Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ghostlight Records Releases Cast Recording of GOOD OL' GIRLS starring LAUREN KENNEDY, 8/31


Ghostlight Records in association with White Sand Entertainment and Ken Denison, Executive Producer, will release the cast recording of the acclaimed Off-Broadway musical GOOD OL' GIRLS on Tuesday, August 31st. Produced by Keith Levenson, the CD features the original cast, which includes Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot), Sally Mayes (She Loves Me), Teri Ralston (Company), Gina Stewart (Dawson's Creek) and Liza Vann (Machiavelli), with music by Nashville hit-makers Marshall Chapman (Jimmy Buffett, Wynonna, Olivia Newton-John) and Matraca Berg (Reba McEntire, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill). The new CD will be available at Amazon, iTunes, Sh-K-Boom (link) and wherever music is sold.

GOOD OL' GIRLS played Off-Broadway, at The Black Box Theatre at The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre earlier this year. Paul Ferguson wrote and adapted the musical from the works of two prominent Southern authors, Lee Smith (author of 12 novels including her newest, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger) and Jill McCorkle (author of 8 books including Going Away Shoes), GOOD OL' GIRLS was directed by Randal Myler (It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues; Hank Williams: The Lost Highway; Love, Janis).

Two of Nashville's leading singer/songwriters redefine the modern Southern woman in GOOD OL' GIRLS, a musical about love, loss and laughter. Through the language of five unique southerners, GOOD OL' GIRLS celebrates childhood through old age, with big hair and bigger hearts. Official website is at www.goodolgirls.com.



Read more: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Ghostlight_Records_Releases_Cast_Recording_of_GOOD_OL_GIRLS_831_20100830#ixzz0yCpCMd6v

Monday, August 23, 2010

Classical Voice of North Carolina "Lauren Kennedy plays 'Tell Me On a Sunday' to Packed House, Standing Ovation"


Another rave review for "Tell Me On a Sunday" at Hot Summer Nights!!

Classical Voice of North Carolina review by Alan R. Hall

August 20, 2010, Raleigh, NC: Raleigh’s Lauren Kennedy is a Broadway actress who spends her summers at “Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy,” a summer series that plays in the Kennedy Theater, downstairs at the Progress Energy Performance Center in Raleigh. Kennedy, the Producing Artistic Director, and shares the reins with her husband, Managing Director Alan Campbell. But for this season she is also performing in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s one-woman tour-de-force Tell Me on a Sunday. Friday’s show was a sell-out, and Kennedy’s stunner of a performance received a standing ovation.

If the show is not familiar to you, this may help: Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Tell Me on a Sunday as the first of two acts under the title Song and Dance. The second act of this show is a ballet, performed to “Variations on a Theme by Paganini,” which Webber wrote for his brother, Julian, a cellist. But the work is seldom performed as a complete show sinceTell Me on a Sunday is compact and produceable on a less-than-grand scale, while a full-scale ballet is not.

Kennedy’s show is backdropped by a video screen, which helps us keep up with changes in scene, letters her character sends home, and the various boyfriends who make up the tally in “Emma’s” romantic misadventures. While Webber wrote the work for a young Cockney Londoner who moves to New York City to make it big, Kennedy plays her instead as a hayseed from North Carolina who makes the same trip, to be with her first misadventure, “Chuck,” a musician. Emma arrives in the Big Apple complete with a thick Southern accent, which all her New York friends call “adorable.” Emma manages to lose her accent pretty quickly, after her second misadventure, Tyler King, flies her out to L.A. to star in films he is producing. “Capped Teeth and Caesar Salad” is the musical number that seems to sum up her L.A. adventure, but not before she levels a scathing accusation at King, in “You Made Me Think You Were In Love.”

