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Karen Akers, one of America's most arresting and successful concert and cabaret stars, has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. She has appeared in many prestigious venues worldwide from Carnegie Hall to three performances at the White House. Broadway: Original cast of the Tony Award-winning musical Grand Hotel, directed by Tommy Tune; Nine, also directed by Mr. Tune (Theatre World Award, Tony Award nomination). Film: The femme fatale in Mike Nichols's Heartburn opposite Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo. PBS Television Specials: Presenting Karen Akers, Karen Akers: On Stage at Wolf Trap, and musical tributes to Ira Gershwin and Duke Ellington.
Westport Country Playhouse: Into the Woods. New York: Brush Up Your Shakespeare (92Y), Stop the Virgens (St. Ann’s Warehouse). Regional: Dreamgirls (Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre); Into the Woods (Co-production Westport Country Playhouse/Baltimore Centerstage); Ain't Misbehavin' (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Dreamgirls (Co-production Fulton Opera House/Maine State Music Theatre); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Stage 773); Tarzan: The Broadway Musical; Hairspray, State Fair; Big River; All Shook Up (Wagon Wheel Theatre). Other: Goddess (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center/NMTC); Ragtime, Into the Woods, See Rock City and Other Destinations, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ella Minnow Pea (University of Michigan); AVPM, AVPS, AVPSY:AVP3D (UM Basement Arts/Starkid Productions).
Darius de Haas
Westport Country Playhouse: Twelfth Night. Recent: The Nine Fathers of Ariel (workshop w/Graciela Daniele and Michael John LaChiusa). Broadway: Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Carousel, Rent, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, Marie Christine, and the Actor's Fund concert stagings of Hair and Dreamgirls. Other: The premiere productions of Children of Eden (Paper Mill Playhouse), Running Man (Obie Award), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Playwrights Horizons), Saturn Returns (The Public Theater), Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel (Alliance Theatre). He is featured on numerous recordings including his CDs Darius de Haas Day Dream - Variations On Strayhorn and Quiet Please with pianist Steven Blier. Recent concert performances: Lincoln Center Songbook Series, Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music (Disney Concert Hall with The Los Angeles Master Chorale), numerous symphonies, music festivals, and clubs around the world. www.dariusdehaas.com
Broadway: Betrayal, The Nance, Hairspray, Twentieth Century, Henry IV, Into the Woods (2002), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Filmed Live for PBS). Off-Broadway: Irma la Douce, Do Re Mi (Encores!); Love's Fire (The Acting Company/RSC); The Mystery of Irma Vep. Regional credits include Yale Repertory Theatre, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival. TV: “Law & Order,” “Ugly Betty,” “Rescue Me,” and a recurring role as Eddie Cantor on HBO's “Boardwalk Empire.” MFA: Yale.
Broadway: Evita. NYC: Guys & Dolls (Carnegie Hall), I Am Harvey Milk (reading), Fanny (Encores!), Inconnu (reading, The Public Theater), For Lovers Only (New World Stages). Regional: The Light in the Piazza (TheatreWorks Palo Alto - SFBATCC Award; Pioneer Theatre Company), On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (New York Stage and Film), Les Misérables (Walnut Street Theatre, Sacramento Music Circus), The Three Musketeers (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, North Shore Music Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (North Shore Music Theatre), Brigadoon (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse). Concert work: Kristin Chenoweth In Concert (Jazz at Lincoln Center; Australia Tour; Hollywood Bowl; Saenger Theatre; Smith Center; Carnegie Hall), Yuletide Celebration (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra). Upcoming: The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Denver Theatre Center).
Broadway: Mamma Mia! National Tours: Mamma Mia! (Donna Sheridan), Swing! (Principal Vocalist). Off- Broadway/Regional: Swing!, City of Angels (Bobbi/Gabby, Goodspeed Opera House), 42nd Street (Dorothy Brock, Goodspeed and Riverside Theatre), Ragtime (Mother, Hangar Theatre), Dames at Sea (Mona Kent, Bay Street Theatre), Game Show (Ellen Ryan, Mason Street Warehouse), My Fair Lady (Eliza Doolittle, Santa Monica CLO), I Got Merman (Stamford PAC). Principal Vocalist for the World Premiere of Trip of Love in Osaka, Japan. Concerts: Our Sinatra (54 Below), Lyrics & Lyricists (92nd Street Y), Transcendence Theatre Company Gala, solo show on Princess Cruises, Grand Ole Opry.
