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Fascinating Rhythm The Words and Music of the Gershwins
With Anna Bergman, Klea Blackhurst, Michael-Demby Cain, Lee Roy Reams, and KT Sullivan.
Musical Direction by Jon Weber.
Fascinating Rhythm follows the Gershwins through over a dozen of their legendary Broadway shows. Our musical journey begins in London in 1924 with Lady Be Good which starred Adèle and Fred Astaire singing the hit song Fascinatin’ Rhythm, and ends on Broadway with Porgy and Bess, their collaboration with George and Dubose Heyward.
Anna Bergman is delighted to return to Guild Hall where she has performed in their 75th Anniversary Gala and in concerts celebrating Brel, Porter, Astaire, the Gershwins, Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hart. Honored to present her own cabaret for Guild Hall’s 2004 season opening gala, Anna “thrills you with the sheer aural sensation of her voice” (The Wall Street Journal) and has been hailed by The Washington Post as “a vocal citizen of the world who triumphs in everything from Broadway tunes to opera arias and the sultry innuendoes of the cabaret chanteuse.” Highlights: soloist at the White House and for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook (with Barbara Cook), Carnegie Hall’s Ira Gershwin at 100 & Vienna City of Dreams Festival, The Light in the Piazza (with Matthew Morrison, Intiman Theatre), He Loves, She Loves (Chicago Humanities Festival & Palm Beach’s Kravis Center), Mr. Gershwin Goes to Washington (Music Festival of the Hamptons with George Plimpton), and soloist with numerous symphony orchestras. PBS specials including A Salon with Anna Bergman. Solo Concerts: The Kennedy Center, Feinstein’s 54 Below & Regency Hotel, The Algonquin, Caramoor, Kravis Center, Crest Theatre, Manaus Opera House (Brazil), Café Royal & The Crazy Coqs (London), Cardiff International Festival. Theatre: A Little Night Music (The Kennedy Center), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Arena Stage), The Beggar's Opera (The Shakespeare Theatre), Three Sisters, Falsettoland, The Cryptogram (The Studio Theatre), Don Juan In Hell (with Sam Waterston & Dick Cavett), The Women, (King’s Head Theatre, London), A Christmas Carol (Ford’s Theatre), Street Scene (Aspen Music Festival), Blood On The Dining Room Floor (WPA Theatre). A graduate & fellow of Vassar College & Aspen Music School. Upcoming performances include: Jazz at Lincoln Center (10/29), Beach Café (11/1) Standing on the Shoulders: Songs Celebrating Women’s Rights, Liberty & Justice (11/4-14/2020 U.S. tour).
Klea Blackhurst is known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow, Klea recently starred Off-Broadway opposite Hayley Mills in Party Face. She played the title role in the world premiere of Hazel at Drury Lane in Chicago, Miss Lemon in The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes and as Dolly in Goodspeed Opera’s 50th Anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! Other credits: NY- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bingo, By Jupiter, Radio Gals, Oil City Symphony; Regionally – Ragtime, Gypsy, Call Me Madam and Chicago at Pioneer Theatre Company. TV: “Onion News Network,” “The Knick” “Sesame Street” “Pose” She’s appeared in legendary halls from The London Palladium to Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall to Jazz at Lincoln Center. Klea is a charter member of the Jerry Herman Legacy Concerts for the ASCAP Foundation and became a distinguished Alumna of the University of Utah in 2012.
Michael has enjoyed tremendous success as a true ‘song and dance’ man. He has appeared in eight Broadway shows – including Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Café, Victor/Victoria (with Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli, and Raquel Welch), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Goodbye Girl (with Bernadette Peters), Grand Hotel (with Cyd Charisse), Starlight Express and Honky Tonk Nights. He appeared in the New York City Opera production of Porgy and Bess, as well as performing in countless television specials, live corporate events and numerous Broadway National Tours – including Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber (with Michael Crawford), Starlight Express (lead role of Electra), Five Guys Named Moe (featured as Eat Moe) and Joseph and His Amazing… (Benjamin Calypso vocalist). Michael also received much critical acclaim as the star and headliner in two productions at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City - Zoot Suit Strut and Club Indigo. In 2017, Michael took to the NYC cabaret stage with his one man show “Unfinished”. He continues to work on music and hopes to release an album of ‘favorites’ in 2019.
Lee Roy Reams
Lee Roy Reams has been hailed by the New York Times as “Broadway’s song & dance man nonpareil” for his leading Broadway roles in The Producers (Carbonell, Helen Hayes & Las Vegas Life Awards), 42nd Street (Tony & Drama Desk Nominations), Beauty & The Beast, La Cage Aux Folles, Hello, Dolly!, An Evening with Jerry Herman, Applause, Lorelei, Oklahoma!, & Sweet Charity. On Broadway, he directed the last revival of Carol Channing’s Hello, Dolly! & An Evening with Jerry Herman. His TV, concert & cabaret appearances have taken him around the world and to the White House before four U.S. Presidents (Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. & Clinton). Most recently, he played to another sold out house at Broadway’s Feinstein's / 54 Below & made history as the first American male to star as Dolly in an Equity production of Hello, Dolly! at the Wick Theatre where he also starred in La Cage Aux Folles. He’s a board member of the Chita Rivera Awards & received the Friars Club Thespian of the Year Award. He also is the proud recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, CCM / University of Cincinnati.
KT Sullivan was named artistic director of The Mabel Mercer Foundation in 2012. She starred in the Broadway revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and headlined for almost two decades in The Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel. One of the shows she created there, Rhyme, Women, and Song was presented on PBS' WNET 13 and her award winning Sondheim show with Jeff Harnar was filmed for PBS from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Besides regular appearances In such New York venues as The Laurie Beechman Theatre and Birdland, she stars annually at The Pheasantry in London, and has been showcased at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Spoleto Festival, The Chichester Festival, CLUB RaYé in Paris, and The Adelaide Festival in Australia. She guest starred on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, was the star vocalist on two tours of China with The Manhattan Symphonie, and was twice named one of The Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America Magazine. On that note, she is proud to be married to Steve Downey, president emeritus of The New York Browning Society.
"Jon Weber is a virtuoso - pure and simple." -All About Jazz
Jazz pianist Jon Weber has recorded and toured all over the world, winning numerous honors for performance and composition - scoring extensively for television since 1987. Gary Burton, Roy Hargrove, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and Avishai Cohen have all recorded Jon’s music, and his newest critically-acclaimed release, Simple Complex, rose to #1. Jon lives in New York City and hosts NPR’s Piano Jazz with Jon Weber after frequently serving as guest host for Marian McPartland.
"...the worthy successor to the late Marian McPartland on the NPR staple "Piano Jazz." -Wall Street Journal