Featuring the Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein and a New Musical Adaptation of Simeon’s Gift
FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2008, AT 8:30 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2008, AT 8:30 PM
The July 18 Concert is Sponsored by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts
The July 19 Concert is a Lexus Passionate Performance
Legendary Julie Andrews hosts and narrates Julie Andrews: The Gift of Music in her Hollywood Bowl debut Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19, at 8:30 p.m. with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Ian Fraser. The night offers the gifts of music old and new – a selection of classic Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II compositions, several of which were performed, recorded and made popular by Andrews during her illustrious career. The second half of the evening consists of the musical adaptation of Simeon’s Gift, a best-selling children’s book authored by Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and exquisitely illustrated by Gennady Spirin. The show is performed by a cast of five extraordinary voices including Stephen R. Buntrock, Christiane Noll, Anne Runolfsson, Kevin Odekirk and Jubilant Sykes.
Andrews’ talent has enthralled audiences for many years through stage, screen, recordings and books, in part because of her partnership with composers Rodgers and Hammerstein. Andrews and the ensemble perform some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most recognized repertoire including “Getting to Know You” and “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” as well as beloved classics from The Sound of Music and Cinderella. The evening will include nostalgic clips, vintage montages and beautiful illustrations by Spirin.
In recent years Andrews has combined her passion of music with her advocacy of children’s literacy and this pursuit resulted in the creation of The Julie Andrews Collection with her daughter. Simeon’s Gift is one of the best-selling treasures in the collection, and this performance marks the West Coast debut of the adaptation consisting of Ian Fraser’s brilliant compositions and John Bucchino’s inspiring lyrics about a minstrel who finds his gift of life through music and kindness of others.
JULIE ANDREWS is one of the most recognized and beloved figures in the entertainment industry. Her legendary career encompasses the Broadway and London stages, blockbuster Hollywood films, award-winning television shows, multiple album releases and concert tours and the world of children’s publishing. A child star of the British vaudeville circuit, Ms. Andrews came to America at the age of 19 to star in The Boy Friend on Broadway. She subsequently received critical acclaim for her legendary stage performances in My Fair Lady, Camelot and Victor/Victoria. Her many memorable film performances include Mary Poppins (which won her an Oscar for her very first motion picture appearance), The Sound of Music (the highest grossing film of all time), Thoroughly Modern Millie, 10, Victor/Victoria and more recently The Princess Diaries and Shrek films. In 2001, she joined talents with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, to pursue the publishing of books committed to stimulating a sense of wonder in children and young readers. The Julie Andrews Collection was launched in October 2003 and has released over 24 books to date, including the “Dumpy The Dump Truck” franchise, “The Great American Musical,” “Thanks to You” and “Simeon’s Gift.” Home – A Memoir of My Early Years, Ms. Andrews’ autobiography, was released this past April to rave reviews and immediately climbed to #1 on The New York Times best-seller list.
IAN FRASER was born and educated in England. He came to New York in 1962 with Anthony Newley’s Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, for which he was Musical Director and Arranger of both the original London and Broadway productions. His musical association with Julie Andrews began in 1972 as vocal arranger for her Emmy winning ABC-TV weekly variety series. He became her musical director the following year, when they recorded the first of their two Christmas Albums. He returned to Broadway with Ms. Andrews after an absence of thirty years to conduct Victor/Victoria. Her book, Simeon’s Gift, for which he composed and performed music to Ms. Andrews’ narration for the accompanying CD, was a 2003 children’s best-seller. In 2006, he and lyricist John Bucchino composed the songs for the musical version of Simeon’s Gift. His 1995 and 1997 Broadway albums with Ms. Andrews on Philips Classics were both Grammy nominees. In 1977 he received his first Emmy Award for the Musical Direction of America Salutes Richard Rodgers. He received his twenty-eighth Emmy nomination in 2005, and was awarded his eleventh Emmy for the 52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala. He conducted the orchestra for the 1984 Oscar show, and the 1984, 1993, and 2002 Emmy shows. His film scores include Hopscotch, First Monday in October, and Zorro the Gay Blade. For the musical film Scrooge, starring Albert Finney, he received an Academy Award nomination. In 1992 he made his debut as a guest conductor with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
STEPHEN R. BUNTROCK has appeared on Broadway productions of Oklahoma! as Curly, Beauty and the Beast as Gaston, original cast of Jane Eyre as St. John, Titanic as Barrett, the Tenth Anniversary Cast of Les Misérables as Enjolras, The Phantom of the Opera covering the role of the Phantom and, most recently creating the role of Teen Angel for the latest revival of Grease! He has toured extensively across the country as Rueben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, originating the role of Arnaud du Thil in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Martin Guerre and, The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Buntrock has enjoyed many concert appearances as well, performing with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony, to name a few.
