THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG Begins Performances 12/13 at St. Luke's
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by BWW News Desk
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG: The Music of Harold Arlen, a musical revue featuring Stormy Weather, Come Rain or Come Shine, Paper Moon, Accentuate-The-Positive, Lets Fall in Love, and all the much-loved tunes from THE WIZARD OF OZ, begins previews at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, NYC on Thursday, December 13 and opens officially on Thursday, January 10 at 8 PM.
The Wonderful Wizard of Song moves from The Cotton Club, thru Harold Arlen's Hollywood Years to Broadway, sharing inside stories of how some of the world's most beloved songs were created as well as sharing rare behind the scenes footage from The Wizard of Oz taken by Harold Arlen himself. Featuring The Three Crooners, George Bugatti, Marcus Goldhaber and Joe Shepherd, with Antoinette Henry, the Arlen revue makes its New York debut after a national tour to 18 cities and a month-long run at the Debbie Reynolds Theatre in Las Vegas.
Produced by Yellow Brick Productions in association with Shea Arender, Steven Colucci and Jerry Rosenberg, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG has direction & musical staging by Broadway veteran Gene Castle. The original concept is by Nigel Wright, Sam Arlen and George Bugatti with special thanks to Harold Arlen's son Sam Arlen for all archival and historical content.
The Three Crooners are headed by creator George Bugatti who is an American singer, pianist and songwriter with three CD's in wide release. His latest CD, "A Night for Romance", was produced by Nigel Wright (Executive Music Producer of American Idol and Warner Bros' Phantom of the Opera) and is distributed by Universal/Verese Sarabande. In 1998, Steve Wynn invited Bugatti, Michael Feinstein and John Pizzerelli to open Wynn's Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas where he recorded "Bugatti Live on the Strip" produced by Paul Anka Productions. His first CD, "Oh, What a Night for Love", was produced by The Tonight Show's Steve Allen who discovered George at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Bugatti headlined with his big band at The Sands, Atlantic City and made his NYC Debut at Carnegie Hall in 2003 playing piano and singing. His current CD, "A Night for Romance", features "Two Shots of Happy" (originally written for Frank Sinatra) by U2 front-man Bono and given to George when Sinatra passed away. "The Wonderful Wizard of Song" is a labor of love for Bugatti who has written, directed and performed in the various versions of the show all over the country. Recently, Bugatti starred with The Rochester Symphony in "Over The Rainbow" produced by Todd Gershwin and Dan Chilewich. George is also co-founder, along with Sam Arlen, of The Harold Arlen Foundation/American Songbook Foundation.
Marcus Goldhaber has appeared in NYC at Birdland, The Kitano, The Metropolitan Room, Iridium, The Laurie Beechman, The Cutting Room, The Makor/Steinhardt Center, The Carnegie Club and The Lenox Lounge as well as in Boston, Chicago, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. His theatrical credits include: THE PAJAMA GAME, KISS ME KATE, SINGING IN THE RAIN, MY WAY (Sinatra tribute) and I LEFT MY HEART (Tony Bennett tribute).
Joe Shepherd is from College Station, TX and has his BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. He has danced professionally in Houston, Texas with modern companies Hope Stone and NobleMotion. Joe has also worked in regional theatre, performing with TUTS in BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, as well as appearing in other Texas venues in musicals such as WEST SIDE STORY, THE FANTASTICKS, and many more.
Antoinette Henry has played Ethel Waters in THE MELODY LINGERS ON, Martha Fae Williams in ALL AMERICAN GIRLS, Muzzy Van Hossemere in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, and the Best Friend in Jazmine Sullivan's Holdin You Down Music Video. She was also deemed one of the top Black Bloggers to watch in 2012 by The Root.com.
The Musical Director for THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG will be Frank Ponzo with arrangements by Steve Rawlins, Arty Schroeck and Chris Hoffman. There will be a 4 piece on-stage band. Set and lighting design are by Josh Iacovelli with costumes by Amy Pedigo and additional artistic scenic design by Steve Colucci. Jessimeg Productions is General Manager.
The performance schedule for THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG is: Mondays @ 7, Wednesdays @ 2 and Thursdays @ 8. Tickets at $69.50 & $39.50 are available through TeleCharge at www.Telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200. (The performance on December 20th will begin at 7 PM instead of 8 PM and there will be no show on December 24th.)
The show runs approximately 80 minutes without intermission.
For more information on THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG visit www.thewonderfulwizardofsong.com.