," "Johnny Carson,"
"Laugh-In," "Hullabaloo," "The Kraft Music Hall,"
"Hollywood Palace" and many others, including "Hippodrome"
and "Top of the Pops" in the UK.
the Vietnam War, Nancy was a favorite pin-up for the GI’s on battlefields
and ships. For them, she represented the ideal girl to come home to. In
the liner notes of her “Sugar” album, Lee Hazlewood tried
to explain the dichotomy of the Nancy persona which seemed to capture
so many hearts. He called her “a girl and a woman who is quiet and
noisy, square yet hip.” There were many other milestones along the
way: record breaking appearances in Las Vegas, Juke Box Awards, Grammy
nominations and an Emmy winning television special, conceived and produced
by Nancy, called “Movin’ With Nancy.” This collection
of music videos, ten years before there were music videos, is available
on VHS and DVD. The sequels, “Movin’ With Nancy on Stage”
and “Movin’ With Nancy Nice ‘n’ Easy” will
She continues to be very active in politics and charitable causes, including "Songs Of Love," an artistic cooperative which creates upbeat and encouraging original songs personalized for children with chronic or terminal illnesses, Jerry Lewis’ MDA Telethon and the Thalians, who operate mental health clinics out of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Over the years requests from fund raisers for donation of signed pairs of Nancy’s boots have resulted in auctions benefiting many worthy organizations. Nancy personally oversees the operation of two popular websites, sinatrafamily.com and nancysinatra.com. On both sites, she maintains communication with visitors, sharing information and encouraging the expression of ideas, mutual support and community.
In 1995, after raising her two daughters and seeing them happily ensconced in college, Nancy re-started her career with her “One More Time” album and a Playboy pictorial. The latter demonstrated once again that sexuality and feminism are not mutually exclusive. She performed sold-out rock shows in the United States and Scandinavia. Nancy concentrated on reconnecting with a rock music audience by playing such famous venues as the Limelight in New York City, RPM in Toronto, the Fillmore in San Francisco, the Trocadero in Philadelphia and the Whisky, Viper Room and House of Blues in Los Angeles. It was on tour that Nancy learned first-hand of the influence she had had on many young rockers. Kim Deal of The Breeders and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth were two of the musicians who came to Nancy’s shows to express their appreciation for her lighting the way. Madonna has been quoted as saying “Nancy Sinatra was a huge influence on me. I wanted to put on my go-go boots and walk all over someone”. In an early interview, she said “…my two oldest fantasies. One was to be Nancy Sinatra; the other was to be a Nun. I used to sing "These Boots Are Made For Walkin’" in front of the mirror, in my uniform skirt”. Kelly Osbourne stated she patterned her video for “Papa Don’t Preach” after “Nancy Sinatra’s kinky Boots video.” Jessica Simpson released a cover of “Boots”, featuring Willie Nelson, on the soundtrack of the feature film version of “The Dukes of Hazzard”.
In July of 1999, the United States Postal Service enlisted Nancy to unveil their Peace Symbol stamp. The unveiling was an evening to remember, with these two American icons together on stage at the Whisky A Go-Go on the world famous Sunset Strip, revisiting the “Summer of Love.” At this event, Nancy received official commendations from the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Governor of California for her efforts on behalf of the peace movement and for her consistent support of our military troops and Veterans. She also was presented with the key to the City of West Hollywood. August 2002 marked Nancy’s first ever concert performance in the UK. The sold-out event was recorded by and broadcast on the BBC.
Nancy currently has 20 albums on CD and there are more on the way. Bear Family Records is in the process of putting together a comprehensive boxed set, which will include rare and unreleased Nancy recordings along with all of her hits. Reuniting with Lee Hazlewood and Billy Strange to record a CD of new duets, Nancy closed the circle on her musical past. The new work, “Nancy & Lee 3” was released in 2004 by Warner Brothers Records Australia. This project has been long awaited by Nancy and Lee fans.
Nancy’s support of American Veterans who are dear to her since her USO tour of Vietnam during the war there remains a cause close to her heart. Nancy regularly appears at Veteran events, makes personal appearances and performs live concerts, including benefits such as the annual Ride To The Wall in Washington, DC, which remembers and honors POW’s and MIA’s. Frequent audience members at her shows, Veterans often signal their attendance and are always warmly greeted with a “Welcome home.” from Nancy. After 9/11, Nancy contacted the USO to volunteer her services once again. In May 2003, Nancy and her band performed at a USO concert event with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, called "Hollywood’s Salute To The Troops,' an outdoor celebration for Veterans and current troops at the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood, California. Each year Nancy participates in a variety of events paying tribute to our Military heroes and paying homage to those missing and lost in action.