CHRISTIANE NOLL made her Broadway debut in Jekyll & Hyde followed by It Ain’t Nothin But The Blues. Other stage: Off-Broadway Frankenstein and City Center’s New Moon. National Tours: Urinetown, Grease!, Miss Saigon, and the Australian Gordon/Frost Production of South Pacific. Noll made her opera debut with the Washington National Opera opposite Placido Domingo. Her solo appearances include dates with Marvin Hamlisch - The Dallas Symphony & National Symphony, Don Pippin - Naples Philharmonic & Jerusalem Symphony, Peter Nero & the Philadelphia Pops, and her Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson & the New York Pops in his last pops concert. Noll has recorded 4 solo CD’s and was the singing-voice of ‘Anna’ in the Warner Bros. animated feature “The King and I.”
KEVIN ODEKIRK is thrilled to join Julie Andrews in this production of The Gift of Music. A native of Southern California, Kevin started in the film and television industry, with guest star roles in shows such as “Clueless” and “Unhappily Ever After”. Moving East, Kevin made his Broadway debut as Marius in the hit musical Les Misérables. From Was at Lincoln Center, to Sondheim 75th at the Hollywood Bowl, Kevin has been privileged to sing with Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Josh Groban and many more. Recently, Kevin originated the role of Robert in Kristina, a new musical by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA.
ANNE RUNOLFSSON recently completed a two year run on Broadway as the tempestuous diva Carlotta in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, the longest running show in Broadway history. Prior to that, she had the honor of standing by for Dame Julie Andrews in the musical, Victor/Victoria. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include: James Joyce’s The Dead, Les Misérables, Cyrano-The Musical, The Secret Garden, and Aspects of Love. She has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall (with tenor José Carreras), the Kennedy Center, Town Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the National Theater in Iceland, Rainbow and Stars, the Russian Tea Room, and with the National Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, the National Symphony of Canada, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Indianapolis, Toronto, Milwaukee, Utah, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, San Diego., Colorado, Minnesota, and St. Louis, among many others. This season she will make her debut with the Philly Pops. She was awarded the MAC award (Manhattan Association of Cabaret) for Best Female Vocalist, and was a Drama League Honoree for her work in Cyrano.
JUBILANT SYKES brings a new dimension to the traditional career of the classically trained baritone by drawing on gospel and jazz influences. The Atlanta Journal proclaimed “Jubilant Sykes’ voice is extraordinary. He isn’t merely an outstanding singer; his voice is art at its highest expression.” Mr. Sykes has won the attention and respect of the world’s finest conductors, symphonies and opera companies, including Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra and hundreds of other major venues around the world. In the 2008-2009 season he will sing various recitals and concert performances, including concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 40th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2008, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fourth year in a row at the 19th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers and Disneyland.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2008, AT 8:30 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2008, AT 8:30 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
JULIE ANDREWS: THE GIFT OF MUSIC
HOLLYWOOD BOWL ORCHESTRA
JULIE ANDREWS, special guest host and narrator
IAN FRASER, conductor
STEPHEN R. BUNTROCK, guest vocalist
CHRISTIANE NOLL, guest vocalist
KEVIN ODEKIRK, guest vocalist
ANNE RUNOLFSSON, guest vocalist
JUBILANT SYKES, guest vocalist
The July 18 concert is sponsored by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts
The July 19 concert is a Lexus – Passionate Performance
Tickets ($10 - $114) are on sale now at HollywoodBowl.com, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.
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Adam Crane, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.972.3422; Lisa White, email@example.com, 213.972.3408; Leah Price, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.972.3406; Photos: 213.972.3034