The Mamaroneck, NY, theatre is now under the artistic directorship of Michael Bush, whose vision for the venue is eclectic — concerts, cabaret performances and recent or new plays and musicals.
The "Theatre in Concert Festival" (including readings and cabaret-style concerts) launched Nov. 17 with Everyone Expects Me to Write Another Streetcar. Some of the shows in the festival were seen in the summer 2007 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Cabaret & Performance Conference (artistic-directed by Bush).
The series will end Dec. 6 with the Emelin's Broadway Holiday Cabaret, a one-night gala performance featuring the stars and artists from the entire festival.
The "Theatre in Concert Festival" includes:
Try to Remember: A Look Back at Off-Broadway (Nov. 28 at 8 PM): "Starring Rita Gardner, who is best known for originating the role of The Girl in the longest running musical of all time, The Fantasticks, this acclaimed evening celebrates the musical legacy of the Off-Broadway theatre."An Evening With Penny Fuller (Nov. 23 at 8 PM, Nov. 25 at 2 PM): "Starring Broadway star and Emmy Award-winner Penny Fuller in a classic musical performance celebrating the songs of composers that she has known during her theatre career."Politics and Poker and Familiar Love (A Double Bill with Two Acts) (Nov. 24 at 8 PM, Nov. 25 at 5 PM): Politics and Poker stars Joel Silberman, Steinway artist and Manhattan Association of Cabaret (MAC) Award winner, singer and pianist, in a personal performance describing his musical journey from Leonard Bernstein's protégé to his latest role as a political consultant in Washington." Familiar Love stars Tony Award winner Gretha Boston "in a special musical performance that celebrates her love of family, music and theatre."The Kleinbort Collection: The Songs of Barry Kleinbort (Nov. 29 at 8 PM, Nov. 30 at 8 PM): Narrated by composer-director Barry Kleinbort, winner of the Edward Kleban Foundation Award, the Gilman-Gonzales Musical Theatre Commendation Award and ten Manhattan Associate of Cabaret (MAC) Awards, "this musical revue of his theatre songs features a cast of eight including Penny Fuller, Rita Gardner, Karen Mason and Kleinbort himself."A Tribute to the Bluebird Cafe: The Sounds of Nashville (Dec. 1 at 8 PM, Dec. 2 at 2 PM): Starring Grammy Award winner Marcus Hummon and country recording star Sherrie Austin, "along with some of Nashville's most beloved songs and performers," this is a "celebration of the best new music coming out of Nashville."Becoming Tennessee (Dec. 1 at 2 PM, Dec. 2 at 5 PM): Starring Tony Award winner Gretha Boston "in a concert reading presentation of a new musical by Clint Edwards and Michael Aman about a young Tennessee Williams, his search for self and his first visit to his city of muses, New Orleans." Brian Charles Rooney stars as Tennessee.The Emelin's Broadway Holiday Cabaret (Dec. 6 at 8 PM): The artists from the entire festival star in this one night only gala performance. The festival will be followed in the winter by Murderers, a black comedy by Jeffrey Hatcher about three different murderers living in a retirement community in Florida, and in the spring by Pure Heaven, a world-premiere musical written and performed by Ruth Williamson about Hollywood legend and author of the "Eloise" stories, Kay Thompson.
For more information about The Emelin Theatre, a non-profit performing arts center, visit www.emelin.org.
Broadway actress Ruth Williamson (revivals of The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles) has been developing Pure Heaven, the Emelin-bound show about the bigger-than-life singer-actress-vocal coach (seen in the film, "Funny Face") for several years. Thompson also wrote the popular "Eloise" children's books.
In 2008, Williamson will play the late scat-singing, statuesque, mannish Thompson (who was a vocal coach to M-G-M stars, including Judy Garland).
Murderers and Pure Heaven will be the first Emelin productions directed by Michael Bush, who worked for 25 years at Manhattan Theatre Club, where he helped produce and develop more than 150 new plays and musicals.
"The fall 'Theatre in Concert Festival,' Murderers and Pure Heaven reflect my goal to expand and enrich the Emelin's existing programming while maintaining the sense of intimacy and community that the Emelin represents," Bush said in a statement.