Nancy participated in the JVC Jazz Festival’s “There’ll Be Another Spring,” a star-studded tribute to Miss Peggy Lee, at Carnegie Hall in New York. According to critics, she opened with a “sassy take” on ‘Why Don’t You Do Right?” and also performed “a feline duet” with Deborah Harry of BLONDIE on “The Siamese Cat Song,” from Disney’s “Lady And The Tramp." The event was recorded for airing on National Public Radio. Nancy and other artists have continued to perform this tribute in venues across the country including engagements at The Hollywood Bowl and the Ravinia Arena in Chicago. For his film “Kill Bill Volume I”, director Quentin Tarantino chose Nancy’s recording of Sonny Bono’s song “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” as the theme for the movie’s opening credits. According to the director, Nancy’s version of “Bang, Bang” is “the music the movie will work to the beat of… That was in my head six years ago when I first came up with ‘Kill Bill.’ Nancy’s version is so soulful. She sings it like poetry. It gives you new respect for what a wonderful vocalist she is.”
Having achieved a 40 year legacy in rock and roll, Nancy created the platform for contemporary rebel-chicks such as Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Deborah Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Shirley Manson, Courtney Love and Gwen Stefani. On January 27th 2005, Nancy joined forces with Cyndi Lauper and Sandra Bernhard in a fund-raising concert at CROBAR in New York city, to benefit victims of the East Asian Tsunami. In spring 2005, Nancy was profiled on the popular "CBS Sunday Morning" television program. The latest CD release of new recordings, on the ATTACK/Sanctuary Records label, is the self-titled “Nancy Sinatra,” a series of collaborations with recording artists such as Morrissey, Jon Spencer, Reno, Calexico, Sonic Youth, Pete Yorn, Steve Van Zandt and Jarvis Cocker, released in September 2004. The first live presentation of songs from the new album occurred in a sold out performance by Nancy and her band at the Meltdown Festival in London’s Royal Festival Hall. The first single released was the Morrissey penned “Let Me Kiss You” which charted in the UK. Since it’s release, the album “Nancy Sinatra” has made the BEST OF lists around the world, including "Billboard," "Blender," "New York Times" and "Guardian UK."
In late 2005, Audio Bullys built a new song around Nancy’s recording of “Bang, Bang” titled “Shot You Down,” which quickly reached #1 in the UK, becoming Nancy’s first hit on the dance charts. "Ther Essential Nancy Sinatra," a collection of 26 songs covering 5 decades of Nancy’s recordings, was released in the UK and Europe, on March 13th 2006, by EMI. It includes the unreleased 1970’s track “Machine Gun Kelly,” in addition to many of the hits and a few fan favorites. Nancy has recorded the opening and closing themes for noted screen writer and director Todd Stephens’ latest project, “Another Gay Movie,” a satire of the popular teen coming of age films, which opens in July 2006.
Through iTunes and other electronic media outlets, most of Nancy’s catalog (including specially crafted collections of rarities and early recordings, never before issued) is now available to modern music fans engaging in legal music downloading. An exhibit consisting of photographic images representing Nancy’s style and originality is being conceived by curator, Peter Badge, for debut at the Einstein Gallery in Berlin Germany, with an art book of these same images to be published concurrently. Nancy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, May 11th 2006, in recognition of her career achievements and her contributions to society. This is Nancy's first appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
With recent appearances in "JackAss," "The Bonnie Hunt Show" and in Rob Reiner's movie "Alex and Emma," the legendary King of Confetti, Rip Taylor, has been introduced to a new generation of fans which is another reason he has a star on Hollywood Boulevard for movies, film and television. Although most of his new admirers don't realize it, Rip Taylor has dazzled audiences worldwide in a career that has spanned over forty years. A master of comedic timing and consummate showman, Rip has headlined in Las Vegas, appeared on hundreds of television shows, played the lead in various plays and musicals, and frequently taken a dramatic turn in feature films. It is no exaggeration to say that Rip Taylor has succeeded in every facet of the entertainment industry.
