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Kimmel Center Announces New Season of "Broadway Up Close" Series, Hosted by Seth Rudetsky

 For a PDF version of this press release, please click here

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.@SethRudetsky is back for “Broadway Up Close” @KimmelCenter & he’s bringing friends @Matt_Morrison @VWOfficial @Ripleytheband @Chita_Rivera

Press Contact:

Amanda Conte




2016–17 Lineup To Feature Stars of Stage and Screen including Matthew Morrison, Vanessa Williams, Alice Ripley, and Chita Rivera in Evenings of Song with a Side of Broadway Dish

Also: New BuzzFeed Quiz, Who Is Your Broadway Up Close Spirit Animal?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, November 15, 2016) –– After a successful first season, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is proud to announce the 2016–17 lineup for Broadway Up Close, hosted by Sirius XM Radio Star Seth Rudetsky.Formerly known as the Seth Rudetsky Broadway Concert Series, the Broadway Up Close concert series will consist of four performances featuring renowned actors from the stage and screen. This season’s lineup will include Tony Award® winners Chita Rivera and Alice Ripley, the Tony, Emmy & Golden Globe nominated star of Glee, Matthew Morrison, and Grammy, Tony & Emmy nominated star Vanessa Williams. Broadway Up Close is presented in association with Mark Cortale Productions.

“This new season of Broadway Up Close adds another layer to our fabulous Broadway programming by providing access to the best of Broadway in our intimate Perelman Theater,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “These cabaret-style performances, hosted by the incomparable Seth Rudetsky, give audiences an opportunity to experience Broadway as the title implies, up close, through song and stories from their favorite artists.”

In a new BuzzFeed quiz, fans can determine which of the stars they identify with, based on the roles that made each famous. The quiz can be accessed here.

The 2016–17 Broadway Up Close season will consist of the following performances: Matthew Morrison on Saturday, December 17, 2016; Vanessa Williams on Saturday, January 21, 2017; Alice Ripley on Saturday, May 6, 2017; and Chita Rivera on Saturday, June 3, 2017. All performances in the Broadway Up Close season will take place in the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with the exception of Chita Rivera, which will take place at the Merriam Theater. A full schedule of dates and venues follows:


Hosted by Seth Rudetsky


Perelman Theater

December 17, 2016

Matthew Morrison has been nominated for a Tony Award for The Light in the Piazza and Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his starring role in the hit TV series Glee. He most recently starred as J.M. Barrie in the Harvey Weinstein musical Finding Neverland. The Broadway production, an adaptation of the 2004 film, follows the relationship between Barrie and the Davies family, who became the author’s inspiration for the creation of Peter Pan. Morrison received two Drama Desk nominations for his role and won the category of Favorite Actor in a Musical in the Broadway.com Audience Awards. In 2015, he wrapped the final season of Fox’s musical comedy series Glee, where he starred as the director of the glee club, Mr. Schuester. The show was created by Ryan Murphy and received the Golden Globe Award Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical in 2010 and 2011. Morrison studied musical theater, vocal performance, and dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and made his debut on Broadway in Footloose. His big break, however, came when he was cast as heartthrob Link Larkin in the hit Hairspray. He also starred in the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater in New York.


Perelman Theater

January 21, 2017

Vanessa Williams has enjoyed one of the most varied and successful careers of any entertainer today. As a recording artist, she has sold over 25 million records worldwide, including #1 and Top 10 hits in genres stretching from pop, dance, R&B, Latin, gospel, jazz and more, including 17 total Grammy nominations. Her platinum single “Colors of the Wind” from the soundtrack to Disney’s animated hit film Pocahontas won the Oscar for Best Original Song. On television, she starred as Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty, a role that brought her three Emmy nominations during the series’ four-season run. She was just tapped by VH1 to star in the new scripted series Satan Sisters based on the 2011 book by Star Jones which began production this July. On film, Vanessa has starred in Soul Food, for which she won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress and the Black Film Award for Best Actress, as well as the films Dance with Me, Light It Up, Shaft, And Then Came Love, My Brother, Johnson Family Vacation, among others. Her Broadway performances include her Tony-nominated role in the revival of Into the Woods, as well as Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Trip to Bountiful, After Midnight, and Encores’ St. Louis Woman.


