Chicago-area audiences will get a sneak preview of songs from Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years April 21-22, when the Tony Award winning composer performs with special guest Andrea Burns at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights, IL.
Brown, who won the Tony for his music and lyrics for Parade, and Burns, who starred in the national tour of the musical, will perform Brown's songs from not only Parade, but Songs For a New World and his upcoming The Last Five Years, which gets it world premiere in May at Skokie's Northlight Theatre. Brown will also play pieces from his dance new musical, The Moneyman, and songs from an upcoming solo album.
Their appearance is part of Metropolis' Broadway Cabaret Series.
In a statement, Brown said, "The thing is, when you watch a musical, you have to judge and experience it in its entirety. So what we want to do at Metropolis is take out pieces of those shows and display them on their own — the little paintings inside the big painting. Some will be songs that I've written over the years that don't have a 'bigger painting' to live in. And you get to hear Andrea Burns sing most of them, which is no small joy in and of itself."
The Last Five Years, a romantic two-person musical "navigating the minefields of love and marriage," premieres at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, May 16-June 24. His first musical, the revue, Songs For a New World, has been heard in more than 50 productions around the U.S. In addition to playing Lucille in Parade in tour, Burns starred Off Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night and will sing in a New York City reading of the once Broadway-bound musical, Shine!, directed by husband Peter Flynn, April 23 and 30. Tickets are $27.50. Performances are 8 PM April 21-22. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre is 111 W. Campbell St. in Arlington Heights. Call (847) 577-2121 for tickets and information.
For tickets and information about cabaret performances at Metropolis, call (847) 577-2121, or visit Metropolis online, http://www.metropolisarts.com.
Tom Andersen appears at Metropolis 8 PM June 1-2.
— By Kenneth Jones