CAP 21, now in its 18th year of creating new work and developing new talent as America's Musical Theatre Conservatory and Theatre Company, honors award-winning composers and lyricists Jason Robert Brown and Georgia Stitt with its annual all-star benefit concert beginning at 7:30pm on Monday, April 11 at The Kaye Playhouse (68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues) in Manhattan.
Daisy Prince, who helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway productions of Mr. Brown's THE LAST FIVE YEARS and SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD, directs this evening of songs by the married composers.
Performers include three-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara (THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, THE PAJAMA GAME, SOUTH PACIFIC); two-time Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James (SHREK THE MUSICAL, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS); Aisha De Haas (CAROLINE OR CHANGE, ROADSHOW); Christopher Jackson (IN THE HEIGHTS, THE LION KING); Lauren Kennedy (SPAMALOT, SIDE SHOW), Jessica Molaskey (PARADE, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, TOMMY), and others to be announced. The concert also features performances by Jason Robert Brown and Georgia Stitt, accompanied by a 9-piece band and a 30-voice chorus, under the musical direction of Thomas Murray.
Matthew Morrison, one of the stars of the hit FOX-TV series GLEE whose Broadway credits include HAIRSPRAY, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE LIGHT IN THEPIAZZA, will be awarded the first-ever CAP21 Distinguished Alumni Award via a special video appearance.
"It's an old trope that the theater is one big family, but it's always wonderful to discover that it's true," says co-honoree Jason Robert Brown. "Georgia and I are so honored to have the opportunity to be such a big part of an event that supports CAP21, whose mission to develop new work and train young actors is so much in line with what we do and believe. It is a great thrill to have our family be part of the CAP21 family, and we are looking forward to a fantastic evening!"
"CAP21 is thrilled to be honoring the distinguished composers and lyricists, Jason Robert Brown and Georgia Stitt," proclaims Frank Ventura, CAP21 Executive Artistic Director and co-founder. "The songs of Jason and Georgia represent the finest in contemporary musical theatre. The mission of CAP21 is to develop new artists for the theatre. There is no better way to celebrate the work of CAP21 than to honor two outstanding artists at our annual benefit."
Jason Robert Brown received a Tony Award for Best Score for PARADE, which also garnered Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics' awards Best New Musical. Other notable credits include THE LAST FIVE YEARS, winner of Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics; and the musical
13. He has been hailed as "one of Broadway's smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim" (Philadelphia Inquirer), and his "extraordinary, jubilant theater music" (Chicago
Tribune) has been heard all over the world, whether in one of the hundreds of productions of his musicals every year or in his own incendiary live performances. The New York Times referred to Jason as "a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical."
Georgia Stitt is a composer, lyricist, musical director, arranger and pianist. Her musicals currently in development include: BIG RED SUN (winner of the Harold Arlen Award in 2005); THE WATER (winner of the 2008 ANMT "Search for New Voices in American Musical Theatre"; and HELLO! MY BABY (with Cheri Steinkellner). In 2007, Georgia released her debut album, "This Ordinary Thursday: The Songs of Georgia Stitt," featuring performances by such theater luminaries as Sara Ramirez, Kelli O'Hara, Faith Prince, Susan Egan, Tituss Burgess, Matthew Morrison, and Cheyenne Jackson. She was the vocal coach for the 2008 TV series "America's Got Talent."
CAP21: America's Musical Theatre Conservatory & Theatre Company was founded by Frank Ventura and Eliza Ventura in 1993. For nearly twenty years, The CAP21 Theatre Company has developed and produced new plays and musicals by emerging and established theatre writers. CAP21develops at least 20 new musicals and new plays a year, engaging over 200 theatre artists. Many of the works developed at the CAP21 Theatre Company have moved on to subsequent productions around the country. The CAP21 Conservatory provides an in-depth actor training program specializing in musical theatre performance. The renowned school is now an internationally recognized musical theatre conservatory. Through its various programs, the Conservatory annually trains over
400 emerging performers who come from all over the United States and the world.