Catherine Zeta-Jones Narrates THE RUNAWAY BUNNY, Michael Douglas Narrates THE STORY OF BABAR on CD, 11/15
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by BWW News Desk
GPR Records (Glen Roven, Peter Fitzgerald, Richard Cohen, artistic directors) will release a children's CD of Catherine Zeta-Jones narrating The Runaway Bunny, based on the best selling children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown. Michael Douglas narrates everyone's favorite elephant - The Story of Babar - The Little Elephant, a 1931 classic written by Jean de Brunhoff. Also on the CD will be English Baritone Mark Stone singing Goodnight Moon also by Margaret Wise Brown. The CD, distributed by Naxos, will be released on November 15th and will be available at www.GPRRecords.com, Amazon, and iTunes.
Catherine Zeta-Jones narrates The Runaway Bunny in a new piano trio version composed by GPR Records artistic director and 4-time Emmy Award Winner Glen Roven. RUNAWAY BUNNY has been performed all over the world and narrators have included: Brooke Shields, Glenn Close, Sandy Duncan, Donna McKechnie, Kate Mulgrew, and Phyllis Newman. This piece premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, with Glenn Close narrating. Runaway Bunny was written in 1942 and has been published continuously since that time.
"It is such a pleasure to participate in The Runaway Bunny for this recording - it's a wonderful timeless story of free thinking and creativity," said Catherine Zeta-Jones. "I know the importance of music and reading and my hope is that this CD will touch and capture the imagination a new generation."
Narrating the tale of one of the most famous elephants in the world Michael Douglas, a two-time Academy Award winning actor and producer, tells the story of an orphan elephant who is befriended by a kind old lady, introduced to the pleasures of civilized life, then returns to the jungle and marries his childhood sweetheart and is elevated to King of the Elephants. The story of Babar, which celebrated its 81st Anniversary this year, includes music by Francis Poulenc and Jason Wirth on piano.
Also on the CD will be GOODNIGHT MOON, a lullaby for baritone and piano, which is sung by international Opera superstar and English Baritone Mark Stone in the new concerto. GOODNIGHT MOON is based on Wise's book, in print for over 60 years.
"Runaway Bunny, The Story of Babar - The Little Elephant and Goodnight Moon are National Treasures and many of us remember them from our childhood," said GPR Records Producer and composer Glen Roven. "Having Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas and Mark Stone really solidifies GPR Records' goal of creating wonderfully new and sophisticated products for children. We're so pleased to be able to honor Margaret Wise Brown with this recording, as well as helping The Windward School.
The Windward School, located in White Plains, New York, is an independent co-ed day school focused exclusively on helping students in grades 1-9 with language-based learning disabilities. Windward students are children of average or above average intelligence who have not been able to achieve language competency in traditional classroom settings. For more information: www.thewindwardschool.org.
Catherine Zeta-Jones - is a multi-award winning actress whose talents range from film to theater. She garnered an Academy Award for her portrayal of the notorious Velma Kelly, in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Chicago." The film, which won the Oscar and Golden Globe for "Best Picture," also starred Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere. Zeta-Jones was nominated for a Golden Globe and took home the Critics' Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the BAFTA Award for "Best Supporting Actress" for her performance.
She won the Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical for critically acclaimed debut on Broadway as Desirée Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. The musical was a box office success co-starring the legendary Angela Lansbury. Zeta-Jones was most recently seen in the musical "Rock of Ages," directed by Adam Shankman and co-starring with Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin. Upcoming she will be seen in Playing the Field," with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Dennis Quaid; "Broken City" with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe and "Lay the Favorite," with Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance film festival. Zeta-Jones also just wrapped production in Steve Soderbergh's latest film "Bitter Pill" with Jude Law, Rooney Mara, and Channing Tatum.
In 2005, she reprised her role as Elena de La Vega in "The Legend of Zorro," the sequel to the blockbuster film "The Mask of Zorro." She starred in Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's 12," and prior to that appeared opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal." Zeta-Jones also starred with George Clooney in the Coen Brothers' comedy "Intolerable Cruelty." Her recent films include the Warner Bros' hit romantic comedy "No Reservations," also starring Aaron Eckhart; and the romantic thriller "Death Defying Acts," with Guy Pearce. Zeta-Jones earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of the wife of a drug-runner in Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic." The cast of the critically praised film received a SAG Award for "Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture."
She first captured international recognition in the action adventure film, "The Mask of Zorro,"opposite Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. Zeta-Jones continued to captivate audiences in 1999, in Jon Amiel's romantic-thriller "Entrapment," opposite screen legend Sean Connery. She also starred with Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and John Cusack in the ensemble comedy "America's Sweethearts."
