Theatre company's first musical revue of 2009 begins with 'Spotlight on Sarah Vaughan.'
Sarah Vaughan began her amazing 48-year career by winning the Apollo's Amateur Hour contest at 18. Working with such jazz greats as Billy Ekstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Quincy Jones and Oscar Peterson. "Sassy Sarah" excelled in singing jazz standards, most notably working with jazz composers Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. She won multiple Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award for Individual Achievement, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and The National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest honor in jazz.
"Spotlight on Sarah Vaughan" stars Livia Genise on vocals with musical direction and arrangements by Michael Vannice. The live combo features Michael Vannice on piano, Adam Harris on tenor sax and flute, David Miller on bass and Steve Sutfin on drums. Narration and additional vocals are by Brian Fraser and the script is by Karen Llewellyn.
"Spotlight on Sarah Vaughan" features 22 jazz classics, including "Body and Soul," "Lullaby of Birdland," "Perdido," "After Hours," "Black Coffee" and "East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)."
"Spotlight on Sarah Vaughan" previews at 8 p.m., Thursday Jan. 8, opens Friday Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 18. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
A professional actress since 1969, Livia Genise began her career at the St. Louis Municipal Opera and has performed from Broadway (Rizzo in Grease) to Hollywood and the Bay Area, receiving awards for Best Actress in a Musical from Dean Goodman, Drama-Logue and the Bay Area Critics Circle. At Camelot her roles include Desiree Armfeldt in "A Little Night Music," The Witch in "Into the Woods," Irena in "The Music Lesson," Maria Callas in "Master Class" and Shelby in "The Spitfire Grill." She is also Camelot's Artistic Director.
Michael Vannice toured and recorded with Robert Cray and Lowell Fulson, played with Anthony Braxton, Lauren Newton, Bud Shank, The Temptations and the Four Tops, and collaborated on songs that were recorded by Cray, Eric Clapton and Albert King. He has performed in previous Camelot Theatre spotlights as well as the Oregon Cabaret Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show. Michael also performs with his wife, Mary with the RCC Big Band and the
Adam Harris has a Master's of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Dave Holland, of the Miles Davis Band. His Bachelor's of Music degree is in Jazz Performance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where he performed at the Bumbershoot Festival and the Paramount Theater, having shared the stage with trumpet player Wynton Marsalis. Adam currently performs with his jazz trio.
Dave Miller is one of the most sought-after bassists in the Southern Oregon region. He began playing bass at age 14 and has recently been part of such ensembles as Jazz Eclipse, Jes' Groove, The Jump Daddies and Los Salseros. An extremely versatile player, he's comfortable on stage whether he's with the Rogue Valley Symphony, The Latin Jazz Quartet or the gypsy-jazz group Back Porch Swing. His past Camelot Spotlight credits include Bing Crosby, Julie London and The Blues Show.
Steve Sutfin has been a percussionist for over 40 years starting in the rock clubs of Los Angeles and then touring the Western United States with show groups such as The Diamonds and Mose Allison. His concert locales also include Reno, Las Vegas and Southeast Asia. Since settling in the Rogue Valley, Steve enjoys working in musicals with local theater companies. He owns "Photographic", a camera store and studio located on the corner of Talent St. and Valley View in beautiful downtown Talent.
Brian Fraser has performed in the Rogue Valley for the last 30 years in a variety of venues and theaters, including Actor's Theatre, Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland Resident Theatre, Britt Festival, Camelot Theatre, The Coyote Project, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, SOU and others.
Tickets are $14 for the preview. All other regular performances are $18. Reserved seating is available for an additional $2 per ticket. Tickets are available online at www.CamelotTheatre.org, by phone or in person at the theater box office from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before performances. Call 535-5250.