Tony Award-winner Billy Porter will direct an evening of several short plays by actor / playwright Wesley Taylor, entitled Proud of Us and Other Short Plays by Wesley Taylor.

Leslie Kritzer will host the benefit performance which will be presented for one night only on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street). West End star, Summer Strallen will read the stage directions.

The cast for Proud of Us… will include Tony Award-winner Denis O’Hare, “Glee” and Broadway star Matthew Morrison, and “Difficult People” creator / star Julie Klausner, along with Sylar Astin, Carolee Carmello, Jack Griffo, Noah Hinsdale, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Julie Klausner, Kevin McHale, Terrence Mann, Maulik Pancholy, Bryce Pinkham, Alexandrea Socha, Will Swenson, Raven Symoné, Mary Testa, Michael Urie, and Samantha Ware. All cast is subject to change.

Tickets for Proud of Us… are $75, $150, $250 and are now on sale at or by calling 212.221.7300 ext. 133. Tickets that include a post-performance cast party will be available for a donation of $500. For details, visit


In just a few days, Matthew Morrison will take the stage at New York’s iconic Rainbow Room. When you think about Morrison’s smooth voice against the incomparable backdrop provided by the Rainbow Room’s view of New York City at night, you wonder why this hasn’t happened sooner. Morrison told ABC News he is excited about performing in the venue for the first time.

“It’s like a dream come true for me. I can’t wait,” said Morrison.

But it’s not just usual attractions of the famous venue that has him pumped up. The Rainbow Room holds special memories for the Morrison family.

“Growing up I knew the Rainbow Room because my dad proposed to my mom on top of the Empire State Building,” Morrison said. “And then he took her to dinner at the Rainbow Room. So I’ve always known it as this great magical place filled with romance and elegance.”

Many fortunate enough to experience the Rainbow Room also recollect it with a special fondness. Now Morrison plans to do his part to create more great memories for those in the audience.

“I think probably I’m going to sing ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from ‘South Pacific,'” he said. “That kind of sets the mood for the whole night.”

To chat with Morrison, you’d think he’s just the guy next door, not the star adored by fans around the world. Who could forget his roles in the hit TV series “Glee” or his many appearances on Broadway, including in the iconic musical “Hairspray”?

“I always try to not let the business define who I am and I try to have my own identity,” Morrison said. “And I am a laid-back kind of just, appreciative guy. And I work a lot of crazy hours and do a lot of crazy things. But I’m very passionate about what I do. At the end of the day, you just strive to be a good human being and always try to give back. That’s my motto.”

For those regulars who follow Morrison from venue to venue, he has some surprises planned for this special performance.

“The Rainbow Room, it’s historic, it’s elegant, it’s iconic. And it’s just a place I want to get up and party and then get the party going,” Morrison said. “So I’m going have some more contemporary hits that people can actually get up and dance to. I don’t know if it’s that kind of place where the staff would want people to dance. But I’m going try to get people to dance.”

Morrison added, “This is going to be a special show because I’m going to have a full band with me. I have horn players. I have great friends who are going to sing backup for me. I’m pulling out all the stops for this one.”

Morrison can be seen at The Rainbow Room on Monday night, Oct. 24.



WOWOW, Japan’s leading premium pay TV broadcaster, announced today that Matthew Morrison (“Finding Neverland” “South Pacific,” “Hairspray”), Kelli O’Hara (“The King and I”) and well-known Japanese actor Yoshio Inoue have signed on as headline performers for WOWOW’s highly anticipated “Tony Awards Concert In Tokyo,” which will take place on March 18th, 2017.

Morrison, who most recently starred as “J.M Barrie” in the Harvey Weinstein musical “Finding Neverland,” and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in “The Light in the Piazza,” and O’Hara, the 2015 Tony-Award winner for “The King and I,” will bring cherished Broadway hits to life and recreate the magic for the Japanese audience. WOWOW will broadcast the concert from the Tokyo International Forum, which seats over 5,000 people.

Kayo Washio, who runs WOWOW’s Los Angeles office, and is producing the concert event for WOWOW, said, “These performers have instilled in me a passion for theater over the years. Matthew’s reputation on Broadway precedes him. And Kelli’s voice takes me to another time and place. Yoshio has established himself as the foremost musical actor in Japan and I can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to our stage. I’m so honored to have them all on board for our special concert.”

“It’s an honor to have been invited to participate in this special event, and to bring Broadway’s rich tradition to the beautiful people of Japan,” said Morrison. “I look forward to sharing some of what I consider the most important music in performing arts history, and to commemorate the productions that originally brought these songs to life.”

