American Songbook in The Allen Room
Now in its 15th season, Lincoln Center’s acclaimed series American Songbook will expand its scope and offer two series that celebrate the best in American singing and songwriting. American Songbook in The Allen Room will run from January 30 through March 2, 2013 and will present 15 nights of music Broadway old and new, rhythm & blues, country, pop, gospel, blues, rock, jazz, and folk. American Songbook in the Penthouse, in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse from March 29 through April 20, will embrace adventuresome performers and celebrate composers and lyricists, newer and veteran.
For “American Songbook in The Allen Room” shows, Broadway stars Lea Salonga, Karen Akers, and Kristin Chenoweth will dazzle with music from Broadway as well as standards from both established and newer composers from the world of musical theater. In keeping with American Songbook’s tradition of honoring great composers and lyricists, those being celebrated this season in The Allen Room are John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) and Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the creators of the ground-breaking musical, “Next to Normal.” Another songwriter and performer on the schedule is Valerie Simpson, who, with her late husband and lyricist Nickolas Ashford, created era-defining rhythm & blues for Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, and Whitney Houston, as well as for their own stage shows. The legendary Mavis Staples, whose gospel-trained, blues-belting voice is a favorite of millions, will shake The Allen Room rafters later in the season. Over her long career, Staples has often performed songs of a political nature, and hers has been a continuing voice for civil rights. She shares being a “voice of protest” with another Songbook performer, Tom Morello, aka The Nightwatchman. Harlem native Morello is the guitarist of the influential rock band Rage Against the Machine, but his work as The Nightwatchman is as a singer/songwriter with strong political views and ardent activism.
Country music will be well represented in the series by one of its most gifted interpreters, Kathy Mattea. And while his music has elements of country in its sound, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, the pseudonym of singer/songwriter Will Oldham, also will bring rock and folk elements to a performance of his songs. Further into the folk genre is a relatively new group from North Carolina, Lost in the Trees, a septet that performs “chamber folk,” taking many of its cues from chamber music practices of classical music.
The Allen Room series will also feature two popular singer/songwriters: Brooklyn-based Ingrid Michaelson and Norwegian-bred Sondre Lerche. Rising star jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant is in the series, and, in a repeat of her stunning show first presented in American Songbook 2010, opera great Stephanie Blythe performing the songs of Kate Smith.
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Broadway at 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
Subway: Trains to Columbus Circle
About this organization
This 16.3-acre campus is home to 12 resident companies, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic, among others.