Lillias White and Patti Austin Set to Star in New Cy Coleman Musical Like Jazz in L.A.

News   Lillias White and Patti Austin Set to Star in New Cy Coleman Musical Like Jazz in L.A. Grammy Award-winning songstress Patti Austin and Tony Award-winning actress Lillias White are set to star in the new Cy Coleman musical Like Jazz. The work will make its stage debut at Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum, Nov. 21-Jan. 25, 2004.

Lillias White.
Lillias White.

The world premiere of Like Jazz, the new musical by Cy Coleman, Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Larry Gelbart, will open at the Taper, Dec. 4. The new musical is subtitled A New Kind of Musical.

Joining the two stars will be cast member Harry Groener (Imaginary Friends, Crazy For You), singers Jennifer Chada, Cleavant Derricks and Jack Sheldon with dancers Katy Durham, Dameka Hayes, Greg Poland, Timothy Ware, Carlton Wilborn and Natalie Willes.

Recording artist Austin has released more than sixteen solo albums and is known for her such R&B duets as "Baby, Come to Me" and "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" — both sung with James Ingram. Her latest album "For Ella," a tribute to legendary songstress Ella Fitzgerald, was nominated for the 2003 Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy.

White won her Tony for her turn in Cy Coleman's last Broadway offering, The Life. Her other Broadway credits include Dreamgirls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Once on This Island, Carrie, Cats and Barnum.

Like Jazz features the music of Cy Coleman (Little Me, Sweet Charity, Barnum, City of Angels), lyrics from the husband and wife team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman (Street Corner Symphony, Ballroom) and book by Larry Gelbart (...Forum, City of Angels). Devised from a "Portraits in Jazz" concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts created by Coleman and the Bergmans, the work featuring sixteen original song will be a celebration of the art form and its artists. Taper artistic director Gordon Davidson will direct with choreography by Patricia Birch.

The design team for Like Jazz will include D Martyn Bookwalter (set and lighting), Judith Dolan (costumes), Jon Gottlieb and Phillip G. Allen (sound) and Marc I. Rosenthal (projections). Tom Kubis will serve as music director.

Tickets for to productions at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA are currently available by calling (213) 628-2772 or visit www.taperahmanson.com.

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