Lincoln Center Announces 2005 American Songbook Series

Classic Arts News   Lincoln Center Announces 2005 American Songbook Series
The seventh season of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, devoted to the American popular song, has been announced. Among the offerings: a concert version of Sondheim's Passion and solo shows from Elaine Stritch, Tonya Pinkins and Audra McDonald.

The series, which will be presented in its new home at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall (in the Time Warner Center), begins Jan. 6, 2005, with a one-woman show from four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. McDonald, who received her fourth Tony last season in the acclaimed revival of A Raisin in the Sun, will perform her evening of song through Jan. 8 at the Rose Theater.

Another highlight of the upcoming season is a semi-staged concert of the Tony Award-winning musical Passion, which will be presented March 30-April 1. Tony Award winners Patti LuPone (Fosca), Audra McDonald (Clara) and Michael Cerveris (Giorgio), who starred in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical at Chicago's Ravinia Festival, will re-create their performances for Lincoln Center audiences at the Rose Theatre. The threesome will be backed by a 56-piece orchestra.

Several evenings of "Classic Cabaret" will be presented in the Allen Room of Rose Hall, the new 470-seat space that overlooks Central Park. Rebecca Luker, seen on Broadway in Show Boat, The Music Man and The Sound of Music, will make her New York solo concert debut Feb. 12 with an evening of Broadway and popular standards. Ann Hampton Callaway will host "Café Society, Table for Three" on Feb. 25. That evening will reunite Blossom Dearie and Julie Wilson and will feature performances from all three cabaret greats. And, Tony and new Emmy Award winner Elaine Stritch will offer her one-woman show March 4.

Staged readings will also be part of this year's American Songbook series. On Feb. 2 Michael Mayer will direct a staged concert reading of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening, a new musical based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 tragedy. And, Joan Morris and Jason Danieley will head the cast of a staged reading of Casino Paradise, a new musical by William Bolcolm and Arnold Weinstein. Lisa Peterson will direct the Feb. 9 evening, also in the Allen Room.

Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, recently on Broadway in Caroline, or Change, will celebrate the Harold Arlen centenary with an evening devoted to the late composer. On Feb. 26 Pinkins will interpret such Arlen classics as "The Man That Got Away," "That Old Black Magic" and "I've Got the World on a String."

Black History Month will be celebrated in February with two special events. On Feb. 4, singer-actor Darius de Haas will reprise his acclaimed tribute to Steve Wonder, entitled "The Stevie Wonder Songbook." De Haas will wrap his soaring tenor around "As," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," "I'm Yours," "Visions" and "Summer Soft." De Haas will also be one of the participants in the Feb. 23 evening, "New York Festival of Song's At Harlem's Height." That evening will combine spoken word and music, featuring the songs of Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and others. Joining de Haas will be pianists Michael Barrett and Steven Blier and vocalists Dana Blanchard and James Martin.

Other highlights in the Allen Room: Grammy Award winner Rosanne Cash performs her one-woman show Feb. 10; singer/songwriter Laura Cantrell offers a concert of country and folk Feb. 24; and Dar Williams, who blends folk and pop, will perform March 3. Also, singer/songwriter Nellie McKay performs March 1 and an evening of spoken word and music : titled "McSweeney's vs. They Might Be Giants" : will be presented March 2.

Tickets for American Songbook are now on sale for buyers of two or more concerts by calling (212) 721-6500. Single tickets go on sale Oct. 17. Visit for more information.

The Frederick P. Rose Hall is located within the Time Warner Center at Broadway at 60th Street. All events will be held in either the Rose Theater or the intimate Allen Room.

For more theater news and listings, visit Playbill On-Line.

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