Westport Country Playhouse: The Dining Room, World Premiere of Harbor (transferred to New York’s Primary Stages), Into the Woods, among others since 2008. New York credits: The Rivals, Big Bill, Seascape, Cymbeline, Measure for Measure (Lortel Award), all for Lincoln Center Theater; The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm; The Deep Blue Sea; Our Country's Good (Tony Award nomination). Off-Broadway: The End of the Day (Playwrights Horizons);Thief River (Signature Theatre Company); Love's Fire (Public Theater, Acting Company); As You Like It (Public Theater, Central Park); Indian Blood, Buffalo Gal, Black Tie (Primary Stages). Artistic director, Hartford Stage (1989 Tony Award for theater's body of work). Other theater: The Kennedy Center; Delaware Rep, Washington's Ford's Theatre; Canada's Stratford Festival; Guthrie Theater; A.C.T.; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Yale Repertory Theatre; D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; San Diego's Old Globe; Moscow's Pushkin Theatre (first American to direct in former Soviet Union); American Ballet Theatre. Opera: I Lombardi, Wozzeck (both televised for Great Performances); The Great Gatsby (world premiere) and Adriana Lecouvreur at the Metropolitan Opera; many productions for New York City Opera, including televised productions of Paul Bunyan, Tosca, Central Park, and Madama Butterfly (Emmy Award); Glimmerglass Opera; Gothenberg's Stora Teatern; L'Opéra de Montréal; Chicago Lyric; San Francisco Opera; Norway's Bergen National Opera; and opera companies of Santa Fe, St. Louis, Washington, Dallas, Seattle. Lamos began his career in the theater as an actor on and Off-Broadway and in regional theater. He made his film debut in Longtime Companion. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal for the Arts as well as honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Trinity College.
Co-conceiver, Music Director
Westport Country Playhouse: She Loves Me, Into the Woods. Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher (composer; Drama Desk Award, Tony nomination), Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance (composer, lyricist, performer). Off-Broadway: Chicago City Limits, Aunt Chooch’s Birthday. Regional: Caroline, or Change; A Little Night Music; The Boys from Syracuse (Center Stage Baltimore). International/Tours: Dame Edna: The Royal Tour; A Night with Dame Edna. Composer: The Primrose Path, The Great Gatsby (Guthrie Theater); The Three Musketeers; Twelfth Night (Seattle Repertory Theatre); HBO Family: A Little Curious; 2006 Commonwealth Games; 75th Royal Command Variety Performance. Concert: Raymond Scott Orchestrette; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Los Angeles Philharmonic; NY Pops; Chicago, Indianapolis, San Francisco, St. Louis, Pittsburgh symphonies; many others. Dramatists Guild member.
Deborah Grace Winer
Deborah Grace Winer is a playwright last seen at the Westport Country Playhouse with presented readings of her plays The Real Tabasco (starring Sandy Duncan and Karen Ziemba) and Big Important Issues. Her work has been produced Off-Broadway and developed at theaters such as Lincoln Center Theater, Primary Stages, Women’s Project Theater, Lark Theater, and The Actors Studio. She has worked extensively in musical theater, and is the artistic director of the 92Y’s venerable Lyrics & LyricistsTM American songbook concert series (for which the idea for Sing for Your Shakespeare was originally conceived). She has contributed to numerous publications including The New York Times, and is the author of four books. She’s a native of Westport.
Broadway: Lysistrata Jones (Director/Choreographer), Xanadu (Tony nomination), Spelling Bee, Sondheim on Sondheim, 110 in the Shade. Off-Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along (Encores), Vanities, Tail! Spin!. Other credits include Der Schuh Das Manitu (Berlin, Germany). Regional: Signature Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Dallas Theater Center, Pioneer Theatre, Goodspeed, Center Stage Baltimore, Paper Mill Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Illinois. Concert Choreography: BalletMet. TV/Film: “It’s a Wonderful Night” (Fatboy Slim); Palindromes and Dark Horse (Todd Solondz); 2011 TVLand Awards. www.danknechtges.com
Westport Country Playhouse: She Loves Me. Broadway: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012 Tony Award Best Musical Revival); The People in the Picture (Studio 54); Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change (also Royal National Theater London - 2007 Olivier and 2006 Evening Standard Awards, Best Musical); Topdog/Underdog (2002 Pulitzer Prize); Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Noise/Funk; The Tempest; Parade (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations); Bells Are Ringing. Recent: The Library (New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater), King Lear (Theatre for a New Audience), Il Postino (PBS Telecast). Designed over 250 productions at most leading regional theaters and opera across the US and internationally. Over 20 productions for Public Theater/Shakespeare Festival (Mother Courage, Stuff Happens, One Flea Spare, The America Play). International: London’s National Theater, Old Vic, Royal Court, Centre Dramatique Orleans France, Det Norske Teatret Oslo, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Yale School of Drama.
