Kansas City's Musical Theater Heritage Stages America in Song, a New Revue, June 24-25

News   Kansas City's Musical Theater Heritage Stages America in Song, a New Revue, June 24-25
Musical Theater Heritage in Kansas City, Missouri, breaks out of its musicals-in-concert mold June 24-25 to present a new revue, America in Song, at Belger Arts Center in the Crossroads Arts District.

Created by MTH artistic director Amy Coady and guest musical director/arranger Gerald Stockstill, the show is an eclectic mix of voices from the American songwriting community. Expect 19th-century writer Stephen Foster as well as Broadway's contemporary tunesmiths, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Stephen Sondheim.

Gerald Stockstill will be at the piano for the performances and Amy Coady directs and also performs.

"With a focus on musical theatre and standards, America in Song presents a wide range of music and lyrics," Coady told Playbill.com. "It isn't just about Irving Berlin and patriotic songs. It's about the craft of songwriting in America — and how beautifully our composers and lyricists do it. Limiting our selections to only songs everyone knows would be cheating the audience a little — there is a huge supply of fantastic material beyond the standard American Songbook classics. The old favorites and the new lesser-known songs fit so well together in a program. What I really love about these songs is how familiar they all seem, even if the material is relatively new to most listeners."

The cast includes Laurie Arbore, David Eiduks, Tim Scott and Sylvia Stoner. George Harter hosts and narrates. The band includes Stockstill on piano, Steve Lenhert on bass and Martin Coady in percussion. Technical supervisor is Chad Gerlt, stage manager is Cecilia Rog.

George Harter, executive director of MTH, said, "Amy and Gerald have chosen songs that are more about our way of life; songs that might even define us." The revue is part of the "A Night on the Town, LIVE Series," which grew out of Harter's popular radio program heard Saturday nights at 9 PM on Kansas Public Radio, 91.5 FM.

MTH artistic director Amy Coady recently relocated to the Kansas City area from New York City. She is an alumnus of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where she met collaborator Stockstill and began work on the new musical Too Good to be True. She created several original cabaret shows and revues in Manhattan. Coady directed and was seen as Carrie Pipperidge in the MTH presentation of Carousel in the spring.

Other MTH productions this year include Guys and Dolls Sept. 9-10 and Man of La Mancha with Kip Niven Oct. 28-29.

The Belger Arts Center is located at 2100 Walnut in Kansas City’s Crossroads Art District. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and children under 12. Seating is general admission, and doors will open at 7:20 PM on both nights. Information is available at www.musicaltheaterheritage.com. For tickets, call (816) 756-0282.

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