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Black Tie International:
Broadway Under the Stars
 

Jeremiah James, Cherie King, Jessica & Matt Bogart

Jeremiah James, Cherie King, Jessica & Matt Bogart
Photo by Edward Callaghan

 

The Development Wing Hosts “Broadway Under the Stars”
 

 

The Development Wing which has dedicated itself to nurturing new musicals via partnerships with regional not for profit theaters held an exclusive, intimate one-night-only benefit concert on Sunday July 24 featuring Broadway stars singing songs from three new musicals at the historic Tewksbury, New Jersey home of Cherie King. Composer, lyricist and book writer, Jonathan Brielle, Artistic Director of The Development Wing served as both master of ceremonies and performer as he authored the three musicals presented that evening.

 

The late afternoon fundraiser began with cocktails and delectable hors d’oeuvres from Patricia Lindridge-Ingber’s elegant Food Company Catering. Guests strolled around the bucolic grounds and toured the main house which was in the 1850s a schoolhouse. Brielle and King purchased the property in 2005 and converted the schoolhouse into a state of the art digital facility, with two control rooms, each complete with pro-tools and digital performer, and tied into the live room with a Baldwin Grand Piano, The studio can easily accommodate up to 15 players.

 

With cocktails in hand, the crowd eagerly proceeded to the open sided tent for the main event and a rare treat of selections from three new musicals. Fresh from his matinee performance Matt Bogart star of “Jersey Boys” and his wife Jessica Bogart of “Les Miserables”, “Rent” and “In My Life” fame opened the show and performed several smashing numbers from Brielle’s “Himself & Norah” based on the travels of James Joyce which recently had a successful run in Dublin and is gearing up for a New York presentation. Matt did the haunting “River Liffey”, and “Always” while Jessica performed “Kiss” The pair joined together for a lovely duet of “Stand Fast” Young Broadway and West End veteran Jeremiah James a member of the Sony Records recording group TEATRO took on material from Brielle’s musical adaptation of the film noir “Nightmare Alley” which recently was presented at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. With the back up of there divine divas – Sheila Coyle, Nikki Switzer and Tonya Thompson and one of the most awesome  bands, the powerful tenor almost blew away the tent with his rendition of Brielle’s “I Surrender”.   
 

Following an intermission during which guests schmoozed and replenished their cocktails, Brielle took over the stage and gave the audience a sneak preview of his latest creation, the semi-autobiographical “40 Naked women, a Monkey and Me” his newest original score and book which will be featured this summer at the Tony Award winning Eugene O’Neill Cabaret and Performance Conference in Connecticut with Conference Director Michael Bush directing. Brielle one of the few composers who can REALLY sing delivered a knockout performance with the help of the extraordinary ensemble he assembled who have worked for everyone form Paul Simon to Tony Bennett to Jay z including vocalist Vivian Sessoms; trombonist Michael Davis; trumpeter, Jim Hynes; bassist Conrad Korsch; keyboard master Ken Levinsky, reed player Charles Pillow, guitarist Larry Saltzman; drummer Terry Silverlight and saxophonist Andy Snitzer.  

 

The audience, a mix of theatrical producers and the couples’ neighbors in the tony enclave, greeted each number with cheers and thundering applause. Michael Bush, with partner Michael Aman,  just returned from Albany where he directed Leslie Uggams in Uptown Downtown at the Capitol rep, could be seen grinning with pleasure.

 

Among the appreciative crowd were producers Barbara Ligeti, Pat Addiss, Bill Suter and Jono Gero; actress Christine De Lisle; Silvana Sertus, Vin & Bobbi Godleski, Carol Miller, Xlaoyi & Kenneth Hari and scores more.

 
 


 

Joyce Brooks

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