The New York Pops led by Vincent Falcone and Eric Stern, celebrates its hometown on Friday, November 7, 2008 at 8 p.m. at Carnegie Hall in a program entitled "A Love Letter to New York" featuring classic songs about New York City and the world premieres of original songs about the city by composer Kenneth Laub. Clint Holmes headlines the concert with special guests Ashley Brown, Laura Bell Bundy and Linda Hart. The program also includes songs by Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter. Ms. Bundy, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Holmes will all be making their Carnegie Hall debuts.
Composer Kenneth Laub, who has made a career as a prominent corporate real estate broker, was raised in Long Island and has lived in New York City since 1960. In 1969, he founded Kenneth D. Laub & Company, a firm that has consummated transactions involving more than 30 million square feet of office space for some of the nation's largest corporations, from American Airlines to Xerox. Both personally and through the company that bears his name, Kenneth Laub has consistently endeavored over the years to, as he puts it, "give a little bit back to the city that's been so good to me." These efforts have taken numerous forms, including fund-raising, philanthropy and other charitable work; producing Broadway and off-Broadway shows; and combining his passions for music and his hometown through the composition of original music that celebrates the people and places of New York City. Some highlights of his efforts to improve the New York community include: the implementation of Sidewalks of New York, a project that brought the history of downtown Manhattan to life through the installation of historical markers throughout the district; serving as Committee Chairman of a Radio City Music Hall benefit, "An 80th Birthday Tribute to Bob Hope", that raised money to build The NYC Fire Museum; forming a partnership with the late Lewis Rudin to establish the Association for a Better New York; and publicly announcing, in the wake of the September 11 tragedy, an offer of his company's services - pro bono - to any business or individual affected by the disaster.
Mr. Laub finds the most enjoyment in "giving back" through his love for music. His most recent work in theater was writing the music and lyrics for an original musical comedy Priceless, which was performed in 2004 at Beckett Theater on West 42nd Street. He has also been producer or co-producer of many shows, including The Wiz, Barnum, Slow Dance at Killing Ground, Lennie, Break a Leg, and The Second Greatest Entertainer in the Whole Wide World.
Ashley Brown originated and played for over two years the title role of Mary Poppins on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and The Beast. Ashley starred in the national tour of Disney's "On the Record". Regional credits include "The Leading Men of Broadway" and a concert version of "Guys and Dolls" with Jack Everly and the Indianapolis Symphony, "Broadway by the Year: 1956" at Town Hall in New York City and numerous shows at the Muny. She has performed with many orchestras including in this past year, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the Cincinnati Pops (with Maestro Erich Kunzel), and the Pensacola Symphony. Ashley is also featured on the Disney's "On the Record" album and is on the upcoming all-star Rodgers and Hammerstein "Allegro" album to be released on SonyBMG. Ashley studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theater. She was honored with the Laurie Beechman Award at CCM. In 2009, Ms. Brown will be headlining the highly anticipated Mary Poppins North American tour, scheduled to begin performances at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre on March 11, 2009.
Laura Bell Bundy, who has been performing featured or leading roles in New York and Regional Theatre since the age of nine, is best known for originating the role of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical on Broadway for which she received Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Award Nominations in 2007 for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. Miss Bundy also originated the role of Amber Von Tussle in the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray, and appeared as Glinda in the Broadway hit Wicked. Regional and Off-Broadway roles have included: Tina Denmark in Ruthless, the Musical!, Sherrie Christian in Rock of Ages, Dainty June in Gypsy, and Louisa in The Sound of Music. In addition to her theater work, Miss Bundy has also worked in film and television. With movie credits including Dreamgirls, Jumanji, Life with Mikey, and The Adventures of Huck Finn, along with appearances in major network television series such as UPN's Veronica Mars, FOX's Happy Hour, the WB's Modern Men, CBS's Cold Case, and Comedy Central's Strangers with Candy., Miss Bundy's debut country music album, titled Longing For A Place Already Gone, was released in July 2007.
Vincent Falcone began studying classical piano at the age of three, and although he was classically trained at Syracuse University, he was so taken with jazz that he decided to pursue jazz and pop music as a career. After extensive traveling throughout Europe with various jazz groups, he returned to the U.S. in 1964 and spent several years furthering his musical studies in upstate New York. In 1970, Mr. Falcone relocated to Las Vegas, where he still resides. He became house pianist at Caesar's Palace where he was heard by Frank Sinatra who eventually employed him as his musical director and pianist. This association lasted from 1976 - 1982 with a reprise in 1985 -1986. In 1980, Mr. Falcone was music director for the Inaugural Gala for President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Falcone has, at one time or another, been pianist or conductor for many of the country's top singers including Tony Bennett, Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Connie Francis, Jerry Lewis, Paul Anka, Sylvia Syms, The McGuire Sisters, Frankie Randall, the great French singer-composer Charles Aznavour, Jack Jones, Al Martino, Eddie Fisher, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Mr. Falcone was also musical director and pianist for Pia Zadora from 1983 to 1993. He has appeared with such jazz artists as Steve Gadd, Joe Labarbara, Bobby Shew, The Condoli Brothers, Scott Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Sonny Stitt, Jack Sheldon, Carl Fontana, Mark Murphy and many others. He has extensive experience as conductor of all size orchestras, and has been musical director for the stage musical Too Short to be a Rockette. He can be heard on several recordings with Frank Sinatra, Pia Zadora, Sylvia Syms, and others as well as his latest CD with his own jazz organ trio "The Jazz Organization". In 2005, Mr. Falcone had his first book published by Hal Leonard Publishing Co. entitled "Frankly - Just Between Us", telling of his many experiences with Frank Sinatra and other artists with whom he has worked.
