George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn on September 26, 1898, and began his musical training when he was 13. At 16 he quit high school to work as a "song plugger" for a music publisher, and soon he was writing songs himself. "Swanee," as introduced by Al Jolson, brought George his first real fame and led to his writing a succession of 22 musical comedies, most with his older brother, Ira. The Gershwins' shows include Lady Be Good, Oh, Kay!, Strike Up the Band, Girl Crazy, and the Pulitzer Prize winning Of Thee I Sing. From his early career George had ambitions to compose serious music, and his classical masterpieces include "Rhapsody In Blue," "Concerto In F," "An American In Paris" and "Second Rhapsody." In the late '20s George became fascinated by the DuBose Heyward novel Porgy, recognizing it as a perfect vehicle for opera using jazz and blues idioms. The folk opera Porgy and Bess had its Broadway premiere in October of 1935. In 1937 George was at the height of his career. While working on the score of The Goldwyn Follies in Hollywood, he collapsed, and on July 11, died of a brain tumor. He was not quite 39 years old.
Ira Gershwin, 1896-1983, was the first songwriter to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In 1918 with “The Real American Folk Song (Is a Rag),” he began a remarkable collaboration with his younger brother George. Their Lady Be Good,a 1924 hit, became the first of their more than 20 scores for stage and screen (he was nominated for three Academy Awards®), including the opera Porgy and Bess. His collaborations with George, as well as with Vincent Youmans, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Aaron Copland, Harry Warren, Arthur Schwartz and Burton Lane, set a new standard for the American musical theatre.
WINNER: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical
Joe DiPietro won the 2012 Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award® for Best Book for NICE WORK. DiPietro won Tony Awards® for Best Book and Best Score for Memphis, which was also awarded the 2010 Tony Award®, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. His other shows include All Shook Up; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (the longest running musical revue in off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway musical). His plays include the much-produced comedy Over the River and Through the Woods, The Art of Murder (Edgar Award winner for Best Mystery Play), Creating Claire and The Last Romance. His work has been produced thousands of times across the country and around the world. Thanks to George and Ira.
Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse were both born in England. They were introduced by Jerome Kern, and he suggested they all work together. They did, and in the beginning of their collaboration wrote nearly one show per month — the famed Princess Theatre musicals. Bolton and Wodehouse went on to write more than 20 musicals together. Usually, they collaborated on the book, and Wodehouse wrote the lyrics. Both lived into their nineties and were astoundingly prolific. Bolton, with various collaborators, or on his own, had a hand in well over 100 musicals and plays as well as numerous film scripts and novels. Wodehouse wrote 97 books — most notably the Jeeves novels — and countless short stories, articles, essays and films, and in 1975 was knighted alongside Charlie Chaplin. Their work together includes Anything Goes, Have A Heart, Oh! Boy, Leave It to Jane, Oh, Lady! Lady!!, Sitting Pretty, Oh, Kay! and Rosalie. They remained friends and neighbors throughout their final days.
David Chase is currently music director/arranger for How To Succeed... Broadway (dance arranger): Evita, Anything Goes, Elf, Promises, Promises, The Little Mermaid, Cry-baby, Curtains, The Wedding Singer, The Pajama Game, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Flower Drum Song, Kiss Me, Kate, Seussical, Side Show, and …Forum. Broadway (music director/supervisor): Billy Elliot, The Pajama Game, Flower Drum Song, The Music Man, Side Show, Little Me, Damn Yankees. London (dance arranger): Evita, Guys and Dolls. Also: arrangements for the Boston Pops, The Kennedy Center Honors, Radio City. Music education: Harvard biology degree.
Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed…, Bengal Tiger…, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, 33 Variations, I Am My Own Wife, Man and Boy, Pajama Game, Lestat, The Women, Threepenny Opera, Present Laughter, Holiday, Marie and Bruce, Lie of the Mind, Ruined, Becky Shaw, Rafta, Rafta, Voysey Inheritance, Intimate Apparel, Hurlyburly, Modern Orthodox, Aunt Dan and Lemon. 1997 and 2004 OBIE Awards, 2004, 2005, 2007 Lucille Lortel Award, 2009 Hewes Award, 2009 Tony Award®, 2011 Drama Desk Award.
