The University of Findlay is excited to present, “An Evening with Rebecca Luker, Featuring Phil Reno” as part of this school year’s Donnell Broadway Concert Series.
Luker, a gifted soprano, is a Tony-nominated Broadway star of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “Mary Poppins,” “Nine,” “The Music Man,” “The Sound of Music,” “Showboat,” “The Secret Garden” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” as well as Off-Broadway’s “Death Takes a Holiday.” She will be accompanied by Reno, a Grammy-nominated Broadway conductor and musical director who is currently the musical director and vocal arranger for the smash hit, “Something Rotten!”
The concert will be held on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s TLB Auditorium. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens and $10 for students in the community. UF students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with a valid UF I.D. Tickets can be purchased at UF’s Box Office in the Alumni Memorial Union on Frazer Street, or by calling the box office at (419) 434-5335.
Luker’s most recent Broadway role was the fairy godmother, Marie, in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Her other Broadway credits include Winifred in the original Broadway production of “Mary Poppins” (Tony Award nomination), Claudia Nardi in the 2003 revival of “Nine” opposite Antonio Banderas, Marian Paroo in the 2000 revival of “The Music Man” (nominations for Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award), Maria in the 1998 revival of “The Sound of Music” (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Magnolia in the 1994 revival of “Showboat” (Tony Award nomination), Lily in “The Secret Garden” (Drama Desk nomination), and Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera.”
With the New York City Opera Luker was featured in “X (The Life and Times of Malcolm X)” and was Fiona in “Brigadoon.” Off-Broadway she has starred in Maury Yeston’s 2011 musical, “Death Takes a Holiday,” for which she was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle award; the world premiere of A.R.Gurney’s “Indian Blood” (Primary Stages); “Can’t Let Go” (Keen Company); and “The Vagina Monologues.”
Luker has performed leading roles at regional theaters throughout the country, including the world premiere of “Little Dancer” by Lynn Aherns and Stephen Flaherty and directed by Susan Stroman. She has also appeared as Clara in Sondheim’s Passion at the Kennedy Center, Julia in “Time and Again” at the Old Globe, Mary in “Harmony” (Drama-Logue Award) at the La Jolla Playhouse, and Amalia in “She Loves Me” with the “Reprise!” series in Los Angeles.
In concert, Luker has performed Leonard Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcaroles” with the Chicago Symphony; Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” with the Melbourne Symphony (Florida); “Life Begins at 8:40,” “Pardon My English,” “Primrose,” and “Babes in Arms,” all at The Library of Congress; “Jubilee and Music in the Air” at Town Hall; at Carnegie Hall: “No, No Nanette,” “Trouble in Tahiti,” “Gay Divorce” and “The Art of the Lyricist” (Ira Gershwin Centennial Series); “My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies” and “My Favorite Things: The Love Songs” (both televised on PBS); an evening to honor Aherns & Flaherty with the New York Pops, “A Tribute to Billie Holiday”; and “A Comden & Green Evening.” With New York’s Encores! Series at City Center, she has appeared in “Where’s Charlie?” and “The Boys from Syracuse,” along with two concerts with Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series honoring Arthur Schwartz and Leonard Bernstein.
Luker has performed to sold-out audiences at her critically acclaimed “American Song Book Series” solo concerts at the new Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has appeared with the Alabama, American, Baltimore, Birmingham, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, New Jersey, St. Louis, Chicago, Royal Stockholm, and London Symphonies (to name a few!), as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Her television credits include the CBS Television movie “Cupid and Cate,” “Law and Order-SVU,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Matlock,” “An Evening with the Pops,” “An Oscar Hammerstein Celebration” and “A Tribute to Rodgers and Hart” (PBS),” The Kennedy Center Honors honoring Julie Andrews, and a Richard Rodgers celebration with the Boston Pops (PBS). Her movie credits include “Not Fade Away” (2012) and Toni Dove’s 2006 film, “Spectropia.”
Luker’s numerous recordings include, “I Got Love,” “Greenwich Time” and “Leaving Home” (all PS Classics); “Anything Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter” (Fynsworth Alley); “Aria,” “Aria 2,” and “Aria 3” (all on Koch); and the cast recordings of “The Boys From Syracuse,” “Wonderful Town,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Brigadoon,” “Strike up the Band,” as well as “Broadway Showstoppers,” and “Jerome Kern Treasury.”
Her original cast recordings include “The Secret Garden” and “Death Takes a Holiday,” as well as revival cast recordings of “The Sound of Music,” “Showboat,” and “The Music Man.” Some of her other recordings are “Placido Domingo: The Broadway I Love,” “Unsung Sondheim,” “Unsung Musicals II,” “Lost in Boston III,” and many more.
Luker was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and received a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, as well as an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree, from the University of Montevallo. She resides in New York City with her husband, actor Danny Burstein, and her stepsons, Alex and Zach.
More information on Luker can be found at http://www.rebeccaluker.com/.
Reno is originally from Tiffin, Ohio. Prior to “Something Rotten,” his work included “The Producers” (2001-2007) the Broadway revival of “Promises, Promises” (2010), “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Thou Shalt Not,” “Cats” and “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.” He has also contributed orchestrations for the television show, “Broadway Under the Stars” (CBS, 2002-2006) and the film adaptation of “The Producers” (2005).
Luker and Reno’s UF performance will feature Luker singing various musical theatre songs, accompanied by Reno on the piano.
Thomas (’70) and Kathleen Donnell established the Thomas and Kathleen Donnell Broadway Concert Series Endowment Fund in conjunction with the Give Voice to your Values campaign. The Donnell Broadway Concert Series enables noted Broadway artists to visit campus each academic year in the fall, in addition to the annual spring semester performance. The series provides entertainment for students and community members in concert, as well as opportunities for UF musical theatre students to learn from accomplished professionals in master classes.