MasterVoices | Orchestra of St. Lukes
After the resounding success of their 1931 hit, Of Thee I Sing (performed by MasterVoices in 2017), the Gershwins re-teamed with librettists George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind for this madcap and blisteringly dark sequel. Let ‘Em Eat Cake picks up with the same motley crew, four years later – President Wintergreen has lost re-election, fires the Supreme Court, stages a military coup, and paints the White House blue. But never mind all that – Cake is a sparkling gem filled with wonderful Gershwin tunes, and it hasn’t been heard in NYC since 1987! Tony Award-nominee Bryce Pinkham returns as our President Wintergreen, along with Kevin Chamberlin (The Addams Family), Chuck Cooper (The Life), Fred Applegate (Wicked) David Pittu (LoveMusik) and some new faces too – Mikaela Bennett (The Golden Apple) Lewis J. Stadlen (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), and Christopher Fitzgerald (Waitress). Just when you thought it was safe to vote again!
Update: Due to a casting change, the role of Kruger will be played by David Pittu, with Christopher Fitzgerald appearing as The Narrator/Tweedledee.
Director and Conductor, TED SPERLING
Concert Script Adaptation, LAURENCE MASLON
Musical Staging, ANDREW PALERMO
Costume Consultant, TRACY CHRISTENSEN
Lighting Design, MAARTEN CORNELIS
Sound Design, SCOTT LEHRER
Stage Manager, GREGORY COVERT
With ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S
Running time: 2 hour and 15 minutes + 15 minute intermission
Tickets for Let ‘Em Eat Cake will be available starting on September 9th.
MasterVoices Members save 15% on tickets and have pre-sale access beginning September 3rd.
Tickets may be purchased online at Carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th and Seventh Avenue.
This performance is funded in part by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; The Geier Foundation; the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Philanthropic Fund; the Hargrove Pierce Foundation; and The Roger Rees Fund for Musical Theater New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the Howard Gilman Foundation.
Make a night of it!
Join us for MasterVoices’ Fall Gala on November 21 following the concert performance. Learn more and buy tickets.
Bryce Pinkham (President John P. Wintergreen)
Previous MV Performances: Knickerbocker Holiday (2011), Of Thee I Sing (2017)
Broadway: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony, Drama Desk, Grammy Nominations) The Heidi Chronicles (Outer Critics, Drama League Nomination) Ghost, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Holiday Inn (no nominations, but people said they really liked them.) TV: Mercy Street, The Get Down, Proven Innocent, Instinct, Blindspot, The Goodwife, Person of Interest. Countries visited: 22 and counting. Co-Founder of www.zaraaina.org BA: Boston College
MFA in Acting and bio writing in the third person: Yale School of Drama. Follow: @theBrycecapades
Mikaela Bennett (Mary Wintergreen)
Previous MV Performances: Our America (2018), Israel in Egypt (2018)
Mikaela Bennett is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School in New York and is becoming celebrated as a singer and actress for her work on stage and in the concert hall. In 2019 Mikaela was honored by the Lincoln Center with a ‘Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists’. In May 2019 Mikaela made her critically acclaimed debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago playing ‘Maria’ in Lyric’s production of West Side Story. In July 2019 Mikaela starred in the title role in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the MUNY and in August 2019 Mikaela returned to the BBC Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra performing music from the Warner Bros film studio which was broadcast live on British television.
On stage, Mikaela made her professional debut starring as Penelope in The Golden Apple at City Center Encores! Mikaela originated the role of Norma in Dick Scanlan and Carmel Dean’s new musical Renascence in New York City and at the 2018 Prototype Festival she originated the title role of Acquanetta in a new opera composed by Michael Gordon and directed by Daniel Fish. In the concert hall Mikaela has made her debuts with some of the world’s leading orchestras and foremost conductors in America and the United Kingdom.
In August 2018 Mikaela made her BBC Proms debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall starring as Maria in the John Wilson Orchestra’s concert production of West Side Story to critical and public acclaim. She has made her debuts with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Slatkin and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Mikaela performed as a featured soloist in Bernstein on Broadway as part of the Leonard Bernstein 2018 centennial celebrations at the Kennedy Center directed by Kathleen Marshall and conducted by Rob Fisher. Mikaela has collaborated multiple times with conductor Ted Sperling, most recently at Carnegie Hall performing the soprano soloist in Händel’s Israel in Egypt with MasterVoices. She has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, for the world premiere of his work, Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. Mikaela has performed in New York City’s prestigious cabaret venues including Joe’s Pub at the Public and solo concerts at Feinstein’s 54 below. Mikaela is a native of Ottawa, Canada
David Pittu (KRUGER)
Previous MV Performance: The Firebrand of Florence (2009), Of Thee I Sing (2017), Lady in the Dark (2019)
David Pittu is a two-time Tony nominee, for his work in Hal Prince’s LoveMusik and the Mark Twain/David Ives comedy Is He Dead?
Other Broadway credits include The Front Page, The Coast of Utopia, Never Gonna Dance and the upcoming Girl from the North Country, which transfers this spring after a sold-out run last year at the Public. Earlier this year he appeared with MasterVoices in Lady in the Dark at City Center. Firebrand of Florence and Of Thee I Sing.
He has received Drama Desk, Lortel and Outer Critics’ Circle nominations for his work Off-Broadway, and the St Clair Bayfield Award for his work in Twelfth Night at the Delacorte with Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald. Other Off-Broadway highlights include What’s That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling, (for which he also wrote the book and lyrics, music by Randy Redd; Outer Critics’ Circle nominations for Best Off-Broadway Musical and Best Actor in a Musical), Equivocation (MTC), The Heir Apparent (CSC), City Center/Encores! revivals of Of Thee I Sing, Bells Are Ringing, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…It’s Superman, and Big River.