NY Theater includes: The Normal Heart, Anything Goes (Tony® nomination), Glass Menagerie (Lortel nomination), Lend Me a Tenor (Hewes Award, Tony® & Outer Critics nominations), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Blithe Spirit (Tony® nomination), Kiss Me, Kate (Tony Award® winner), Pajama Game (Tony® nomination), Wild Party, Golden Child, Kimberly Akimbo, The Life. Opera: Iphigénie en Tauride (Metropolitan Opera), The Bartered Bride (Juilliard), Tristan & Isolde, Adriana Mater (Paris Opera/Bastille), L’amour de Loin (Salzburg, Paris/Chatelet, Santa Fe, Helsinki), Iolanta, Perséphone (Teatro Madrid); works throughout U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Dance: Mark Morris Dance Group, SF Ballet, Boston Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet. Awards: two Tonys®, Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, among others.
Broadway: more than 45 plays and musicals including Wit, The Road to Mecca, Venus in Fur, Born Yesterday, Anything Goes, That Championship Season, Driving Miss Daisy, Time Stands Still, A View from the Bridge, Waiting for Godot, Curtains, Grey Gardens, Contact, The Producers, Kiss Me Kate, Steel Pier. Extensive Off-Broadway, resident and regional credits. Opera: The Met, NYCO, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe, LAMCO, Seattle. Abroad: Royal Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera/North, Maggio Florence, L’Arena di Verona, La Fenice, Bonn, Lisbon. Recipient of Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Dramalogue and Hewes Design awards.
Over twenty Broadway shows including The Book of Mormon (Tony Award®), Anything Goes (Drama Desk), American Idiot, Promises, Promises, Next to Normal, (Tony® nomination), Grease, Curtains, Spring Awakening as well as Grey Gardens and The Pajama Game. Off-Broadway: Rent, Everyday Rapture, Saved, 10 Million Miles, and Bug (Obie and Lucille Lortel awards). His career has spanned America, Europe and Asia and has allowed him to work with the most talented composers, directors, designers, actors, musicians and stagehands in the world for which he is eternally grateful.
London-born Paul Huntley has worked hundreds of Broadway shows, most memorably the original productions of Amadeus, Cats, Evita, Sweeney Todd, The Producers and Hairspray. A recipient of the Drama Desk and Tony® awards, he has also worked with the some of the most legendary leading ladies of the cinema, ranging from Bette Davis and Vivien Leigh to Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway. Current shows include Anything Goes, War Horse, Other Desert Cities and Leap of Faith.
Broadway: Set, lighting and video for Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking; video for Hugh Jackman Back On Broadway. Off-Broadway: Lighting and video for In The Wake and Taking Over; set, lighting and video for Through The Night and Los Big Names; set and lighting for Horizon; lighting for Bridge and Tunnel. Also: production designs for American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet, among others.
Broadway: Nice Work If You Can Get It, Wit, Other Desert Cities, Master Class, Good People, Anything Goes, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Addams Family, Rock of Ages, Memphis, West Side Story (revival), A Little Night Music, Bye Bye Birdie, Dreamgirls (national tour), Gypsy (with Patti LuPone), Young Frankenstein (Broadway/national tour), The Color Purple (Broadway/national tour), The Little Mermaid.
Broadway: A Little Night Music, Sunday In The Park With George. London: A Little Night Music (Chocolate Factory, West End), Parade (Donmar), Pacific Overtures (Donmar). Premieres: The Last Five Years (New York, London), The Glorious Ones (Ahrens/Flaherty), Loving Repeating (Flaherty), Saturday Night (US premiere), Parade (US tour), My Fair Lady (McCarter), Putting It Together (Court Theatre, Chicago), Pacific Overtures (Chicago Shakespeare), Sweeney Todd, Passion, Anyone Can Whistle (Ravinia Festival - Chicago). Recipient of four Joseph Jefferson Awards (Chicago) and one Barrymore Award (Philadelphia) for music-direction. Future projects: Honeymoon in Vegas (Jason Robert Brown - NYC).