Born in Wales, Zeta-Jones began her career on the stage in London and following that was cast in the popular Yorkshire Television series, "The Darling Buds of May," based on the novels of H.E. Bates. In 2010, Zeta-Jones was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to the film industry and charity. Zeta-Jones is married to actor Michael Douglas. They have a son, Dylan, and a daughter, Carys.
Michael Douglas - is an actor with over 35 years of experience in theatre, television and film. Douglas has appeared in such high profile works as "The Streets of San Francisco," "Romancing the Stone," "Fatal Attraction," "The War of the Roses," "Basic Instinct," "Disclosure," "A Perfect Murder," and "The American President." His performance as the ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street" Earned him an Academy Award as Best Actor. He received the prestigious American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 2009.
Over his career, Douglas also produced and starred in such socially and politically influential films as 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for which he won a Best Picture Oscar; "The China Syndrome," "Falling Down" and "Traffic."
Douglas has long been a champion of social and environmental causes. He has been actively involved in working with the United Nations and in 1998 was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace focusing on nuclear proliferation and the control of small arms.
Michael Douglas is the son of Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas and actress Diana Douglas and is married to Academy Award winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. He and Zeta-Jones have a son and daughter and Douglas has a son from a previous marriage.
Mark Stone - is an English baritone who studied mathematics at King's College, Cambridge, and then singing and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
On the operatic stages of his homeland he has sung for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North¸ Glyndebourne Opera, Opera Holland Park, Buxton Festival, Garsington Opera and Grange Park Opera, and overseas he has sung for La Scala Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Cologne, Liceu Barcelona, Leipzig, Stockholm, Montpellier, Netherlands Reisopera, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Opera Atelier Toronto, Israeli Opera and New Zealand Opera. His operatic roles include Marcello, Belcore, Sonora, Gianni Schicchi, Ashton, Ford, Germont, Don Carlo (Forza), Silvio, Rossini's Figaro, Don Giovanni, Almaviva, Guglielmo, Onegin, Yeletsky, Danilo, Eisenstein, Chou En-lai, Hector, Junius, Sid and Demetrius.
He has sung with leading orchestras at many of the major European concert halls, and he is also busy as a song recitalist, specializing in the English song repertoire. He has performed in recital at London's Wigmore Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall, performing a program of songs by Glen Roven, with the composer accompanying – including Goodnight Moon.
Peter Fitzgerald Founding partner of GPR Records, a new recording company devoted to classic and unexpected works for children, contemporary classical audiences and poetry lovers. A noted Broadway sound designer represented currently by: Old Jew Telling Jokes, David Mamet's Glengary Glen Ross staring Al Pachino and his new play Anarchist. Peter is a prolific designer with credits including: Will Farrell's Your Welcome America, Blithe Spirit, Speed the Plow, Billy Joel's Movin' Out, Paul Simon's The Capeman, La Cage Aux Folles, Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews, City of Angels, Gypsy, Falsettos, The Will Rogers Follies, Minnelli on Minnelli with Liza, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to name a few. Noted plays: The Odd Couple, M. Butterfly, Stones in His Pockets, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Thousand Clowns. Peter is President and owner of Sound Associates, Inc a premier provider of sound and video systems to the theater and business community with locations is New York, Yonkers, and Atlanta and Toronto. He was instrumental in developing the recording studio at the New York location, home of GPR Records. Peter and his wife, Maritza, are the proud parents of daughters Lori and Mallori.
Glen Roven, a four-time Emmy winner, recently conducted his Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall and will accompany Baritone Mark Stone this season at Carnegie when Stone performs a full evening of Roven's music. He has conducted The Israel Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Munich Philharmonic, The Radio Luxembourg Orchestra, The American Symphony, as well as many others. He has produced for Julie Andrews, Kathleen Battle, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Aretha Franklin, Kenny G., Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Quincy Jones, Kermit the Frog, Patti LaBelle, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross to name a few. Career highlights include conducting the original Broadway production of Sugar Babies, conducting four Presidential Inaugurations, conducting Frank Sinatra's last television appearance and Sammy Davis Jr,'s last televised appearance. Next season sees the debut of his Broadway musical, Dr. Seuss's The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
Richard Cohen has broad and extensive experience in theater, television and film as a producer, designer and theater tech. His career in live theater began at The Metropolitan Opera in 1968, on Broadway, from Company in 1970 to Smokey Joe's Cafe in 2000. Richard has designed video projections on Broadway for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Legend. He coordinated lighting for arena shows and industrials. His television credits include soaps, news, variety shows and commercials for every brand of detergent on the market. Richard produced a TV pilot, The Tatler in 1981. His film credits include, among others, "Billy Bathgate" and "The Thomas Crown Affair". Outside the biz, developed real estate in New Jersey.
For more information, visit www.GPRRecords.com.