After she realizes that King is not her white knight, Emma returns to New York, where she meets Joe, a Nebraskan she describes as “Metro-sexual.” Joe turns out to be her longest relationship, eliciting the most songs: “An Unexpected Song,” “Come Back With That Same Look in Your Eyes,” and the central song of the work, “Take That Look Off Your Face,” which reprises several times during the show.

Throughout the work, Kennedy is dead-on, covering a gamut of emotion from scared and vulnerable to confident and defiant. She handles several on-stage costume changes with aplomb, never dropping a note. And her technique is flawless, handling a soft, tender torch song one minute and belting out a showstopper the next.

Interestingly enough, Emma actually gets her first big break on the same night that she breaks up with Paul, her latest fling and a married man. She finishes on a high note with a final rendition of “Take That Look Off Your Face,” indicating that, like her new career, the right man will come along as long as she keeps trying. The final note brought the crowd to its feet, and cheers rang the room for several minutes.

Hot Summer Nights closes this season with another week of
Tell Me on a Sunday, but if you wish to see this short but powerful stunner, call right away for reservations. This one is going to sell out.

Tell Me on a Sunday continues through August 29 in Raleigh and then plays in Wilson from September 1-5. For details, see our calendar.


To read view on Classical Voice of North Carolina site click HERE



Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEWS & OBSERVER REVIEW: "Kennedy adds warmth to 'Tell Me On a Sunday"


News & Observer Review- Roy C. Dicks

Most people know of Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage-filling extravaganzas "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera." But he also can be intimate, as in "Tell Me on a Sunday," a one-woman one-act musical being staged by Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy with Raleigh's own Broadway star, Lauren Kennedy.

The hour-long piece has a varied history. It started as a 1979 British concept album, and then became one-half of the 1982 musical "Song and Dance." The story of a young English woman finding love and adventure in New York City was substantially revised for its 1985 Broadway run and reworked again for its 2003 and 2010 versions.

Although the show has some of Lloyd Webber's catchiest songs, critics have faulted the shallow plot that concentrates on Emma's series of failed relationships and complained about her unsympathetic, self-centered character.

The right performer can sway reactions to the show, however, and Lauren Kennedy proves it with a warmly charming interpretation. It helps that the script has been completely Americanized and fitted to Kennedy's persona, turning Emma into an optimistic innocent from North Carolina gone to the Big Apple to seek her fortune in the theater.

The show's clever structure has Emma singing not only to herself, but also to unseen boyfriends, best pal Viv and her mother back home. Kennedy makes Emma's hurt when she finds her new boyfriend is unfaithful readily believable. When Emma follows a film producer to Hollywood, Kennedy astutely projects her initial star-struck awe and eventual boredom. After Emma returns, Kennedy knowingly charts her relationships' progressive sophistication and coldness, eventually leading Emma to realize she has changed too much.

Kennedy confidently sings Lloyd Webber's range of styles, making the several versions of "Take That Look Off Your Face" full of conflicting emotions and the title song appropriately soaring. Kennedy impresses with her stamina and charisma throughout, deftly guided by director Matthew-Jason Willis.

This is the company's most technically accomplished production this season. A simple brick wall on which appropriate photos and videos are projected backs minimal furnishings. Chris Bernier's lighting design adds intriguing color and movement. Julie Florin's five-piece band (placed high above the action to one side) supplies mellow accompaniment in beautifully balanced sound, Kennedy's lyrics and quiet moments coming through clearly. However, tempo choices sometimes seem more relaxed than necessary, allowing the pace to sag in places.

Musical fans should take this rare opportunity to experience Lloyd Webber in miniature and Lauren Kennedy up close and personal.

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/08/19/636349/kennedy-adds-warmth-to-tell-me.html#ixzz0x5Cz5jPr

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tell Me On A Sunday opens August 18th, Watch Lauren Kennedy on News 14 Carolina all day today!!