Bill Elliott received 2012 Tony® and Drama Desk nominations for NICE WORK. Broadway: Anything Goes. Regional: Robin & the Seven Hoods (Old Globe). Records: produced and arranged Michael Feinstein’s The Sinatra Project and The Good Life, David Campbell’s On Broadway. TV and film: original songs and arrangements in “Northern Exposure,” “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” “Gilmore Girls,” Cinderella Man, Wedding Crashers. Arranger for Boston Pops, music director for John Lithgow and Michael Feinstein, guest conductor of the Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Detroit, San Diego and Vancouver Symphonies.
Shawn Gough returns to the Imperial having just been resident music director for Billy Elliot. Broadway: Sunday In The Park With George, Light In The Piazza, Into The Woods, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate. Conductor: Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, National Symphony, Presidential Inauguration. Artists: Liza Minnelli, Susan Lucci, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder. Thanks to David Chase. For Jennifer and Tyler.
Tony® Honor for Excellence in the Theater. Credits include more than 100 shows from the original Gypsy through Dreamgirls; Nine, Noise/Funk, Elaine Stritch at Liberty; the acclaimed revivals of Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls, Carousel, Forum and Flower Drum Song. Screen credits include Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mike Nichols’ The Birdcage and Paramount’s In and Out. An ASCAP composer, his playing career has segued from Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman to Leonard Bernstein. This season on Broadway: Chicago, Anything Goes, End of the Rainbow.
Director: Pipe Dream and Fanny (Encores!), Ordinary Days (Roundabout Underground), Spelling Bee (Papermill/PTC), MUNY: The Music Man, Sound of Music (Kevin Kline Award Nominations), In the Mood (Berkshires), Such Good Friends (NYMF Directing Award), High Spirits (York), Glimpses of the Moon (Oak Room). Associate: 14 Broadway shows.
Binder Casting, with Jay Binder, CSA, Jack Bowdan, CSA, and Mark Brandon, CSA. Broadway: Born Yesterday, Lion King, Finian’s Rainbow, A Chorus Line, Gypsy, 39 Steps, White Christmas, Inherit the Wind, Journey’s End, Butley, Virginia Woolf, Sweet Charity, Wonderful Town, Movin’ Out, Music Man, Iceman Cometh, Beauty & the Beast, Last Night of Ballyhoo, King & I, Damn Yankees, Lost in Yonkers, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, all 19 series of NYCC Encores! Film: Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Nine. Eight–time Artios Award winner.
David Eggers previously assisted Kathleen Marshall on Two Gentlemen of Verona for The Public's Shakespeare in the Park, and helped as an assistant on her acclaimed Broadway revival of Anything Goes. Choreographer for NYMF's The Last Starfighter and Town Hall's Broadway By The Year:1965 (with Lorin Latarro). Performance credits include 10 Broadway musicals.
Broadway: Billy Elliot, Legally Blonde, Lestat, The Glass Menagerie, Bombay Dreams, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Real Thing, The Scarlet Pimpernel (versions 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0), Victor/Victoria, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and Jelly’s Last Jam. Encores! at City Center: A Connecticut Yankee, Bloomer Girl, Hair.
Broadway: Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway, Billy Elliot, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, Les Misérables, The History Boys, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bombay Dreams, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Wild Party, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Off-Broadway: Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (Public Theater). National tours: Billy Elliot, Carousel. International: Don’t Stop the Carnival. Love and thanks to my family.
Wendy Orshan and Jeffrey M. Wilson founded their company in 1994. Their associates are Elie Landau, Ron Gubin and Chris Morey. Current Broadway: Annie, Ann, Lucky Guy, I'll Eat You Last. Special projects: New Island Festival on Governor’s Island, A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House for PBS, and IBM's Centennial Gala.
Credits include: Venus In Fur, Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour (West End) starring Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss, Ellen Burstyn and Carol Kane, La Bete (West End, Broadway) starring Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley, The House of Blue Leaves starring Ben Stiller and Edie Falco, It Shoulda Been You starring Tyne Daly, The Pajama Game starring Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O'Hara (Tony Award®). With love to Ella, Nathaniel and Kathleen. A very special thank you to Manny Azenberg whose friendship and guidance made NICE WORK possible.
Tony Award® winning productions are: Amadeus, Nine, The Real Thing, Joe Egg, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, City of Angels, Guys & Dolls, Passion, A View From the Bridge, Copenhagen, Kiss Me, Kate, Proof, Doubt, The History Boys, War Horse, The Book of Mormon. Current productions: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT; One Man, Two Guvnors; Death of a Salesman; Clybourne Park. Touring In 2012: War Horse, South Pacific, The Book of Mormon.
