Billy Porter Performs American Songbook Concerts Tonight

News   Billy Porter Performs American Songbook Concerts Tonight
Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots star Billy Porter offers two concerts Jan. 28 as the launch of the 2015 American Songbook series at the Appel Room. 

Billy Porter
Billy Porter

Porter won the 2013 Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award for creating the role of unstoppable drag performer Lola in the hit musical Kinky Boots.

Cyndi Lauper, who won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Original Score for Kinky Boots, was originally announced to join Porter for the concerts, but was forced to withdraw on Jan. 28 "due to circumstances beyond her control."

Lauper and Porter were expected to perform the classic Judy Garland/Barbra Streisand duet “Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy.”

Porter will be joined by the Broadway Inspirational Voices. The concert will also be filmed for an April 3 broadcast on PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center."

Porter is also expected to perform songs from his new solo album "Billy's Back on Broadway," which is now available on the Concord Records Label. Additional American Songbook concerts follow:

Norm Lewis: Who Am I? (Jan. 29 at 7:30 and 9:30 PM). After premiering his concert at American Songbook in 2014, Lewis returns for two encore performances.

John C. Reilly & Friends (Jan. 30 at 8:30 PM). Academy Award-nominated "Chicago" actor Reilly will be joined by neo-folk singer Becky Stark and guitarist/singer Tom Brosseau for the evening of original music.

Reich and Sondheim: In Conversation and Performance (Jan. 31 at 8:30 PM). Featuring Paul Gemignani, George Lee Andrews, Kate Baldwin, Michael Cerveris, Ensemble Signal, Alexander Gemignani and Derek Johnson. "Two giants of American music – Steve Reich and Stephen Sondheim – will appear together on stage for the first time to discuss how they have been influenced by each other’s work as well as the admiration and respect they share." The composers will be in a conversation moderated by John Schaefer of WNYC.

Judy Kuhn Sings Richard Rodgers/Mary Rodgers/Adam Guettel (Feb. 4 at 8:30 PM). Seen in Kander & Ebb's The Visit at Williamstown and returning to Broadway in Fun Home, "Kuhn will perform an evening of the music of Richard Rodgers' musical dynasty."

Lea DeLaria (Feb. 5 at 8:30 PM). "DeLaria’s jazz, alternating between powerful and subtle, focuses on be-bop and swing, and her five records out on the Warner Jazz and Classics label feature unique interpretations of standards, Broadway classics and Top 40."

Megan Hilty (Feb. 6 at 8:30 PM). The star of "Smash," Wicked, 9 to 5 and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will perform songs from the stage and her solo album "All the Time."

Joey Arias: A Centennial Tribute to Billie Holiday (Feb. 25 8:30 PM). Performance artist and gender-bending chanteuse, Joey Arias - known for the celebrated production of Arias with a Twist, returns in an evening celebrating the music of the late jazz icon.

Barbara Cook (Feb. 28 at 8:30 PM). The recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor in 2011, Cook has also won the Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. The star of The Music Man, Candide and She Loves Me will offer an evening of song and story.

American Songbook in the Penthouse highlights include:

In Need of Music: The Songs of Ben Toth (March 11 at 8 PM). Featuring Cheyenne Jackson, Lindsay Mendez, Alexandra Silber, Darius De Haas and more. "This intimate showcase will be an evening of premieres: Marriage and Out West, created with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley; a song cycle developed with Tony Award-winning lyricist Michael Korie; and works from Mr. Toth's in-development musical with Todd Almond."

Jose Llana (March 12 at 8 PM). The recent star of Here Lies Love and upcoming revival of The King and I, who has also been seen in Flower Drum Song and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, will take the stage for an evening of song.

Shaina Taub (March 25 at 8 PM). Singer-songwriter-actor Shaina Taub, seen Off-Broadway in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, is also the recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant. She will offer a concert of her original music.

Allison Williams (March 27 and 28 at 8 PM). The star of "Girls" and NBC's presentation of "Peter Pan Live!," will make her New York solo concert debut in an evening that will offer "a selection of her favorite songs to tell her life story thus far."

For tickets, visit or phone (212) 721-6500.

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