New Jersey Stage
Thursday, June 27, 2013
State Theatre presents Broadway Rocks
The Broadway Rocks concert will include songs from Newsies, Wicked, Tommy, Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Legally Blonde, Jesus Christ Superstar, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance.
Featured Broadway singers in Broadway Rocks include Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Baby It's You, Elf!), Christopher Seiber (Spamalot, Shrek the Musical, La Cage aux Folles), David Larsen (Hands on a Hard Body, American Idiot, Billy Elliot), and Ashley Blanchet (Annie, Memphis).
Hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway's electric conductors,” Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought after music directors working today. Currently Music Director and Conductor of the new Broadway production of Annie, his credits include Monty Python's Spamalot (Best Musical Tony® Award), La Cage aux Folles (Best Musical Revival Tony® Award), 42nd Street (Best Revival Tony® Award ), 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.
He was the Music Director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the famed Radio City Music Hall for several seasons. As Marvin Hamlisch's Music Director, Ellison worked with him on his productions of Ballroom and The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis. For City Center's Encores!, he conducted their acclaimed version of On The Town and was a guest pianist for No No, Nanette. Internationally he has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular -Mexico City, World Science Festival -Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall - Cole Porters' Jubilee.
He has conducted over 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, CT, Ellison began his piano lessons at age six and is a graduate of Boston University School of Music in Piano Performance.
Leavel received Tony®, Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle, and L.A. Drama Critics Awards for her performance as the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. She also received a Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nomination for her role as Florence Greenberg in Baby It's You. She recently performed the roles of Sally Adams in Call Me Madam at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias at the North Carolina Theatre and the much put upon maid, Berthe, in Boeing-Boeing at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Other Broadway roles 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 (her Broadway debut) in 42nd Street. Leavel was also seen in New York City Center Encores! production of No, No, Nanette as Lucille.
Seiber has appeared on Broadway in Shrek (Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League nominations), Spamalot (New York and West End, Tony® nomination), La Cage Aux Folles, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Triumph of Love, A Christmas Carol. NYC Opera: Cinderella, Eric Idle's Not the Messiah, a comic oratorio (Toronto Symphony). Seiber has appeared off-Broadway in The Kid, Avow and The Boys in the Band. His television appearances include The Good Wife, Elementary, Morning Glory, Pushing Daisies, Johnny and the Sprites, See You in September, It's All Relative, Two of a Kind, Sex and the City, Ed, Guiding Light, All My Children, and Another World.
Broadway credits include Hands On a Hardbody (Chris Alvaro), American Idiot (Tunny), Billy Elliot (Tony u/s), Good Vibrations (Bobby). Larsen's regional theater appearances include leading roles at Hollywood Bowl, La Jolla Playhouse, KC Starlight, Bay Street Theatre, Goodspeed, Marriott Lincolnshire, and North Shore Music Theatre.
Blanchet has spent most of her life in musical theater. She began her dance training at age three at the Dance Theater of Harlem. At 15 she was given a scholarship to study acting at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts. During this time she also became a part of the Boston Youth Moves dance group at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, and began to study voice at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2009, after graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.F.A. in musical theater, Blanchet made her Broadway debut in Memphis: The Musical and understudied Felicia, the lead female role. She now appears in Annie the Musical as the Star to Be.
For tickets or more information, call the State Theatre ticket office at 732-246-SHOW (7469), or visit us online at www.StateTheatreNJ.org. The State Theatre ticket office, located at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick NJ, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Wednesday 11am to 7pm; Friday, 10am-5pm; and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates, unless otherwise specified. For information on group outings and discounts, call 732-247-7200, ext. 517. Some additional ticket and transaction fees may apply.
State Theatre, 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. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. Magic 98.3 is the official radio station of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre.