Stories & Cast Interviews
Feelin' a wee bit Irish?
Celebrate with The Glorious Irish Tenor, Ronan Tynan!
Ronan Tynan, introduced to international audiences as a member of the Irish Tenors, became known for his unique voice and irresistible appeal. His legs were amputated in his twenties due to a childhood disability, but he went on to become a medical doctor, international recording star and motivational speaker. Tynan rose to great fame in New York after 9/11 performing at many benefits and memorials for fallen members of the NYPD and FDNY. His performance at the Yankee games in those dark months cemented his legend. His album, Ronan, with the heartfelt song "Passing Through" honoring his mother who suffers from Alzheimer's, was the 8th best-selling classical album of 2005. ONE NIGHT ONLY Monday, March 15th!
Don't miss the Oscars on Sunday! Our good friend, Maury Yeston, the composer/lyricist for NINE, was nominated for Best Original Song! His haunting song, "Take It All", is sung by Luisa (Marion Cotillard), Guido Contini's wife in the film. It replaces the song "Be On Your Own" which Luisa sings in the stage version. Both are equally impressive! NINE, the movie, was also nominated for ART DIRECTION (John Myhre), SET DECORATION (Gordon Sim), COSTUME DESIGN (Colleen Atwood) and BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (Penelope Cruz).
Let's Cheer MAURY on & then come to see NINE, the STAGE MUSICAL ....as it was ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED..in full splendor at WBT! Starring Robert Cuccioli & Glory Crampton. CHE MERAVIGLIA!
Maury Yeston with Marion Cotillard
Maury Sheds Light!
Maury Yeston, in a recent interview in the Scarsdale Inquirer, explains a few things and sheds light on the Themes in NINE!
“The last thing I expected was for it to become a film musical,” Yeston said. There was a long period of time between the film musicals of the ’60s and Rob Marshall’s “Chicago.” “Nine” was his second splashy film musical. “I could not have predicted it and am thrilled by it,” Yeston said.
“As a kid I fell in love with the movie ‘8 ½.’ When I was young I was inspired to write a work of fiction based on it. It’s an homage to the film that so inspired me. I couldn’t have predicted its fantastic debut on Broadway. The film [“Nine”] was a wonderful experience. The theater and the film are so different. What I said to Rob was, ‘the show will always be the show, but film is a director’s art. You need the freedom to make it cinematic. I’m sure things will change. I trust you. I will change anything you want.’ Marshall wanted to add new songs. He had perfectly rational reasons for it. A song that Sophia Loren’s character sings is for a soprano. It would be irresponsible of me to take music written for flute and give it to a bassoon. I created a new song for her, to play to her strengths.”
Yeston wrote three new songs for the film. “What I love most about composing is to create new things, inspired by the performance gifts of people I’m working with. The payoff is to see Marion Cotillard nominated for an Oscar. The job of the writer is not to be an old fogey, but to be alive.”
Yeston is in no way a fogey, taking creative risks, like finding the optimistic side of a shipping disaster in the 1997 musical “Titanic.”
“It wasn’t hard to get back into the music of ‘Nine,’” Yeston said. “I obsessively loved this piece so it’s given me an endless amount of inspiration to write on the theme of a man who lives like so many Italian princes, Jewish princes, it doesn’t matter what ethnic group you’re from, surrounded by the unconditional love of mothers, aunts, emotionally stunted to think women are still going to treat him like that for the rest of his life. Guido is like that, a serial monogamist. He wants everything. He believes he’s in love with the woman he’s with. He needs to grow up. The issues he has are universal. I found room to express myself in fleshing out the emotional reactions of women who are victimized by him.”
“I’m learning how different theater is from film. I spent my life in the theater,” Yeston said. “Each medium has its own magic. You see the dream on the screen. In the theater, it’s a magic box. The imagination of the audience harpooned. We provide our own details of reality. That’s why live theater is so exciting.
“The film can be film, the show can be a show. It’s a separate entity.”
“WBT raises the bar so high for regional theater,” Yeston said. “That’s the great secret of regional theater. American theater isn’t Broadway. Now, a high percentage of Broadway shows are very safe, revivals. Regional theaters are cutting edge. WBT combines both worlds. They have the innovation of a true regional theater and they can draw top flight talent from New York City. It has given them a wonderful edge.”
The legendary JACK JONES!!
Jack Jones will appear on the WBT STAGE on March 1, 2010!
Jack Jones is an important musical force known for his unparalleled voice and a career that spans jazz, popular songs and show tunes. Jones is considered one of the best exponents of the great American songbook.
WBT is thrilled to have Jack and his ensemble; Mike Renzi on Piano, Chris Colangelo on Bass, and Kendall Kay on Drums, for this exciting one night only concert!
Inspired after seeing Frank Sinatra perform at his high school, Jack Jones decided to pursue a music career. His first demo, on which he sang “This Could Be the Start of Something Big” captured the attention of a club owner who booked Jones for a three week run. The performances
gave Jones valuable exposure, and he was signed to a music label.
His rise to the top has included consistently sold-out shows and more than 50 albums - 17 of them charting Billboard’s Top 20 - including “The Race Is On”, “Lady”, “Call Me Irresponsible”, and “What I did for Love”. The legendary crooner won two Grammys for “Best Male Vocal Performance,” and he was nominated for the songs “The Impossible Dream”, “Wives and Lovers”, “Lollipops and Roses” and the album “Jack Jones Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett”, in which Jones pays homage to his longtime friend and American icon. The New York Times proclaimed: “Note for note phase by phrase, he is arguably the most technically accomplished male pop singer of a vanishing ilk.”
In addition to a successful recording career, Jones has performed to wide applause in musical theater, appearing in Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, She Loves Me, and The Pajama Game. He also received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Don Quixote in the national tour of Man of La Mancha. He was a staple on television variety shows in the 60s and 70s including: Toast Of The Town (also known as The Ed Sullivan Show), The Andy Williams Show, The Smothers Brother Comedy Hour, Bandstand, and The Steve Allen Show. Many Americans recognize Jones’ voice on the theme song for the popular television series The Love Boat, on which he also guest-starred. In the early summer of 2008 the world’s most recognized hotel brand, Holiday Inn
Hotels and Resorts, launched their “M.B.A.” (Master is Business Accommodations)
marketing campaign bringing the timeless voice of Jack Jones singing a new recording of The Love Boat Theme. Jones also recently shared his voice with a whole new generation when he sang “Boat of Romance” as part of an episode on the emmy nominated Disney Channel animated musical television series Phineas and Ferb.