CAP 21, now in its 18th year of creating new work and developing new talent as America's Musical Theatre Conservatory and Theatre Company, honored award-winning composers and lyricists Jason Robert Brown and Georgia Stitt with its annual all-star benefit concert last night, April 11 at The Kaye Playhouse 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, directed this evening of songs by the married composers.
Performers included 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); Davis Gaines (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, CAMELOT), Christopher Jackson (IN THE HEIGHTS, THE LION KING); Lauren Kennedy (SPAMALOT, SIDE SHOW), and Jessica Molaskey (PARADE, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, TOMMY). 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 THE PIAZZA, was awarded the first-ever CAP21 Distinguished Alumni Award via a special video appearance.
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"; andHELLO! 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."
For more information, visit http://www.cap21.org.