Liz Callaway, LaChanze, Boyd Gaines, Marin Mazzie, Andrew Rannells Will Sing Ahrens & Flaherty at Carnegie Hall

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
March 16, 2012

The annual New York Pops Gala benefit on April 30 will honor the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. A 7 PM Carnegie Hall concert called Journey On, borrowing a song title from Ragtime, will be followed by dinner and dancing at the Plaza Hotel.



Tony winner Terrence McNally will host the evening, which will feature performances by Liz Callaway, Kevin Chamberlin, LaChanze, Jason Danieley, Boyd Gaines, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Darlene Love, Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Tiler Peck and Andrew Rannells. The New York Pops will also be joined by Bad Habit and the Ronald McDonald House Chorus, Camp Broadway Kids and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA.

Lyricist Ahrens and composer Flaherty are the Tony-winning and Oscar-nominated team of the stage musicals Ragtime, Once On This Island, Seussical, My Favorite Year, A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones and the feature film "Anastasia." They are currently working on Rocky, a musical based on the Sylvester Stallone film.

The concert at Carnegie Hall will be conducted by Pops music director Steven Reineke. The dinner at the Plaza is a black-tie affair.

An online auction will be offered on www.CharityBuzz.com/NewYorkPops, featuring items donated by the orchestra's many friends from the world of arts and entertainment. All gala and auction proceeds support the orchestra and its free education programs throughout New York City.

Single tickets to the concert-only are $60 and $90. To purchase, call CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, visit the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th St. and 7th Ave., or online at www.carnegiehall.org.

Tickets to the full gala evening range from $1,000 (for one concert ticket and dinner seating) to $50,000 (for a first-tier box and dinner table for eight). For more information about the black-tie benefit dinner dance at The Plaza Hotel, call (212) 765-7677 or visit www.newyorkpops.org.

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Ahrens and Flaherty won the Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and received two Grammy nominations for their score of the Broadway musical Ragtime, and earned two Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for the songs and score of Twentieth Century Fox's animated feature film, "Anastasia."

Individually, Ahrens provided co-book and lyrics for the holiday extravaganza A Christmas Carol, which ran for ten seasons at Madison Square Garden; she also wrote its television adaptation for NBC's Hallmark Entertainment Special. She recently wrote text for The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, commissioned by the Boston Pops (composer, Peter Boyer). She was a songwriter and singer for ABC-TV's "Schoolhouse Rock," and is an Emmy Award winner and four-time Emmy nominee.

Flaherty's concert music has premiered at the Hollywood Bowl, Boston's Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Guggenheim Museum and Symphony Space. The New York Pops premiered his American River Suite (text by Bill Schermerhorn) at Carnegie Hall. He wrote incidental music for Neil Simon's play Proposals on Broadway, and the musical score for Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein (Chicago's Jefferson Award for Best New Musical).

Ahrens and Flaherty are Council members of the Dramatists Guild of America, and co-founders of the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program for Emerging Writers.

The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by music director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall.