Two of Broadway’s brightest stars come together for one glittering evening of American song with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Matthew Morrison is well-known for his featured roles in Broadway’s Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific as well as the landmark Fox TV series, Glee. Before winning the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for the 2015 revival of The King and I, Kelli O’Hara was Morrison’s co-star in The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific. Together they and the Symphony will make Copley Symphony Hall shine like the Great White Way.
Interwoven throughout the narration was music from their best loved musicals, beginning with the choir’s rendition of “It’s a Grand Night of Singing from STATE FAIR and featuring numbers from OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. What better songs to showcase the mellifluous pipes of the incomparable Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly, reunited after starring together in the original cast of FINDING NEVERLAND? They were featured heavily throughout the evening, including in duets such as “People Will Say We’re in Love” from OKLAHOMA! and such memorable solos as Kelly’s “(When I Marry) Mister Snow” from CAROUSEL and Morrison’s “Younger than Springtime” from SOUTH PACIFIC (which he performed in the Lincoln Center revival).
Both showed a playful side, with Morrison leading the choir and dancing through the title song from OKLAHOMA! and Kelly taking off her shoes and gifting a flower to a choir member in “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from SOUTH PACIFIC.
The highlight of the show was the unexpected inclusion of the “Wedding Processional” in a medley from THE SOUND OF MUSIC that included classic Mormon Tabernacle Choir arrangements of the title song and “Climb Every Mountain.” The scale of the performance of the processional from Richard Elliott at the massive pipe organ with the orchestra and choir was nothing short of thrilling.
The concert ended on a high note with an inspiring finale in which Morrison and Kelly joined the choir and orchestra to perform the anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from CAROUSEL under the breathtaking star-lit sky suspended above them.
“I have no idea what to expect,” he told ET. “I’m sure my wife is drumming up some kind of fun surprises and stuff, but it’s gonna be special.”
Morrison joked that his son has an unusually special talent: insanely fast-growing (and dangerous) fingernails.
“Those fingernails grow so fast and sometimes my wife and I both have scratches on our face or on our arms and stuff and then he scratches his own face,” he said. “I feel like we’re clipping his nails every three days — it’s crazy. ”
But he said that being a father has changed him significantly — and in profound ways.
“The amount of love that I feel — like, I heard this quote the other day about how it feels like your heart is outside of your body and it really is true,” he explained. “I’ve never known this kind of love. It’s a beautiful, euphoric kind of just amazing feeling that I’m just happy. I’m happy my son chose me. ”
Morrison was also thrilled to be back at the Tony Awards. Morrison himself is a past nominee, for his role in the musical The Light in the Piazza in 2005 and said that musical theater is his home.
“I was thinking about it on the car ride over here like my first tony awards that I got to be at and performed at was when I was doing Hairspray,” he said. It was 15 years ago and thankfully, they keep asking me to come back and this is home for me. I love this community and um the people and I love, I love live performances and live theater so it’s amazing to be here.”
SALT LAKE CITY — For this year’s Pioneer Day celebrations, former Broadway co-stars Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly will perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during the annual Broadway-themed “Music for a Summer Evening” concert.
The event will take place Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, at 8 p.m. in the Conference Center. Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director, will be conducting.
Morrison and Kelly starred in the original 2015 Broadway cast of “Finding Neverland,” based on the true story of Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie, who created the beloved literary character Peter Pan. Morrison played the role of Barrie and Kelly starred opposite him as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a widow whose four boys helped inspire the playful Pan.
“Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly are extraordinary performers who have a dynamic chemistry onstage that will delight our audiences,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir president Ron Jarrett said in a press release. “We know they will bring down the house when they perform with the choir and Orchestra at Temple Square!”
Former “Glee” star Matthew Morrison is best-known for his role as Mr. Schuester in the popular musical comedy-drama TV series, which ran from 2009-2015, but is also a well-known actor, dancer, singer and songwriter. Over the years, he has performed on both Broadway and television, earning along the way multiple nominations for Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe awards.
Laura Michelle Kelly is perhaps best-known for her Laurence Olivier Award-winning performance as Mary Poppins in the West End musical based on the 1964 Disney film. She has appeared in many West End and Broadway productions, in the 2007 film adaptation of “Sweeney Todd” and has performed in many of the U.K.’s notable concert halls.
The choir will also welcome back Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III, grandson of the famed lyricist and musical theater producer Oscar Hammerstein II, to narrate the concert and speak on his family’s connection to Broadway.
Previous featured guest artists at the annual concert include Alex Boye in 2017, The King’s Singers in 2016, Laura Osnes in 2015, Santino Fontana in 2014, Nathan Pacheco and Lindsey Stirling in 2013, Katherine Jenkins in 2012, and Linda Eder and Brian Stokes Mitchell in 2011.
Morrison and Kelly will also sing with the choir during their weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast on Sunday, July 22, in the Conference Center — no ticket required.
How do you get tickets?
“Tickets for the concert are free and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time, through lds.org/events or by phone at 801-570-0080. Each patron may request four tickets, and admission is open to those ages 8 and older. Patrons without tickets are encouraged to join the standby line by the flagpole on Temple Square for last-minute seating, which is often available,” according to the press release.
The performance will also be live-streamed on mormontabernaclechoir.org at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, as well as via the church satellite system and on BYUtv.
Rain begins to fall while Matthew Morrison performs during “An Evening With the Stars” at the Muny in Forest Park on Saturday, May 19, 2018. The production, postponed from Friday night due to storms, is part of a celebration this weekend for the Muny’s centennial season. Photo by Jon Gitchoff
It rained Saturday night, but that didn’t dampen spirits at the Muny, where a host of performers carried on and a crowd of 6,975 fans cheered and clapped through “An Evening with the Stars” — the theater’s Centennial Gala.
The one-time-only show’s originally scheduled performance, on Friday night, was postponed because of rain. On Saturday, it went ahead at 9:15 p.m. but before a smaller audience, with two long interruptions for rain. But almost nobody left.
“We have missed only one show in 20 years,” said Chuck Mueller of Belleville, who sat under an umbrella with his wife, Jan, surrounded by relatives. “That was a rainout.”
He wasn’t about to let that happen twice. And you could see his point, because this event involved a sensational production. Almost every act could have been the “11 o’clock number” in any normal show.
Broadway icon Chita Rivera, in a stunning red sequinned pants suit, gave a zesty performance of “All That Jazz” from “Chicago” and teamed up with the legendary Tommy Tune for “Rosie” from “Bye Bye Birdie.” Ken Page, who got his start at the Muny before he played Old Deuteronomy in the original Broadway production of “Cats” , sang a tender rendition of that show’s biggest song, “Memory.”
The evening’s hosts, Broadway stars Matthew Morrison and Heather Headley, introduced the other artists and performed dynamic numbers of their own. Morrison led a highly condensed, 8-minute version of “Hairspray” while Headley soloed in a breathtaking medley of songs from “Funny Girl.”
Patrick Cassidy led a lively chorus of Muny Kids, Muny Teens and Muny veterans in “Trouble” from “The Music Man,” then presented a clip in which his mother, Muny Hall-of-Famer Shirley Jones, wished the theater happy birthday.
Two other Broadway stars, Graham Rowat and Jenny Powers, added elegance and comedy, respectively.
A big dance ensemble, choreographed by Michael Baxter, shone throughout, particularly when they joined Lara Teeter in a big tap treatment of “We’re in the Money” from “42nd Street” and in “Seize the Day” from “Newsies.”
Dennis Reagan, the Muny’s president and CEO, thanked “the best audience in the world” for its patience through the rain delays. Virtually everyone received generous applause, including the stagehands who mopped the stage after both cloudbursts. Paul Tarte dePoo III designed the versatile sets, Robin L. McGee designed the festive costumes and music director Michael Horsley led the generous Muny orchestra. Matt Kunkel directed the show, which kept a bright pace despite the weather.
For the last number a little before midnight, the audience enjoyed “One” and a fabulous fireworks display. In “A Chorus Line,” “One” is about a glamorous entertainer. But on Saturday night, it was unmistakably a song about the Muny.
Thousands more Muny lovers came to the Forest Park theater Sunday afternoon, where the celebration continued with lots of activities for families. The weather was lovely.
Sunrise, Florida (CNN) Drama students past and present shared the stage Monday night for a benefit concert featuring stars and survivors of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, USA” featured a star-studded roster of Broadway and television entertainers, including “Glee” actor Matthew Morrison, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom and award-winning recording artist Deborah Cox.
More than 4,700 people attended the concert at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, organizers said. The celebrity entertainers performed with Stoneman Douglas students and local arts groups, including the Student Choir of Broward and Dance Theatre of Broward, on a program that ranged from upbeat and inspirational to reflective and moving to fun and silly.
Despite the circumstances that brought them together, Bloom said the chemistry among the performers was instantly palpable. After all, the celebrity performers were once theater kids, she said.
“Tonight is about them and I’m happy to be here and support them. The kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas are doing what the arts are supposed to do — they are channeling their intense feelings and rage and thoughts into their art, which is a way to communicate with people and make the world better,” Bloom said in an interview before the show.
“This is an example of why theater and the arts in schools is so important,” she said. “It makes me proud to be a fellow theater kid seeing what all these people are doing with theater and music.”
‘A healing night’
The concert opened with a stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” sung by “Mamma Mia!” actress Carrie Manolakos and a choir of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students.Former “American Idol” contestant Justin Guarini performed a song written by a Stoneman Douglas student.
Deborah Cox crooned “I Will Always Love You” as images of the 17 victims flashed behind her. The dance group that victim Jaime Guttenberg belonged to staged an emotional performance that elicited cheers of “We love you, Jaime” as the dancers left the spotlight.
Moments of levity punctuated the somber tone, such as Bloom’s rendition of “F—ton of Cats” and Erich Bergen’s performance of “Man in the Mirror,” all with backup from Stoneman Douglas students. “Glee” star Matthew Morrison and Stoneman Douglas senior Kali Clougherty nearly stole the show with a duet performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Stoneman Douglas sophomore Tanzil Philip, who hit the high note near the end of “Seasons of Love,” said performing in the show was difficult during the memorial parts. “But by the end, the whole thing felt healing,” he said. “It was a healing night.”
‘Everything we’re doing is for them’
Working with the teen performers made the February 14 shooting feel all the more real, Broadway performer Donna Lynne Champlin said. But in the frenzied excitement of rehearsals, it was easy to momentarily forget why they were there, the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” actress said.
“We’re sort of looking at our younger selves and going, ‘When we were your age we were writing songs about rainy days and broken hearts, and here you are writing songs about losing numerous friends.’ I think they’re extraordinary” she said. “I can’t even imagine what their reality is like.”
The concert was the culmination of weeks of intense preparation, Stoneman Douglas junior Sawyer Garrity said before the concert. But she never forgot what brought everyone together.
“There’s been some really awesome moments because of this, but it’s hard to feel excited or happy about them because you realize what happened and why we’re getting all these opportunities,” she said.
With the help of composer Duncan Sheik, she and another student composed a song based on a poem written by shooting victim Alex Schachter. His parents asked them to write the song after their first performance at a town hall after the shooting, she said.
“This song is for him. He’s going to live on through this song and through this poem he wrote,” she said.
“In the end, everything that we’re doing is for them and everything that we’re doing is so that they’ll be remembered — all the 17, and even the ones who were injured and anyone hurt by gun violence.”
From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, USA will feature performances and special appearances from Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe nomineeMatthew Morrison (Glee, Finding Neverland), Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), award-winning recording artist Deborah Cox (The Bodyguard), Wayne Brady (Kinky Boots, Hamilton), Kirsten Maldonado (Pentatonix), Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals,Dear Evan Hansen), Justin Guarini (American Idol, In Transit), Vincent Rodriguez III (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Ephraim Sykes (Hamilton, Hairspray Live), Erich Bergen (Madam Secretary), Christy Altomare (Anastasia), Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management, Legally Blonde), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Jordan Donica (My Fair Lady, Hamilton), Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Gabrielle Ruiz (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, If/Then), Etai Benson (The Band’s Visit), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia), George Salazar (Godspell, The Lightning Thief), Bryan Fenkhart (Waitress, Memphis), Charity Angel Dawson (Waitress, Side Show), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Brandon Shapiro, and Jake Wildhorn.
