(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- George Street Playhouse is celebrating its 40th season in style on Sunday, May 4th with a star-studded Gala. Tony Award nominees and musical heavy hitters Contstantine Maroulis (American Idol finalist, The Wedding Singer and Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway) Nancy Opel (GSP's Toxic Avenger, Broadway's Memphis) and Montego Glover (Memphis) will perform during the cabaret portion of the evening as part of a tribute to Tony Award-winning playwright Joe DiPietro (The Toxic Avenger, Memphis, Nice Work if You Can Get It, GSP's Clever Little Lies). Mr. DiPietro will be awarded the Playhouse Distinguished Artist Award, and in a nod to the final production of George Street's 40th Season, New Brunswick Mayor, the Honorable James Cahill, will be given the Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award, to be presented by the former Governor himself.
The Black Tie affair at The Heldrich (located right across the street from George Street Playhouse)begins at 5 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner follows at 6:30 pm with the Cabaret performance commencing at 7:30. Individual tickets as well as tables of ten are available. Seating for only the cabaret performance is also available. For further information contact Steven Barry, at (732) 846-2895, extension 144.
George Street Playhouse Distinguished Artist Joe DiPietro won the 2012 Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book for the recent Broadway hit Nice Work If You Can Get It. He won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score for Memphis, which was also awarded the 2010 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. He has seen three of his shows begin their lives on the George Street Playhouse stage: The Toxic Avenger, Creating Claire, and this season's Clever Little Lies. His other shows include All Shook Up; I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical). His plays include the much-produced Over the River and Through the Woods, The Art of Murder (Edgar Award winner for Best Mystery Play), Creating Claire and The Last Romance. His work has been produced thousands of times across the country and around the world.
Montego Glover was born in Macon, Georgia and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A graduate of Florida State University with a BFA in Music Theatre, Montego made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple in the roles of Celie & Nettie. She created the role of Felicia Farrell in the Broadway hit musical Memphis and received a Tony Award Nomination for Lead Actress in a Musical as well as a Drama League Nomination and won both the Outer Critics' Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for her performance. While based in New York, Montego has been privileged to travel to a number of exciting theatre companies around the country including: the Geffen Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, The Huntington Theatre, and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre to name a few. And the productions have been as varied as the locations: Aida (4 productions in the role of Aida, IRNE Award-Best Actress in a Musical), Ragtime (2 productions in the role of Sarah), Dreamgirls (Lorrell), Into The Woods (Red Riding Hood) Oklahoma (Ado Annie), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hermia), Westside Story (Anita), Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magadelene), and Once On This Island (TiMoune, Helen Hayes Award Nomination) among others.
Travel has also given Montego an impressive list of credits in Concert work both in New York and around the country. She has been a Guest Artist for the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Caramoor Music Festival, and the prestigious Smith Center in Las Vegas.
While thriving in the theatre and concert work Montego also spends time in television, film, and commercials. On television Montego has appeared on The Following, Hostages, Smash, Golden Boy, The Good Wife, White Collar, NYC 22, Law & Order, and Made In Jersey as well as several award winning programs for PBS including Memphis on Broadway. Montego's numerous commercial campaigns include: Campbell's Soup, Chase, Verizon, Charmin, Subway, Nickelodeon, and McDonald's. And Montego has not been limited to voicing for products and networks, she has also lent her voice to avatars for the Star Wars franchise with Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Star Wars: The Old Republic. And in the world of animation she can be heard voicing characters for Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go.
Montego is a member of the Artists' Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors, and recently joined the community efforts of the New York Pops by becoming a PopsEd Ambassador.
Nancy Opel is known to George Street Playhouse audiences as Babs Belgoody, the mayor of Tromaville in the world premiere production of The Toxic Avenger which moved to New York. A graduate of the Juilliard School, her Broadway credits include Memphis, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, Urinetown (Tony Award nomination), Triumph of Love, Ring Round the Moon, Getting Away with Murder, Sunday in the Park with George, Anything Goes and Evita. Off-Broadway, the singer-actress has been seen in All in the Timing, Mere Mortals, Lives of the Saints, Hundreds of Hats, Don Juan in Chicago and Personals. She also starred in the title role of the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone. Opel's screen credits include Flight of the Conchords, Electric Company, The Ice Storm, Second Skin, Marcix, Law & Order, Ryan's Hope and One Life to Live.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and later raised in the nearby suburbs of New Jersey, Constantine Maroulis grew up surrounded by a wide array of varying music from classic rock, alternative and spirituals to jazz and jam band antics. When he entered high school he participated in musical theater productions as well as singing in various rock bands. Constantine continued to pursue both acting and music while attending college locally. It was not unusual to see Constantine onstage at a Summer Stock theater production while afterwards heading straight to a nightclub to front a band. There, he gained the invaluable experience of burning both ends of the entertainment candle that would help him nail his audition that garnered his spot to attend the prestigious Boston Conservatory of Music. After completing school Maroulis returned to his native New York City where he soon landed the role of Roger in the ever-popular aforementioned musical Rent. For the better part of the next year Constantine electrified audiences nightly, receiving critical praise touring North America and Asia with the show.
Upon completion of the Rent tour, Constantine returned to Manhattan where he busied himself with his rock band by night auditions by day. By chance, a friend coaxed him into traveling to Washington D.C., this for an audition of a different sort where 10,000 plus hopefuls took their chances to make the cut for the wildly popular television show American Idol. Well, what happened next is the "stuff dreams are made of," eventually Constantine became a finalist, this before a consistent television viewing audience of millions. Ironically, while American Idol would expose Constantine to a new world, he himself was yearned to get back to his theater roots, subsequently doing just that in 2006 when he was cast in his first Broadway leading part, this for a special limited engagement of the Tony nominated musical The Wedding Singer. This was followed by another ensemble piece with the eclectic 1960s off-Broadway gem Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris where Constantine garnered a string of excellent reviews.
In recent months Constantine finished a highly touted guest appearance on television's Law & Order: SVU as well as the lead role in Joe DiPietro (Memphis) penned cult musical The Toxic Avenger, at Houston's Alley Theater. Speaking of reinvention, Maroulis worked diligently with famed Manhattan producers the Niederlander Organization to create a re-imagined version of Frank Wildhorn's epic musical Jekyll & Hyde. Constantine co-starred with the talented Deborah Cox in a massive 25-week National Tour and a 8-week engagement on Broadway.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway - recent productions include the Outer Critics' Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill and the recent Broadway hit and Tony® and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by its lead season sponsor, Johnson & Johnson.