URBAN STAGES’ WINTER RHYTHMS 2020
TO STREAM THE 12TH ANNUAL AWARD WINNING SERIES
CELEBRATING THE SONGWRITER
BENEFITING ARTS IN EDUATION
NOVEMBER 30th THROUGH DECEMBER 18th

New York: Urban Stages’ Frances Hill, the Artistic Director announces its 12th annual awarding-winning cabaret series, Winter Rhythms, streaming online between November 30th through December 18th and benefiting Urban Stages’ Outreach, Arts in Education programs. Produced by Tom Toce and co-produced by Sue Matsuki, this year’s Winter Rhythms will celebrate songwriters via six shows highlighting the works of many popular Winter Rhythms’ artists.  Musical selections will include  NEW SONGS. Tickets for shows and the concerts themselves will be available at urbanstages.org

Winter Rhythms 2020 will be directed/edited by Kristan Seemel, with Kim T Sharp, videographer, Vincent Scott, Assistant Director, lighting design by Madeleine Burrow, and sound design by Jaime Terrazzino.

Urban Stages’ Outreach, Arts in Education presentations normally tours throughout libraries in all 5 boroughs of NYC. Since March, Outreach has gone virtual, working with New York, Brooklyn and Queens Public libraries to bring free plays and workshops online via Facebook, YouTube and other platforms.

Over 26,000 viewers have benefited from Urban Stages’ art, music, dance, language and storytelling programs in the safety of their own homes since the start of the pandemic. This means we are reaching more people of all ages than ever before. Buying a ticket to this year’s Winter Rhythms will be a direct donation to Urban Stages’ Outreach, making continuing free and educational arts programming online possible. SCHEDULE Available on Urban Stages’ website: urbanstages.org 

Sue Matsuki & Gregory Toroian in “How Original!”

Premieres Monday, November 30 @ 8:30 pm EST then accessible online through to Thursday, December 3. MAC and Bistro award winning songwriters and jazz duo are presenting a program of their own original tunes along with some of their friends’ tunes. Featuring Skip Ward on bass with Guest Stars: Audrey Appleby and Deborah Stone. Director: Vincent Scott. Sponsored by: Wright Bros. Real Estate and Bra Tenders.

Meg Flather, Rosemary Atwood and Tracy Stark in “Unexpected Trio”

Premieres Thursday, December 3 @ 8:30 pm EST then accessible online through to Sunday, December 6. Each with a different writing style, this multi-award-winning trio for singing, music direction and songwriting team up for an unforgettable, evening of their original songs, literally singing each other’s praises!

Tom Toce presents “Songs from the Quarantine”

Premieres Sunday, December 6 @ 8:30 pm EST then accessible online through to Wednesday, December 9. A group of Tom’s songwriting friends join him to present the songs that were written or practiced during the Pandemic. Starring: Tom Toce, Matt Corriel and Jo Kroger.

 Gretchen Meyers and Tracy Stark in “The Tracy & Gretchen Show”

Premieres Wednesday, December 9 @ 8:30 pm EST then accessible online through to Saturday, December 12. This year’s MAC award winner for Major Female Vocalist and Bistro Award winner for Best CD, Gretchen Meyers joins her long-time, multi-award winning, Songwriter/Music Director Tracy Stark for an evening of their original songs. The sublime to the WHAT?!

“My Side of Town: The Music of Steve Sieck”

Premieres Saturday, December 12 @ 8:30 pm EST then accessible online through to Tuesday, December 15. Starring: Mary Sue Daniels, Robert Fowler, Bobby Harden, Tanya Holt, Lina Koutrakos, Susan Mack, Larry Marshall, Katie Dunne McGrath, Jeannine Otis, Erli Perez, Doug Sheppard, Gregory Toroian, Dorian Woodruff, Lisa Yaeger and the songwriter himself, Steve Sieck with Special Guest: Karen Mason. Music Director: Gregory Toroian. Director: Lina Koutrakos.

“Urban Stages’ Artists Entertain!”

Premieres Tuesday, December 15 @ 8:30 pm EST then accessible online through to Friday, December 18. Starring: Karen Akers, Aya Aziz, Aaron Lee Battle, Natalie Douglas, several cast members from the play Bars and Measures by Idris Goodwin, Roderick Lawrence and Salma Shaw and Sue Matsuki all singing the original music of their friends and collaborators. We also pay tribute and honor the musical genius of composer, musical director the late, Barry Levitt a special friend of Urban Stages. Music Director: Tracy Stark.  

Urban Stages’ Winter Rhythms 2020
November 30 – December 18, 2020

Tickets are $20.00 (per show with a 50% discount for your 2nd show)
$60.00 Festival Pass for all 6 shows!
Purchase tickets at urbanstages.org

Donations are gratefully accepted, and all ticket proceeds go to:
Urban Stages’ Outreach, Arts in Education.

Checks can be made out to:
Urban Stages
555 8th Avenue, Room 1800
New York, NY 10018

For interviews and press tickets please contact JT Public Relations at joe@jt-pr.net.

URBAN STAGES is an award-winning, not-for-profit, Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. For over 36 years, Urban Stages has produced dozens of world, American, and N.Y. premieres including Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis. Urban Stages has been honored with awards, nominations and recognition from the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle and more. Plays produced at Urban Stages also often move on to larger venues and/or publication. Bars and Measures (2019) was critically acclaimed by The New York Times and nominated for four Audelco awards. Death of a Driver (2019) by Will Snider went on to a regional production at The Salt Lake Acting Company. In our 2017/18 season, A Deal by Zhu Yi (world premiered at Urban Stages) toured China and Dogs of Rwanda by Sean Christopher Lewis (New York premiered at Urban Stages) toured regionally. Other notable productions include the 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. Critically acclaimed hits Mabel Madness by Tony-winner Trezana Beverley (2016), Communion by Daniel MacIvor (2016) and Angry Young Man by Ben Woolf (2017) which transferred to the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall in East Hampton have premiered at Urban Stages. In addition, Unseamly, by Oren Safdie (2015), was an N.Y. Times Critics’ Pick. Jim Brochu’s 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.  1996’s 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 regionally and internationally 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 M.A.C. Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. In light of the pandemic, much of Urban Stages’ programming has moved online, including free family friendly and educational programming through Outreach at Home, short play opportunities for playwrights, virtual concerts, special interviews, virtual play performances and more.