Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook returns in January for its eleventh season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. For 17 nights of pop, folk, cabaret, R&B, country, rock, show tunes, bluegrass and multimedia, the series will explore the best of the golden age of musical standards through to today's most dynamic contemporary songwriting.
The 2009 season - January 14 through March 6 - will bring to the stage some of today's most gifted interpreters of song, including top vocalist Kurt Elling and country's winning Patty Loveless. It will feature the rare opportunity to hear Paulo Szot, star of Broadway's South Pacific, and film and stage star Alan Cumming, in intimate concert settings.
Two of the immortals in the canon of American composers - Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers - will be celebrated, respectively, by Rob Fisher and John Pizzarelli. Current Broadway and film composer Alan Menken will perform songs he has written for films and stage productions, and contemporary composer/arranger/wunderkind Nico Muhly will bring his pop collaborations to the Songbook stage. Tony-winner Stew (Passing Strange) will close the season with a concert at the new Alice Tully Hall. With the exception of Stew's concert at the new Alice Tully Hall, American Songbook will be presented in the spectacular Allen Room of Frederick P. Rose Hall.
The Allen Room possesses one of New York's greatest settings - a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.
Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2009 Season
January 14 - March 6, 2009
The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street
Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 8:30 pm: Night & Day: Rob Fisher Celebrates Cole Porter with David Hyde Pierce and Victoria Clark is a celebration of musical wit, sophistication and class hosted by the former musical director of the Tony-winning Encores! Series at City Center, Rob Fisher. Joining Fisher are two amazingly talented Broadway stars: David Hyde Pierce (Tony winner for Curtains, four-time Emmy winner for Frasier), and Victoria Clark (Tony winner for The Light in the Piazza). Fisher is an acknowledged authority in classic American musical theater as well as a renowned presence in front of the great orchestras of the world. He conducted the New York Philharmonic's concert versions of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (with Patti LuPone and George Hearn) and My Fair Lady, and the Grammy-winning cast recording of Chicago. Cole Porter's indelible songs - with all of their suave romanticism, witty provocation and purple moods - will pulse under Fisher's capable hands.
Thursday, January 15, 2009, 8:30 pm: PATTY LOVELESS is the siren of modern country music. A Country Music Association Female Vocalist and Album of the Year winner, Loveless' voice was compared early on to Patsy Cline's, but while they share a touching sincerity Loveless has a vocal strength uniquely her own. Loveless' Appalachian alto is currently being heard on her latest recording, Sleepless Nights, a collection of classic songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s that celebrate the many facets of heartache that are at the core of country music.
Friday, January 16, 2009, 8:30 pm: THE AMERICAN BEAUTY PROJECT: The Music of the Grateful Dead American bands aren't any more iconic than the Grateful Dead. Their aura continues long after the group disbanded in 1995 after thirty years of psychedelic songs and indelible rock anthems. The American Beauty Project takes the Dead's most defining albums, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, and performs them with new voices and in new arrangements, bringing out the beauty in the music for those who may never have heard it before (or heard it while under the influence). The performers include the group Ollabelle, Catherine Russell, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jim Lauderdale and a few surprises.