Perelman Theater

May 6, 2017

Alice Ripley received the Tony Award and Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Next to Normal, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Her performance as conjoined twin Violet Hilton in Side Show earned her and her co-star Emily Skinnera shared 1998 Tony Award nomination, making them the first to be co-nominated in a musical. She also starred in the original Broadway casts of American Psycho, as well as The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce’ s The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, and The Who’ s Tommy. She also appeared on Broadway and on national tour in Les Misérables, and in Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions of Next to Normal, Five Flights, Shakespeare in Hollywood, and Company, among others. On television, Alice has been featured on Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, and 30 Rock. Her recordings include “Next to Normal,” “Little Fish,” “Skinner/Ripley: Raw at Town Hall,” “Sondheim: The Stephen Sondheim Album,” “Elegies for Angels,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Unsuspecting Hearts,” “Side Show,” and “The Who’s Tommy.” With her band Ripley, Alice has written and produced the albums “Everything’s Fine” (2001, Sh-K-Boom Records), “Ripley EP” (2003), “Outtasite” (2006).


Merriam Theater

June 3, 2017

Chita Rivera is a living Broadway legend and a two-time Tony winner for Best Leading Actress in a Musical as Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman and Anna in The Rink. She originated the Broadway roles of Anita in West Side Story, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Velma in Chicago, and appeared in the original casts of Guys and Dolls, Can Can, Seventh Heaven, Mr. Wonderful, Jerry’s Girls, and many others. An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, aside from her two Tony Awards, she has received seven additional Tony nominations, including most recently for her 2015 performance in The Visit. In recent years she has starred in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood on Broadway and in the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele. She recreated her starring role in The Visit, the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical, at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. She also starred in the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. Chita originally trained as a ballerina from age 11 before receiving a scholarship to the American School of Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. On tour, Chita has been seen in: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, and Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, DC, in December, 2002; the first Hispanic ever chosen to receive this award.


Broadway Up Close Host & Pianist

Seth Rudetsky has hosted the Broadway Series in Provincetown for the previous five seasons, since its inception. He is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway as well as the host of Seth Speaks on SiriusXM Stars. He co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed new musical “Disaster!” last season on Broadway which was just presented in concert on London’s West End this past month. As a pianist, he has played piano for over a dozen Broadway shows including Ragtime, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera among many others. As a comic, Rudetsky was awarded "Funniest Gay Male in NY" at Stand-Up NY and is a three-time Emmy nominee as a writer for The Rosie O'Donnell Show. His newest book, The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek was published by Random House and is available on Amazon.com.


Tickets go on sale for email list subscribers on November 15 and to the general public on November 18. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling (215) 790-5883. More information at kimmelcenter.org.

Mark Cortale Productions

Mark Cortale is the Producing Artistic Director at The Art House in Provincetown, Massachusetts.  In his inaugural season in 2011, he founded the Broadway @ The Art House series featuring Seth Rudetsky as host and pianist.  In 2015 Mark launched the Broadway @ Town Hall series in Provincetown that has included concerts with Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, Matthew Broderick & Sarah Jessica Parker, Audra McDonald & Will Swenson, Vanessa Williams Cheyenne Jackson and Rosie O’Donnell.  He also founded Well-Strung, The Singing String Quartet who will make their Kimmel Center debut on December 8th.  He has produced the Broadway @ series hosted by Seth in Australia (with Megan Mullally) and in London’s West End (with Patti LuPone) at the Leicester Square Theatre.  He has also presented the series in San Francisco @ The Nourse Theatre, in Santa Monica @ The Broad Stage, in Fort Lauderdale @ The Broward's Parker Playhouse and in New Orleans @ The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).   Mark also produced the feature film Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.

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For a PDF version of this press release, please click here

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