Hey everyone!! Lauren is so excited to be opening Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Tell Me On A Sunday" TOMORROW NIGHT at Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy! Lauren and director Matthew-Jason Willis have been having such an amazing collaborative experience and they can't wait for all of you to see it!! Get your tickets NOW they are going fast!! Call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org Adults $22 and Student ID/Military/Senior $18.
ALSO, if you're near a tv today turn your sets over to News 14 Carolina to watch Lauren Kennedy's interview with anchor Tracey Early that will be airing throughout the day! Lauren will be sharing more about "Tell Me On a Sunday" at Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy which opens TOMORROW!! Don't miss the interview or the show!!





















Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lauren Kennedy Headlines TELL ME ON SUNDAY at The Kennedy



Artistic Director. Producer. Director. Actress. Lauren Kennedy (SPAMALOT, SUNSET BOULEVARD, LES MISERABLES) just about does it all when it comes to theatre; especially with her own
company Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy. This year is no different at The Kennedy Theatre in Raleigh, NC. Kennedy will make a return to the stage as "Emma" in Tell Me on a Sunday. The show will not only hit the Raleigh stage but also play a limited engagement at the new
Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College in Wilson, NC, which officially opened last September.

Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy has been opened since 2005. During the first season, Kennedy
and her husband, Tony Award Nominated actor
Alan Campbell (SUNSET BOULEVARD, CONTACT) performed their own concert Beyond Broadway for Raleigh audiences. Since then, Kennedy has taken a back seat to performing at the intimate 120-seat theatre to help the company grow. Last year, she added Artistic Director and Producer to her title and decided after a solid two seasons, she was ready to come back and perform at the theatre her father K.D. Kennedy, Jr. and brother Michael started.

"I jumped at the chance when director Matthew-Jason Willis and I discussed this show because it is
a score I've been desperate to tackle and I adore working with him! He had some fascinating and fresh ideas on the show that really excite me," says Kennedy.

With music by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black, TELL ME ON SUNDAY is a one-act
musical that tells the story of an ordinary girl, played by Kennedy, and her romantic misadventures in search of love.

"This show has a long history of reinterpretation, way back to 1979 and I don't think any commercial production ever produced has been the same," says Kennedy, who added, "So, we too have our own unique spin on this modern tale of an ordinary gal setting out to find true love and accomplish her dreams in New York City!"

Under the direction of Willis is a stellar production team that includes Christine Rapp (Production
Stage Manager), Chris Bernier (Technical/Set/Lighting Designer), Brian L. Hunt (Sound Designer)
and Leanne Norton-Heintz (Properties Mistress), Chris Wallen (Assistant Stage Manager), Jesse
Jones (Running Crew) and Jensen Davis (Spot Light Operator). Kennedy and Willis are also
sharing Costume Designer duties with some wardrobe provided by Hot Summer Nights' long time
sponsor, CT Weekends. Musical Director/Pianist Julie Florin returns with a talented band comprised
of Drew Lile (Guitar),
John Simonetti (Bass), Les Webster (Percussion) and Joan Beck (Violin).

TELL ME ON SUNDAY will run at The Kennedy Theatre in Raleigh Aug 18-29 and at The Kennedy
Campbell Theatre at Barton College in Wilson Sept 1-5. Shows are at 8PM Wednesday-Saturday
and Sundays at 3PM. Tickets are $22.00 for general admission and $18 for senior adults and
students. For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit the Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy website
www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org.

The Cabarrus Arts Council's "On Stage at the Davis" series will kick off Sept. 25 with a performance by Broadway stars Lauren Kennedy & Alan Campbell

Charlotte Observer

Cabarrus News

Bravo! Curtains going up

New arts season in Cabarrus gears up

The Cabarrus Arts Council recently announced upcoming performances at the Davis Theatre, a 227-seat theater in Cabarrus County's historic courthouse on Union Street.

The third season of the arts council's signature series, "On Stage at the Davis," will kick off Sept. 25 with "It Takes Two: An Evening with Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell," starring two Broadway showstoppers. Kennedy, who has performed in Broadway's "Les Miserables" and "Spamalot," and Campbell, whose credits include several television roles, will perform a repertoire of Broadway hits, swing, country and rock-n-roll. Tickets are $42.

