Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College welcomes legendary composer/performer and 2008 Theater Hall of Fame inductee Marvin Hamlisch for an elegant evening of unforgettable music on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 8pm, including selections from The Way We Were and A Chorus Line, along with tributes to Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and Scott Joplin. He will be joined on stage by tenor J. Mark McVey.
Native New Yorker Marvin Hamlisch holds the distinction of being one of only twelve people to win all four major US performing awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) and one of only two to have won all four of those plus a Pulitzer Prize (the other being Richard Rogers). A child prodigy, he became the youngest person ever accepted to the Julliard School at the age of six. His first professional job was as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand, and one of his early songs was recorded by Liza Minnelli for her debut album. But his first hit did not come until he was 21, when Lesley Gore released her recording of "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows."
His first film score was for the 1968 movie The Swimmer, starring Burt Lancaster, although he had done some music for films as early as 1965. Later he did music for Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. In addition, Hamlisch co-wrote the song "California Nights" with Howard Leibling, which was recorded by Lesley Gore on her 1967 hit album of the same title. The song reached number 16 on the pop charts.
The 1970s were Mr. Hamlisch's peak period as a composer. During this time, he adapted Scott Joplin's ragtime music for the motion picture The Sting, including its theme song, "The Entertainer." His music for the motion picture The Way We Were won him both Best Original Score and Best Original Song at the 1974 Academy Awards. He also won four Grammy Awards in 1974, two of them for "The Way We Were." He co-wrote "Nobody Does It Better" from the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me with his then-girlfriend Carole Bayer Sager. The song was nominated for an Oscar in 1977. He also had Broadway success with A Chorus Line (for which he won both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize) and They're Playing Our Song (loosely based on his relationship with Carole Bayer Sager).
In the 1980s he had success with the scores of Ordinary People (1980) and Sophie's Choice (1982). He also received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for a song in the film version of A Chorus Line. His 1986 Broadway musical Smile, co-written with Howard Ashman,was a mixed success, running for 48 performances and receiving one Tony Award nomination. He received his first Emmy nomination for his musical work for the television show "Brooklyn Bridge." Mr. Hamlisch was musical director and arranger of Barbra Streisand's 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys). His 1993 Broadway musical The Goodbye Girl, starring Martin Short and Bernadette Peters, received five Tony nominations, including one for Best Musical. He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Theater Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mr. Hamlisch currently holds the position of principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and San Diego Symphony. He has just completed scoring the Matt Damon film, The Informant, directed by Steven Soderbergh which will be released in September 2009. In March 2009, Sony Pictures will release Every Little Step, a documentary about the making of A Chorus Line, in which Mr. Hamlisch is featured.
J. Mark McVey made his Broadway debut as Jean Valjeanin in Les Misérables, after having won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor while in Washington, DC, with the show. He was also the first American to perform that rolein London's West End, and just completed his 7th full year as Jean Valjean. In 1997, Mr. McVey made his Carnegie Hall debut with Mr. Marvin Hamlisch, and is proud to be Mr. Hamlisch's tenor of choice. J. Mark has performed with numerous symphonies across the world including Boston, Chicago, Detriot, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, The National Symphony, Dallas, Houston, San Diego, Jerusalem, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and numerous others. Best known for his theatre work, other Broadway credits and New York successes include Captain Walker in The Who's Tommy; Tommy Tune's The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public; the Off-Broadway revival of Chess; Hey Love, the critically acclaimed review of Mary Rodgers, conceived and directed by Richard MaltbyJr.; the Bernstein review A Helluva Town; and The Show Goes On, with Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, where he can be heard on his first cast album. National tours and regional work includes Carousel, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Seven Brides, and Hal Prince's Showboat.
About Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Founded in 1954, the mission of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is to present outstanding performing arts and arts education programs, reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities, at affordable prices. Brooklyn Center's presentations explore both the classical traditions and the boldest contemporary performances, embracing the world culture that defines Brooklyn. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts welcomes over 70,000 people to the 2,400 seat Walt Whitman Theatre each season, and boasts one of the largest arts education programs in the borough.
An Evening with Marvin Hamlisch at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College, 2900 Campus Road, Brooklyn
Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 8PM
Tickets: $40, $25
Online orders: BrooklynCenterOnline.org
Box Office: (718) 951-4500, Tuesday - Saturday, 1PM - 6PM
Groups of 15 or more: (718) 951-4600, ext. 22
An Evening with Marvin Hamlisch is made possible, in part, through the generous support of Con Edison.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts' programs are made possible in part with public funding from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts' 2008-2009 season is provided by: Target; JP Morgan Chase; Independence Community Foundation; National Grid; Citi Foundation; Commerce Bank; Macy's; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; Air Jamaica; the Carnegie Corporation of New York; and the Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund, established in the New York Community Trust by founders of The Reader's Digest Association. Additional support provided by the Best Western Gregory Hotel, Courier-Life Publications, The Brooklyn Eagle, and The Brooklyn Paper.
Brooklyn Center gratefully acknowledges the support of the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York State Assembly: Assemblymembers William F. Boyland, William Colton, Steven Cymbrowitz, Diane Gordon, Janele Hyer-Spencer, Rhoda Jacobs, Alan Maisel, Joan Millman, Felix Ortiz, N. Nick Perry, Sheldon Silver, Darryl C. Towns, Helene E. Weinstein; and members of the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York State Senate: Senators Eric Adams, Martin Golden, Kevin Parker and John L. Sampson. Brooklyn Center thanks the New York City Council: Councilmembers Simcha Felder, Domenic M. Recchia Jr., Kendall B. Stewart, and Albert Vann, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.