Sonia Friedman Productions has initiated and produced more than 130 new productions over the past 15 years. Recent and current West End and Broadway productions include Jerusalem, The Mountaintop, Absent Friends, Hay Fever, Betrayal, Much Ado About Nothing, The Children's Hour, The Book of Mormon, Arcadia, La Cage Aux Folles, Clybourne Park, All My Sons, A View From the Bridge, Othello, A Little Night Music, The Norman Conquests, Boeing-Boeing, The Seagull, No Man's Land, Rock ’n’ Roll, Endgame and Faith Healer. Sonia founded SFP, a subsidiary of The Ambassador Theatre Group, in 2002.
Currently represented on Broadway by The Book of Mormon (Tony Award®), War Horse (Tony®), Seminar, Evita and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Other productions include West Side Story, The Addams Family, Ragtime, Gypsy, Spamalot (Tony®), The Color Purple, History Boys (Tony®), Fosse (Tony®). Co-founded investment firm Furman Selz, now Vice Chairman Jefferies & Company and chairman of Jefferies Capital Partners, its private equity arm. Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center and Chairman Emeritus Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Chris Bensinger, Richard Winkler, Jamie deRoy, Michael Filerman, Dennis Grimaldi, Remmel T. Dickinson, Bruce R. Harris/Jack W. Batman produced Tony®, Pulitzer, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Olivier nominated/award winning La Cage, Memphis, The Norman Conquests, War Horse, Porgy and Bess, Angels In America, Lend Me A Tenor, American Idiot, A Little Night Music, Thurgood, Driving Miss Daisy, The Scottsboro Boys and more.
Debuting as a Broadway producer in 2010, NY Times bestselling author and television producer Candy Spelling has produced award-winning Promises, Promises in 2010 and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 2011. She is a board member of LA INC., Los Angeles World Affairs Council, L.A. Parks Foundation and L.A.’s BEST.
Tenth Broadway production. His shows Proof, Topdog/Underdog, Take Me Out and Spring Awakening garnered three Tony Awards® and two Pulitzer Prizes. DeMann began his career in music, managing Michael Jackson and Madonna, with whom he cofounded Maverick Records. DeMann also produced HBO’s Emmy & Golden Globe winning The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Tony Awards®: August: Osage County, Glengarry Glen Ross. This season: The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess, Bonnie & Clyde, Chinglish. Other Broadway: The Homecoming, Jekyl & Hyde, Reasons To Be Pretty, You’re Welcome America, November, Speed the Plow, Blithe Spirit, Race, A Little Night Music, Come Fly Away. Love to Alex, Sammy and Nicole.
My father was a song and dance man in Vaudeville and my love of the Gershwin’s music and the era of the show came quite naturally. But regardless, if Kelli O’Hara was in it I wanted to be involved. Here’s to rumble seat romance, raccoon coats, stage door Johnny’s and platinum dolls.
Tony Awards®: Angels in America, Millennium Approaches (Pulitzer), Perestroika, Copenhagan, God of Carnage, The Book of Mormon. Nominations: Wicked, Peter Pan, Diary of Anne Frank, Hello Dolly!, You’re Welcome America, A View From The Bridge, The Mother F**cker With The Hat, Jerusalem. Current: Death of a Salesman, Book of Mormon, Venus in Fur, Wicked. Upcoming: Clybourne Park.
Jennifer Manocherian, Elaine Krauss, Jean Doumanian, Harriet Newman Leve. War Horse, Death of A Salesman, One Man Two Guvnors, Mountaintop, La Cage Aux Folles, A Little Night Music, Superior Donuts, 39 Steps, August: Osage County, The Crucible, Damn Yankees, Diary of Anne Frank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Jane Eyre, The Norman Conquests, Spring Awakening, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Stomp.
A prominent producer/director in Bangkok, Thailand. Takonkiet produces several kinds of entertainment: television, music, concerts, theatre. Owns and operates Muang Thai Rachadalai Theatre & produces original Thai musicals: Behind the Painting, Lady Chinatown, Four Reigns. Broadway: Promises, Promises, How to Succeed, On a Clear Day, Lysistrata Jones.