O’Hara added “After spending over a year working with my brilliant leading man, Ken Watanabe, in ‘The King and I,’ nothing excites me more than traveling to his beloved homeland for the very first time to perform with another of my favorite leading men, Matthew Morrison!”

The premium musical concert has official recognition from the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League. An increase in Broadway musical fandom in Japan has led to aspirations for this concert to become an annual event, with WOWOW to continue to produce alongside a variety of major stage show programs such as straight plays, musicals, ballets, traditional Japanese theatre, and opera (WOWOW is official broadcaster of New York’s’ famed Metropolitan Opera “The Met”).

WOWOW has an agreement to broadcast the Tony Awards that see the annual show broadcast live in Japan, exclusively on WOWOW. The American Theatre Wing‘s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The concert set list will consist of renowned Broadway musical songs and memorable performances from the Tony Awards.


Morrison Adventures – Africa- The Mother Land
POSTED ON Oct 01, 2016 BY Valentina INVideo

Matthew performs “You Can’t Stop The Beat”, part of his Hairspray Medley, with the talented kids of the Orange County School of the Arts on September 17, 2016.

Matthew performs at OCSA 30th Anniversary Gala
POSTED ON Sep 20, 2016 BY Valentina INVideo

Matthew performs “You’re Nothing Without Me” from the musical “City of Angels” with Dr. Ralph Opacic, founder and executive director of OCSA, at the OCSA 30th Anniversary Gala on September 17.


Broadway star and Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) alum Matthew Morrison dropped by his alma mater to rehearse with students for OCSA’s 30th Anniversary Season Premiere this Saturday at Balboa Bay Resort. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk in-depth about the balancing act it takes to be a Broadway leading man, his time on “Hairspray,” “Glee,” and “Finding Neverland,” as well as what it means to him to give back to the OCSA.



SANTA ANA – Twenty years ago, a teenage boy named Matt was starting his senior year at a performing arts high school near his family home in Cypress. Today, that self-proclaimed “theater kid” has thousands of on-stage and on-screen performances under his belt, as well as Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award nominations.

Matthew Morrison, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) class of 1997, is a Broadway and television actor known for his roles as Link Larkin in the original Broadway cast of “Hairspray” and Will Schuester in the six-years run of “Glee” on Fox.

But before all that, Morrison was an OCSA student just like the 40 student artists who will perform with him on Saturday.

“I would be nothing if I hadn’t come to this school,” Morrison said. “I always tell these kids, ‘I was you.’ The training here (at OCSA) was incomparable. It’s the cornerstone of my career.”

When Morrison and the OCSA performers take the stage at Balboa Bay Resort this weekend, they will kick off a year-long celebration of the school’s 30th anniversary. The sold-out beachfront concert will take place in front of more than 300 guests at sundown and include a medley of songs that Morrison has performed throughout his career.

“When I first heard about this, I was in complete shock,” said junior Raquel Glasser. “I know (Morrison) from watching ‘Glee’ on T.V. and I’ll probably be shaking with excitement when we perform.”

Glasser, who is part of the Commercial Dance Conservatory program at OCSA will perform a dance to “Singing in the Rain” with Morrison and her classmate, junior Makayla Gordon.

“OCSA has always been a dream come true and the teachers here always encourage us to go after what we want,” Glasser said. “Matthew Morrison is an excellent example of that.”

The faculty and staff at OCSA seeks to prepare students academically for higher education, while also training aspiring artists to pursue a profession in the arts. Their guidance has helped support artists such as Susan Egan (class of 1988) and recent Netflix sensation Justice Smith (class of 2013) in their creative endeavors.

Morrison, who during his early years of high school thought maybe he should be a soccer player instead of an actor, was encouraged by OCSA’s president and executive director Ralph Opacic to strongly consider a performance career.

And so far, it seems to have been a good choice, Morrison said.

“It’s important to have places like this that nurture talent and let it grow,” said Morrison. “It’s not just technical training, there is a confidence that they instill in you. I mean, I don’t think I could have moved to New York City at 18 years old without that confidence.”

“Pure Imagination,” which is part of the school’s theme for the 30th year, means teachers and students alike should “think big,” Peca said. “Big” like performing with stars as well-known as Morrison.

“Coming to OCSA was the best decision I have made in my life,” said senior Jared Machado. “We have a good set of tools, and seeing someone like Matthew Morrison and his career just proves that we can totally do this if we work hard.”

The students said they admire Morrison’s talent and work ethic, but also the fact that he is giving back to the community that got him where he is now.

“His sheer talent is amazing, but he is so nice and down to earth. Honestly, I would love to get anywhere near that,” said Machado. “Opportunities like this make being a part of OCSA so special and the way we keep growing, I know (OCSA) will go way into its 50th anniversary.”

More pictures in the gallery (Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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