Todd Almond Will Be Joined by Laura Benanti, Lindsay Mendez and More at 54 Below; New Projects in the Works
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award winner Laura Benanti, Tony Award nominee Veanne Cox and Lindsay Mendez will join songwriter Todd Almond for his March 25 concert at 54 Below, which promises material from his upcoming album and new musical with Jenny Schwartz.
Almond, who is working on the new musical A Separate Peace with Warren Leight, will perform at 9:30 PM. A band of five musicians will join Almond and the guest performers.
The concert will feature Benanti (Gypsy, Women on the Verge...), Cox (Caroline, or Change; Company) and Mendez (Dogfight, Godspell), as well as Jessie Barr, Joshua Isaacs, Preston Martin, Barrie McLain and Grace McLean.
"I've been writing with a lot of fascinating playwrights recently," Almond told Playbill.com about his selection process for the concert. Material from Melancholy Play, a collaboration with Tony Award-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl, as well as songs from Iowa, penned with playwright Jenny Schwartz, will be part of the eclectic musical mix. His recent works also include an adaptation of The Odyssey, with Lear deBessonet, which played San Diego's Old Globe in 2011.
Audiences will also be treated to material from his album "Mexico City" and his upcoming summer release "Them Fireworks." Almond explained that his 2011 concerts Wyoming and Parts of Kansas serve as a creative bridge between the two albums. "'Mexico City' was a starting place, Wyoming was the next step – it was like a travelogue that took me to this place of 'Them Fireworks,'" he said. "It feels like a bit of an arrival in terms of lyrics. I was working off sudden inspirations." A surprise cover song or two will also be included.
Almond also told Playbill.com that a major new project, which will take place in late summer, will be announced shortly. His musical Girlfriend, based on the Matthew Sweet album of the same title, recently played Actors Theatre of Lousville, and the creative team is currently working toward a future home for the piece.
Almond has penned On the Levee, Girlfriend, People Like Us, Kansas City Choir Boy, Ahraihsak and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which premiered at Yale Rep. He last appeared at 54 Below with Sherie Rene Scott in their collaboration Piece of Meat.
The cover charge ranges $35-$25. 54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. Tickets and additional information are available at 54Below.com.
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