The phenomenon that is Rip Taylor began when Ed Sullivan could not remember the young comedian's name, he introduced Rip as "The Crying Comedian." Ed Sullivan accidentally stumbled upon Rip's niche, and after that appearance Rip found himself booked solid for months. This taught the young performer the importance of having a memorable hook. Bright costumes, outrageous props, wacky wigs and colorful confetti soon followed - and Rip Taylor became a pop culture sensation. Rip is one of television's most recognizable celebrities. A guest star with over 2,000 television appearances under his belt, Rip brought his wild energy to "The Gong Show," "Password," "The Merv Griffin Show," "The Mike Douglas Show," "The Tonight Show," "Late Night with David Letterman" and to the coveted center square on "Hollywood Squares." Perhaps Rip's greatest impact in television was when he was picked by Chuck Barris to host "The $1.98 Beauty Show." The campy "beauty and talent contest" brought Rip icon status as he served as ringmaster, gloriously reveling in the glitter and kitsch of "The World's Tackiest TV Show."
For decades, Rip has maintained his status as one of the top headliners in Las Vegas. He has been named "Entertainer of the Year" three times in a row, spent a year headlining "The Flamingo Hotel's Rockettes Extravaganza," and in the 2002 brought "Rip Taylor's Christmas Spectacular" to the Rio. Additionally, Rip has played on Broadway and toured the country as the lead role in plays such as "Sugar Babies," "Anything Goes," "Oliver," "Peter Pan," and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." He is currently writing and producing a one-man-show entitled "Let'er Rip."
addition to comedy and music, Rip is an accomplished "legitimate"
actor. He played Demi Moore's surly boss in "Indecent Proposal,"
and plays Kate Hudson's father in the soon-to-be-released Rob Reiner film,
"Alex and Emma."
is a highly visual and imaginative a cappella vocal band that sings a
compelling mix of rhythm and blues, world-jazz, pop, gospel, and improvisational
music. Culturally diverse, each member of the quintet is a skilled soloist
and composer in his or her own right, trained in widely varying musical
genres that equally enrich and strengthen the group as a whole.
The group has evolved and shaped its own musical style since then, renaming themselves SoVoSó ("from the Soul to the Voice to the Song") in 1994. Their innovative sound can be heard on their critically acclaimed CD’s. "World Jazz A Cappella" won "Best Studio Album" from the 1997 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards as well as "Best Original Pop Song" ("Say") and "Best Pop Cover Song" ("Thank You"). Their 1998 release, "Truth and Other Stories" has garnered CARA nominations in the jazz album, jazz song ('Gift of Music") and world beat song ("Be of Love") categories. As evident on these recordings, SoVoSó's trademark is their exceptional ability to transform themselves into a vocal orchestra, highlighted by spontaneous musical inventions. The singers further explore the extended capability of the human voice with such elements as groove-oriented bass lines, syncopated guitar or horn-like vocal riffs, and compelling vocal percussion, all of which support exquisite harmonies and intricate melodies. These elements are captured on the band’s albums “Bridges” (2000) (Nominated in 2006 for a Just Plain Folks Best Acappella Album) and their long awaited holiday album “Seasonings” (2002).
The ensemble's foundation is rooted in the art of circle singing, in which ensemble support for improvised solos is created through inter-locking patterns that are spontaneously composed. In addition to its own style of free-form, collective improvisation. In concert, SoVoSó captivates audiences with their natural playfulness, humor, and unpredictability.
SoVoSó's repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective: African-American spirituals, blues, R & B, gospel, Afro-Latin idioms, pop, world beat, reggae, and jazz. SoVoSó also collaborates with a wide range of artists. The group was commissioned to compose music to Maya Angelou's inaugural poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," for San Francisco's City of Poets Celebration. In 1998 San Francisco choreographer Robert Moses commissioned SoVoSó to compose music for his dance "Mother May I." The score won a 1999 Isadora Duncan Award. SoVoSó also performs in “SongCircus” – a thrilling circus and music show produced by Tandy Beal, and alongside Ms. Beal brought her dream of a Nutcracker with a Twist “Mixed Nutz!” show in 2003, of which their CD released under the same name has received rave reviews and approaches the famous Tachaicovsky favorite with class and worldy sound. The group co-wrote and performed with McFerrin the music for "Dirt," a part of the Oberlin Dance Company's "Western Women" Trilogy. Another dynamic collaboration and highlight of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, was SoVoSó's on-stage improvisations with groups from Africa, Russia and Brazil.