Next up at the Davis Theatre is a Nov. 12 performance by Pianafiddle, an improvisational all-musical-genres piano and fiddle duo.

"One of the things we do is look at bringing in a wide variety of performances," said Noelle Rhodes Scott, president and CEO of the arts council.

The arts council is a member of the N.C. Presenters Consortium, an organization that promotes collaboration among arts groups to bring acts on tours through theaters across the state.

By working with the consortium, the arts council is able to bring in acts that they might not otherwise be able to afford, said Scott. Many of the performers are on the brink of making it big, and some, like Kennedy and Campbell, are already stars, she said.

And in times when wallets are tight, Scott said many people take advantage of local performances rather than footing the bill for expensive theater tickets in Charlotte.

"Even when the economy is down, people need to see things that lift them up," said Scott.

That's why the arts council is hoping to bring quality performances to the county, she said.

"We want people to leave and say, 'Wow. That was incredible,'" she said.

In the spring, the theater will host Galumpha, a group of dancers who perform acrobatic choreography, as well as singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer, who has toured with Alison Krauss and Union Station.

The series will wrap up with a May 6 performance of "Blood Done Sign My Name," a play based on Tim Tyson's memoir of a 1970 murder in Oxford, a small N.C. town. The play recounts the murder of 23-year-old Henry Marrow through the eyes of several witnesses, the acquittal of the murderers by an all-white jury and the reaction of Oxford's black community.

Local talent is involved too. Local actors danced and sang their way across the stage last week during a dress rehearsal at the Old Courthouse Theatre, a volunteer-run community theater on Spring Street in Concord. The cast was preparing for the first show of the theater's season: "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

The comedic musical is based on the 1988 film by the same title starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin as Lawrence Jamieson and Freddy Benson, two conmen living on the French Riviera who agree that the first person to swindle $50,000 from the young Christine Colgate will get to stay in town, while the loser must leave. Performances will be held 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 22.

Next month, actors will take the Old Courthouse Theatre stage again to perform "Harvey," a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary friend, Harvey, a rabbit more than 6 feet tall, and Dowd's sister, who tries to have him committed. In a comedy of errors, Dowd's sister is mistakenly committed instead until the truth comes out and the hunt is on for Dowd and his invisible friend.

The theater will open again in December for the production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," the tale of a couple struggling to organize a church Christmas pageant, and in February for "Divorce Southern Style," a comedy about a middle-aged divorcee running low on cash who decides to try to get back together with her ex-husband.

The Old Courthouse Theatre's season will conclude in April with "Honk!," a play based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling."

Tickets for the Old Courthouse Theatre's productions are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students and $10 for ages 12 and younger.

The community theater will also hold free performances of three different plays as part of its "Living Room Reading" series on Sept. 12, Nov. 14 and Jan. 23.

In addition to the "On Stage at the Davis" performances, the arts council will also host musical performances in its two other series, "Jeff Whittington's Brand New Opry," a bluegrass variety show, and "Footlights," a showcase of regional performers.

Snapshots of Lauren Kennedy in rehearsal for 'Tell Me On a Sunday' at Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy





LAUREN KENNEDY ENDS HOT SUMMER NIGHTS SUMMER SEASON IN 'TELL ME ON A SUNDAY'


BROADWAY STAR RETURNS HOME FOR SEASON ENDER

LAUREN KENNEDY STARS IN TELL ME ON A SUNDAY AT HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

RALEIGH - Artistic Director. Producer. Director. Actress. Lauren Kennedy(Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables) just about does it all when it comes to theatre; especially with her own company Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy. This year is no different at The Kennedy Theatre in Raleigh, NC.Kennedy will make a return to the stage as “Emma” in Tell Me on a Sunday. The show will not only hit the Raleigh stage but also play a limited engagement at the new Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College in Wilson, NC, which officially opened last September.

Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy has been opened since 2005. During the first season, Kennedy and her husband, Tony Award Nominated actor Alan Campbell (Sunset Boulevard, Contact) performed their own concert Beyond Broadway for Raleigh audiences. Since then, Kennedy has taken a back seat to performing at the intimate 120-seat theatre to help the company grow. Last year, she added Artistic Director and Producer to her title and decided after a solid two seasons, she was ready to come back and perform at the theatre her fatherK.D. Kennedy, Jr. and brother Michael started.

“I jumped at the chance when director Matthew-Jason Willisand I discussed this show because it is a score I've been desperate to tackle and I adore working with him! He had some fascinating and fresh ideas on the show that really excite me,” says Kennedy. With music by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black, Tell me on a Sunday is a one-act musical that tells the story of an ordinary girl, played by Kennedy, and her romantic misadventures in search of love.

“This show has a long history of reinterpretation, way back to 1979 and I don't think any commercial production ever produced has been the same,” saysKennedy, who added, “So, we too have our own unique spin on this modern tale of an ordinary gal setting out to find true love and accomplish her dreams in New York City!"

Under the direction of Willis is a stellar production team that includes Christine Rapp (Production Stage Manager), Chris Bernier (Technical/Set/Lighting Designer), Brian L. Hunt (Sound Designer) and Leanne Norton-Heintz(Properties Mistress), Chris Wallen (Assistant Stage Manager), Jesse Jones(Running Crew) and Jensen Davis (Spot Light Operator). Kennedy andWillis are also sharing Costume Designer duties with some wardrobe provided by Hot Summer Nights’ long time sponsor,CT Weekends. Musical Director/PianistJulie Florin returns with a talented band comprised of Drew Lile (Guitar), John Simonetti (Bass), Les Webster (Percussion) and Joan Beck(Violin).

Tell Me on a Sunday will run at The Kennedy Theatre in Raleigh Aug 18-29 and at The Kennedy Campbell Theatre atBarton College in Wilson Sept 1-5. Shows are at 8PM Wednesday-Saturday and Sundays at 3PM. With the exception of Saturday, August 21st which will be at 7PM. Tickets are $22.00 for general admission and $18 for senior adults and students. For Barton tickets, visithttp://www.barton.edu/theatre. For tickets to The Kennedy, call 866-811-4111 or visit the Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedywebsitewww.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org.



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alan Campbell and Lauren Kennedy on BlazinRy Blog Talk Radio


Did you miss today's BlazinRy Radio Blog interview with Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell? Don't worry! You can catch the full (uninterrupted) interview by visiting www.blogtalkradio.com/blazinry !! You can also download the interview by searching "blazinry" on iTunes!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another rave review for Hot Summer Nights' DEATH AND THE MAIDEN

TRIANGLE ARTS ENTERTAINMENDEATH AND THE MAIDEN

Review by SUSIE POTTER

THE TENSION IN “DEATH AND THE MAIDEN” IS PALPABLE, ARIEL DORFMAN’S PLAY IS DRAMA AT ITS MOST INTENSE



Alan Campbell & Benji Taylor Jones. Photos by Katherine Kennedy.

Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy’s DEATH AND THE MAIDEN is pure, intense drama at its finest. The show, which opened on Wednesday, July 28th, tells the story of Paulina (Benji Taylor Jones), a woman who was abducted, raped, and tortured by the minions of a military dictatorship in an unnamed South American country. One fateful night, 15 years after her release, her attorney husband, Gerardo (Alan Campbell), welcomes a helpful stranger, Dr. Roberto Miranda (David McClutchey), into his home and invites him to spend the night. Paulina becomes convinced that Dr. Miranda is one of the men who held her captive and brutalized her all those years ago.

