On Monday, October 10 at 9pm at The Triad (158 West 72nd Street), Lee Summers’ Just A Piano Concert Series is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in a Benefit Concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS with ten Broadway Performers, representing each year.
The cast will include Tony Award winners Adriane Lenox, LaChanze and Chuck Cooper, Tony nominee Brenda Braxton, Shelton Becton and “Mighty Real” star Anthony Wayne – all under the musical direction of Timothy Graphenreed, with more soon to be announced.
This event will be a celebration of ten years of service to the community at the historic Triad Theatre through a series of Just A Piano concerts, which have often been a call to action from the Broadway community to support various causes.
Tickets are $20-$100 and can be purchased online at www.TriadNYC.com. Peter Martin in association with Nancy K. Gray will present the concert.
Lee Summers’ Just A Piano Concert Series began in 2006 when Summers, an actor from the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls (who returned to Broadway for one night in the 2001 Dreamgirls 20th Anniversary Concert with Heather Headley, Audra McDonald and Billy Porter) decided that life had given him an arsenal of super talented friends and colleagues who could command an evening of song with their voices and a piano. At the time Summers was working as The Manager of the historic Triad Theatre (Spamilton, Celebrity Autobiography); he came up with the title, trademarked the name – and his first booking was Roz Ryan (Chicago, TV’s “Amen”), who had been the closing “Effie” of the original Dreamgirls with Summers. On piano was the amazing Shelton Becton (The Color Purple, Memphis and most recently seen on Broadway and HBO as actor/pianist in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill with Audra McDonald.).
Summers, who holds an MFA from NYU/Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, also wrote & starred in Winds of Change, his own Just A Piano Concert with Timothy Graphenreed on piano, for which Summers won a 2009 “Bistro Award” for “Outstanding Entertainer. During ten years of Just A Piano concerts, the series has served as a platform to benefit social causes, such as Hurricane Sandy victims & the Bush/Clinton Fund for Haitian Earthquake relief, The Neighborhood Housing Services of New York, the American Red Cross, MusiCares, The Actors Fund and more.
Other artists who have appeared over the ten years, as featured or as guests, include: LiLlias White, Melba Moore, Norm Lewis, Tituss Burgess, Shoshana Beane, Jenifer Lewis and many more. Pianists have included: Timothy Graphenreed, BrIan Whitted, Daniel Weiss, Ray Leslie, Zane Mark, Michael O. Mitchell, Jason Michael Webb to name a few. Guest directors have included Tamara Tunie, Jerry Dixon and others.
If you cannot make the concert, donate to BC/EFA using the hashtag #Justapiano1010.