AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Captivates at Bass Concert Hall

Written By Scott Rigtrup, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Lexus Broadway in Austin has truly brought the quintessential Broadway production to Austin with their presentation of the Tony Awards Best Musical of 2015 “An American in Paris”!

Set at the end or World War II, the war torn “City of Light” lay decimated at the advent of it’s newly found liberation. As American Forces are leaving Europe headed for home, a U.S. Army Lieutenant Jerry Mulligan, deliberately misses his train home after spying a stunningly beautiful young French lady in the streets of Paris who brings a surge of visions to his imagination that demand to be committed to his canvass’s as a newly inspiring artist.

Jerry soon finds lodging and a new start in Paris through his newly made friend Adam Hochberg, a fellow veteran, pianist and aspiring composer, who finds himself overwhelmed with inspiration to write a musical score worthy of a newly discovered young ballerina of the Paris Ballet.

Adam soon introduces Jerry to the aspiring nightclub star Henri Baurel who is the son of wealthy French industrialists who envision their son leading great industries, which makes Henri fearful of their reaction should they learn about his secret dreams to perform on stage. The only things Henri fears more than his parents is his fear of proposing to his lovely girlfriend, who’s name he refuses to share with Adam and Jerry.

Now with our hopeful band of brothers out to conquer the world of art, music and entertainment, where would we be without a common love interest? Perhaps a young lady seen for only a moment on the streets of Paris? Or, perhaps a talented up and coming starlet of the Paris Ballet? Or, perhaps the childhood friend, now girlfriend of a wealthy young man destine to carry on his family’s industrial heritage? Only the beautiful Lise Dassin could turn this glib trio in to a enamored triangle of confusion and despair, and ever so innocently she does!

“An American in Paris” brings the full regalia of dramatic emotions to stage through engaging dialogue and convincing acting, while all the more, passionately blending an incredibly sumptuous variety of dance that leaves the spectators palette exhaustively satisfied with astounding solo, duet and group performances that inspire a joyous awe.

The plot’s telling collision of lives, carried through resounding vocal performances wafts you in a whirl of energy reminding us all of our strengths and our weaknesses; our resiliencies and our frailties and our good fortune to feel it all. “An American in Paris” chronicles far more than one might ever hope to experience in a lifetime while lifting our aspirations to achieve far more!

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts

 An American in Paris

May 30 – June 3, 2018

                       Wednesday – Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Bass Concert Hall | 2350 Robert Dedman Drive | Austin, TX 78712

Start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, texasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com.

Tonight’s 8pm performance of Finding Neverland at Bass Concert Hall has been cancelled.

Due to inclement weather, The University of Texas at Austin campus will be closed on Tuesday, January 16. Consequently, tonight’s 8pm performance of Finding Neverland at Bass Concert Hall has been cancelled.

Refunds and Exchanges

Tickets purchased through Texas Performing Arts at the Bass Concert Hall or Frank Erwin Center Ticket Offices, online at texasperformingarts.org or by phone at 512.477.6060, may be exchanged for a future performance of Finding Neverland. To request a refund or exchange, please call the Bass Concert Hall Ticket Office at 512.471.1444 or email tickets@texasperformingarts.org. Exchanges must be processed at least four hours in advance of the new performance.

Subscribers should call the Subscriber Hotline at 800.731.7469 (Mon – Fri, 9AM to 5PM) to complete refund or exchange requests.

ALL single ticket purchase and subscriber requests for exchanges or refunds must be completed by Friday, January 19 at 5PM. Seat locations and ticket prices vary by performance.

Something Rotten! is an Absolute Thrill Ride of Entertainment!

Written by Scott Rigtrup, Entertainment Correspondent for InFluential Magazine 

The completely original new musical Something Rotten! directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin), with music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award and Tony Award nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Tony Award nominees Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell, opened at the Bass Concert Hall, May 30 – June 4, 2017.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

I attended Opening Night of this hilarious Broadway hit.  The range of music, dialogue, humor and eras spanned from the Renaissance to modern-day and left me feeling dizzy with glee, like a child stumbling off a roller coaster ride, laughing uncontrollably, while racing to back in line for another go-round!