Film and TV credits include Peter Jackson’s King Kong, all the Law & Order series, Damages, House of Cards and much more, including HBO’s upcoming The Plot Against America. David is also a prolific audiobook narrator and received the Best Male Solo Performance Audie Award for The Goldfinch. Other MasterVoices concerts: The Firebrand of Florence, Of Thee I Sing and Lady in the Dark.
Kevin Chamberlin (VP Alexander Throttlebottom)
Previous MV Performance: Of Thee I Sing (2017)
KEVIN CHAMBERLIN has been nominated for 3 Tony® Awards: Horton in Seussical, Dirty Blonde, and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family. Other Broadway credits include: Disaster, The Ritz, Chicago, Triumph of Love, My Favorite Year. Film: Die Hard with A Vengeance, Road to Perdition, Taking Woodstock, Suspect Zero, Christmas with the Kranks TV: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Modern Family, Frasier, Grace and Frankie and Bertram on Disney Channel’s Jessie!
Christopher Fitzgerald (TWEEDLEDEE/NARRATOR)
Previous MV Performances: Knickerbocker Holiday (2011), The Mikado (2012), Babes in Toyland (2017)
Broadway: WAITRESS (Tony nomination; Outer Critics’ Circle Award and Drama Desk Award winner for best featured actor in a musical), AN ACT OF GOD, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, FINIAN’S RAINBOW (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), WICKED original cast, AMOUR (Drama Desk nomination), CHICAGO. Off-Broadway: THE WINTER’S TALE and THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Public), SATURDAY NIGHT (Second Stage. Drama Desk nomination), GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! (Actors’ Playhouse), OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER… (Lincoln Center), DIE FLEDERMAUS (Metropolitan Opera). Series regular on SyFy’s HAPPY!, Netflix’s GODLESS, DirecTV’s ALMOST THERE, WB’s TWINS. Starred in film, GIRL MOST LIKELY, opposite Kristen Wiig. Other TV: THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (recurring), BLINDSPOT, ELEMENTARY, THE GOOD WIFE, NBC PILOT NEXT CALLER.
Fred Applegate (Francis X. Gilhooley)
Previous MV Performance: Of Thee I Sing (2017)
Broadway: The Ferryman (Uncle Pat), Wicked (Wizard), Tuck Everlasting (Joe), The Last Ship (Fr. O’Brien), La Cage aux Folles (Ms. Renaud), Sister Act (Msgr. O’Hara), Young Frankenstein (The Hermit), The Producers (Max, Broadway and London), Sound of Music (Max). Fanny! at Encores! and Happiness at Lincoln Center. National Tours: Wicked, Anything Goes, The Producers, Beauty and the Beast. Regional Theaters: Alliance, Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, Old Globe, St. Louis Rep, Guthrie (Resident Artist, 3 years, 13 productions). Recent television: Crashing, Billions, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Person of Interest; series regular: Newhart, FM, Life and Stuff, Woops!, and Nine to Five; recurring: Night Court, Cosby and Growing Pains; also: Will and Grace, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, ER, Seinfeld, Touched by an Angel, Northern Exposure… and many more. He is married to Cherie Sprosty, Liturgy Director at the Shrine of St. Frances Cabrini, dedicated to the patron saint of immigrants. They have three children: Ben, Meredith and Ethan.
Chuck Cooper (Matthew Fulton)
Previous MV Performances: The Mikado (2012), Of Thee I Sing (2017)
Chuck Cooper won the Tony award for his performance in Cy Coleman’s “The Life.” He has been featured in 16 Broadway shows in every theatrical genre from Shakespeare to musical comedy. His most recent guest starring TV appearances include “New Amsterdam,” “City on a Hill,” “Bull,” “Power,” “The Good Wife,” “House of Cards,” and “Madam Secretary.” Other awards: The Lucille Lortel Award, The San Diego Critics’ Circle Award, The Audelco Award, and Two Drama Desk Nominations. His favorite role is Eddie, Alex and Lilli’s father. He is gratefully married to playwright Deborah Brevoort. www.chuckcooper.net.
LEWIS J. STADLEN (LIPPman)
Has starred on Broadway in Fish in the Dark, The Nance, The Producers, 45 Seconds from Broadway, The Man Who Came to Dinner (Drama Desk Award nomination), Laughter on the 23rd Floor, the 1996 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Tony Award nomination), the female version of The Odd Couple, the 1974 production of Candide (Tony Award nomination), The Sunshine Boys, and Minnie’s Boys (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theatre World Awards). In addition, he has starred in the national tours of Hello, Dolly!, The Producers, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Oklahoma!, The Time of Your Life, and Fiddler on the Roof. He received the Irish Times award for his performance at Dublin’s Gate Theatre production of Arthur Miller’s The Price. His film and television credits include In & Out, To Be or Not to Be, Windy City, The Verdict, Serpico, Portnoy’s Complaint, “Smash,” “Damages,” and “The Sopranos.”
Edsel Romero (Lieutenant)
Edsel Romero is a New York City based actor. Originally from North Texas, he received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education (Choral) from the University of North Texas. A classically trained baritone, Edsel joined MasterVoices, led by Artistic Director Ted Sperling, in their 75th anniversary season and has had the privilege to perform at venues including Carnegie Hall, New York City Center, Alice Tully Hall, and the Rose Theatre at Jazz Lincoln Center.
Major funding for Let ‘Em Eat Cake has been generously provided by: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; The Ira and Leonore Gershwin Philanthropic Fund; Hargrove Pierce Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Susan Baker and Michael Lynch, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Roger Rees Fund for Musical Theater, Frank and Mary Skillern, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Adèle and John Talty.