Westport Country Playhouse: Harbor; Into the Woods; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; She Loves Me; The Turn of the Screw. Broadway: Our Country’s Good, Fences, Hughie, Search and Destroy, Mastergate. Off-Broadway: Fires in the Mirror, The Skin of Our Teeth, Love’s Fire, others. Regional: The Wiz, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Matchmaker, A Little Night Music, The Three Sisters, The Murder of Isaac, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Misalliance, The Winter’s Tale, She Stoops to Conquer, many others. Baltimore’s Center Stage, ACT San Francisco, Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theater, Alley Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, American Repertory Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, others. Opera: Haroun and the Sea of Stories, La Finta Giardiniera, Central Park, The Flying Dutchman, The Tales of Hoffmann, Ermione, Casino Paradise, Black Water. Film/TV: Dolley Madison; Ben Franklin; Alexander Hamilton; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Liberty!; others. Education: MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Westport Country Playhouse: Into the Woods; Twelfth Night, or What You Will; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Breath of Life; Of Mice and Men; The Turn of the Screw; Sedition; Constant Star; Jam & Spice; On the Verge; The Immigrant. Broadway: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, starring Audra McDonald; FELA! (Tony nomination), David Copperfield’s Dreams and Nightmares. Multiple Off-Broadway productions as well as regional theater companies including A.C.T. San Francisco, Center Stage, Arena Stage, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum. Opera: The Paris Opera, Tokyo Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Chicago (Lyric Opera/Chicago Opera Theater). Dance work includes 27 years with choreographer Bill T. Jones (Bessie Awards). Future: Indian Ink (Roundabout Theatre Company), Rigoletto (Atlanta Opera).
Designs and consults on Broadway musicals, opera, movie premieres, and concert reinforcement. Recent credits include Sweeney Todd, Carousel, Sondheim's Birthday with the New York Philharmonic, A Tale of Two Cities, The Fantasticks, The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, Three Mo' Tenors, Movin' Out, Ring of Fire, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Rocky Horror Show. Through the years, he has designed and assisted on many productions at Westport Country Playhouse including She Loves Me, I Do! I Do!, Hot 'n’ Cole, Street of Dreams, and Love Letters. In his spare time, he is a lyric tenor with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus.
Westport Country Playhouse: Room Service, The Show-Off. Off-Broadway: Village Bike, Small Engine Repair, Reasons to Be Happy, Don't Go Gentle, Carrie, Wild Animals You Should Know, The Submission (MCC Theatre), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Red Bull Theater), The Chocolate Show, Craving For Travel, I Call My Brothers. Opera: La Perichole, Moses in Egypt, Turn of the Screw, Powder Her Face, Orpheus, Cosi Fan Tutti, A Quiet Place, Don Giovanni, Margaret Garner, Semele, Cappriccio, Daphne, Alcina, Il Trittico, Lilith, The Flying Dutchman, Rinaldo, Roberto Deveraux (New York City Opera); Armide, Hansel and Gretel, Monsieur Choufleuri (Juilliard Opera Center).
Resident Production Stage Manager
Westport Country Playhouse: A Song at Twilight; Room Service; Oblivion; Loot; The Show-Off; The Dining Room; A Raisin in the Sun; Harbor; Tartuffe; The Year of Magical Thinking; Into the Woods; Twelfth Night; Suddenly Last Summer; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Beyond Therapy; The Diary of Anne Frank; Happy Days; She Loves Me; That Championship Season; Tick, Tick...Boom!; Around the World in 80 Days; A Holiday Garland; The Pavilion. Broadway: The Light in the Piazza, Coram Boy, Hamlet, Curtains, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Wicked, The Lion King, All Shook Up, The Frogs. Off-Broadway: Black Tie, Buffalo Gal, Happy Now?, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment..., White Chocolate, Open Heart, The Architecture of Loss. Other New York: Show Boat In Concert (Carnegie Hall). Regional: A Song at Twilight (Hartford Stage), January Joiner (Long Wharf Theatre), Honk!(Two River Theater Company), Into the Woods (Center Stage). Sundance Theatre Labs 2013 & 2014.
Assistant Stage Manager
Westport Country Playhouse: The Show-Off; Into the Woods; Twelfth Night, or What You Will; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; She Loves Me. Off-Broadway: Luck of the Irish, Mr. Joy (Lincoln Center); An Octoroon, Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep); Harbor, Black Tie, Happy Now? (Primary Stages); Blessing the Boats: The Remix, Ameriville (The Public Theater); NEWSical the Musical (Village Theatre). Regional: Marie Antoinette (A. R. T./Yale Repertory Theatre); Death of a Salesman, Happy Now?, Boleros for the Disenchanted (Yale Repertory Theatre); Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Annie, Evita (Northern Stage); Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, Holiday (Elm Shakespeare). Amanda is also the Producing & Development Associate for Transport Group Theatre Company in NYC. TV: “The Academy Awards.” MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Patricia Blaufuss, Public Relations Manager 203-227-5137 x 197 or email@example.com
“...audience members can be heard, time after time, turning to their companions and whispering comments like “What a voice!”...energy builds and builds...soar into musical-theater heaven...[Lamos] guides his cast expertly through constant mood changes and adds splashes of humor in unexpected places.” – The New York Times
“Most of us know how influential the works of Shakespeare have been on the development of English language and literature. Until I saw Sing for Your Shakespeare…I hadn't given much thought to how much his works have influenced American music…it was spectacular, bursting with passion and pageantry while also being instructive, thought provoking, and funny…For 90 minutes, the robust six-member cast performs familiar tunes that span a broad emotional range…Selections cover decades of American music, including Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate (based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew), Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story (based on Romeo and Juliet), and Rodgers and Hart's The Boys from Syracuse (based on The Comedy of Errors)…also songs by Duke Ellington, Frank Loesser, and more, all of which were influenced by Shakespeare.” - HamletHub.com
“...bright, stylish... smart music, well-played and performed in a classy setting...” – Hartford Courant
“...unique and fascinating...running smoothly on all musical cylinders...delightfully different....You can feel the energetic pulse and vibrancy of this company as they perform...fluent, innovative, and versatile.” – TalkinBroadway.com
“..you have never seen Shakespeare performed quite like this, baby!”...definitely a hit...Bravo! – LuxuryExperience.com
“...Westport Country Playhouse has a hit, a palpable hit, on its hands...there are so many stellar moments that, as you leave the theater, you wish what you had just seen was a film that you could rent and immediately watch again ... and again...If you are a fan of musical theater, or are just looking for an engaging night out at the theater, then "Sing For Your Shakespeare" is for you. You won't be disappointed.” – Westport News
“...vibrant...terrific...Rejoice in this unique, festive frolic...” – Susan Granger Entertainment Commentaries
“...knocks your socks off... an irresistible invitation to rediscover Shakespeare as it was meant to be - for everyone...ready to go to Broadway and beyond...Cancel your vacation reservation...go see Sing For Your Shakespeare.” – BroadwayWorld.com
“In 90, packed-full minutes, where can you hear a selection of lesser-known songs influenced by Shakespeare’s works, see the highlights of several hit shows that are based on his plays, enjoy a great orchestra and top singers, and all in one, convenient place?” – On CT and NY Theatre
“...spectacular...” – Middletown Press
“...Six lively and talented performers and a seven-piece orchestra fill the hall with some gorgeous sound.” – Fairfield County Examiner.com
“...the most delightful and original show of the year...” – WMNR Fine Arts Radio
“..witty, enchanting, and superb... so good, one wishes it would go on longer...works like a charm in an almost magical sense...Be forewarned, this will be a sellout. ‘He who hesitates’ will surely apply here.” – Hersam-Acorn Newspapers
LGBT Night at Playhouse
Photo by Dave Matlow
June 5, 2014
Photo Flash: First Look at Sing for Your Shakespeare at Westport Country Playhouse
May 29, 2014
Deborah Grace Winer on Music and Shakespeare
by Sherry Shameer Cohen
May 27, 2014
Hearst CT Media Group
World Premiere Revue Measures the Scale of Shakespeare's Influence
by Christina Hennessy
May 27, 2014
All the World's Deborah Grace Winer's Stage
by Dan Woog
May 23, 2014
Interview with Deborah Grace Winer, Co-creator of Sing for Your Shakespeare
Hosts Richard Pheneger and Peggy Nelson
May 19, 2014
Sneak Preview of Sing for Your Shakespeare
Photos by Dave Matlow
May 14, 2014
Karen Akers Heads Cast of Sing for Your Shakespeare
by Frank Rizzo
June 10, 2014
Musical Revue, Sing for Your Shakespeare, Extends Run at Westport Country Playhouse
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