The performers will be accompanied by the South Florida Symphony. Some of the songs that will be performed were written by the Stoneman Douglas students in collaboration with composers Joe Iconis, Bobby Cronin, Zoe Sarnak, Drew Gasparini, and others.
There will also be a performance by Jamie Guttenberg’s dance troupe in honor of her memory. Several Stoneman Douglas students will speak at the event as well.
Approximately 10,000 tickets have been donated to the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff.
The performance line-up is subject to change and additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Stars of the stage and screen will unite April 16 for From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, a one-night-only concert to benefit the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund and Shine MSD, which is working to promote arts advocacy in the community in the wake of the February 14 tragedy at the Florida high school. The concert will be held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 345-7000 or at the BB&T Center Box Office.
Matthew Morrison, is known for starring in Glee, but long before that he treaded the boards of Broadway in Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and most recently Finding Neverland. Now he is performing at Feinstein’s/54 Below until January 13th and this is a show not to miss. Morrison exudes a natural sex appeal. He claims in his show, that Feinstein’s/54 Below is the sexiest room, but this is the sexiest show, as Morrison seduces his audience with charisma galore. Starting off with a crooning “Nice N Easy,” Morrison entered from the front of the room, making audience members swoon with joy as he passed their table. Sounding and oozing the same charge, that Frank Sinatra did. His smooth stylings gave way to a man with a heart, when a young girl almost fainted with glee, was allowed a selfie with him. I have never seen anyone as delighted as this girl was. All night the cell camera’s were zoomed in so as not to miss a moment.
Next up was a sinful “On The Street Where You Live.” All I can say is if the revival of My Fair Lady has this version, it is sure to smolder.
Father to 12-week-old son Revel James Makail, John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” brought lyrics that really affected the singer, but it was “As Long As He Needs Me” from Oliver that his emotional ties to his son came through. The arrangement had Jimmy Emerson on flute and it added to the plaintiveness of the song. Also on “Waiting on the World to Change” there were some mean solos by Emerson on Sax and Daniel Kalischer on guitar.
Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” showed off the singers dancing skills, as well as some soul. Morrison feeds off the energy of his fans as he gyrated with a sinewy grace. During the song his hand slide down the mike as if making love to it and I can guarantee most of the audience wished it was them instead of that mike.
In “Hey There” from Pajama Game, Morrison oozed boyish charm as he played the ukulele. This was in tribute to his first gig as a back-up singer for Don Ho.
Brad Ellis, the arranger from Glee, is Morrison’s musical director and played the keys, but it was his arrangement of Cole Potter’s “It’s Alright With Me” that rocked the house. Morrison pulled some Bob Fosse moves that shook the house. Bass player Gary Wicks and drummer Pete Antunes also showed mad skills.
“We Kiss In The Shadow” was Morrison’s tribute to gay marriage and what life was like before acceptance.
His South Pacific medley made me want to see his performance and made me realize what a talented musician this man truly is.
Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Fabrizio in The Light In The Piazza “Il Mondo Era Vuoto,” was my favorite of the night. Stating “that show was the hardest I’ve ever done. It’s also the highlight of my career,” he vocally soared. It is in a more classical sound, that Morrison impresses and impress he does.
Keeping us up to date with the shows he has performed in, a Finding Neverland medley followed. A nine-minute Hairspray medley had Morrison rocking and rolling. It is clear he has a complete love for this show.
“Come Rain or Come Shine/ Basin Street Blues” allowed the whole band to show off. Morrison surrounds himself with some of best musicians and the caliber of this show is exceptional. For opening night Morrison’s guest was his wife Renee and the curtain call number was a medley of two Beatle songs for the girl who has knitted his young sons caps.
Morrison is personable and makes sure that everyone has a great seat and a fabulous time. His humor is a little sarcastic, but with a devilish charm. Morrison has that “it” factor and has talent galore. How Broadway hasn’t snatched him up to star in a role written for him is beyond puzzling. Do not miss this show as it is one of the best I have seen in a long time.