First Prize winners and "Audience Favorites" of the 1997 National Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, SoVoSó has shared the stage with Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Boz Skaggs, Roy Rogers, Bill Kreutzman, Maya Angelou, Lyle Lovett, Tracy Chapman, Poncho Sanchez, Diane Reeves, Take Six, Jack De Johnette, Joe Henderson, and the Manhattan Transfer. Noted SoVoSó engagements include the Monterey Jazz Festival, New York’s Bottom Line, Villa Montalvo and the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival.Their latest restrospective album, “Then & Now” (2005) was nominated for a CARA award for Best World/ Folk Album and Best World/Folk Song (‘Wanting Memories), complying 7 brand new songs and 6 remixed or never before released tracks here in the United States, and has become a fan favorite of all of their albums.
is a living study in how gifted musicians can come together to make a
wholly original sound without compromising any member's individual approach
to the music. This closely-knit ensemble creates a transcendent magic
where each voice contributes to a higher musical purpose. The result is
a spiritual expression with an emotional range that fills the heart and
frees the soul.
Teri Bibb (Original Cast Member of The Leading Ladies) played Christine Daaé in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and with the national tour, during which she sang for both former President Clinton and for former President Bush at a command performance at the White House, earned a Helen Hayes Award nomination and a Carbonell Award. Also on Broadway: Amalia in "She Loves Me" (standby). Regionally, she starred in the world premiere of "Songs From the Tall Grass" at the Ford’s Theatre. Ms. Bibb has been a featured soloist in tributes honoring Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, and Harold Prince, including "The Broadway Prince" at Carnegie Hall and four annual "The Night of 1,000 Voices" at London's Royal Albert Hall. She sang duets with tenor José Carreras at Radio City Music Hall and was featured in "One Enchanted Evening" at Belfast's Odyssey Arena. She can be heard on the recordings: "Unsung Irving Berlin," "Sondheim Tonight" and "AGala Concert for Hal Prince." She has guest starred on TV, been a supporting player on film, and can be heard on several film scores, including "Ice Age" and "Polar Express."
Karen Culliver (Original Cast Member of The Leading Ladies) played Christine Daaé in "The Phantom of the Opera", Rosa Bud in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," Lucille Ballard in "Meet Me in St. Louis" and Kim Ravenal in "Show Boat" on Broadway. Off-Broadway Karen was Luisa in "The Fantasticks" (filmed for Lincoln Center). Touring credits include Christine in "Phantom," appearing in Chicago, Los Angeles & San Francisco. In California, she has been seen as Lina Lamont in "Singin' in the Rain," Grace in "Annie," Rosabella in "The Most Happy Fella," Magnolia in "Show Boat," Lily in "The Secret Garden," Adriana in "The Boys From Syracruse" (starring David Hyde Pierce), and Christine in Yeston/Kopit’s "Phantom." Various national theatres have seen her as Marian in "The Music Man," Carlotta in "The Seet Revenge of Luisa May" (nominated for the Helen Hayes Award), Eliza in "My Fair Lady" and Fiona in "Brigadoon." Recordings include “Christmas Center Stage” and “The Portrait,” Yamaha’s disclavier CDs of “Broadway Love Songs” and “Songs from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,” and of course, “The Leading Ladies."
Mary D’Arcy has starred as Christine Daaé opposite both Michael Crawford and Colm Wilkinson in Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "The Phantom of the Opera" in Los Angeles, Toronto, and on Broadway. Ms. D’Arcy also starred on Broadway as Kathy Selden in "Singin' in the Rain" and originated the roles of Celeste II / Elaine in "Sunday in the Park with George," and Cinderella in the Playwright’s Horizon workshop of "Into the Woods," both written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. She has toured the former Soviet Union in Duke Ellington’s "Sophisticated Ladies" and the United States as the late Richard Harris’ favorite Guenevere in "Camelot." Ms. D’Arcy can be seen opposite James Woods and Drew Barrymore in Steven King’s cult classic film “Cat’s Eye.” She is very proud to her work on “Sondheim,” a recorded tribute to the composer on which she premiered the vocal rendition of “Goodbye For Now” (the theme from Warren Beatty’s “Reds”), as well as “Take Me to the World” from "Evening Primrose." EVENING PRIMROSE. Each December Mary produces her own Christmas concert called “Mary’s Christmas” supporting local charities. This is the Phantom's Leading Ladies 4th appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
Wesla is a remarkable singer, with a deep love for that rich storehouse of musical treasures often identified as The Great America Popular Songbook. Her sound and approach would seem to place her somewhere that borders on both jazz and that aspect of pop music which draws its material largely from the great standards and neglected gems of such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin and Rodgers and Hart.
