Thursday, April 22, 2010

Broadway Legends Stritch, Rivera, Vereen Light Up Hartford Stage

The brightest lights of Broadway will burn at Hartford Stage this summer in an unprecedented theatrical treat for Connecticut audiences: Tony Award-winning Broadway legends Elaine Stritch, Chita Rivera, and Ben Vereen will bring their hit solo shows to Hartford Stage’s SummerStage series for back-to-back one-week limited runs.

Each performer will bring his or her unique talents to Hartford as they revisit their storied Broadway careers in Elaine Stritch Singin’ Sondheim . . . One Song at a Time, Chita Rivera: My Broadway, and An Evening with Ben Vereen. The Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen shows were previously announced with Hartford Stage’s initial 47th season offerings; Ms. Stritch’s hit show, direct from its sold-out run at New York’s Cafe Carlyle, will begin the Broadway Legends series with a strictly limited four-performance run June 17 – 20.

Tickets for the Broadway Legends series are on sale now and can be purchased individually or as a three-show subscription by calling the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or online by visiting hartfordstage.org.

SummerStage 2010 will take place during the completion of the first of two phases of renovation and upgrade projects for Hartford Stage. To facilitate these essential renovations to the Church Street theatre, Hartford Stage will present the Broadway Legends series, as well as the first production of its 47th MainStage season, Sheila’s Day, at its temporary summer home at the Roberts Theatre at the Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, a ten-minute drive from downtown Hartford. Following the completion of this first phase of renovation, the 2010-2011 season will continue in October at Hartford Stage’s 50 Church St. home.

2010 SummerStage Broadway Legends Series:

ELAINE STRITCH SINGIN’ SONDHEIM . . . ONE SONG AT A TIME
June 17 - 20
The iconic musical theater careers of Elaine Stritch and Stephen Sondheim are inextricably linked, and this new show is the culmination of a personal and professional relationship that has spanned the better part of four decades, beginning with Company in 1970. In Elaine Stritch Singin' Sondheim . . . One Song at a Time, Ms. Stritch (with Rob Bowman, Music Director) will perform the music of Mr. Sondheim, orchestrated by Tony, Oscar, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Jonathan Tunick. The New York Times calls the show “wistful, reflective, funny.”

CHITA RIVERA: MY BROADWAY
June 22 – 27, 2010
An evening of song, dance, and stories with the two-time Tony Award winner performing songs from her legendary Broadway career. Rivera will perform selections from her most celebrated musicals, including numbers from West Side Story (“America”), Sweet Charity (“Where Am I Going?” and “Big Spender”), Chicago (“All That Jazz” and “Nowadays”), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye Bye Birdie, and The Rink. Featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Charles Strouse, Stephen Sondheim, and Cy Coleman.

AN EVENING WITH BEN VEREEN
July 6 – 11, 2010
A unique blend of artistry combining a tribute to Broadway, Frank Sinatra, and a very special homage to Sammy Davis, Jr., An Evening With Ben Vereen is a contemporary and timeless journey through the Broadway songbook featuring such hit songs as "Defying Gravity," "Being Alive," "Something's Coming," and "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries." A Tony Award winner for his renowned performance in Bob Fosse’s Pippin, Vereen has gone on to solidify his place among Broadway royalty, with starring roles in such productions as Wicked, Fosse, Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, and I’m Not Rappaport. He is best known on screen for his iconic role as Chicken George in the groundbreaking TV miniseries "Roots. "

The three-show Broadway Legends package is priced from $138 - $165. Subscriptions to Hartford Stage’s 2010-2011 MainStage season are also now on sale. To purchase a subscription or to receive more information, call the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151, or visit www.hartfordstage.org. Single tickets to the Broadway Legends series and Sheila’s Day are on sale now; individual tickets for all other productions go on sale July 1. Groups of 10 or more may receive discounts; call the box office for further information.

The Roberts Theatre at Kingswood-Oxford School, Hartford Stage’s summer home, has ample free parking, is convenient to I-84, and within walking distance to restaurants in West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square. The Roberts Theatre is comparable in size to the Church Street facility, is fully accessible.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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