Benanti, Colella and Kennedy to Join Brown for Birdland Concerts

News   Benanti, Colella and Kennedy to Join Brown for Birdland Concerts
Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown will welcome several guest stars during his upcoming concerts at Birdland in Manhattan.

Brown — whose new musical 13 recently ended a limited engagement at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum — will play the famed Manhattan jazz club April 4-7. Backed by the Caucasian Rhythm Kings, Brown will perform at the intimate venue 9 and 11 PM each night.

Special guests will include Lauren Kennedy (April 4), Laura Benanti (April 5 and 6) and Jenn Colella (April 7).

Jason Robert Brown, who was the musical director and arranger for the musical Urban Cowboy, won the Tony Award for Best Score for his Broadway debut, Parade. His two-person musical, The Last Five Years, played a brief run at Off-Broadway's Minetta Lane Theatre, and was preserved on Sh-K-Boom Records. Brown also composed the score for Songs for a New World and wrote incidental music for Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, The Waverly Gallery and the Irish Repertory Theatre's production of Long Day's Journey Into Night. His newest musical is titled 13.

Lauren Kennedy was most recently seen on the New York stage as the Lady of the Lake in the Tony-winning musical Spamalot. She covered the role of Daisy Hilton in the Broadway production of Side Show and also appeared in the New York companies of Sunset Boulevard and Les Misérables. Kennedy starred in The Rhythm Club and was also a part of the early incarnations of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, playing the role that would be played Off-Broadway by Sherie Rene Scott, when Kennedy crossed the Atlantic to star in the National Theatre's revival of South Pacific. Kennedy also appeared in The Ten Commandments: The Spectacle Musical, and her debut solo CD is titled "The Songs of Jason Robert Brown."

Laura Benanti was last on Broadway in The Wedding Singer, the musical based on the film of the same name. She also portrayed Claudia in the Tony-winning revival of Maury Yeston's Nine. Benanti received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Swing! and the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. She was also seen in The Sound of Music, Time and Again and the City Center Encores! mounting of Wonderful Town. Benanti's regional credits include roles in A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha and A Winter's Tale. Jenn Colella, who was seen earlier this season in the new musical High Fidelity, made her Broadway debut in Urban Cowboy, earning an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for her performance. She played Pippi, the kleptomaniac stripper, in the NYMF hit The Great American Trailer Park, and her other theatrical credits include roles in Peter Pan, Angels in America, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Company, Sylvia and Victor/Victoria. The actress also recently appeared in the world premiere of the Twyla Tharp-Bob Dylan musical The Times They Are A-Changin' at San Diego's Old Globe.

Birdland is located in Manhattan at 315 West 44th Street. Call (212) 581-3080 for reservations.

For more information about Jason Robert Brown, visit

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