Celebrating its 35th Anniversary Season
Presents a Brand-New Festival
SUMMER MELODIES 2019
2 Weeks, 10 Shows, 30 Artists
June 20 – 29, 2019
Cabaret, Musical Theatre, Jazz and more to Benefit
the Urban Stages Musical Theater Development Program
CHRISTINE LAVIN, DANIEL CAINER, NATALIE DOUGLAS, STEPHEN HANKS, LAURIE KRAUZ, JEFF MACAULEY, KAREN OBERLIN, SARAH RICE, JULIE REYBURN, TOM TOCE and many more
New York: Continuing its 35th Anniversary season, Urban Stages (Frances Hill, Founding Artistic Director) proudly announces the line-up for a brand-new festival patterned after its award-winning series WINTER RHYTHMS. SUMMER MELODIES 2019 will begin Thursday, June 20 featuring some of New York’s best musical performances through Saturday, June 29, 2019 at Urban Stages Theatre (259 West 30th Street, just East of 8th Avenue). Tickets are $30 ($45 for two shows in one day), for tickets and full schedule please visit www.urbanstages.org or call (866) 811-4111.
This summer’s benefit series will present 10 shows, many of them created especially or SUMMER MELODIES, including Jeff Macauley’s Where Did The Gentleman Go? The Songs Of Bobby Troup & The Life Of Scotty Bowers; Sean Harkness’s Summer Solstice, A Windham Hill Retrospective; Tom Toce’s Songwriter In The House; BMI Musical Theater Workshop Songwriters Showcase; Christine Lavin’s On My Way To Hooterville; Daniel Cainer’s Gefilte Fish & Chips; and Stephen Hanks Presents Celebrating Democracy: Riding The Blue Wave to 2020!.
SUMMER MELODIES’ creative team includes sound and lighting design by Kim T.Sharp, Disnie Sebastien as Production Manager and former Winter Rhythms Producer Peter Napolitano as Creative Consultant. The festival is produced by Tom Toce, who also produced WINTER RHYTHMS 2018 and has been associated with that celebrated series as a featured songwriter and producer for the past seven years. The series will benefit the development program of new musical theater projects at Urban Stages.
WINTER RHYTHMS 2018 marked the tenth year that Urban Stages welcomes noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. The mission of WINTER RHYTHMS is to bring the talents of well-known and up-and-coming singers, musicians, lyricists and composers to the attention of the New York theater community while performing at Urban Stages Theater. WINTER RHYTHMS was the winner of the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series and the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award. Proceeds from WINTER RHYTHMS benefit Urban Stages’ acclaimed Outreach Program, which brings over 200 free “arts in education” presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs.
THURSDAY, JUNE 20 at 7pm: JEFF MACAULEY: WHERE DID THE GENTLEMAN GO? THE SONGS OF BOBBY TROUP & THE LIFE OF SCOTTY BOWERS
“Where Did The Gentleman Go?” looks at the songs of Bobby Troup and the life of Scotty Bowers, two ex-marines who made new lives for themselves in Los Angeles. They each took divergent but intersecting paths to find their fortunes and boy, did they find them. Bobby Troup became an esteemed composer, writing “Get Your Kicks On Route 66” among other post-war pop hits. Scotty Bowers got his kicks on Hollywood Blvd. working in a gas station and as a bartender and romancing just about every star in Hollywood. Jeff Macauley recently won the 2019 MAC Award for Male Vocalist with his fourth consecutive nomination.
FRIDAY, JUNE 21 at 7pm: TBA
SATURDAY, JUNE 22 at 7pm: TBA
MONDAY, JUNE 24 at 7pm: SEAN HARKNESS: SUMMER SOLSTICE, A WINDHAM HILL RETROSPECTIVE FEATURING WILL GALISON
Acclaimed international guitar artist Sean Harkness is in high demand as a performer and composer on solo guitar. Joining Sean will be master harmonica player Will Galison. Will has worked with Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, and many others. Their music includes Brazilian, Argentine, American Standards, and Folk.