Wesla Whitfield was born in Santa Maria, CA. The youngest of three girls, she experienced routine childhood music training (piano lessons at age 7, sang in church, studied voice - “classical, of course” - at about age 14). She did discover her mother’s extensive sheet music collection at an early age, “and used it to sight-read.” Serious radio and record listening provided some important influences including Rosemary Clooney, the Hi-Los, Peggy Lee, Frankie Laine and Dean Martin. Among her earliest professional experiences was a mid-70s stint with the San Francisco Opera as a salaried chorister.
with her husband / pianist / arranger, Mike Greensill performs annually
at the Hollywood/Roosevelt Cinegrill (LA), The Algonquin Hotel’s
Oak Room and Arci's Place (NY), at Blues Alley in Washington DC, Jazz
Alley in Seattle, at the world renowned Pizza on the Park in London as
well as numerous concert venues throughout the States and Europe. She
has opened for such notables as George Burns, Michael Feinstein and Frankie
Wesla and Mike have recorded over 15 CD’s including: "Let’s Get Lost," "Best Thing For You Would Be Me" (featuring the songs of Irving Berlin) and a totally new concept album titled, "September Songs" featuring songs by Harry Warren, Alec Wilder and Kurt Weill debuts their pairing with such greats as Tommy Flanagan and the Kronos Quartet. This latest venture, on the HighNote Records label is the 15th recording from Whitfield and Greensill and was released in May 2003. This is Wesla’s seventh appearance in a "Help is on the Way" production.
David Galligan most recently staged “Rod McKuen in Concert” at New York’s Carnegie Hall as well as the new musical play “The Last of The Honky Tonk Angels” at the Globe in Los Angeles. Other recent efforts include “The Richard Rodgers Centennial-Something Wonderful” for the Actors’ Fund of America as well as “Mame” starring Carol Lawrence, Ruth Williamson and Sally Struthers, “Show Boat” starring Dale Kristien and Sean McDermott and “Brigadoon” for Musical Theatre West. His direction of the musical revue “Blame it On the Movies” which he co-originated with Billy Barnes and Ron Abel, played Off-Broadway, and he repeated the staging for a Pasadena Playhouse main-stage production, capturing an Ovation nomination for his direction as well as winning a Drama-Logue Award. He garnered additional Drama-Logue wins for “Lettice and Lovage” (Pasadena Playhouse), “The Gay '90's Musical” (Celebration) and “Lullaby of Broadway” (Tiffany Theatre). For the past nineteen years he has directed and co-produced the annual S.T.A.G.E. fundraisers for AIDS charities, saluting the theatre music of noted composers and lyricists. He helmed the S.T.A.G.E. Too benefit for The Actors' Fund of America, “Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman” which followed “Kurt Weill: The Centennial” in 2000. He has co-produced five of the events as CD albums: Jerome Kern: “Life Upon the Wicked S.T.A.G.E.” Harold Arlen, “Over the Rainbow;” “George & Ira Gershwin: A Musical Celebration;” “ABC Adler, Bock & Coleman” and “Stephen Sondheim: A Celebration.” He also co-produced the new Actor's fund “Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman” CD as well as recordings of “Kurt Weill: The Centennial” and Dale Kristien's first solo recording, “Beauty of Broadway.” Galligan has staged and directed several special events for the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatres, and for the last five years he has returned to his native San Francisco to stage the “Help Is On the Way” AIDS benefits at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Among his other recent credits, the original musical “Vampire Virgins from Venus” and the writing and staging of Valarie Pettiford's new one woman show “Finding My Voice” He stage directed the Ford Motor Company’s special “Heroes for the Planet” starring Charlotte Church and Haley Joel Osment that aired on the A&E network. He also staged “IMPACT at Ford Field,” the opening extravaganza of the new Detroit Lion’s Stadium, starring Gladys Knight. He co-produced Pamela Meyers’ debut CD “The Chance to Sing” with Billy Barnes, Stephen Flaherty, Billy Goldenberg, Larry Grossman, John Kander, Shelly Markham, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse and Joseph Thalken at the piano. This is David’s fourteenth staging of a “Help is on the Way” production.
©2002 by Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.