The Boston theater community will come together on Monday, October 24, 2005 to support the fire ravaged North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT). In an unprecedented event, composer Jason Robert Brown, performer Lauren Kennedy, and Brown’s band, The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, will join Boston area performers on stage for a one-night only performance of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World. Tony McLean, former President of Broadway in Boston/Clear Channel Entertainment, will direct the concert and Paul S. Katz will musically direct. The cast will be accompanied by a full symphonic orchestra comprised of area musicians. The production will be held at The John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, at 8:00 pm.
‘What occurred at NSMT was devastating for their patrons, the theater community, and the region and everyone involved with Songs for a New World is honored to play a role in this fundraising effort,’ explained Tony McLean. ‘Thousands of people in New England have ties to North Shore Music Theatre and we encourage the public to support the Theatre by attending this performance and donating to a theater that has had a major influence on our community and now needs our help.’
The cast of Songs for a New World will feature such Boston audience favorites as Leigh Barrett, Mary Callanan, Brian Robinson, Kerry Dowling, Andrew Giordano, Brendan McNab, Maryann Zschau, and Lynn Von Thaden. Joining this talented cast will be Songs for a New World composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown, Lauren Kennedy and The Caucasian Rhythm Kings. A Tony Award-winning composer/ lyricist, Brown is also an accomplished arranger and conductor and has been has been hailed as ‘one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim,’ by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brown recently released ‘Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes,’ now available on Sh-K-Boom Records. Kennedy has appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Side Show, and Sunset Boulevard. Her solo CD ‘Lauren Kennedy, Songs of Jason Robert Brown’ is available on PS Classics.
The production will be directed by Tony McLean who was recently at the helm of Gloucester Stage Company’s A Grand Night for Singing. A theater industry veteran, McLean is currently directing On the Twentieth Century starring Alice Ripley and George Dvorsky for Overture Productions. McLean has also been the theater manager for such companies as the Parker Playhouse and Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Florida, and has managed the Las Vegas company of Starlight Express. For Disney Theatrical Productions, he was the Associate Producer/General Manager for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, Los Angeles, Toronto and on tour.
In addition to Tony McLean, the creative team for Songs for a New World also includes Paul S. Katz as musical director, and Matt Kidd, in association with Tony McLean and North Shore Music Theatre, as producer.
Proceeds from the Songs for a New World performance will go toward NSMT’s Encore Fund which was established following the July 14th fire that destroyed the theater’s stage, orchestra pit, lighting, sound equipment and interior, including all 1,800 seats. The Fund’s goal is to secure $7 million in gifts and pledges by the end of this year. This amount is needed to ensure that NSMT can keep its doors open during the next six months and beyond, and to keep their staff intact so they can continue to provide important programming for schools and the community. The Encore Fund will also be used to address lost revenue from Cinderella, the Children’s Summer Musical Series, cancelled concerts, and the additional costs of producing two musicals at The Shubert Theater in Boston.
Songs for a New World tickets are priced at $50.00 and $35.00. For tickets call the NSMT Box Office at 978-232-7200 or visit www.nsmt.org. For more information about North Shore Music Theatre and how to make a donation to the Encore Fund, visit www.nsmt.org.