They're Playing Our Song Concert, with Tony Winner Foster and Rudetsky, Presented Aug. 30
By Andrew Gans
Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and actor-musician-Playbill.com columnist Seth Rudetsky join forces Aug. 30 for a concert version of Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager and Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song to benefit the Actors Fund.
Directed and choreographed by Denis Jones, the performance is at 7:30 PM at the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College. Steve Freeman is the concert's musical director.
They're Playing Our Song features a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager and a book by Neil Simon. The musical, according to press notes, is described as such: "When Vernon Gersch (Seth Rudetsky), an established and wisecracking composer, takes on the kooky and offbeat lyricist Sonia Walsk (Sutton Foster) as his new collaborator, their initial match is a professional success but a personal disaster. Together, the two undergo a series of trials and overcome a number of hurdles before finding true love by the final curtain."
As the two pop songwriters explore their relationship during their rise to success throughout the show, backup singers materialize to sweeten their songs. The Voices of Sonia Walsk will be performed by Amber Efé (Legally Blonde), Kaitlyn Davidson (Johnny Baseball) and Alex Ellis (Thoroughly Modern Millie). The Voices of Vernon Gersch will be sung by Tyler Maynard (The Little Mermaid), Matt Loehr (Promises, Promises) and Jesse Nager (Mamma Mia!).
The design team for the evening includes lighting coordinators Jeff Croiter, Cory Pattak and Zach Blane, set designer Paul Weimer, sound designer Patrick Weaver and costume designer Michael Growler.
The musical opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre in 1979; it received four Tony nominations, including one for Best Musical. Song titles include "I Still Believe in Love," "Just for Tonight," "If He Really Knew Me," "Working it Out," "Falling" and the title tune.
Sutton Foster, who is currently appearing in Off-Broadway's Trust, starred in the title role of Thoroughly Modern Millie and received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire awards for that performance. She also received Tony nominations for her performances in Shrek the Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone and Little Women, and her other Broadway credits include roles in Young Frankenstein, Les Misérables, Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Grease! Foster's regional and tour credits include What the World Needs Now, Dorian, Three Musketeers, South Pacific and The Will Rogers Follies. She was also recently seen in the City Center Encores! production of Anyone Can Whistle. Foster will return to Broadway in the spring in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Anything Goes.
Seth Rudetsky has played piano in the pits of such Broadway shows as Ragtime, Grease and The Phantom of the Opera. He was the artistic producer/conductor for the first five Actors Fund concerts including Dreamgirls and Hair, which were both recorded. As a performer, he appeared on Broadway in The Ritz and on TV in "All My Children," "Law and Order C.I." and on MTV's "Made" and "Legally Blonde: The Search for the Next Elle Woods." He has written the books "The Q Guide to Broadway" and "Broadway Nights," which was recorded as an audio book on Audible.com. He is currently the afternoon Broadway host on Sirius/XM radio and tours the country doing his comedy show, "Deconstructing Broadway." He can be contacted at his website SethRudetsky.com, where he has posted many video deconstructions.
Tickets for The Actors Fund benefit performance are $75, $100 and $150 and are available by calling (212) 221-7300, ext. 133 or by emailing email@example.com. Premium orchestra seats are available for $250, which includes a post-show reception with the cast and creative team.
Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College is located in Manhattan at 899 Tenth Avenue.
All proceeds benefit the programs and services of The Actors Fund. For more information visit www.actorsfund.org.
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