An array of Broadway stars have signed on for Lincoln Center’s 2012 American Songbook series, including Tony winners Laura Benanti, Lin-Manuel Miranda, LaChanze and Michael Cerveris, plus Gavin Creel, Elaine Paige, Leslie Kritzer and more. This 14th annual celebration of American popular song will again be held in the Allen Room at Frederick P. Rose Hall in a series of concerts running January 11-Feburary 11.
Lin-Manuel Miranda kicks off the series on January 11 with a sneak preview of new songs from The Hamilton Mixtape, a hip-hop song cycle about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton. Miranda first performed part of this work-in-progress for President Obama at the White House; the American Songbook performance is scheduled for Hamilton’s 255th birthday.
Tony winner LaChanze takes the stage on January 19 to perform songs from musicals she has appeared in, which include The Color Purple, Dessa Rose, Once on This Island and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. On January 21, Tony winner Michael Cerveris will present “The Idea of the South,” a genre-defying recital/cabaret/hootenanny of songs ranging from the Carter Family and Johnny Mercer to Vic Chestnutt and Samuel Barber, with guest musicians from New Orleans.
Broadway vet Leslie Kritzer will sing songs from Gypsy, Funny Girl and more on February 3 in “Hello Gorgeous! Leslie Kritzer Sings Jule Styne.” On February 4, Tony nominee Gavin Creel and music director Stephen Oremus will team up on a night of classic theater tunes and alternative rock. British musical theater queen and Follies cast member Elaine Paige takes the stage on February 10, and the series will end with a night of song from Tony winner Laura Benanti on February 11.
In addition to the individual concerts, composer William Finn will be joined by an as-yet unnamed cast of Brodway vocalists on January 14 for “Songs of Innocence and Experience,” a song cycle inspired by the poetry of William Blake focusing on family, belonging, love, loss and healing.