An Evening & Conversation with Mark Russell

Piano-playing political satirist Mark Russell comes to The Lyric with material ripped from today’s headlines. Known for skewering Democrats and Republicans alike, Russell’s unique brand of comedy earned him the Mark Twain Award for political comedy and has made him a popular favorite on PBS. Long before Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, there was Mark Russell, daring to joke and sing of the often absurd political process. The unquestioned master of musical-political satire, Mark Russell plumbs the absurdities of today’s political headlines to deliver his hilarious, star-spangled brand of comedy.
 
Where does noted political satirist Mark Russell get his material?  The daily newspaper. Some days, he says, the jokes jump off the pages and write themselves.  His answer to the frequently asked question, “Do you have many writers?” is “Oh yes. I have 535 writers; one hundred in the Senate and 435 in the House of Representatives.” — Oh, and don’t forget the president!  Russell takes to the piano and skewers official pomposity and spotlights the utterly outrageous, wielding his wit as deftly as a surgeon wields a scalpel. In presentations reflective of (literally) that day’s headlines freshly crafted for each event, he turns the Washington, DC scene into a musical comedy tour-de-force that leaves audiences rolling in the aisles.
 
Before The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, Mark Russell was entertaining audiences across the country with his witty commentary on the day’s biggest headlines. A veteran of comedy and a multi-talented musician and performer, Mark Russell excels in the spotlight, performing show after hilarious show featuring all new content and jokes, promising that no two shows are ever the same.  What began as a simple musical comedy skit in a piano bar on Capitol Hill became a highly successful career as a celebrated comedian and touring performer. Mark Russell’s shows feature witty satire on today’s current events set to Mark’s own accompaniment on the piano. A class clown from fourth grade onwards, Mark Russell has refined his comedy since elementary school, highlighting the plethora of political absurdities we encounter on a daily basis. Inspired by his self-proclaimed heroes of entertainment, from Fred Allen to Jack Benny, Mark Russell is the predecessor to the widely popular comedy news shows on Comedy Central today.
 

Rick Braun “A Walk Down Broadway”

This April, the All-American jazz trumpeter Rick Braun presents “A Walk Down Broadway,” an intimate tour through the decades of musical theater excellence. More than just a simple concert, Rick Braun takes the time to share heartwarming and unheard tales from the lives of some of Broadway’s most legendary composers and lyricists. Enjoy a backstage pass to the history of music, as Rick Braun performs classics, such as “Time After Time” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”
 
Inspired by jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, and Dizzie Gillespie, Rick Braun was drawn to the history and power of the trumpet since an early age. Braun attended the Eastman School of Music and built his musical experience performing as a session musician. His 1993 debut album, Intimate Secrets, was a great success, launching the career of the promising contemporary jazz artist. Since then, Rick Braun has consistently topped the charts, not only as a trumpeter but also as a vocalist. Citing the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett as vocal inspirations, Braun still attempts to forge his own unique style. The multi-talented performer is celebrated for his minimalist style of singing, taking great care to craft his melodies and lyrics with precision, adapting a “less is more” attitude.
 
Over his career, Rick Braun has performed as a backup vocalist for major artists from Rod Stewart to Sade. His latest album, Rick Braun Sings with Strings is a daring work filled with a variety of genres, influences, and styles. In his memorable “A Walk Down Broadway” performance, Rick brings his musical experience and knowledge to the stage in a unique kind of show that features inspired musical theater interpretations and enlightening tales of Broadway.

An Evening & Conversation with Mark Russell

Piano-playing political satirist Mark Russell comes to The Lyric with material ripped from today’s headlines. Known for skewering Democrats and Republicans alike, Russell’s unique brand of comedy earned him the Mark Twain Award for political comedy and has made him a popular favorite on PBS. Long before Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, there was Mark Russell, daring to joke and sing of the often absurd political process. The unquestioned master of musical-political satire, Mark Russell plumbs the absurdities of today’s political headlines to deliver his hilarious, star-spangled brand of comedy.   Where does noted political satirist Mark Russell get his material?  The daily newspaper. Some days, he says, the jokes jump off the pages and write themselves.  His answer to the frequently asked question, “Do you have many writers?” is “Oh yes. I have 535 writers; one hundred in the Senate and 435 in the House of Representatives.” — Oh, and don’t forget the president!  Russell takes to the piano and skewers official pomposity and spotlights the utterly outrageous, wielding his wit as deftly as a surgeon wields a scalpel. In presentations reflective of (literally) that day’s headlines freshly crafted for each event, he turns the Washington, DC scene into a musical comedy tour-de-force that leaves audiences rolling in the aisles.   Before The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, Mark Russell was entertaining audiences across the country with his witty commentary on the day’s biggest headlines. A veteran of comedy and a multi-talented musician and performer, Mark Russell excels in the spotlight, performing show after hilarious show featuring all new content and jokes, promising that no two shows are ever the same.  What began as a simple musical comedy skit in a piano bar on Capitol Hill became a highly successful career as a celebrated comedian and touring performer. Mark Russell’s shows feature witty satire on today’s current events set to Mark’s own accompaniment on the piano. A class clown from fourth grade onwards, Mark Russell has refined his comedy since elementary school, highlighting the plethora of political absurdities we encounter on a daily basis. Inspired by his self-proclaimed heroes of entertainment, from Fred Allen to Jack Benny, Mark Russell is the predecessor to the widely popular comedy news shows on Comedy Central today.  

Cutie & The Boxer ~ Art Cinema

Documentary
English, Japanese/R/82 min
 

86th Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature
For years, Ushio Shinohara has been one of the leading, and most underappreciated, alternative artists in Japan and New York City with an wildly esoteric style. For many of those years, his wife, Noriko, has been a faithful companion to this idiosyncratic man, but grew wanting to be more. This film covers the relationship of this special couple as Ushio struggles for commercial success on his own terms. Meanwhile, we also follow Noriko pursuing her own artistic vision with her semi-autobiographical line art project that reveals much about her own soul as eloquently as her husband’s work.
 
“They express love and vivaciousness, at once seeming like any couple walking down the street and yet unlike anyone you’re lucky enough to spend time with.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

“A movie that makes you feel less like a spectator than a guest, a friend welcomed into the home of an odd and fascinating couple.” A.O. Scott, New York Times

​Blue Jasmine ~ Art Cinema

Comedy
English/PG-13 /98 min.

86th Academy Awards
Best Actress WINNER: Cate Blanchett

Nominee for: 
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins;
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen

 

 

Jasmine French used to be on the top of the heap as a New York socialite, but now is returning to her estranged sister in San Francisco utterly ruined. As Jasmine struggles with her haunting memories of a privileged past bearing dark realities she ignored, she tries to recover in her present. Unfortunately, it all proves a losing battle as Jasmine’s narcissistic hangups and their consequences begin to overwhelm her. In doing so, her old pretensions and new deceits begin to foul up everyone’s lives, especially her own. Directed by Woody Allen.  Cast: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin,  Peter Sarsgaard and Sally Hawkins 
 
“In all, this is the strongest, most resonant movie Woody Allen has made in years.”- David Denby, New Yorker

“A meaty, fully realized drama that cleverly functions as both an update of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and a satire on One Percent excess.” – Justin Chang, Variety

Guys & Dolls ~ In Concert!

Starring Lyric ALL-STARS: 
 Nestor Torres, Sarge, Lorrianna Colozzo & Karin Leone; 
Narrated by
Knight Kiplinger, 
Featuring 
Greg Rice, 
The Salvation Army of Martin County 
& The Craig Turley Orchestra! 

 
You don’t need to be a gambler to roll the dice on The Lyric’s All-Star production of Guys & Dolls in Concert this April!  The deck is stacked in your favor when Lyric headliners bring to life an irrepressible cast of characters in a dazzling concert version of the beloved American musical classic.  

Combine the pizzazz of Damon Runyon’s now-legendary characters with a dazzling score by Frank Loesser, a brilliant book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, and appearances by all of your Lyric favorites and the result is Guys and Dolls in Concert at The Lyric.  The smash hit numbers keep coming in this lively and uplifting concert production of the luminous musical comedy, telling the story of a group of small-time gamblers and the ladies in their lives.  The score includes favorites such as a “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Luck Be A Lady,” “Take Back Your Mink,” “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” and “If I Were A Bell.”

This one of a kind production boasts the talents of Lyric headliners such as Grammy winner, Nestor Torres as Sky Masterson, comedian Sarge as Nathan Detroit, opera darling Lorrianna Colozzo as Sarah Brown, music theatre veteran Karin Leone as Adelaide; featuring T.V. personality Greg Rice and narrated by the incomparable, Knight Kiplinger.  There’s even a special appearance by the Martin County’s own Salvation Army. Bringing the Frank Loesser’s dazzling score to life is the world renowned, Craig Turley Orchestra!

Frank Loesser’s beloved Broadway musical Guys and Dolls has remained a perennial favorite in the American musical theater canon.  The musical is an adaptation of short stories by Damon Runyon set in the colorful world of New York City in the mid 20th century. The romantic and funny story is populated with gangsters and gamblers, missionary dolls and showgirls, and one of the great musical scores in the history of American theatre.  

If you are looking for a winner, this is one safe bet! 
Sure to be the hottest ticket in town!   
More on the Cast…
Grammy winner Nestor Torres stars in the role of suave gambling giant Sky Masterson.  Torres, internationally renowned as a Latin jazz flute sensation, will impress Lyric audiences with his acting & singing chops.  Nestor’s gift for spoken word, musicality and his undeniable charisma result in a seamless transition into musical theater.  Devout Nestor Torres fans will be thrilled to know that his famous flute skills will be showcased as well, cleverly integrated into the story and award winning score.  Mr. Torres has been nominated for several Latin Grammy Awards, Torres won it in 2001 for his CD This Side of Paradise. Torres’s most recent Grammy®-nominated CD, Nouveau Latino, heralds the flautist’s exuberant return to his Salsa and Latin Jazz roots. In addition to his achievements in the studio and on the stage, Torres has received numerous awards and commendations, including two honorary doctorates for his commitment to youth, education, and cultural exchanges.

Effervescent opera darling, Lorrianna Colozzo, plays Sky’s love interest Sarah Brown, a Sergeant in the Save-A-Soul Mission. Lorrianna, no stranger to Lyric audiences, has made a name for herself as an opera diva with her sublime soaring soprano voice.  However, her musical theater credits are plentiful, having first burst onto the New York scene performing roles including the leading ladies in Anything Goes, Grease, Pajama Game and Chess. Lorrianna began studying singing at the age of twelve under the direction of Helen Boatwright and Dan Marek of The Mannes School of Music.  She is a graduate of The Peabody Conservatory of Music where she studied with Phyllis Bryn- Julson and Stanley Cornett.  In 2000 she continued her studies with Maestro Anton Guadagno of The Palm Beach Opera. She has been featured in numerous operatic and musical theatre roles nationwide including Fiordiligi Cosi fan Tutte, The Cunning Little Vixen, and Nanetta in Falstaff. Lorrianna has been an award winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Comedian, pianist, singer and force of nature, Sarge plays career gambler and kind-hearted shyster, Nathan Detroit. Sarge is an entertainer who has performed worldwide to adoring audiences. His sidesplitting comedy, booming vocals and stunning display of dexterity as a pianist have wowed crowds for decades.  Sarge in the role as Nathan is inspired casting, playing to all of his strengths.  This colorful character role is traditionally played by high energy comedians, the likes of Sam Levine, Bob Hoskins and Nathan Lane; Sarge’s gregarious nature and raucous comedic antics make him an ideal successor.  Of course, audiences will be delighted to see Sarge take to the keys in numbers like “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” and “Adelaide”.   Sarge has opened for some of the biggest names in music – Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Paul Anka, The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Taylor Dayne, Donna Summer and Wayne Newton, just to name a few. From Radio City Music Hall to Major League Baseball’s All-Star game to entertaining our nation’s troops in Iraq, Sarge leaves ‘em clamoring for more.

As Miss Adelaide, the nightclub chanteuse and Nathan’s long-suffering fiancée of 14 long years is music theatre veteran, Karin Leone. Karin was most recently seen on The Lyric stage in last season’s rock musical Next to Normal.  A Stuart native, Ms. Leone returned to her hometown, after 8 years of performing nationally in venues in New York, Chicago & Los Angeles and the Kennedy Center.  Leone has been described as having “the panache of the quintessential brassy, Broadway belter”, by famed Theatermania critic, Peter Filichia.  She has been twice nominated by the Star Ledger, for Best Actress in a Musical, for her performance as Rita LaPorta in Lucky Stiff and again for the Vagina Monologues.  In Los Angeles, Karin was nominated for Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Actress in a Musical in The Kid from Brooklyn.  Karin Leone attended Shenandoah Conservatory and now works for The Lyric Theatre.  

