July 24-August 12, 2012
Previews start July 20-22, 2012
Albany, NY - Capital Repertory Theatre proudly announces performances of the acclaimed musical ELLA, starring Broadway veteran Tina Fabrique as America’s first lady of song Ella Fitzgerald. Previews start July 20-22, with Opening Night on Tuesday, July 24 and performances through August 12, 2012.
The musical, conceived by Rob Ruggiero and Dyke Garrison, written by award-winning playwright, Jeffrey Hatcher, brings Ella to life as she prepares for one of the most important concerts of her career, featuring soulful song, swinging scat and scintillating hits like “How High the Moon,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” Starring Tina Fabrique, in what Variety describes as a “not to be missed performance,” the cast also includes five musician/actors assembled from across the country for the Capital Rep show. Before the night ends, Ella jams with Louis Armstrong, reflects on her life and love of music and brings the house down with two dozen numbers from what has now become the classic American Songbook.
Hailed as the “First Lady of Song”, singer Ella Fitzgerald was born April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. From rather humble beginnings, Fitzgerald and her smooth, silky voice climbed to the top of the jazz and pop world. During her long career, she worked with greats from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra. Ella recorded over 200 albums and around 2,000 songs in her lifetime. Her many accolades include 13 Grammy Awards, the NAACP Image Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Capital Rep Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill is excited to be able to create this show for Capital Region audiences. “We have wanted to do ELLA for a long time - but I wanted to be sure our audiences got to experience Tina in the title role. At last, all the Fates came together and we have her on our stage this summer. She’s a wonderful performer who sings, acts and tells a great story in song.”
Tina Fabrique, who originated the title role in ELLA, is no stranger to the Fitzgerald legend, having been the featured soloist with The Duke Ellington Orchestra for several years touring in Europe and the United States. In addition, Fabrique brings a wealth of Broadway experience to the creation of her portrait of Fitzgerald, including RAGTIME, BRING IN THE NOISE, BRING IN DA FUNK, THE WIZ and HOW TO SUCCEED… to name a few, as well as award-winning work in national tours and regional theatres. She has played Ella to enthusiastic audiences throughout the country and has been honored for her work with the 2007 Carbonell Award as Best Actress in a Musical and a Helen Hayes Award nomination. A veteran of film and television, Ms. Fabrique sang the theme song to the documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom” and also gave voice to the original “Reading Rainbow” theme song.
The musical ELLA weaves myth, memory and music to tell the uplifting and poignant story of one of the greatest jazz, blues, pop, and spirtual vocalists of 20th century music. Previews for ELLA begin July 20 - 22, with opening night on July 24 and a run that ends August 12 at Capital Rep, 111 N. Pearl St, Albany, Tues-Thurs, 7:30PM; Fri-Sat 8PM, with matinees, Sat 3PM and Sun at 2PM. Capital Rep has added regular Wednesday matinees at 2PM to the performance schedule. Student rates and rush tickets are available for all shows. For tickets and information, call Tickets by Proctors at 518-445-SHOW. This show is sponored by Marquee Sponsor- Times Union.
SPECIAL EVENTS FOR ELLA!
Opening Night - Tuesday, July 24, 2012
6:30PM - Live music in the lobby with acclaimed soprano Amy Shake.
7:30PM - Curtain
Post- show: Meet the cast at a complimentary champagne and dessert reception.
Chef’s Table Night - Tuesday, July 31, featuring 677 Prime. 6:30PM - All patrons are invited before the show to enjoy live music featuring soprano, Amy Shake and free hors d’oeuvres compliments of 677 Prime- one of the best kept secrets in town!
Discussion Nights - Wednesday, August, 1 and Wednesday, August, 8
Get the scoop at a post-show discussion with the cast.
Behind-The-Scenes with Maggie - Sunday, August 12
12:45PM - Complimentary continental breakfast for all patrons.
1:10-1:30PM - Pre-show “Behind-The-Scenes” discussion, “How to Choose a Season,” with Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill.
Tickets for ELLA at Capital Rep Theatre are:Repertory Theatre are:ICKET RICES:
WEEKENDS: $20, $50, $60 & $75
WEEKDAYS: $20, $40, $50 & $65
Three ways to buy tickets
1. In person at the Tickets by Proctors Box Office (432 State St., Schenectady, NY 12305)
- Mon - Fri: 10AM - 6PM, Sat - Sun: 10AM - 5PM
- Or at the Capital Rep Box Office 2 hours prior to each show
2. On the phone, call Tickets by Proctors (518) 445-SHOW
- Mon - Fri: 10AM - 6PM
- Sat - Sun: 10AM - 5PM
3. Online at http://www.capitalrep.org/
Curtain Times: Tues - Thurs: 7:30PM
- Friday: 8:00PM
- Saturday: 3:00PM & 8:00PM
- Wednesday & Sunday: 2:00PM
- NOTE: Capital Rep has added regular Wednesday matinees at 2:00PM
ELLA CREATIVE TEAM - At a Glance/Bios follow
- Conceived by Rob Ruggiero and Dyke Garrison
- Book by Jeffrey Hatcher
- Director, Rob Ruggiero
- Music Director, George Caldwell,
- Musical Supervision and Arrangements, Danny Holgate,
- Set Design. Michael Schweikardt
- Lighting Design, John Lasiter
- Sound Design, Michael Miceli
- Tina Fabrique, Ella
- Harold Dixon, Norman
- George Caldwell. Music Director/Pianist
- Rodney Harper, Drummer
- Ron Haynes, Trumpet
- TBA, bass
TINA FABRIQUE (Ella Fitzgerald) created the role of Ella in the world premiere of the musical at Hartford TheatreWorks. She has portrayed the First Lady of Song in theatre across the country and was honored with the 2007 Carbonell Award as Best Actress in a Musical for the Florida Stage engagement of Ella and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for her role at Arena Stage. Her Broadway credits include Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center; Ragtime; Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk; Truly Blessed; How to Succeed…; The Gospel at Colonus and Harlem Song. Her national tours include The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Once on This Island, South Pacific with Robert Goulet and How to Succeed…. Other New York credits include 70 Girls, 70 for City Center Encores! and Angel Levine at Jewish Repertory. Regionally, her many credits include The Women of Brewster Place, Crowns (Helen Hayes nomination), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Constant Star (Helen Hayes nomination) at Arena Stage; The Old Settler at Westport Theater; and The Glass Menagerie at Cleveland Play House. Ms. Fabrique was a featured soloist with The Duke Ellington Orchestra for several years touring in Europe and the United States. Ms. Fabrique sang the theme song to the documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom.” She is also the original voice of the “Reading Rainbow” theme song. Her television credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, When I Grow Up, The Today Show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel, All My Children and One Life to Live.
ELLA CAST (cont)
George Caldwell (Pianist / Musical Director) Mr. Caldwell is a veteran of Broadway having worked on Black and Blue and Play On!, as well as having served in orchestra pits for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk, The Full Monty, etc. In addition to providing musical direction for the European tour of Black and Blue and serving as associate conductor for the tour of Body and Soul in Europe, Caldwell has toured regionally, including serving as musical director for the original musicals Thunder Knocking on the Door, Golden Boy at Long Wharf, and productions of Cookin’ at the Cookery. Caldwell also played for three years with the Duke Ellington orchestra, and seven years with the Count Basie orchestra. The Basie Orchestra received a Grammy award with Caldwell at the piano for the recording ‘The Count Basie Orchestra Live at the Manchestra Craftsman’s Guild (with the New York Voices). He has performed with many artists, performers as diverse as George Benson, Savion Glover, Lou Rawls, Elvis Costello, Art Blakey, Shirley Bassey, Freda Payne, Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, The Coasters, Cab Calloway, Quincy Jones, Gregory Hines, Dizzy Gillespie and Brenda Lee. Caldwell has played and conducted Ella since it’s inception.
Harold Dixon (Norman Granz) Off Broadway: 92nd St Y, Theatre Row. Regional: Ella at 15 theatres, including the Guthrie, Pittsburgh Public, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Arizona Theatre Company. Other shows at: Gloucester Stage (Israel Horovitz’s My Old Lady and The Secret of Mme Bonnard’s Bath - world premiere), Phoenix Theatre (Six Degrees of Separation), Arizona Theatre Company (Much Ado About Nothing), Shakespeare Sedona, Arizona Repertory Theatre (King Lear), and Invisible Theatre, Tucson. Film: Hungry For Change, Half Laughing (indie shorts), The Back of Beyond (narrator). Television: “Rescue 911,” “The Highwayman,” “Enola Gay,” plus commercials and industrial films. Harold is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the School of Theatre, Film, & Television at the University of Arizona. When not touring, he resides in Tucson.
Rodney Harper (Drummer) Mr. Harper comes to Capital Repertory from Chicago, where he began playing jazz and rhythm and blues on the South Side nightclub scene. Those who are hip to the jazz scene will recognize the artists he has accompanied, including tours with Grammy Award winners Billy Eckstein and Della Reese. Mr. Harper has worked with Dakota Staton (of “Late Late Show” album fame), jazz instrumentalist Richard “Groove” Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Hank Crawford, Charles Earland and saxophone giants Sonny Stitt and Frank Foster. Beginning in 2005, he has backed the very swinging Marlena Shaw. In the theatre world his credits include Ain’t Misbehavin’ (first national and world tours); Bubbling Brown Sugar (European tour). Rodney has also played the national and European tours of Blackbirds of Broadway and Cookin’ at the Cookery. Finally, his drumming has helped propel the Dells, the Impressions, the Coasters, the Drifters and the Marvellettes in rock and roll revival shows.
Ron Haynes (Trumpet) Ron Haynes began his career as a trumpeter while in his teens, gigging with various blues artists. He studied at Shaw University in N.C., and North Carolina Central University, studying under jazz great Donald Byrd. Ron was the horn section leader for Bernie Mac’s HBO show Midnight Mac with Bernie Mac, later joining the Ohio Players. While playing with Liquid Soul, their cd Here’s the Deal was grammy-nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2001. Ron has also worked with Ramsey Lewis, being featured on Urban Knights IV and The Chicago Project, and in 2005, participated in a world tour as a member of Lenny Kravitz’s band. In 2007, Ron began his acting career in Northlight Theater and Dallas Theater Center’s production of Ella, and has since been involved w/ the production at various other theaters. In 2008, he was the trumpeter and an understudy for Drury Lane’s production of The Buddy Holly Story. Ron has released three solo cd’s (Cool Work, Can You Hear Me and recently released Journeyman.)
Rob Ruggerio (Director/Co-conceiver) On Broadway, directed High starring Kathleen Turner and Looped starring Valerie Harper in a Tony Award-nominated performance. His work has appeared on stages across the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Mr.Ruggiero conceived and first directed Ella in 2005 at TheaterWorks in Hartford and since then his production has played numerous other regional theaters around the country. Off-Broadway, Mr. Ruggiero directed All Under Heaven (also starring Ms. Harper), as well as conceiving and directing the original musical revue Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn (Drama Desk/Outer Critics Circle nominations), which was also produced at New Players Theater in London. Regionally, Mr. Ruggiero has been recognized for work on both plays and musicals, having received numerous awards including a Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago, and currently has the distinction of being the only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards in St. Louis. For Goodspeed Musicals, Mr. Ruggiero has directed 1776, Big River, Camelot and Annie Get Your Gun.
OTHER BIOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
ELLA SONG LIST
How High The Moon
(Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis)
It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
(Duke Ellington and Irving Mills)
The Apollo Theme: I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)
(Harry Ruskin and Henry Sullivan)
Love and Kisses
(Hoagie Carmichael and Samuel Lerner)
Cow Cow Boogie
(Benny Carter, Gene DePaul and Don Raye
I’ll Never Be The Same
(Frank Signorelli, Gus Kahn and Matt Malneck)
You’ll Have To Swing It (Mr Paganini)
The Nearness of You
(Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington)
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
(George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin)
(Ella Fitzgerald and Van Alexander)
(Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton)
Night and Day
That Old Black Magic
(Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen)
Lullaby of Birdland
(George Shearing and George David Weiss)
(George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Cheek to Cheek
Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off
(George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin)
(Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson)
The Man I Love
(George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin)
Something To Live For
(Edward Kennedy Ellington and Billy Strayhorn)
Oh, Lady Be Good
(George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin)
ALL SONGS USED BY PERMISSION
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
NDS: $20, $50, $60 & $75
WEEKDAYS: $20, $40, $50 & $65
Editors, Please Note: Please submit interview requests to Thom O’Connor (firstname.lastname@example.org). As requested by her management, all interviews with Ms. Fabrique must be completed before she arrives in Albany for the start of ELLA! Thank you!