Oliver (songwriter of Mrs. Sharp, 35MM, Jasper in Deadland and Darling), who won the opening slot in a competition, performs at the David Rubenstein Atrium (Broadway bet. 62nd & 63rd Sts.). Oliver received the most votes Dec. 14, 2015, in the “Invest in the Future of American Song” online contest, developed through a partnership between Prudential Investment Management and Lincoln Center.
Presented January through April 2016, the series hosts performers from the worlds of Broadway, jazz, Latin, hip-hop and folk music in the Appel Room (formerly the Allen Room) and the Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center in New York.
Tickets can be ordered at AmericanSongbook.org.
Just a few of the American Songbook 2016 programming highlights follow:
Vanessa Williams (Jan. 20 at 8:30 PM). Her song list includes everything from Stevie Wonder to Sondheim, Kander and Ebb to “Colors of the Wind.” Her three-decade career expanded from chart-topping pop artist to critically acclaimed Broadway performer with her 1994 debut in Kiss of the Spider Woman, followed by a Tony-nominated performance in the 2002 revival of Into the Woods. She has sold more than seven million records worldwide and starred in last season’s concert version of Show Boat with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, which aired on PBS on Live From Lincoln Center in October. Tickets start at $55 -1
Is That All There Is? Remembering Peggy Lee, hosted by James Gavin, featuring Jane Monheit, Nellie McKay and other special guests (Jan. 21 at 8:30 PM). Hosted and narrated by biographer James Gavin and based on his acclaimed book "Is That All There Is?: The Strange Life of Peggy Lee," the show features two-time Grammy-nominated jazz singer Jane Monheit; singer-songwriters Spencer Day and Nellie McKay; British songstress Barb Jungr; Rebecca Parris, New England’s First Lady of Jazz; and Lee’s longtime pianist-conductor Mike Renzi. This musical biography explores the radiant, eccentric and mysterious star whose work inspired Joni Mitchell, Dusty Springfield, k.d. lang, Petula Clark and Diana Krall. Tickets start at $50
Rita Moreno (Jan. 23 at 8:30 PM). A presence on stage and screen for over 70 years, Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: the Oscar, the Tony, two Emmys and a Grammy. The actress was the first Hispanic woman to win an Academy Award, which she earned for her epic portrayal of Anita in the film version of West Side Story. Moreno has starred on Broadway and the West End, appeared in more than 40 feature films, and countless television shows. Her five-decade streak of awards and achievements culminated in December when she was recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor. Tickets start at $55.
Jerry Dixon and Mario Cantone (Feb. 6 at 8:30 PM). The last time actor, songwriter and director Jerry Dixon (If/Then, Once on This Island, tick, tick…BOOM!) and comic/actor Mario Cantone ("Sex in the City," Assassins) teamed up, they created Laugh Whore, Cantone’s Tony-nominated one-man show-turned-Showtime special. Now, one of the New York theatre world’s favorite married couples comes together onstage in the intimate confines of The Appel Room for an evening of stories, songs, and laughs. Tickets start at $55.
Andy Karl and Orfeh (Feb. 20 at 8:30 PM). The funny and sexy real-life couple Andy Karl & Orfeh have had a long run as two of Broadway’s favorite performers. Although they met while doing the Broadway production of Saturday Night Fever, their chemistry became the stuff of legend when they co-starred in Legally Blonde, which garnered Orfeh a Tony Award nomination. Karl has earned his own Tony nods for his performances in the title role of Rocky and last season’s On the Twentieth Century. This evening will be directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. Tickets start at $35
American Songbook in the Penthouse highlights include:
The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway Sings Maltby & Shire (March 30 at 8 PM). Recording star and celebrated cabaret artist Liz Callaway (Cats, Miss Saigon, Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center) pays homage to one of the great American songwriting teams for the stage and revisits, among many others, the songs that earned her a Tony nomination in 1984 for Baby. With her celebrated voice, Callaway illuminates an essential corner of the music theatre repertoire. Tickets start at $45.
For a complete list of American Songbook shows, visit AmericanSongbook.org. That's also the place to order tickets, or call (212) 721-6500.