As our host for the evening, we welcome the incomparable Knight Kiplinger, who will read the narrator, as well as playing Arvide Abernathy, Sarah’s wise grandfather, who encourages her to find her true love in “More I Cannot Wish You.”  Mr. Kiplinger is best known as editor in chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Kiplinger.com and the Kiplinger Letter, America’s leading business-forecasting publication.  Knight has covered business, economic and political trends for nearly three decades, as a newspaper reporter, Washington bureau chief and editor. He is the author of several books, most recently World Boom Ahead, and is a frequent guest on major television and radio programs. What you may not know is that he is also a baritone in The Washington Chorus, an acclaimed symphonic ensemble. He has performed under the batons of such renowned conductors as Mstislav Rostropovich, Seiji Ozawa, and Marin Alsop, at venues ranging from the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall to the great cathedrals of Europe, as well as singing on the Grammy winning “Best Classical Recording” of 2000.

Television personality, Greg Rice joins the cast as Big Jule, a big time craps player from Chicago who uses a gun and doesn’t like to lose! Greg and his twin brother John rose to fame with an appearance on The Merv Griffin Show and secured their place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s “Shortest Living Twins”.  The Rice brothers are household names in Palm Beach County, where they prospered in real estate, ran a motivational company and attained celebrity as the improbable television pitchmen for a local pest control company. Greg Rice became Hulett’s marketing director, while John wrote the commercials. Both starred in the ads, which featured them as wacky send-ups of various household insects.  The Rice brothers also appeared on ”Real People,” the ”Maury Povich Show,” ”That Quiz Show,” and in 13 episodes of ”Foul Play,” a sitcom that featured them as landlords.

Onstage with our spectacular cast is The Craig Turley Orchestra, conducted by Music Director, Emily Croome. For more than two decades, The Craig Turley Orchestra has accompanied prominent artists and entertainers including Bernadette Peters, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis and Mannheim Steamroller.  Mr. Turley and a 14 piece orchestra will share the stage with the actors, bringing out every cheeky nuance of Frank Loesser’s irreplaceable score.  Hit songs include: “Luck be a Lady”, “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat”, “If I Were a Bell”, “Take Back Your Mink” and many more.

Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows’ enduring book, based on a super-vivid story and characters of Damon Runyon, will be abridged in this concert version of the musical, with the focus being on the music. Guys and Dolls in Concert is directed by Jared Walker and choreographed by Elizabeth Casalini.

 

Rick Braun “A Walk Down Broadway”

This April, the All-American jazz trumpeter Rick Braun presents “A Walk Down Broadway,” an intimate tour through the decades of musical theater excellence. More than just a simple concert, Rick Braun takes the time to share heartwarming and unheard tales from the lives of some of Broadway’s most legendary composers and lyricists. Enjoy a backstage pass to the history of music, as Rick Braun performs classics, such as “Time After Time” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”
 
Inspired by jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, and Dizzie Gillespie, Rick Braun was drawn to the history and power of the trumpet since an early age. Braun attended the Eastman School of Music and built his musical experience performing as a session musician. His 1993 debut album, Intimate Secrets, was a great success, launching the career of the promising contemporary jazz artist. Since then, Rick Braun has consistently topped the charts, not only as a trumpeter but also as a vocalist. Citing the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett as vocal inspirations, Braun still attempts to forge his own unique style. The multi-talented performer is celebrated for his minimalist style of singing, taking great care to craft his melodies and lyrics with precision, adapting a “less is more” attitude.
 
Over his career, Rick Braun has performed as a backup vocalist for major artists from Rod Stewart to Sade. His latest album, Rick Braun Sings with Strings is a daring work filled with a variety of genres, influences, and styles. In his memorable “A Walk Down Broadway” performance, Rick brings his musical experience and knowledge to the stage in a unique kind of show that features inspired musical theater interpretations and enlightening tales of Broadway.