On Wednesday, April 29, at the historic Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Hotel, Tony Award-winner Roger Rees will host Sing Happy!, The Collegiate Chorale’s spring benefit celebrating “The Great White Way”. The evening features special musical guest and Tony Award-winning actress Victoria Clark, who recently starred in the The Chorale’s highly praised concert revival of Kurt Weill & Ira Gershwin’s Firebrand of Florence on March 12.
Sing Happy! celebrates The Collegiate Chorale’s critically acclaimed 2008-2009 season and will hint at great things to come in 2009-2010. The festivities will begin at 7:00 p.m. with cocktails and a light buffet supper, followed by a champagne toast and exclusive performance featuring Mr. Rees and Ms. Clark, who will lighten hearts and lift spirits with only the happiest of songs and soliloquies from Broadway and The American Songbook. The program will be capped by a live auction of items generously donated by The Chorale’s many friends from the stage, screen, and literary worlds. Guests will be invited to a coffee and dessert reception after the performance.
The Benefit for The Collegiate Chorale supports its New York Season and education programs for New York City schools.
Victoria Clark made her Broadway debut in 1985 in Sunday in the Park With George, and received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her portrayal of Margaret Johnson in the critically-acclaimed Craig Lucas-Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center. She created the role of Alice Beane in Titanic, appeared as Smitty in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullally, and starred in Jerry Zaks’ Tony Award-winning revival of Guys and Dolls with Faith Prince and Nathan Lane. Other Broadway credits include: Urinetown, Sam Mendes’ revival of Cabaret, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein revue A Grand Night for Singing. Film credits include Cradle Will Rock directed by Tim Robbins, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, and her voice can be heard in many animated feature
films including Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Anastasia, and Beauty and the Beast. In addition to being a much sought-after vocalist and actress, she has also enjoyed an illustrious career as a director, receiving numerous honors and fellowships for her work.
Roger Rees gained international attention for his portrayal of the title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s London, Broadway, and TV productions of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, which earned him Tony and Olivier awards, and an Emmy nomination. In London’s West End, Rees has starred in many RSC productions, and created the lead roles in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing and Hapgood and in his own thriller, Double-Double. Rees also has many memorable New York theater credits, and recently toured America in his one-man show about Shakespeare, What You Will.
Rees has appeared in more than 50 films including The Prestige, The Invasion, Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Julie Taymor’s Frida. On television, Mr. Rees has had recurring roles on Cheers, The West Wing,and Grey’s Anatomy, and starred in a number of TV movies.
Roger Rees was Artistic Director for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre in the UK, and last year he completed a third year as Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Other directing highlights include Mud, River, Stone (Playwrights Horizons); The Merry Wives of Windsor; Love’s Labours Lost (Old Globe Theatre, San Diego); Arms and the Man (Roundabout Theatre Company); Here Lies Jenny (Zipper Theater); and Teemonisha, Juniper Tree, White House Cantata, American Operetta, An Evening of Kurt Weill (Collegiate Chorale).
The Collegiate Chorale, among New York’s foremost vocal ensembles, has added to the richness of the City’s cultural fabric for more than 65 years. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale achieved national and international prominence under the leadership of late Music Director Robert Bass. The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as commissions and premieres of new works by today’s most exciting creative artists. In the summer of 2007, The Chorale performed for the third consecutive season at Switzerland’s Verbier Music Festival, where Mr. Bass conducted the ensemble in Orff’s Carmina Burana. In July 2008, The Chorale toured with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. This summer, The Collegiate Chorale returns to the Verbier Festival for performances of Faure’s Requiem and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Tickets: Ticket prices for the benefit range from $300 to $1,000. All tickets are tax deductible. To purchase, please contact Patrick Goss at The Collegiate Chorale (646) 435-9052.