Friday, January 29, 2016

HSO, Goodspeed Combine to Celebrate 70 Years of Tony-Award-Winning Music

Tony Sheldon

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Goodspeed Musicals will join to celebrate 70 years of Tony Award-winning music in a blockbuster one-night-only concert event

HSO and Goodspeed Celebrate the Best of Broadway will be presented 7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 20 at The Bushnell, Hartford. Led by guest conductor Michael O’Flaherty, who is now in his 25th year as resident music director for Goodspeed Musicals, the concert will spotlight the best of Broadway through the years. This exciting partnership will feature the talents of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, special performances by soloistsGizel Jiménez, Conor Ryan, Tony Sheldon and Laurie Wells, and aspiring professional performers from The Hartt School Musical Theatre Department’s Class of 2016.

Some of the Tony Award-winning productions that will be celebrated in song include Guys and Dolls, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Hello, Dolly!, Spamalot, My Fair Lady, The Wiz, South Pacific, Rent and Les Misérables. The evening’s featured artists have all performed in past Goodspeed productions and boast numerous and diverse theater credits from Broadway and beyond.

Gizel Jiménez performed the role of Caroline in Goodspeed’s The Theory of Relativity last spring. In addition to various regional theatre and Off-Broadway productions, she performed as Rosalia in the National Tour of West Side Story. Next up, Gizel will be taking on the role of Princess Anna in Disney’s Frozen at the Hyperion Theater in Anaheim, CA this spring.

Conor Ryan was Jean-Michel in Goodspeed’s production of La Cage aux Folles. He starred opposite Kate Baldwin in the Off-Broadway revival of John and Jen, performed in Broadway's Cinderella, the Public Theater's production of The Fortress Of Solitude, and Second Stage's production of Invisible Thread.

Conor Ryan
Tony Sheldon is a multi-award-winning actor whose portrayal of Horace Vandergelder in Goodspeed Musicals’ Hello, Dolly! earned him the Connecticut Critics' Circle Award for Best Actor. Sheldon played the role of Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert for 1750 performances in Australia, New Zealand, London, Toronto and on Broadway, winning the Theatre World Award and nominations for the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award, the Drama League Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award. In London he was nominated for the Olivier Award and won the Toronto Theatre Critics Award and the DORA Award as Best Actor in a Musical. In New York he has starred with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Tracey Ullman in The Bandwagon at Encores/City Center, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol with Douglas Sills, and Art and Science with John Tartaglia.

Laurie Wells played the dual role of Bobbi/Gabby in City of Angels and in the iconic role of Dorothy in 42nd Street, both at the Goodspeed Opera House. In 2014 she appeared in Sing For Your Shakespeare at Westport Country Playhouse. On Broadway and again with the National Tour company she performed as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!.

Tickets are $19-$66. Student tickets are $10 and $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under: 860-987-5900;

VIP Event Tickets which include an exclusive pre-show reception with the soloists are available: Mary Miko at 860.873-8664 ext. 368 to reserve. 

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

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