The Los Angeles premiere of the new musical, Jolson at the Winter Garden, starring acclaimed Broadway actor, Mike Burstyn (Winner of Two Israeli “Oscars”; Broadway: Barnum; Off-Broadway: Lansky) opens at El Portal Theatre Tuesday, September 6, 2011. Originally scheduled for two weeks, the run as been extended through September 25.
Produced by Dan Israely and Ahzva Atzmon, created and written by Bill Castellino and Burstyn and directed and choreographed by Castellino the show also features Jacqueline Bayne (Broadway/National Tours: South Pacific, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Ragtime, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Some Like It Hot); Laura Hodos (Major Regional Productions: Tommy, Into The Woods, Hair, Company, The Music Man); and Wayne LeGette (Two Time Carbonell Award Winner; Major Productions of West Side Story, The Rothschilds, Sunday in the Park With George, The Full Monty).
As Jolson, Burstyn will be supported by a live on stage band and three back-up singers. The musical is a recreation of Al Jolson’s famous Sunday concerts at the noted New York Broadway theatre, the Winter Garden.
“In his heyday, American singer, comedian and actor Al Jolson, was dubbed as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.” During his lifetime from May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950, he had lived in various areas throughout the Southland, and had homes in Toluca Lake, Encino, Beverly Hills and spent a short stint in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. He also served as Mayor of Encino at one time.
Jolson enjoyed performing in blackface makeup, which was a theatrical convention that began in the mid-19th century. He is credited with single-handedly introducing African-American music to white audiences, and was well known for his unique performances of jazz and blues music, including popular songs like Swanee and My Mammy. As stated in the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, ‘Jolson was to jazz, blues and ragtime what Elvis Presley was to Rock ‘n’ Roll.'”
Jolson at the Winter Garden opens 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 6 (official opening September 8) and performs 8 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m.Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through September 25. Tickets are $35, $50 and $60. Call 877-733-7529 or visit www.ElPortalTheatre.com. Call to inquire about group rates.
El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Boulevardin North Hollywood, CA 91601.
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