TUESDAY, JUNE 25 at 7pm: TBA
WEDNESDAY JUNE 26 at 7pm: TOM TOCE: SONGWRITER IN THE HOUSE
MAC Award-Winning songwriter Tom Toce reprises his solo show Songwriter in the House, which was nominated for a MAC Award in 2016 for Male Debut. Tom brings his blend of wry and tuneful songs to Summer Melodies, aided by Sean Harkness on guitar and Jon Burr on bass.
THURSDAY JUNE 27 at 7pm: BMI MUSICAL THEATER WORKSHOP SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE
Members and alumni of the legendary Lehman Engel/BMI Musical Theater Workshop (whose alumni include Maury Yeston, Alan Menken, Michael-John LaChiusa, Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and many more) will perform short musicals, excerpts from musicals, and other songs as part of a very entertaining evening of songs you probably haven’t heard. Produced and directed by Tom Toce.
FRIDAY JUNE 28 at 7pm: CHRISTINE LAVIN: ON MY WAY TO HOOTERVILLE
Folk music legend Christine Lavin has subtitled her show, “I don’t make things up, I just make ‘em rhyme.” After 35 years, 23 solo albums, 10 compilations, and countless tours, she invites you to come hear why theater stars like Klea Blackhurst, Betty Buckley, Sutton Foster, Andrea Marcovicci, and Karen Ziemba sing her songs.
SATURDAY JUNE 29 at 2:00pm: DANIEL CAINER: GEFILTE FISH & CHIPS”
Hillary Rollins presents Daniel Cainer’s “Gefilte Fish & Chips.” Direct from London, award-winning musical storyteller Daniel Cainer brings his internationally acclaimed one-man show, in which he shares personal tales about home, heritage, and identity. It has been said, ‘You don’t have to be Jewish (or British) to get a kick out of Cainer’. “Gefilte Fish & Chips” is being prepared by producer Hillary Rollins for an off-Broadway production in 2020. You can be an “early adopter” and see it right now at the Summer Melodies!
SATURDAY, JUNE 29 at 7 pm: STEPHEN HANKS PRESENTS “CELEBRATING DEMOCRACY: RIDING THE BLUE WAVE TO 2020!”
Cabaret Producer, Promoter, Performer Stephen Hanks hosts an All-Star Variety Show featuring 20 terrific singer/performers from the BroadwayWorld Award-Nominated Series CABARET CAMPAIGNS: RIDE THE BLUE WAVE 2018. With MAC Award-Winning Musical Director Tracy Stark on piano, the Blue Wavers join forces once again, offering soaring and satiric songs. Performers include: Sandra Bargman, Remy Block, Lane Bradbury, Blair Alexis Brown, Mary Sue Daniels, Rob Davis, Natalie Douglas, Richard Eisenberg, Janice Hall, Laurie Krauz, Jeff Macauley, Sue Matsuki, Katie McGrath, Karen Oberlin, Sierra Rein, Julie Reyburn, Sarah Rice, Brian Charles Rooney, and Lisa Viggiano. Produced by Stephen Hanks.
*Artists, programming and schedule subject to change.
