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A Gala Musical Tribute Honoring William Ivey Long

Feb 24 , 2018 KNIGHT THEATER at Levine Center for the Arts

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    Prices begin at $25.00
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Three Award-Winning Broadway stars, a R&B legend and more will perform in this lavish and original musical tribute to the Carolinas’ own William Ivey Long, Tony Award winning costumer designer and a Broadway icon. This star studded evening will feature performances of some of the signature tunes from the musicals and film/TV productions designed by William Ivey Long, as well as video tributes from some of Broadway’s biggest stars and icons. Tickets begin at $25 for this one of a kind celebration.

Headliners for this gala evening, part of Blumenthal’s 25th Anniversary events, include:

CHRISTINE EBERSOLE, star of stage and screen and a multiple Tony Award winner, most recently nominated for her performance in War Paint.  Other New York stage performances include 42nd Street, Steel Magnolias, The Best Man, and Dinner at Eight for which she received both Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations. She also received virtually every Off-Broadway award and her second Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her dual role in Grey Gardens. Her movie credits include Amadeus, Tootsie, and Richie Rich. She also has an extensive list of television credits, including Madame Secretary, Royal Paints, Valerie, and the title role in Rachel Gunn, R.N. and appears regularly in concert, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, and Boston Symphony Hall.

ANDY KARL, star of Broadway’s Groundhog Day, a role he originated in London having won the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Karl's wide variety of stage roles include, Kyle the UPS Guy in Legally Blonde The Musical, Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, Rocky Balboa in Rocky The Musical (Tony nomination), Bruce Granit in On The Twentieth Century (Tony nomination), and Phil Connors in Groundhog Day (Olivier Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Tony and Drama Desk nominations). On television, Karl is perhaps most well-known for his role as Sgt. Mike Dodds in Season 17 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

LAURA OSNES, who performed the title role in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway, in costumes designed by Long, for which she received a Drama Desk Award and her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She began her Broadway journey in Grease, after winning the role of Sandy in NBC's reality competition, Grease: You’re the One That I Want!.  She went on to star in South Pacific, Anything Goes (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Astaire Award nominations), and Bonnie & Clyde (Tony Award nomination). She has also released two solo albums— Dream A Little Dream: Life at the Café Carlyle and If I Tell You: The Songs of Maury Yeston. 

BEBE WINANS, Grammy Award winner and R&B star featured in the original production of The Color Purple on Broadway.  BeBe’s career was launched in Charlotte, where he and his sister CeCe were discovered on Jim Baker’s The PTL Club broadcasts.  He is currently working along with Gala Director Charles Randolph-Wright on a new musical based on their Winans’ experiences at the PTL.

NITA WHITAKER, a favorite singer of legendary producer David Foster, Nita has sung with some of the most famous voices of our time. She sang the original demos for Whitney Houston’s standards, “I Will Always Love You”, “I Have Nothing” and “I Look to You” working with producers as David Foster, Walter Nelson, and Babyface.  Having toured with Andrea’ Bocelli as a guest duet artist, as well a featured vocalist on tour with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Nita has performed for tens of thousands as well hundreds in her own intimate one woman shows, charity galas, private and corporate events. A former Miss Louisiana and Grand Champion Hall of Fame Star Search Winner, Nita’s superb vocals blends pop, classical, gospel, and jazz into her own unique sound. She has performed on stage including four world premiere’s musicals: Ragtime, Ten Commandments the Musical, Breaking Through, and most recently as Mom Winans in Born For This at the Broad Stage, Arena Stage, and the Alliance Theaters. Nita has recorded 4 independent records, appeared in several movies, television shows, multiple studio recordings, and was a finalist on NBC’s The Winner is. She penned an award-winning memoir entitled: Finding My Voice, started a 501c3 non-profit www.inaworldwithbooks.org, that has given nearly 6000 underserved children new books. She is the mother of two beautiful emerging artistic daughters, Skye and Liisi LaFontaine. 

The Gala Musical Tribute will also feature performances by local students who participate in the Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards (also known as the Blumeys), including 2017 Blumey Awards Best Actress and Jimmy Awards Best Dancer winner Anna Hertel. Charles Randolph-Wright, who directed Motown the Musical on Broadway and who is a York, SC native, will direct the original production. Beloved Blumey Awards favorite David Dabbon has been named musical director.

Make your evening extra special with tickets for the VIP After Party! Join Mr. Long and other VIPs at Bechtler Museum of Modern Art after the show for delicious desserts, an open bar and special entertainment.  A limited number of VIP After Party Tickets are available for $100 and can be added when you purchase your tickets for the performance.

VIP Gala Information: A limited number of VIP Gala tickets also are available. The VIP tickets include premium seating for the show, plus a black-tie dinner at the new Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel before the show, and the post-show VIP dessert celebration with Mr. Long. For VIP Gala Information please call 704-379-1288.

This fabulous evening of stories, songs and tributes will celebrate the man and the work behind the amazing and often magical costumes that have thrilled audiences on stage and screen, garnering Mr. Long 15 Tony Award nominations and six Tony Awards for Best Design.  He also has won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on GREASE Live! broadcast on Fox TV.  He also re-imagined designs for The Rocky Horror Picture Show also for FOX, dressed Mick Jagger for The Rolling Stones tour “Steel Wheels,” and designed for dance legends like Twyla Tharp and the NY City Ballet.

Among the Broadway shows designed by Mr. Long are:  The Producers, Hairspray, Chicago, Cabaret, Cinderella, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, 9 to 5,  Young Frankenstein, Nine, On the Twentieth, Bullets Over Broadway and Grey Gardens.

An exhibit of Mr. Long’s work is currently on display at the Mint Museum in Charlotte.

Learn more about Broadway's most celebrated costume designer, William Ivey Long!

“In our business, you’re lucky if you have one, maybe two big hits. William’s done it many times over.” -The Many Secrets and Sequins of William Ivey Long, Broadway's Costume King, Vanity Fair, 2016

"When it comes to Broadway legends, few shine as brightly as costume designer William Ivey Long." -Broadway Costume King William Ivey Long on Designing for 'Murder on the Orient Express', The Hollywood Reporter, 2017

"Many Cinderellas in the history of telling the story have Cinderella in gray because she's in cinders. I just thought, 'Who wants to see Cinderella in gray?' -Decked Out, Broadway Edition: Keke Palmer's Four Cinderella Looks​, The Hollywood Reporter, 2014

"William always makes the play the most important thing. He never allows his style to upstage the material. And whether he's got a dollar to work with or unlimited funds, he's tirelessly inventive." -William Ivey Long Keeps His Clothes OnThe New York Times, 2006

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