The five original programming producers to join the 54 Below team are Scott Coulter, Shoshana Feinstein, Brandon Ivie, Benjamin Rauhala and T. Oliver Reid. They have been commissioned to create a variety of shows including musicals in concert, songwriter celebrations, reunion concerts and more.
"We're thrilled to add these five talented producers to our programming team," said Richard Frankel, who founded 54 Below alongside Tom Viertel, Marc Routh and Steve Baruch, in a statement. "In our two-and-a-half years, the original programming series produced and created by Phil Geoffrey Bond and presented at 54 Below have been some of our most popular shows. Although he'll be staying on as a consultant and putting together several exciting projects in 2015, Phil will depart our full time staff at the end of the year to pursue other artistic challenges. We look forward to continuing our series of original programs celebrating music from Broadway, Hollywood and the pop charts, with some of the brightest stars from Broadway and beyond."
New original programming events follow:
Broadway Sings James Taylor
Dec. 29 at 7 PM and 9:30 PM
"Iconic American singer-songwriter James Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with 'Fire And Rain' and since then has created many beloved songs such as 'You've Got A Friend,' 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),' 'Shower The People,' 'Up On The Roof' and more. Join us as we celebrate James Taylor's catalogue of joyful songs from the past 40 years on the charts."
Performers include Sally Ann Triplett (The Last Ship), Gary Milner (NBC's Peter Pan Live), Nicholas Rodriguez (Tarzan), Charlie Pollock (Violet), Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins), Ryan Andes (Big Fish), Michael Winther (33 Variations), Karl Krenzler (You Can't Take It With You), Zak Resnick (Piece of My Heart), Michael Park (How To Succeed...) and Zack Dobbins. Musical direction is by Mark Hartman with guitarist Sean Harkness. Broadway Sings James Taylor is produced and directed by T. Oliver Reid.
A Very Broadway Holiday!
Dec. 30 at 7 PM and 9:30 PM
"What's better than a holiday concert? A holiday concert featuring songs from your favorite Broadway shows and movie musicals! Join a cast of Broadway performers as they sift through the musical theatre canon to find the best holiday songs. Expect to hear some favorites like 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' from Meet Me in St. Louis, 'Turkey Lurkey' from Promises, Promises, 'Happy New Year' from Rent, and so many more. Come celebrate the holidays with us in the best possible way...the Broadway way!"
Performers include Jake Boyd (Rock of Ages, Bull Durham), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), Jenna Leigh Green (Wicked, "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"), Samantha Massell (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia!, Piece of My Heart), Amy Spanger (Elf, Chicago), Donna Vivino (Wicked, Hairspray) and more.
A Very Broadway Holiday is produced by Shoshana Feinstein.
Broadway Loves Celine Dion
Jan. 9, 2015, at 7 PM and 9:30 PM
"Broadway's biggest belters celebrate the best-selling Canadian music artist in history, Celine Dion, in an evening of epic power ballads and classic pop tunes. With one of the most distinctive voices in music history, and with album sales of over 200 million, Dion is undeniably one of the most influential female artists of our generation. Audiences can expect to hear a wide array of Celine's greatest hits from her 25 year career, including 'The Power Of Love,' 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now,' 'My Heart Will Go On,' 'I Drove All Night' and many more. Featuring a star-studdeed Broadway cast, this is one concert no Broadway or pop music lover should miss!"
Performers include Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, "Smash"), Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Les Miserables), Ashley Spencer (Rock of Ages, Grease), Taylor Louderman (NBC's Peter Pan Live, Bring It On), Kate Rockwell (Rock of Ages, Bring It On), Kelly King (Top 20 'Billboard' recording artist), Donna Vivino (Wicked, Les Miserables), Daniel Quadrino (NBC's Peter Pan Live, Newsies), Hannah Elless (Bright Star, Godspell), Charlie Brady (South Pacific) and more.
The band will feature Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf on cello, Charlie Rosen on bass, Justin Goldner on guitar, Shannon Ford on drums and music director Benjamin Rauhala on the piano.
Broadway Loves Celine Dion is produced and directed by Benjamin Rauhala.
Kander and Ebb and All That Jazz
Jan. 15, 2015 at 7 PM and 9:30 PM
"'New York, New York,' Chicago, Cabaret - nothing says show-stopping sizzle like the musicals of Kander & Ebb. Kander And Ebb And All That Jazz celebrates the unprecedented forty-year career of one of Broadway and Hollywood's most treasured songwriting teams. From Cabaret and Chicago to Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Scottsboro Boys the music of this award-winning duo has thrilled generations of theatregoers and remains as fresh and spine-tingling today as it always has."
Kander and Ebb and All That Jazz is produced and directed by Scott Coulter.
Coulter, Feinstein, Ivie, Rauhala and Reid join 54 Below's current programming team, which includes director of programming Jennifer Ashley Tepper and programming associates Dylan Bustamante and Emily Essig.
Tepper said in a statement, "In cultivating a home for the best of Broadway to come to life in concert, we have found that our original programming is a vital cornerstone of what we do at 54 Below. Over the past year, we have worked with each of these producers to create some of our most unique and successful shows, including 'Smash's' Hit List in concert (Rauhala), 54 Sings The Wiz (Reid), 54 Does Dolly Parton (Coulter), the farewell concerts for Broadway's Newsies (Feinstein), and Playbill's Contemporary Songwriters You Should Know Live! (Ivie). Now, we are thrilled to welcome them as internal members of our team. Together we will be creating evenings that celebrate Broadway, from reunion concerts to songwriter celebrations, which you can see only at 54 Below."