Best-known on Broadway for originating the role of Velma Von Tussle in the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray, Linda Hart has been a constant presence in the world of performing arts since early childhood. Born into a famous Texan family of gospel-singing evangelists "The Harts", Linda spent the first seven years of her life traveling and performing across the U.S.and Europe. After her graduation from the theater program at Los AngelesCityCollege , Miss Hart moved to Nashville, where she made several albums and many appearances with stars such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., and Mel Tillis. When Linda Hart became one of Bette Midler's famous Harlettes, she embarked on concert tours around the U.S.and the world, and was given her Broadway debut in Ms. Midler's show entitled, Bette! Divine Madness. Her many subsequent theater credits included Syd Caesar on Broadway, Erma in the Tony award-winning musical Anything Goes, Bunny Weinberger in Gemini, Betty in the Off-Broadway hit The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and, of course, Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray. In the summer of 2008, Linda Hart sang the role of Romaine in the Off-Broadway musical Grind at York Theatre.
In television, Linda Hart has appeared in episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, Touched by an Angel, Hill Street Blues, The Closer, The Practice, Desperate Housewives, The Winner, and others, starting in the early 1980s. Among her feature film credits are The Best of Times, Stella with Bette Midler, Tin Cup, Get Shorty, and A Perfect World.
Having spent more than 20 years performing, Clint Holmes has served as Joan Rivers' sidekick and announcer on "The Late Show," as the musical feature and event correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight" and as the host of his own Emmy-award-winning talk/variety show. Since moving to Las Vegas, Clint has quickly become a favorite in the Las Vegas community, and "Best Singer" (two years in a row), Best All-Around Las Vegas Performer" and "Favorite Male Las Vegan" by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Clint was inducted into the Buffalo Musical Hall of Fame and into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame.
He released a DVD of his live performance at the Clint Holmes Theater at Harrah's, which debuted nationwide via IN DEMAND on July 7, 2001. In 2006 his PBS special of his Las Vegas Act was aired nationwide. PBS filmed three acts in Las Vegas for airing last year and along with Barry Manilow and Andrea Boccelli.
In the world of theater Clint is a seasoned performer and writer. Along with Nelson Kole he created the Book, Music and Lyrics for the musical Comfortable Shoes. Clint starred in the World Premiere of this musical at the Papermill Playhouse. The musical had another successful run at the Royal George Theater in Chicago. Clint recently starred as Simon Zealotes in the YouthTheatre America One-Night-Only benefit production of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, Yvonne Elliman, Barry Dennen, Ben Vereen and Jack Black.
He has just finished writing his latest musical "Just Another Man" with Larry Moss and Bill Fayne. The World Premiere of this exciting new musical starring Mr. Holmes was be presented by the Nevada Conservatory Theater in May and June at the Judy Bailey Theater at UNLV with future productions planned and to be announced.
Eric Stern is one of Broadway's busiest conductor/arrangers with 16 Broadway shows and 32 albums to his credit. Among his Broadway shows: Rags, The Will Rogers Follies, Tyne Daly's Gypsy, Carousel, Candide, Parade, Sunday In The Park With George and the currently running Xanadu. He was conductor/ pianist/ arranger for a highly regarded series of recordings for Nonesuch records with Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin as well as three Gershwin reconstructions (Lady Be Good!, Pardon My English, andOh, Kay!), the best-selling "Leonard Bernstein's New York" and CD's by Fred Hersch, Ricky Ian Gordon and many others. He has also recorded music of Bernstein and Gershwin with Richard Stoltzman and American Film Music with the London Symphony Orchestra. For two years Eric was Barbara Cook's accompanist and arranger, performing with her at the Met and Carnegie Hall. He has also conducted on the concert stage for performers as diverse as Dianne Reeves, Deborah Voigt, The Irish Tenors, and Thomas Hampson, with renowned orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Among his more unusual assignments, Eric conducted a live, three-hour television broadcast of NBC's 75th anniversary, a Stephen Sondheim 70th birthday concert for Covent Garden, and a production of Porgy And Bess in Lisbon! An Emmy, Grammy, and Gramaphone winner, Eric lives with his family in Maplewood, New Jersey.
The New York Pops was founded by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson in 1983 to give New York a permanent professional symphonic pops orchestra that would create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich and diverse musical heritage. The orchestra is now the largest independent symphonic pops orchestra in the United States.
Subscriptions to the 2008-2009 Carnegie Hall series are available to renewing subscribers at a special price now through March 7, 2008. New subscriptions, priced at $135, $155, $200, $335, $435 and $490, go on sale April 12, 2008. Subscriptions may be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 57th Street and 7th Avenue, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. Visit www.carnegiehall.org for more information.
The New York Pops is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, and concert income. Dates, artists and programs are subject to change.
Additional information about the season is available by calling The New York Pops office at 212-765-7677, or by visiting www.newyorkpops.org.
Single tickets range from $29 -$100 and may be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 57th Street and 7th Avenue, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. Visit www.carnegiehall.org for more information.
Delta Air Lines is the official airline of The New York Pops.
Information on the composer and his upcoming projects can be found at www.kennethdlaubmusic.com.