No Bull With Raging Robert.

robert massimi
8 min readDec 15, 2020

BRINGING GREAT HOLIDAY SONGS TO LIFE!

THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY
AND RIKI KANE LARIMER
PRESENT
BROADWAY’S GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: THE HOLIDAY GALA
AN ONLINE CABARET EVENING OF HOLIDAY SONG
HOSTED BY GRAMMY AWARD NOMINEE MICHAEL FEINSTEIN
WITH MASTER OF CEREMONIES GERRY McINTYRE
DIRECTED BY MAC AWARD WINNER BARRY KLEINBORT

FEATURING
GEORGE ABUD, KLEA BLACKHURST, ROBERT CREIGHTON, KAREN MASON,
LEE ROY REAMS, BEN VEREEN, ALTON FITZGERALD WHITE, AND LILLIAS WHITE

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
JEREMY BENTON, KYLIE AND KAYDIN KUIOKA, CHERYL STERN, HALEY SWINDAL,
THE SKIVVIES (NICK CEARLEY AND LAUREN MOLINA) FEATURING DONNA McKECHNIE,
LEGENDARY SONGWRITING TEAM RICHARD MALTBY, JR. AND DAVID SHIRE, AND MORE!

A ONE-NIGHT ONLY VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2020 AT 7:00PM

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT ONGOING PROGRAMS AT THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY

New York, NY (December 14, 2020) — Haul out the holly! The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Executive Director) and Riki Kane Larimer will present the special holiday benefit cabaret Broadway’s Great American Songbook: The Holiday Gala hosted by 5-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein with Master of Ceremonies Gerry McIntyre, York’s Associate Artistic Director. Under the direction of MAC Award winner Barry Kleinbort, the evening will feature performers from the York’s recent cabaret series, which included Tony Award winners Ben Vereen and Lillias White, cabaret and York stalwart Klea Blackhurst, and Broadway veterans George Abud, Robert Creighton, Karen Mason, Lee Roy Reams, and Alton Fitzgerald White. Special guests will include Jeremy Benton, Kylie and Kaydin Kuioka, Cheryl Stern, Haley Swindal, The Skivvies (Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina) featuring Donna McKechnie, legendary songwriting team Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire with the premiere of a new holiday song, and more! Video Editor is Matthew Gurren and Audio Engineer is Dan Gonko. All proceeds from this event will go to benefit the ongoing programs of The York Theatre Company. The one-night only virtual event is set for Monday, December 21, 2020 at 7:00PM.

Suggested donation levels are:

$30-$99: Elf Level: Contributor
$30 or more to our final fundraiser of the year and you’ll receive the private link to The Holiday Gala.

$100-$499: Reindeer Level: Donor
Receive the link to The Holiday Gala,
PLUS be a guest at a pre-show group Zoom Happy Hour with the cabaret artist of your choice: choose to spend your time with Alton Fitzgerald White, Lee Roy Reams, Karen Mason, George Abud, Klea Blackhurst or Robert Creighton.
Zoom Happy Hour begins at 6:00pm on Monday, December 21.

$500-$999: Rudolph Level: Supporting Producer
ALL previous benefits,
PLUS a Gala link to share with one other household,
PLUS appropriate billing in the opening credits of the Gala
AND in the new donor recognition display in the York lobby.

$1000-$2499: Mrs. Claus Level: Associate Producer
ALL previous benefits,
PLUS Gala links to share with TWO other households,
PLUS appropriate billing in the opening credits of the Gala
AND in the new donor recognition display in the York lobby.

$2500+: Santa Claus Level: Co-Producer
ALL previous benefits,
PLUS Gala links to share with FOUR other households,
PLUS appropriate billing in the opening credits of the Gala
AND in the new donor recognition display in the York lobby.

Here is a link to a sneak peek video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su5Sla946ZE&feature=youtu.be

For further details and to purchase tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/store/34375/alldonations/35398

“All of us at the York Theatre have been delighted to share our cabaret series, Broadway’s Great American Songbook,” stated James Morgan, York Producing Artistic Director. “And, just in time for the holiday season, we’re excited to bring you The Holiday Gala, offering a few perks to make this evening even more special.” He added, “working with Michael Feinstein, Barry Kleinbort, and Riki Kane Larimer to make it happen has been a real delight — and this lineup of performers will absolutely blow you away. All sorts of people have talked about how this series sets the gold standard for pandemic programming, and I agree…it looks and sounds spectacular. And those performers! Please join us for this special evening of holiday cheer.”

Producer Riki Kane Larimer shared, “We are thrilled to have gathered Broadway’s best to share the Great American Broadway canon of music on this virtual platform. The York’s Cabaret Series has been a successful virtual entertainment event!”

“The impressive array of artists spans the last five decades of Broadway and Off-Broadway musical theater, performing songs both famous and rare, composed by the greatest songwriters this country has ever produced,” said director Barry Kleinbort. “Every single performer has been nothing less than a joy to work with as well as blessedly flexible when working under these unusually modified circumstances. A pro, every single one!”

Michael Feinstein (Host), the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “the Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, master classes, and the annual high school Songbook Academy. Michael also serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

Barry Kleinbort (Director) has earned the prestigious Edward Kleban Foundation Award for Lyric Writing, two Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theatre Awards, the Second Stage Musical Writers Award, the Jamie deRoy/ASCAP Foundation songwriter’s award, two Backstage Bistro Awards, and twelve MAC Awards for directing and songwriting. He has written eight musicals, six of which have been produced, along with special musical material for performing artists as diverse as Petula Clark and Regis Philbin. His most recent musical, 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti, recently played LA after successful runs Off-Broadway and regionally, all starring Penny Fuller. He also directed Len Cariou’s one-man show Broadway and the Bard for Off-Broadway and its international tour. He has been directing and devising cabaret shows since 1979. Mr. Kleinbort has provided the book for a new revue, Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood, directed by Randy Skinner, which will premiere at the York Theatre sometime in the near future. A recording of 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti and an album of his theater songs, Big City Rhythm, are available on Harbinger Records.

The York Theatre Company offers the York! Membership Program, an exclusive membership package for as low as $75.00 — with elite benefits that include up to 35% off tickets to York Theatre Productions, exclusive Member pre-sale opportunities, 50% off on all lobby concessions, 20% off on all lobby merchandise, in addition to special Member-only receptions. The York also offers a York Plus! Membership Program with additional perks, including complimentary tickets to Mainstage productions, invites to several VIP-only presentations throughout the season, and discount parking with membership. (York Members receive Priority Seating and Discounted Tickets.) All current, renewing, and new members will receive a complimentary 6 months of additional membership — 18 months for the price of 12 months! York Memberships can be purchased online at www.yorktheatre.org/membership.

* * *

Together we can create. Together we can cheer. Together we can bring musicals to life. Help The York continue through this “intermission.” Please donate by visiting www.yorktheatre.org/support/donate.

For additional information, please visit www.yorktheatre.org.

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The York Theatre Company is the only theatre in New York City — and one of very few in the world — dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past. For over four decades, York’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, The York has focused on new musicals in its Mainstage Series — most of them world, American, or New York premieres — by some of the field’s most esteemed creators and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Well over 40 cast recordings from The York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd (four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of The York and its programs. Recent New York premieres have included Marry Harry, A Taste of Things to Come, and Rothschild & Sons. The critically acclaimed musical Yank! received its Off-Broadway debut at The York in 2010, and subsequently to rave reviews in London — as did York’s Rothschild & Sons. The hit musical Cagney received its York premiere in 2015, transferring to the Westside Theatre for over 15 months. In 2017, Desperate Measures received a total of 15 award nominations (and three wins) that included “Best Musical” from the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Off-Broadway Alliance and subsequently transferred across town to New World Stages. Unexpected Joy premiered Off-Broadway at The York, and later had a run at London’s Southwark Playhouse. The acclaimed new musical Midnight at The Never Get (Fall 2018) received a collective total of 7 nominations from the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Off-Broadway Alliance Awards. The 2019 Winter Musicals in Mufti series celebrated the centennial of lyricist/librettist Alan Jay Lerner, with the 1979 musical Carmelina, followed by the musical The Day Before Spring (1945), closing with the New York premiere of Lolita, My Love (1971). Launching the York’s 50th Anniversary year last spring was the acclaimed revival of the hit musical Enter Laughing. The Fall 2019 Musicals in Mufti series celebrated the legendary Cole Porter with Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), followed by The Decline and Fall of the Entire World as Seen Through the Eyes of Cole Porter (1965), and concluding with Panama Hattie (1940). Most recently, The York presented the world premiere of the new musical revue Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Musical World of Maury Yeston and a transfer of Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, the newest installment of Gerard Alessandrini’s beloved satirical revue. During the pandemic, The York has hosted a selection of streaming programming including the Songwriters in Mufti series, A Taste of York, the biweekly Show (+Tell!) series of panel discussion revisiting past York productions, the Musical Theater Training Program Showcase series, and the seven-week cabaret series Broadway’s Great American Songbook featuring George Abud, Klea Blackhurst, Robert Creighton, Karen Mason, Lee Roy Reams, Ben Vereen, Alton Fitzgerald White, and Lillias White. The York is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award for “Developing and Producing New Musicals” and, more recently, a special Outer Critics Circle Award for “50 Years of Producing New and Classic Musicals.”

Mufti Awards, “Desperate Measures”, “A Taste of New York”, Google, Gmail, Covid 19 Vaccine, James Morgan, www.yorktheater.com, www.broadwayworld.com, Show Score, Breitbart, www.vanityfair.com.

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robert massimi

Drama critic for Nimbus Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine and New York Lifestyles Magazine. Producer, editor and writer.