From L: Rob McClure, Adam Pascal and the cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

From L: Rob McClure, Adam Pascal and the cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Irreverent, only begins to describe the follies that ensue as the aspiring playwrights, Nick and Nigel Bottom, desperately pit themselves against Shakespeare, their arch rival, in creating the next big theatrical hit of the era.  Needless to say, the most unimaginable plots of love, lust, spying, deceit and rivalry spill onto the stage as an incredibly unwitting soothsayer foretells to Nick Bottom the future of theater performances, being full of song, dance and acting, all at the same time.  This, in turn, using the term loosely, “inspires” the confounded Bottom brothers to create the first Musical ever!

Autumn Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti. © Jeremy Daniel.

Autumn Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti. © Jeremy Daniel.

As I sat myself for this performance, I buckled up and expected nothing less than the most comically disorienting re-write of theatrical history known as of yet to man . . . and attendees had to keep arms and hands inside for the ride at all times!

From L: Rob McClure and Jeff Brooks. © Jeremy Daniel.

From L: Rob McClure and Jeff Brooks. © Jeremy Daniel.

The New York production opened in April 2015 on Broadway and continues performances at the St. James Theatre through January 1, 2017. Three of the current Broadway principals will be reprising their roles on tour: Rob McClure as Nick Bottom, Adam Pascal as Shakespeare and Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music direction / conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and casting by Telsey + Company/Bethany Knox, CSA.

Something Rotten! is an absolute thrill ride of entertainment!

Stay up-to-date with what’s going at Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, TX by visiting www.texasperformingarts.org.

A “Beautiful” Evening Celebrated at Bass Concert Hall

Written By Candice Johnson and Scott Rigtrup for InFluential Magazine

Photography courtesy of Joan Marcus.

Carnegie Hall. Julia Knitel (“Carole King”)

Carnegie Hall. Julia Knitel (“Carole King”)

Just when you might think to yourself, “I’m not sure if I know who Carole King is?”, you quickly realize, “I can’t believe how much Carole King has been a part of my life!”.

Four Friends. (l to r) Curt Bouril (“Don Kirshner”), Liam Tobin (“Gerry Goffin”), Julia Knitel (“Carole King”), Ben Fankhauser (“Barry Mann”) and Erika Olson (“Cynthia Weil”).

Four Friends. (l to r) Curt Bouril (“Don Kirshner”), Liam Tobin (“Gerry Goffin”), Julia Knitel (“Carole King”), Ben Fankhauser (“Barry Mann”) and Erika Olson (“Cynthia Weil”).

Tuesday, March 21 at Bass Concert Hall we attended Opening Night to experience Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, the musical that took us all back in time personally to some of our most joyful and sorrowful moments. The amazingly lyrical performance reminded us of just how much we intimately share in this life with each other through the gift of music.

Queens College. Julia Knitel (“Carole King”) and Liam Tobin (“Gerry Goffin”)

Queens College. Julia Knitel (“Carole King”) and Liam Tobin (“Gerry Goffin”)

This production was outstanding in all aspects. The performers’ theatrical acting and incredible vocals, buoyed with wonderful costuming and staging, sweetly walked us through literally decades of some of America’s most creative and momentous musical history.

The Shirelles. (l to r) Traci Elaine Lee, Rebecca E. Covington, Rosharra Francis and Salisha Thomas

The Shirelles. (l to r) Traci Elaine Lee, Rebecca E. Covington, Rosharra Francis and Salisha Thomas

Carole King’s life is bravely chronicled from her optimistic adolescence and hopeful entry into professionally writing music, her exuberant union with her writing and subsequent life partner, her heart-wrenching demise of that partnership and finally her inspirational victory of perseverance as she steps forward from behind her music as a writer in to the spotlight as the performer of her music. It was a grand presentation of music which places her center stage, touchingly exposed by the notes and lyrics of her own life’s story, and thus ours.

The Drifters. (l to r) Jay McKenzie, Paris Nix, Josh A. Dawson and Sidney DuPont

The Drifters. (l to r) Jay McKenzie, Paris Nix, Josh A. Dawson and Sidney DuPont

A sublime evening throughout, InFluential Magazine was honored to be in attendance and witness the memoir of one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera in a Spectacular New Production by Cameron Mackintosh

The Company performs Masquerade - Photo by Alastair Muir.

The Company performs Masquerade – Photo by Alastair Muir.

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts

Cameron Mackintosh’s Spectacular New Production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

April 19 – 30, 2017

                        Tuesday – Friday at 8 p.m.; Thursday (April 20) at 1 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Bass Concert Hall / 2350 Robert Dedman Drive / Austin, TX

Starting at $30 Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, the Bass Concert Hall box office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 15 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com.

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA opens April 19 – 30, 2017 with Austin’s premiere  engagement at Bass Concert Hall.  With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “Having received great critical acclaim in the U.K. and North America, I am really pleased that Laurence Connor’s new production of PHANTOM will continue to tour the U.S. playing in tandem with the Broadway production which soon celebrates 30 years.”

Cameron Mackintosh said, “With PHANTOM still the reigning champion as the longest-running production on Broadway after 28 phenomenal years, with no end in sight, I’m delighted that this spectacular new production of PHANTOM has been as well-received in the U.S. as the brilliant original and has already been seen by over 2.5 million people across North America since it opened in November 2013. With an exciting new design and staging, retaining Maria Björnson’s amazing costumes, the new PHANTOM is thrilling audiences and critics alike all over again.”

PHANTOM IS AN ENORMOUS HIT ALL OVER AGAIN!

“Powerful, gorgeous…and better than ever.”

-The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Extraordinarily opulent.  This PHANTOM’S storytelling and relationships have an electrifying tension.”

-Chicago Sun-Times

“An intense and spectacular new production with a stunning new design, fresh drama and added momentum.” -Sunday Express (U.K.)

“Take a deep breath and prepare to be dazzled; this kind of gorgeous escapism is exactly what audiences need.” -The Scotsman (U.K.)

“This PHANTOM is for a new generation.”

-Roy Leonard, Chicago Now

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is presented by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Group, and NETworks Presentations. Directed by Laurence Connor (who co-directed the new production of Les Misérables that just finished a hugely successful two and a half year revival on Broadway and will start a North American tour in the fall of 2017, directed the award-winning new production of Miss Saigon coming to Broadway in 2017 and national tour in 2018, and also directed the stage version of the movie School of Rock now playing at Broadway’s Winter Garden and opening in London’s West End at the New London Theatre this November), with choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, sound design by Mick Potter, and musical supervision by John Rigby.  The production is overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Charles Hart (with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe); book by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber; orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it.  He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

Cameron Mackintosh’s brilliant original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OFTHE OPERA continues performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London and in its recording-breaking run at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and many other cities around the world.

Texas Performing Arts is situated on the main campus of one of the largest and most prestigious research universities in the country.  Texas Performing Arts serves The University of Texas at Austin campus and the Austin community at large through a diverse season of world-class fine arts performances, educational activities, and collaborative partnerships.  Texas Performing Arts presents an international season of music, theatre, dance, and conversation in our multiple venues, as well as the best in touring Broadway productions and concert attractions. As a university-based arts center it is also committed to serving the academic mission of the College of Fine Arts by supporting the work of our students, faculty and staff on our stages, classrooms, studios and production shops; and in the educational outreach programs it provides for the Austin community.

Broadway Across America is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com, under the supervision of 9 time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO). Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Hairspray, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, School of Rock and The Producers. BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com; Broadway.com.