The new musical, JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN starring Broadway veteran, Mike Burstyn as Al Jolson, made it's Los Angeles debut to a prolonged standing ovation on Thursday evening, September 8, 2011 at the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, CA. The musical, which was co-written by the production's Director and Choreographer, Bill Castellino, along with Mike Burstyn, features a supporting cast including Jacqueline Bayne, Laura Hodos and Wayne LeGette, backed by six piece on stage live band helmed by Musical Director, Christopher McGovern.
Produced by Dan Israely Productions, Dan Israely, Producer and Zahava Atzmon, Producer, with Kit Productions, the musical is playing at the El Portal Theatre; 5269 Lankershim Bouelvard (at Weddington Street), North Hollywood, CA 91601 through Sunday, September 25, 2011. Performances are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., with matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are $35, $50 and $60. For tickets and further information please call the Box Office at 877-SEE-PLAY (877-733-7529) or buy online at www.ElPortalTheatre.com. Group Rates are available; please call to inquire. The view a clip from the show, please visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNbwTYq8_lk.
VIPs in attendance at the Opening Night performance and reception included: Leah Adler, Hedva Amrani, Zahava Atzmon, Batsheva Baiba, Rabbi David Baron and Adrienne MoRay Baron, Steve Binder, Adam Burstyn, Cyona Burstyn, Peter Burstyn and Carmit Burstyn, Amick Byram, Artie Butler and Sharon Shaw, Mary Jo Catlett, Julie Cobb, Beverly Cohen, Rabbi Jerry Cutler and Jeff Cutler, Jimmy Delshad and Lonnie Delshad, Sam Feuer, Pegge Forrest, Monty Hall and Marilyn Hall, Estelle Harris, Jay Irwin, Dan Israely, Sally Kellerman, Roslyn Kind, Karen Sharpe Kramer, Nathan Lamb, Stephen Macht and Suzanne Macht, Amanda McBroom, Neile McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Dolores Nemiro, Danny Opatoshu, Freda Payne, Howard Rosenman, John Herman Shaner, Lane Sherman, Anne Spielberg and Nancy Marlow Trump. Preview VIP attendees included: Phil Blazer, Arthur and Gwen Hiller, Barbara Lazaroff and Ben Vereen.
The musical's live on stage band consists of: Marissa Benedict, Trumpet; Michael Benedict, Woodwinds; Charlie Morilles, Trombone; Glen Ochenkoski, Drums; Ernie Nunez, Bass and Christopher McGovern, Piano, Music Director and Vocal Arranger. Other Production Personnel include: Timothy R. Macabee, Scenic Designer; Christopher Ash, Projection Designer; M. Shan Jensen, Costume Designer; Gerard Kelly, Wig Designer; David Siegel, Orchestrator; Michael White, Production Stage Manager; Joseph Shannon, Assistant Stage Manager and Steve Moyer Public Relations, Press Representative.
JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN is a recreation of Al Jolson's famous Sunday concerts at the noted New York Broadway theatre, the Winter Garden. The musical includes crowd-pleasing songs popularized by Al Jolson like: "Swanee," "My Mammy," "For Me and My Gal," "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody," "Toot Toot Tootsie," "Sonny Boy" and "Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be in Carolina," to name a few.
Mike Burstyn starred in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of "Barnum." He has won two Israeli "Oscars," two New York Drama Desk Award nominations and two New York Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. He has also appeared in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway productions of "Lansky," "The Rothschilds" and "On Second Avenue." Burstyn was born in New York to a famed family of Yiddish-language actors, the late Pesach Burstein and Lillian Lux. He first walked on stage at the age of three and has since enjoyed a unique international career entertaining audiences on stage, screen and television, in nightclubs and on concert stages throughout the world.
The musical, JOLSON AT THE WINTER GARDEN, received its World Premiere production to rave reviews at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, FL in February and March of 2011 under the leadership of Andrew Kato, Artistic Director and Tricia Trimble, Managing Director. The original cast included: Mike Burstyn, Jacqueline Bayne, Laura Hodos and Wayne LeGette under the direction of Bill Castellino.
Photo Credit: Michelle Mivzari