"Broadway Spotlight Series" Returns Off-Bway Sept. 8, With Big River Actress

News   "Broadway Spotlight Series" Returns Off-Bway Sept. 8, With Big River Actress The Broadway Spotlight Series — which presents concert evenings with stars of the Broadway stage — returns Sept. 8.

Melissa van der Schyff, who currently stars in the acclaimed revival of Big River at the American Airlines Theatre, will take centerstage at the Ars Nova Theater Sept. 8 at 8 PM. Van der Schyff will offer several alternative pop tunes from her new recording "Urban Peasant." The singer-actress will be backed by Big River's pianist Eric Svejcar, who will also perform some of his original work. Drew McVety, who portrays Judge Thatcher and Harvey Wilkes in Big River, will also accompany van der Scafe on violin. Other cast members from the musical will sign some of the evening's songs. In a statement Broadway Spotlight Artistic Director Gordon Greenberg said, "This is an incredible opportunity to see some of Broadway's most exciting young talent as individual performers in an up-close and personal environment. For about the cost of a movie, audiences get a completely original evening with a major talent. We are committed to offering this sort of an intimate platform to performers, composers and lyricists who wish to explore new material in a comfortable setting. There couldn't be a better venue than the beautiful new Ars Nova Theater!" Past participants in the series include Les Miz’s Lauren Kennedy, Hairspray's Shoshana Bean, Into the Woods' Chad Kimball, Aida's Felicia Finley, former Rent-ers Anthony Rapp and Idina Menzel and Funny Girl's Leslie Kritzer.

Melissa van der Schyff is currently making her Broadway debut as Mary Jane Wilkes in Big River. She starred in the Los Angeles productions of Big River and Ballad, earning a Drama-Logue Award and an Ovation nomination for her work in the latter. She was voted Female Pop Artist of the Year on femmusic.com for her original CD "Urban Peasant."

The Ars Nova Theater is located in Manhattan at 511 West 54th Street. Tickets are priced at $12; doors open at 7:30 PM. Call (212) 868-4444 for tickets or go to www.SmartTix.com.