SUMMER MELODIES 2019
June 20 – 29, 2019
Urban Stages – 259 West 30 Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues
Performance times vary. Tickets are $30 ($45 for two shows in one day), for tickets and full schedule please visit www.urbanstages.org or call (866) 811-4111
URBAN STAGES (Producer) is an award-winning, not-for-profit, Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. For over 30 years, Urban Stages has produced dozens of world, American and NYC premieres including Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis. We have been honored with awards, nominations and recognition from the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle and much more. For instance, our world premiere of the musical Langston In Harlem by Walter Marks (music and book) and Kent Gash (book and direction) garnered a Drama Desk Nomination, a Joe A. Calloway award and 4 Audelco awards including Best Musical Production of 2010. More recently, Trezana Beverly’s Mabel Madness (2016) was nominated for an Audelco Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, Unseamly by Oren Safdie (2015) was a NY Times Critics Pick, Jim Brochu Character Man (2014) was nominated for a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle award for Best Solo performance and Honky (2013) by Greg Kalleres saw a regional run at San Diego Rep and was televised nationally on PBS in late 2015. After production, most plays move on to larger venues. Men On The Verge Of A Hispanic Breakdown by Guillermo Reyes and Minor Demons by Bruce Graham both moved to commercial theatres. Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). My Occasion Of Sin (2012) by Monica Bauer won critical acclaim when it moved to Detroit Rep. Bill Bowers has toured the United States and the world with his two Urban Stages premieres blending mime and theatre – Beyond Words (2012) and Under A Montana Moon (2002)! Some Urban Stages premieres have even been developed into film and television projects such as Scar by Murray Mednick, Conversations With The Goddesses by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary by Alexandra Viets. In addition to plays and musicals, annually we hold a music festival – Winter Rhythms – that features famous and up-and-coming Cabaret, musicians, lyricists and other music artists. In 2016, Winter Rhythms was honored with the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series, and in 2015, it received the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. Urban Stages is currently in rehearsals for the World Premiere of acclaimed playwright Zhu Yi’s A Deal, running from November 15 through December 10th.
TOM TOCE (Producer, Winter Rhythms) is a veteran theater and cabaret songwriter. He won the MAC Award for Comedy Song for “Shalom, Santa” in 2014. He made his cabaret debut as a performer in Songwriter in the House, which delighted audiences at the Metropolitan Room in late 2015 and early 2016 and earned Tom a MAC Award nomination in the New York Debut – Male category. In 2015, he conceived the The Harvard-Yale Cantata at Feinstein’s/54 Below. This now annual event just celebrated its fourth year, with Tom producing and hosting each one. Other recent shows include Mr. Victor’s Cabaret for Hipsters: Songs of the 1990s (director and producer) at the Laurie Beechman Theater, MAC Award Winning Songs at Urban Stages (director, host, and producer) and Living Standards (director and producer), starring Marissa Mulder, at the Metropolitan Room. Hopelessly in Love: The Lyrics of Tom Toce was one of the most successful shows at the Metropolitan Room in 2012 and 2013. The HIL recording was also nominated for a 2014 MAC Award. Tom has written a number of shows for children, and his cabaret songs have been sung and/or recorded by Jane Monheit, Andrea Marcovicci, Tovah Feldshuh, Maude Maggart, KT Sullivan, and many others. Tom is a two-time Jeopardy! champion (his encyclopedic knowledge of the Great American Songbook helped) and a member of the Jeopardy Hall of Fame, for high score in a single game. More at www.tomtocemusic.com
FRANCES HILL (Founding Artistic Director) began her theatrical career in California as an actress. Since 1983, Ms. Hill has overseen more than 600 staged readings/workshops and 90 productions of new works for the stage. She has directed over 30 workshops and productions. Her favorite directing credits include: Gino DiIorio’s Apostasy, Roma Greth’s Our Summer Days, Jim Lehrer’s Chili Queen, (directed at Urban Stages and Kennedy Center), John Picardi’s Seven Rabbits on a Pole and The Sweepers (directed at Urban Stages and Capital Rep); Comfort Women by Chugmi Kim (Urban Stages 2004), 27 Rue De Fleurs and My Occasion of Sin. She directed the Urban Stages World Premiere of Mabel Madness (2016), written by and starring Trezana Beverley. Two of her plays have been produced, Our Bench and Life Lines. Under the guidance of Ms. Hill, Playwrights’ Preview Productions/Urban Stages have moved two plays into commercial Off-Broadway successes. Minor Demons opened the new Century Center Theater and Men on the Verge of His-Panic Breakdown won an Outer Critic’s Circle Award while playing to capacity audiences at the 47th Street Theater. Urban Stages’ African American Poets as Playwrights won eight Audelco Nominations and Coyote On a Fence received two Drama Desk nominations and a Pilgrim’s Project Award. Eisa Davis’s Bulrusher was one of three nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 2010 production of Langston in Harlem won several drama desk nominations, a John Calloway award, and several Audelco nominations including a win for best music production of the year (2010), along with several other awards.