Burstyn, seen as Barnum on Broadway and in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife on tour, plays singer-actor Jolson, backed by a live on-stage band and three singers. The musical is a recreation of Al Jolson's famous Sunday concerts at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre.
Jolson, the vaudeville, Broadway, film, radio and recording star, is famous for "The Jazz Singer," which introduced talking to movies. He lived 1886-1950.
Created and written by Bill Castellino and Mike Burstyn, the musical is directed and choreographed by Castellino (Cagney, Dr. Radio, Grumpy Old Men: The Musical) and produced by Dan Israely Productions and Kit Productions (producers Dan Israely and Zahava Atzmon).
Jolson at the Winter Garden features the popular songs "Swanee," "My Mammy," "For Me and My Gal," "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody," "Toot Toot Tootsie," "Sonny Boy" and "Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be in Carolina," among others.
The supporting cast includes Jacqueline Bayne (Broadway and national tours of South Pacific, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Ragtime, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Some Like It Hot); Laura Hodos (regional productions of Tommy, Into The Woods, Hair, Company, The Music Man); and Wayne LeGette (two-time Carbonell Award winner in South Florida). The creative team includes Christopher McGovern (music director and vocal arranger); Timothy R. Macabee (scenic designer); Christopher Ash (projection designer); M. Shan Jensen (costume designer); Gerard Kelly (wig designer); David Siegel (orchestrator); Michael White (production stage manager); Joseph Shannon (assistant stage manager).
Jolson at the Winter Garden premiered at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, FL, in March 2011. Burstyn, who hails from a Yiddish showbiz family, recently appeared Off-Broadway and in Los Angeles as Mayer Lansky in Lansky, which garnered him his second New York Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. He received his second New York Drama Desk Award nomination and rave reviews for his Off-Broadway performance in On Second Avenue.
El Portal Theatre is at 5269 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, CA. For tickets and information, visit www.ElPortalTheatre.com.