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Featuring Christine Andreas, Klea Blackhurst, George Dvorsky, Nicolas King
Hosted, Written and Curated by Deborah Grace Winer
Musical Director John Oddo; Stage Director Mark Waldrop
The Band: Ken Ascher – Piano, Aaron Heick – Sax and Woodwinds, Jay Leonhart – Bass, James Saporito – Drums
Join us for the world premiere of Salon Songbook: The Gershwins and Friends, a celebration of songwriting’s most successful sibling partnership—including a few of their rare gems as well as some of Ira’s collaborations with Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern.
George and Ira Gershwin gave us some of the greatest standards in the American Songbook: “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “But Not for Me.” Their songs embodied the very American energy of the Jazz Age, and they transformed Broadway and Hollywood musicals.
Debrorah Grace Winer (Host, Curator)
Deborah Grace Winer is an author and playwright who has written extensively about the American Songbook, and for the last nine seasons, has been artistic director of the 92Y’s venerable Lyrics & Lyricists (TM) American Songbook concert series. She has personally led eight Lyrics & Lyricists shows: Baby, Dream Your Dream: Dorothy Fields and the Women of the American Songbook (2017); New York: Songs of the City (2015); Jerome Kern Coast to Coast; The Crowd’s at El Morocco, about the heyday of the New York nightclubs; Fred and Ginger in So Many Words; I’ve Got Your Number, a celebration of Carolyn Leigh; The Last Girl Singer, a tribute to Deborah’s friend Rosemary Clooney; and Dorothy’s Side of the Street, the Dorothy Fields Centennial salute. In November 2009, with her mentor Robert Kimball, Deborah was co-artistic director of I Remember You, the Johnny Mercer Centennial Tribute Concert.
Deborah is the author of On the Sunny Side of the Street: The Life and Lyrics of Dorothy Fields (Schirmer Books), recently reissued on Amazon as an ebook, and The Night and the Music: Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Cook and Julie Wilson Inside the World of Cabaret (Schirmer). She is co-author of Sing Out, Louise!: 150 Broadway Musical Stars Remember 50 Years (Schirmer); and I Remember Too Much: 89 Opera Stars Speak Candidly of Their Work, Their Lives and Their Colleagues (William Morrow). She also authored three companion coffee-table books included in each of three box-sets of the complete early recordings of Rosemary Clooney (Bear Family).
Deborah’s articles on music have appeared in The New York Times and Town and Country, among other publications. She was featured on PBS’s special, Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin’ with Frank & Bing; on the PBS American Masters special, Yours for a Song: The Women of Tin Pan Alley, and on A&E’s Biography episode on Rosemary Clooney. She has also appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition.
Her last three shows at NY hotspot 54 Below have the NY Times accusing her of ‘electrifying her audiences and showering them with ‘pure alchemy’. Her most recent show, “Piaf – No Regrets!” capturing the genius of Edith Piaf, had the audience “hollering in uncontrollable and passionate ecstasy”….so, audience beware! In May of 2015, she appeared in New York embodying Edith Piaf in ‘Streetsinger’, a cabaret/dance production with Rioult Dance NY celebrating PIaf’s 100th anniversary.
Ms. Andreas first captured New York City theatre-goer’s hearts in the 20th anniversary production of My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle (Theatre World Award); followed by the revival of Oklahoma!, as Laurey, working with Billy Hammerstein & Agnes deMillle (Tony Nomination); and On Your Toes, as Frankie Frayne, directed by the legendary director George Abbott, (Tony Nomination). She last appeared on Broadway as Jacqueline in the Tony/Olivier Award winning production of La Cage Aux Folles with Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, after starring as Margaret Johnson in the much acclaimed National tour of The Light In The Piazza.
She created the role of Marguerite St. Just on Broadway in the original production of The Scarlet Pimpernell opposite Douglas Sills and Terrence Mann. Other Broadway credits include Words and Music with Sammy Cahn, Nancy in Angel Street with Dina Merrill, Rebecca in Rags, the short-lived Alice in the short-lived Legs Diamond with the late, great and wonderful Peter Allen, and the Broadway bound and derailed Erte production of Stardust. She received rapturous notices and a Barrymore Award for her portrayal of Vera Simpson in the Prince Music Theater’s production of Rogers and Hart’s Pal Joey
She recently played Judy Garland in the world premiere of Heartbreaker, a new play with music, by John Meyer chronicling his two-month affair with her five months before she died.
Engagements in New York at the CAFÉ CARLYLE and the ALGONQUIN’S OAK ROOM prompted the New York Times to extol: “She delicately kills with the sheer beauty of her voice”…“She finds a blend of lyricism and sweet sensuality that only the finest Broadway voices can conjure.” Liz Smith was moved to write: “Christine Andreas is everything anyone who loves romantic pop music could want – simply sine qua non.” Her CARNEGIE HALL debut was hailed as ‘brilliant’, ‘delicious’ and ‘sexy’ in Variety.
She is known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow. Most recently Klea starred in the world premiere production of Hazel at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Chicago and The Nutty Professor, which premiered in Nashville, directed by Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. Klea starred in Goodspeed Opera’s 50th Anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! She’s appeared in legendary halls from The London Palladium to Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall to Jazz at Lincoln Center and with symphony orchestras from Atlanta to Philly. In addition to her Merman tribute, other shows include Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke’s Broadway and Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael, in collaboration with Billy Stritch. Klea is a charter member of the Jerry Herman Legacy Concerts for the ASCAP Foundation and a distinguished Alumna of the University of Utah.
Broadway credits include the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Passion, Marilyn: An American Fable and The Best Little Whorehouse… National Tour: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Off-Broadway: The Fantasticks, Closer Than Ever, Pete N Keely, Dames At Sea and ‘And The World Goes Round. George starred in the NYC Premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella as Prince Charming at Lincoln Center. On PBS he was featured in Passion: Live at Lincoln Center starring Patti LuPone and starred with Bea Arthur and the Boston Pops in Bernstein’s Broadway. His solo CDs are available on the JAY Records label.
Mr. King has been performing professionally since he was 4 years old. Having been in 3 Broadway productions (Beauty & The Beast, A Thousand Clowns with Tom Selleck, and Carol Burnett’s Hollywood Arms directed by Hal Prince) before the age of 12, he has also appeared in many national TV commercials, including his award winning ‘Oscar Mayer Lunchables’ commercial. King has appeared on many TV talk shows such as “The View”, “The Today Show”, “Sally Jesse Raphael”, “Liza & David”, and twice on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno (most recently as a part of Leno’s final week as host in 2014). Releasing his latest album, “On Another Note”, with jazz icon Mike Renzi (available on iTunes), he has performed on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for 8 consecutive years live in Las Vegas, the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s “Cabaret Convention” for 6 years, and originated the voice of “Oscar” on Discovery Kids’ “Kenny The Shark”. King is the recipient of the 1995 and 1996 Talent America Award, 2010 Julie Wilson Award, 2015 AMG Award for Artist of the Year, and New York’s coveted Bistro Award in 2012 for ‘Outstanding Performer of the Year’. He has also performed alongside his mentor, the legendary Liza Minnelli, since he was 11 years old as her opening act from 2002-2012, touring all over the country. King has performed on many iconic stages including concerts and appearances at Birdland, Lincoln Center, 54 Below, Town Hall and The Palace Theater in New York, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and the Royal Room at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, FL