Now in its 15th season, Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook celebrates the best in American singing and songwriting with a new chapter in the Songbook story: "American Songbook in the Penthouse," a series of weekend-only performances by performers and composers presented in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, an intimate yet elegant venue that brings artists closer to the audience in a cabaret-style setting. "American Songbook in the Penthouse" embraces adventuresome performers and celebrates composers and lyricists, both newer and veteran. With a seating capacity of just 225, the Kaplan Penthouse allows acoustic performers to be heard the way they intend - near to the audience and without elaborate amplification. The size of the space also allows performers to interact with their audience to make them an integral part of their performance, something difficult to do in a larger, more formal venue.
The second weekend of Kaplan Penthouse performances, the sixth week of American Songbook 2013, runs April 5-6, 2013. April 5th belongs to Cristin Milioti, who was nominated for a Tony Award in 2012 for her lead role in the musical Once. Milioti, who brought "presence and dimensionality" (The New York Times) to the part of young songwriter who may or may not have met her match in a Dublin pub, is on the cusp of a major theatrical career.
On April 6th, the composer Ricky Ian Gordon brings his composition "Green Sneakers" to the Kaplan Penthouse, fresh from its West Coast premiere in February. Gordon's vocal music spans art song, opera, and musical theater. "Green Sneakers" is a theatrical song cycle about love lost with noted baritone Jesse Blumberg singing the lead, accompanied by the Voxare String Quartet.
Complimentary glasses of wine and bottled water will be served to audience members, who will be seated at cocktail tables. The Kaplan Penthouse has been the site for American Songbook shows in the past, and it has stunning city views.
Tickets can be purchased online at Lincoln Center's website www.AmericanSongbook.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office.
Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2013 Season: Week Six
"American Songbook in the Penthouse"
Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, 165 West 65th Street
Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:00 pm Cristin Milioti
Making her solo concert debut, Cristin Milioti is an American actress and a star of the Tony-winning musical Once. She is poised to be one of the future leading women of Broadway. Before starring in Once, Milioti was seen in Off-Broadway's That Face and she has also appeared in television programs such as 30 Rock and films such as Greetings from the Shore. An actor who has "a way of combining music and character and story, where everything just falls into place," (Huffington Post), Milioti also has a way of using accents and other voices that make her performances unique. Tickets start at $25.
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 8:00 pm Ricky Ian Gordon: Green Sneakers, for Baritone, String Quartet, Empty Chair, and Piano (sung by Jesse Blumberg)
Ricky Ian Gordon is an American composer of songs, stage musicals and opera. His compositions have been presented twice before in American Songbook: Bright Eyed Joy in 2002 and the world premiere of Orpheus & Euridice in 2005, which won an OBIE Award. The New York Times defines Gordon's music by a single quality-"the bursting effervescence infusing songs that blithely blur the lines between art song and the high-end Broadway music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim." Among his many works are Sycamore Trees (a musical), The Grapes of Wrath (a full-scale opera), and Green Sneakers, a theatrical song cycle based on a series of poems that Gordon wrote after the death of his long-time partner. The music will be played by the acclaimed Voxare String Quartet, and it will feature baritone Jesse Blumberg, who previously worked with Gordon when he played Connie Rivers in The Grapes of Wrath. According to Opera Today, where Green Sneakers was called "a masterpiece," Gordon had noted Blumberg's artistry, charisma, honesty and simplicity as a performer, and he knew Blumberg would be the perfect vocalist for Green Sneakers. Tickets start at $25.