The 5 PM performance, according to press notes, journeys "through the last 100 years of musical theatre through the lives and music of Richard Rodgers ( Oklahoma, The Sound of Music), his daughter Mary Rodgers ( Once Upon A Mattress) and his grandson Adam Guettel ( The Light in the Piazza)."
Conceived and written by Adrian Marchuk, the all-Canadian cast includes Marchuk, Sara Farb, Jeigh Madjus, Samantha Hill and David Atkinson (musical director/arranger).
"I began working on the project at the end of 2009 while playing Frankie Valli in the Toronto production of Jersey Boys," explained Marchuk in a previous statement. "I had been approached by a local theatre company, Acting Up Stage…to perform at a cabaret series during their run of The Light in the Piazza. I came up with the idea of telling the unique story of Richard Rodgers and his family — the only family to have three generations of award-winning Broadway composers. I collaborated with pianist David Atkinson and we began weaving together the stories and songs from the beginning of Rodgers' career with Larry Hart in 1925 to the most recent Tony-Award winning success by his grandson, Adam Guettel, in 2006. We brought on three more singers to help bring to life just a few dozen of the over 1000 songs composed by the Rodgers family. The show was performed under the title Words & Music for one night only at a 200-seat theatre in downtown Toronto. The response from the audience was electrifying, and I was immediately approached about a remount. Although my commitments to Jersey Boys kept me busy for the next year, the show was produced in late 2010 with its new title where it received a standing ovation and cheers from a rapturous audience of 400 at the Toronto Centre For The Arts. Since then, the show has been produced multiple times in Canada and I am now thrilled to be able to bring the show to New York’s historic Birdland Jazz Club which just happens to be ten blocks from where Rodgers & Hart's first hit song, 'Manhattan', was first performed."
Birdland Jazz Club is located at 315 West 44th Street; doors open at 4:30 PM. Tickets are $30 (with a $10 food/drink minimum). For reservations visit birdlandjazz.com.