The Music of Joni Mitchell, Doris Day and Brian Wilson Performed at Upright Cabaret
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The last date listed for Upright Cabaret was Sunday November 8, 2009 / 8:00pm.
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar Member
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We throughly enjoyed this event even though it was not quite what we expected. Our expectation was to hear the music made popular by the three artists, Doris Day, Joni Mitchell and Brian Wilson. While we did hear some of their music, more was music written by the performers of the evening. They were very very good. Would go again.
Quotes & Highlights
**V****ALARIE PETTIFORD** was thrilled to start 2009, guest starring on the hit CBS series “CRIMINAL MINDS” as Sandra Harris. She continues her recurring role on the hit comedy series “HOUSE OF PAYNE” as Sandra Lucas. In 2007 Valarie opened Summer Concert Series with The Pasadena Pops conducted by Rachel Worby and she was also thrilled to shoot the pilot “ANATOMY OF HOPE” for HBO as Deanna Rivers directed by JJ Abrams. In February 2006, Valarie completed her fourth season of the hit TV series HALF & HALF (now in Syndication) that earned her three NAACP Image Award nominations for her portrayal as Big Dee Dee Thorne. She guest starred as Dr. Lana Whitford in CSI MIAMI (Spring 2006), Ellen Laskow in BONES (Spring 2007), Susan Latham in CSI (Spring 2007), and as Aunt Jackie in the #1 film for 3 weeks and now the # 1 DVD, STOMP THE YARD. A Sony Screen Gems production (2007). Her widely successful one-woman show was performed to sold out audiences at Pepperdine University’s Smothers Theatre, The Gardenia Room, the El Portal Theater and at Mark’s presented by Upright Cabaret in Los Angeles.
The Metropolitan Room in New York City where she received The 2007 Backstage Bistro Award and most recently at New York’s Famous BIRDLAND supper club! Broadway/Tour credits; “FOSSE”, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle, Dora Mavor Moore award and recognizes by the Drama League, CHICAGO (opposite Chita Rivera) London West End debut, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, original cast and understudy for Judith Jamison.GRIND, ‘DANCIN’, BIG DEAL, SHOW BOAT Ovation nomination. Highlights in TV/FILM; THE DISTRICT, FRASIER, THE WEST WING, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, THE WIZ, THE COTTON CLUB and GLITTER. Valarie continues to lend her support and talents to many charities annually and is thrilled to have fulfilled a life long dream of recording an album titled HEAR MY SOUL.
MATT CUSSON’s intense but soothing style contains a breadth of influences – from R & B, soul, and gospel to jazz, pop, and rock. A self-taught piano and guitar player, Matt can bring passion to most any song leaving listeners yearning for more. He can sing with enough soul to wow Brian McKnight or even slip into a jazzy number with the coolness of Harry Connick Jr. As for his humble beginnings, he sang and performed for his family from age two, and from then on devoured the music of Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, The Beatles, Djavan, Take 6 and so many others. He taught himself how to play piano in part by listening and copying the jazzy chords he loved so much in the music of Brian McKnight – an auspicious sign of things to come. His passion for music led him to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he played with John Mayer, Ryan Leslie, and was chosen to participate in the Singer Showcase, a forum for highlighting Berklee’s best vocalists. It was at Berklee that Matt met his childhood hero Brian McKnight, who felt his astonishing musical potential as soon as he heard Matt play and sing. Now Matt tours the world with McKnight playing keyboards, singing background vocals, and often opening the show. As McKnight raves, “I knew he could be a great singer/songwriter… He has the power to create his own destiny.” Matt has also shared stages and studios with James Taylor, Christina Aguilera, BeBe Winans, Wayne Brady, Donavon Frankenreiter, Jessica Simpson, Stanley Clarke, Babyface, Joe, Jon B., Boyz II Men, and The Roots. He’s won Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater on three separate occasions, and has performed on “Live with Regis and Kelly” and ABC’s “The View”, where Meredith Vieira gushed that “Matt is a star in the making!”.
MICHAEL ARDEN’s Broadway credits include: BIG RIVER and THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’. Other credits include: BARE, IT’S ONLY LIFE, SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS. PIPPIN (LA Drama Critics Nomination), ACE, GOD OF VENGEANCE, THE COMMON PURSUIT, AS YOU LIKE IT, THE WINTER’S TALE, World AIDS Day concerts of PIPPIN and THE SECRET GARDEN. TELEVISION: KINGS, THE CLOSER, BONES, THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES, CASHMERE MAFIA, GREY’S ANATOMY and NUMB3RS. FILM: BRIDE WARS, THE GOOD SHEPHERD. CONCERT: BARBRA STREISAND’S EUROPEAN TOUR, FEINSTEIN’S at the REGENCY and JOE’S PUB. Associate Director of Broadway’s; A TALE OF TWO CITIES. TRAINING: THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL.
CHRISTOHPER LLOYD BRATTEN (Musical Director) is a graduate of the Musicians Institute of Hollywood . Originally from California (via the Midwest …), he started playing at the age of 12. His first experiences as a performer were on stage in numerous musicals and plays. After moving (back) to California in 2001, he began working more off stage as an accompanist and music director. He has been the resident MD at the Ventura Court Theatre for six years (productions include Cabaret, Little Shop Of Horrors, and an original adaptation of the movie Sideways with music by Christopher and lyrics by his sister, Melessa). Since joining Upright in 2007, he’s had the pleasure of working with countless Broadway/film/TV stars (Neil Patrick Harris, Tracie Thoms, Michael Urie, Jai Rodriguez, Alan Thicke, Shoshana Bean). In addition to music directing, Chris also teaches piano and voice, and he is a singer-songwriter.**
ABOUT THE_ UPRIGHT CABARET_ SERIES
**This brand new series will perform the first Sunday night of each of La Mirada Theatre’s mainstage productions as UPRIGHT CABARET, the pre-eminent Los Angeles hot spot for the next generation of world-class entertainers, brings its unique brand of cabaret entertainment to La Mirada! With celebrities in attendance, Upright Cabaret has become a hip and contemporary social swirl of young Broadway and Hollywood, performing with a level of excellence, authenticity and intimacy that brings the crowds back time after time. Upright Cabaret boasts one of the most extensive and diverse rosters of talent in the country. Broadway divas, talented troubadours, cabaret legends, Hollywood notables, pop sensations and many future sensations have all found their way to the Upright stage.
Upright Alumni include Adam Lambert (“American Idol”), Alan Cumming (Tony Award winner), Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”), Paula Cole (Grammy Award winner), Hunter Parish (“Weeds”) and Lea Salonga (Tony Award winner). Upright is taking their brand of new generation cabaret to La Mirada with the ‘American Icons Series’. Four rising stars of stage and screen will pay homage to musical idols like Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton and Joni Mitchell in a Cabaret Lounge created in the La Mirada Theatre lobby. Their soulful interpretations of American classics will change the way you think about cabaret.
*Actual performers will be announced 3 weeks before show date.