‘From Manhattan to Tiffin’: Singer-songwriter Jeff Blumenkrantz, Heidelberg students to perform contemporary musical theater program
Award-winning actor, singer and composer Jeff Blumenkrantz is to be an artist-in-residence at Heidelberg University this week, coaching music and theatre students Friday, before taking the Gundlach Theatre stage with them on Saturday for an evening of contemporary musical theater. “From Manhattan to Tiffin” is part of the School of Music & Theatre’s Vocal Arts Concert Series.
The Tony Award-nominated Blumenkrantz is to perform in concert and accompany his own compositions with Heidelberg students at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Gundlach Theatre.
Blumenkrantz began hiss career as a songwriter began at Northwestern University, later pursuing his acting career in New York. He has been composing for more than 30 years and his works have been performed in regional theaters around the country.
He received a 2003 Tony Award nomination for the songs he contributed to the score of “Urban Cowboy,” the musical. In 2004, he was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to contribute to “The Seven Deadly Sins,” a song cycle premiered by Audra McDonald that year. A year later, “The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook,” a piano/vocal folio of 20 songs, was published, followed by the release of the first episode of “The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast,” a performance and interview show featuring his songs sung by some of musical theater’s great talents.
In 2011, Blumenkrantz received the Fred Ebb Award for his song cycle, “Month Upon a Time,” which he wrote over the course of year. The song cycle features 12 songs each dealing with a different month, inspired by ideas pitched to him by his Twitter followers.
Early 2015 marked the release of his recording “I’ve Been Played: Alysha Umphress Swings Jeff Blumenkrantz,” featuring Alysha Umphress. His songs can also be heard on such recordings as: Audra McDonald’s “How Glory Goes,” Sutton Foster’s “Wish” and “An Evening with Sutton Foster — Live at the Café Carlyle,” Rebecca Luker’s “Greenwich Time,” Victoria Clark’s “15 Seconds of Grace,” Megan Mullally’s “Big as a Berry, Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album,” and Lauren Kennedy’s “Here and Now.”
He has performed on Broadway in “Into the Woods,” “Threepenny Opera” and “Damn Yankees,” among other productions, as well in many off-Broadway productions. Film and TV credits include “The Big Sick,” “The Detour,” “30 Rock,” “The Good Wife,” “Ugly Betty,” “Will and Grace,” “Law and Order” and the PBS telecasts of the New York Philharmonic concerts of “Sweeney Todd” and “Candide.”
Heidelberg students who are to perform with Blumenkrantz include Kaylea Bowers, Elias Rousculp, Elizabeth Bowman, Gavin Buurma, Riley Gibson, Ashley Dawson, Maia Brower, Sam Stohlman, Paige Hood, Caira Goldstein, Haley Martin, Reese Lytle, Krysten Lilly, Gavin Hubbard, Madison Swyers, Jasmine Ridler, Anna Zeller and Lo Erin Jackson.
If you go …
Tickets can be purchased at gundlachtheatre.org or at the door. The cost is $10 for Heidelberg Theatre subscribers and Berg Bravo! members and $10 general admission.