Later, unbeknownst to her husband, she knocks out Miranda; drags him into the living room; ties and gags him; and appoints herself judge, jury, and executioner in a makeshift trial. Once her husband reluctantly joins in on the action, the lines of truth and reality begin to blur, leaving the viewer hanging on to every word.

Alan Campbell & David McClutchey. Photos by Katherine Kennedy

The tension that exists on stage is palpable, and each character is brought to full and vibrant life by the three gifted actors. Jones’ Paulina is disturbed, plotting and, in her own way, entirely sympathetic, whereas McClutchey’s Dr. Miranda is just slimy enough that the viewer will have doubts about his innocence. Most impressive here is Alan Campbell’s multilayered portrayal of Gerardo, a man whose loyalties are split between his belief in democratic institutions and judicial fairness and his touching love and empathy for his wife.

Scenic and lighting designer Chris Bernier’s subtle lighting, used only to take the scene from day to night or to highlight the most dramatic of moments, works well here, as does Bernier’s set design. A few quick changes to the set take the audience from the inside of the couple’s home to their private moments on the front porch, still allowing the viewer to witness the bound Dr. Miranda.

Paulina’s haunting words about having to listen to Schubert’s “Death and The Maiden” as she lay terrified in the dark in prison, deprived of her sight and her dignity, are immediately followed by fitting blackness and then Dr. Miranda’s chilling confession. The catch here is that audience members are left to draw their own conclusions about the validity of that confession. All of this leads up to an edge-of-your-seat climax and an eerie, unsettling conclusion.

Even those viewers who do not have a solid understanding of the political situation in Southern American countries, such as Chile, which playwright Ariel Dorfman fled after the 1973 coup d’├ętatled by army general Augusto Pinochet, will be able to empathize with each character and find themselves thinking about the very definitions of right and wrong and questioning whether vigilante justice is appropriate when a newly elected democratic government refuses to right the monstrous wrongs perpetuated by a brutal military dictator and his henchmen. This is, quite simply, the stuff that real theater is made of.

DEATH AND THE MAIDEN will continue its run through Sunday, August 8th. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.hotsumemrnightsatthekennedy.org.

Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell to appear on BlazinRy's Blog Talk Radio this Thursday


Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell to appear on BlazinRy's Blog Talk Radio show this Thursday at 1pm. (Eastern Standard Time)

BlazinRy Radio Blog welcomes the uber-talented husband and wife team of Lauren Kennedy & Alan Campbell. Having starred in "Spamalot," "Sunset Boulevard," and "Les Miserables," Barrymore Award nominee Lauren Kennedy is a Broadway veteran. Alan Campbell was nominated for a Best Actor Tony and won the Drama-League Award for his portrayal of Joe Gillis in "Sunset Boulevard." He starred in the CBS series "Jake and the Fat Man" .

The brand spankin' new BlazinRy Radio Blog is an entertainment show powered by Blog Talk Radio. The episodes begin by covering the hot topics of the day in show business, news, and sports. BlazinRy host Ryan Holmes then interviews the hottest, most interesting, and funniest artists and entertainers of today. Former guests include slasher movie star and Playboy cover girl America Olivo, stage and screen actor Christian Campbell, advertising mogul Tom Messner, and MAC Award-Winner Cait Doyle. In its first few weeks, the show has already been featured several times on the blogtalkradio.com homepage. It has garnered the coveted "Today's Top Picks" slot twice and is currently listed on the top of the homepage as "Featured Internet Radio." Due to the comedic background of producer Zach Messner and the unique interviewing style of Holmes, the episodes are zany, hilarious, and ridiculously fun. The show's ratings have sky-rocketed since the first episode. Upcoming guests include television actor Mike Lowry, Broadway veteran Greg Reuter, and ESPN's Jesse Ullmann. TheBlazinRy Radio Blog is also currently podcasting on the extremely popular iTunes and Blubrry Networks. Here is a link to the homepage: