On December 31, 2017 NEW YEAR’S EVE: BERNSTEIN ON BROADWAY will take place at the New York Philharmonic, Live From Lincoln Center.
Leonard Bernstein launched his musical theatre career in counterintuitive fashion: by composing a ballet. In the early 1940s the emerging conductor and composer teamed up with Jerome Robbins, a dancer and choreographer on the rise, to create a ballet about three sailors on shore leave in New York City. Ballet Theatre, the predecessor of American Ballet Theatre, premiered Fancy Free in April 1944, and the ballet—packed with character—was musically rich and startlingly contemporary and became an instant hit. Just eight months later, On the Town, the boisterous musical based on the ballet, opened on Broadway to raves—and gave the city a brash, infectious new theme song: “New York, New York” (“It’s a helluva town”).
The show jump-started Bernstein’s career as a musical theatre composer that only grew from there even as he—the original multi-tasker—would make his mark as conductor, classical composer, and New York Philharmonic Music Director. On New Year’s Eve the Philharmonic celebrates this side of his gargantuan talents with Bernstein on Broadway.
In this one-night-only event, led by Bramwell Tovey, Bernstein’s Orchestra will perform Bernstein’s best, joined by leading lights of today’s musical theater scene: Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It With You), Christopher Jackson (Hamilton), Laura Osnes (Bandstand), and Aaron Tveit (Catch Me If You Can).
Annaleigh Ashford was seen earlier this year as Dot in Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, and as Helena in The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for her portrayal of Essie in You Can’t Take It With You. Other Broadway credits include Sylvia in Sylvia, the original Lauren in Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots (Clarence Derwent Award; Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Glinda in Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked, Jeannie in Galt MacDermot’s Hair, and the original Margot in Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s Legally Blonde the Musical. These performances mark Annaleigh Ashford’s New York Philharmonic debut.
Christopher Jackson is a Tony Award–nominated actor as well as a Grammy and Emmy Award– winning songwriter / composer best known for starring as George Washington in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton. Mr. Jackson’s Broadway credits include Todd Kreidler’s Tupac Shakur musical Holler if Ya Hear Me, After Midnight, The Bronx Bombers (Derek Jeter), Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights (Benny), David Bryan and Joe DiPietro’s Memphis (Delray Farrell), and Elton John’s The Lion King (Simba). These performances mark Christopher Jackson’s New York Philharmonic debut.
Laura Osnes just completed a starring run in the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical Bandstand (Drama Desk, Drama League nominations), featuring music by Richard Oberacker. Other Broadway credits include Cinderella in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Drama Desk Award; Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Astaire nominations); Bonnie Parker in Frank Wildhorn’s Bonnie and Clyde (Tony Award nomination), after creating the role at Asolo Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award); Hope Harcourt in the Tony Award–winning revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Award nominations); Nellie Forbush in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific; and Sandy in the most recent revival of Warren Casey’s Grease. Laura Osnes made her New York Philharmonic debut in Sondheim: The Birthday Concert in March 2010; she most recently appeared with the Orchestra in A Broadway Romance, alongside Santino Fontana and conducted by Ted Sperling, in February 2015.
Aaron Tveit is currently starring in the CBS comic-thriller Brain Dead as Gareth, a Republican operative, opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead. He recently appeared as Danny Zuko in the television special Grease: Live opposite Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens; Stereotypically You alongside Lewis Black, Kal Penn, and Lauren Miller; and in the 2016 film Undrafted with Chace Crawford and Tyler Hoechilin. Mr. Tveit starred on Broadway in Marc Shaiman’s Catch Me If You Can as Frank Abagnale Jr., and also created the role of Gabe in the Pulitzer Prize–winning Broadway musical Next to Normal, with music by Tom Kitt, which he developed Off Broadway at Second Stage Theater and debuted on Broadway. This performances mark Aaron Tveit’s New York Philharmonic debut.