PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Theatre Group’s Broadway concert series, featuring Broadway Luminaries, is returning to the stage of the Colonial Theatre after two years of outdoor performances.
The concerts will feature Tony Award-winner Chita Rivera, Tony Award-nominated song-and-dance man Tony Yazbeck and Charl Brown, who has received a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Smokey Robinson in “Motown: The Musical.”
“For the past two years we have presented our Broadway concerts Under the Big Tent outside the Colonial in Pittsfield. And while that experience was magical, we are thrilled to be returning indoors this summer into the historic Colonial Theatre which just seems to be built for presenting these outstanding performances,” Kate Maguire, BTG artistic director and CEO, said in a release.
Tickets for the Colonial Concert Series: Featuring Broadway Luminaries go on sale, noon, Thursday, April 14.
Since his Broadway debut as a newsboy in the 1989 revival of “Gypsy,” quintessential song-and-dance man Yazbeck has continued to land coveted roles and garner critical acclaim, including a 2014 Tony Award-nomination for the leading role in “On the Town.” Yazbeck, who will appear at the Colonial Theater, 7 p.m., May 28, recently starred as Cary Grant in the new musical “Flying Over Sunset on Broadway” at Lincoln Center Theatre. He also recently starred as the title role in “The Scarlet Pimpernel in Concert” at Lincoln Center. Other recent credits include “The Cradle Will Rock” at Classic Stage Company, the Encores! production of “A Chorus Line” and the PBS Great Performances special: “The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood.” Prior to that, he starred in the Japan and Broadway productions of “Prince of Broadway,” for which he received the Chita Rivera Award as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.
The incomparable two-time Tony Award-winner will recreate signature moments from her legendary career from “West Side Story,” “Sweet Charity” and “Bye Bye Birdie” to “Chicago,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “The Visit” and more. Rivera will be joined by her special guest for the evening, George Dvorsky. In addition to a tribute to her dear friends John Kander and Fred Ebb, the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim will also be featured, accompanied by her long-time trio.
A theatrical icon and one of Broadway’s greatest triple-threat talents, Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history — having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. A versatile actress/singer/dancer, she recently starred in “The Visit,” the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway; the Broadway revival of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood;” the Broadway and touring productions of “The Dancer’s Life” — a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele — and the revival of the Broadway musical “Nine” with Antonio Banderas.
‘SMOKEY & ME: A CELEBRATION OF SMOKEY ROBINSON’ FEATURING CHARL BROWN
On opening night of “Motown: The Musical,” Smokey Robinson, known as “The King of Motown,” and one of the show’s producers went backstage to look for Charl Brown, the handsome young actor who portrayed him in the show. Upon finding him, he smiled and simply said, “Hello, Me!.” This meeting became the inspiration for a spectacular show that celebrates the life, music and career of acclaimed singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, once pronounced by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet.”
Smokey Robinson’s career spans over four decades of hits. He has received numerous awards including the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Doctorate (Howard University), Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In this show, Smokey is perfectly and uncannily captured by Brown, who won a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Smokey in “Motown: The Musical.” Act One celebrates Smokey’s story and many of his biggest hits; ones he sang and ones he wrote, including: “Shop Around,” “Mickey’s Monkey,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “My Girl,” “I Second that Emotion,” “Tracks of my Tears” and so many more. Act Two explores the story of Brown, the actor who was fortunate enough to become Smokey every night in “Motown: The Musical.”