Ben Vereen Takes Nightclub Show to Connecticut as He Works on Autobiographical Musical

Cabaret & Concert News   Ben Vereen Takes Nightclub Show to Connecticut as He Works on Autobiographical Musical
 
The Tony-winning star will perform Steppin’ Out at Ridgefield Playhouse.
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Ben Vereen Chad David Kraus

Tony Award-winning star Ben Vereen will bring his touring one-man show Steppin’ Out With Ben Vereen to the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on May 21.

The star of Broadway’s Pippin (Tony Award), Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, and the recent TV adaptation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, told Playbill that he is immersed in creating an autobiographical stage musical with playwright Joe Calarco, which he is positioning for Broadway. The project, which was first announced in 2015, now has a title, Reflections, and a director/choreographer, Josh Bergasse. Vereen said that Reflections will include some new music composed by Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked and Pippin. No Broadway date has been set.

Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen, which was seen in New York at Feinstein’s/54 Below, features songs songs from throughout the star’s career, plus standards “Mr. Bojangles,” “Both Sides Now,” and “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” and numbers from Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar and Chicago. View a clip here.

“I call it my Gratitude Show,” said Vereen, who survived a 1992 accident in which he was struck by a car and severely injured while walking along a road near his home in Malibu, California. “I use it to thank audiences for sticking with me all these years.”

Vereen said the Ridgefield show is special to him because of his family connection with the area. He was put up for adoption as a baby, but later reconnected with his biological relatives who live in nearby Danbury, Connecticut.

Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen includes tributes to Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Vereen said, “I like to keep them alive. Sammy was one of the first icons for me. I admired Louis Armstrong and Pearl Bailey, but I had a personal relationship with Sammy, and he really touched my life. He took me to London with him and shared his wisdom, and that memory does not fade away.”

Tickets for the 8 PM Ridgefield concert cost $75 and can be ordered by calling (203) 438-5795 or visiting Ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

Vereen co-stars in the Amazon TV series His TV series Sneaky Pete, which premiered in January 2017 and has been picked up for a second season. Vereen said he has also optioned the indie movie The First Grader, a true story about “a 75-year-old man who wants to learn to read and write and his relationship in a country and a village school that embraces him with love.“

Here are Vereen's scheduled concert appearances over the next month:

May 6-7 Stockton Symphony (Stockton, California) Click here for tickets.
May 16 Lecture in Seattle, Washington.
May 13 Round House Theatre (Bethesda, Maryland) Click here for tickets.
May 21 The Ridgefield Playhouse (Ridgefield, Connecticut) Click here for tickets.
May 27-28 The Ben Vereen Awards/Wellness Through The Arts Awards

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