The Future of Broadway: A Generation of Genius is the title of the 7 PM March 20 performance that will boast songs by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Adam Guettel, Michael John La Chiusa, Andrew Lippa, David Yazbek, Jeanine Tesori (with lyrics by Brian Crawley, Dick Scanlan Tony Kushner), William Finn, Jason Robert Brown and Sam Davis.
Davis himself will music direct at the piano, working with performers Richard Todd Adams, Adam Braizer, Laura Griffith, Marcy Harriell and Janelle Anne Robinson.
Writer-critic Howard Kissel will host, offering commentary. Stage manager is Shelly Tseng, sound engineer is Luba Dvorak and music consultant is Ben Whiteley. The concert is directed by Scott Alan Evans, artistic director of the American Musicals Project (AMP) at The New-York Historical Society, and a co-founder and co-artistic director of TACT/The Actors Company Theatre.
The musical numbers will include Lippa's "Raise the Roof"; LaChiusa's "Queenie Was a Blond" (separate numbers by Lippa and La Chiusa, from their versions of The Wild Party); La Chiusa's "Tom"; Finn's "Change," "Sailing" and "Unlikely Lovers"; Brown's "Skiksa Goddess" and "All the Wasted Time"; Tesori's "Forget About the Boy," "Salty Teardrop" and "Let It Sing"; Guettel's "The Beauty Is," "Dividing Day" and "How Glory Goes"; Yazbek's "Nothing Is Too Wonderful," "Harold," "You Rule My World"; Ahrens and Flaherty's "Dog Versus You," "Come Down From the Tree," "Our Children"; and Sam Davis' "Greenwich Time" and "I Dream a World."
The performance is 7 PM March 20 at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West. Tickets for concerts are $35 for priority seating and $25 for regular seating. For tickets, call (212) 873-3400 ext. 305. *
This concert series is part of AMP's public performance component. Previous concert series have focused on the works of Arthur Schwartz, Burton Lane, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers and other great Broadway composers and lyricists.
This benefit concert is one of four in the spring 2006 series, and supports the educational initiative American Musicals Project, a curriculum program mixing musical theatre with history and English lessons in New York public schools. AMP, chaired by Alan Levenstein, draws on the ample resources of the New-York Historical Society to train teachers to use scenes from musical theatre to illustrate lessons.
For example, a section from Oklahoma! may introduce students to the American frontier land rush and settlement; a song from Annie may evoke the soul-grinding Depression era; a piece of 1776 may open a window on the Declaration of Independence.
American Musicals Project (AMP) is billed as "a Social Studies and English Language Arts curriculum program developed in collaboration between the New-York Historical Society and the New York City Department of Education," according to AMP notes. "Using the power and emotional energy of American musical theater masterworks and evocative primary sources from the museum's vast collections, AMP has created a series of ten curriculum resource guides for 7th and 8th grade Social Studies and ELA teachers. AMP resources directly apply to the two-year curriculum requirements mandated by the New York State Board of Regents. In the seven years since its inception, AMP has been adopted as part of the Social Studies and English Language Arts curriculum by more than 400 schools. Over 10,000 public school students benefit from AMP's approach to learning each year, and more and more schools and districts become a part of this exciting program every day."
AMP will pay tribute to the work of composer Charles Strouse in a splashy benefit gala with music, March 27.
Past concerts have raised more than $50,000 in support of AMP's education work, which introduces teachers to special curriculum units that use musical theatre as a way of enhancing lessons.
For more information on AMP, visit www.americanmusicalsproject.org.