Tuesday, July 1, 2014



Gershwin Tribute

Todd Ellison’s Broadway in Concert
Starring Broadway singers Klea Blackhurst, Ross Lekites, Gavin Lodge, and Danette Holden
Also starring Musical Director Todd Ellison

WHEN: Thu, July 17, at 8 PM
STATE THEATRE, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: $50, $45, $40, $35, $25
Ticket Office: 732-246-SHOW (7469) or visit us online at

Featuring four Broadway singers, a band, and music of George Gershwin, this special Broadway in Concert program is presented in collaboration with Music Director Todd Ellison as part of a series. The program will include a showcase of music from the Gershwin songbook including “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “S’Wonderful,” and “Summertime.”

Widely regarded as one of the finest composers of both popular and classical music in the 20th century, George Gershwin wrote for Broadway musicals from 1916-1937, creating many American standards in the process. Gershwin composed the music for the film, Shall We Dance, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and wrote numerous songs for stage and screen that quickly became principle, including “Oh, Lady Be Good!” “Someone to Watch over Me,” “Strike Up the Band,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” and perhaps his best known work, “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Todd Ellison
Hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway’s electric conductors,” Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought after music directors working today. Most recently Music Director and Conductor of the Broadway production of Annie, his credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot (Best Musical Tony® Award), La Cage aux Folles (Best Musical Revival Tony® Award), 42nd Street (Best Revival Tony® Award ), Elton John’s Lestat, Michel Legrand’s Amour, The Wild Party, On The Town, Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), How To Succeed (starring Matthew Broderick), She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf, and A Class Act.

He was the Music Director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the famed Radio City Music Hall for several seasons. As Marvin Hamlisch’s Music Director, Ellison worked with him on his productions of Ballroom and The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis. For City Center’s Encores! he conducted their acclaimed version of On The Town and was a guest pianist for No No, Nanette. Internationally he has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular -Mexico City, World Science Festival -Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall - Cole Porters’ Jubilee.

Klea Blackhurst
Blackhurst recently starred in The Goodspeed Opera’s 50 Anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! She created the role of Miss Lemon in the musical The Nutty Professor. Theatre credits include: NY- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bingo, By Jupiter. Regional – Call Me Madam, Chicago, Anything Goes, and the 2012 critically acclaimed Drury Lane production of Gypsy in Chicago. Her TV/radio credits include Onion News Network, L&O: SVU, Sesame Street,  and A Prairie Home Companion.

Ross Lekites
Ross Lekites’ national tours include West Side Story as Tony (the first national tour), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as Joseph, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular (vocalist). Regional credits include: Good News! (Tom Marlowe, Goodspeed Opera House), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (TOTS), The Full Monty (WVPT), Jesus ChristSuperstar, and South Pacific. Lekites just wrapped up a successful run of West Side Story as Tony at the Ogunquit Playhouse. He can be seen this holiday season at Radio City Music Hall performing in the Christmas Spectacular.

Gavin Lodge
After working in the world of Presidential campaigns in 2000, Lodge decided to move to New York. In that time, he has performed in the Broadway shows, 42nd St, Spamalot, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, and the latest revival of Annie. Regionally, his favorite roles include “Jerry” in Full Monty, “Harold Hill” in Music Man, and “Bernard” in Boeing, Boeing.



Danette Holden
Holden’s Broadway works include Shrek the Musical (Fairy Godmother) and Laughing Room Only (Standby). Her regional credits include The It Girl (Jane/Mrs. Van Norman), White Christmas (Judy), Curtains (Georgia), Follies (Young Sally). She also appeared in the film Mona Lisa Smile.


State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. Magic 98.3 is the official radio station of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre. United is the official airline of the State Theatre.