Stokes’ series of concerts to benefit the Actors Fund and theaters
My first benefit concert is November 7, 2012, at Alice Tully Hall in NYC’s Lincoln Center. To read more about
the concert and purchase tickets, where all proceeds go to The Actors Fund and Lincoln Center, click here.
Stokes joins Seth Rudetsky in studio to chat about his latest CD “Simply Broadway,” a collection of standards featuring stripped down piano and vocal arrangements.
As Seth tends to do, he takes the conversation toward the bizarre and gets Stokes to tell a story about being lost in Greece that would work perfectly as an episode of
“The Twilight Zone.” Then they get down to business recreating signature riffs from Ragtime, one of which includes a note held for so long that it too might be
suitable for “The Twilight Zone.” For Seth’s weekly column, click here. To visit Seth’s internet home, go to www.SethTV.com
Election 2012: the musical
TheaterMania.com cast an imaginary musical about the 2012 elections, and the role of Obama went to Stokes. No, it’s not coming to a theater anytime soon, but it’s fun.
Stokes awarded Americans for the Arts: Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award
Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in the United States, awarded Stokes for his outsanding contributions
to the arts. The annual awards recognize artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement.
Stokes Speaks for Lincoln
Aaron Copland is considered one of America's greatest composers. Among his most famous works is a tribute to an iconic figure in American history. In 1942, Copland
wrote A Lincoln Portrait, which features a full orchestra playing while a narrator reads excerpts from Lincoln's speeches and other writings.
There's been a long list of notables who have performed
A Lincoln Portrait: Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Walter Cronkite and Margaret Thatcher, among many others. The latest addition to that illustrious list is Tony
Award-winning actor and singer Brian Stokes Mitchell, who has made a new recording of Copland's work for NPR Music with The President's Own, the United States Marine Band. Hear an interview about it here. Listen to the entire piece here.
Stokes plays one of Rachel Berry’s (Lea Michele) two dads on the Valentine’s day episode of Fox’s hit musical comedy Glee. Episode airs Feburary 14, check your local
listings for times.
Stokes on his Glee experience:
“So I’m walking down Broadway last Monday and I pass a “Glee” poster. Two things crossed my mind when I
looked at it: 1. what a phenomenon the show has become and 2. It seems that hardly a day goes by without someone asking me or emailing me: “When are
you going to be on “Glee”? I got home and it wasn’t more than a couple hours later that my agent at Paradigm, Sarah Fargo, calls me to say I have been
offered the part of one of Rachel’s 2 dads on the show.
I asked if she had any info on the role, but she didn’t as they were still writing it and because they are super
secretive about the show so they won’t release any info until absolutely necessary. The “Dads” have been referred to constantly throughout the show’s run and lots
of fans have been wondering when they would be revealed.
Blindly but trusting, I said “Yes!” and the next day was on a plane headed for LA. I got my script when I got to
the hotel in the evening, sat down and read it over dinner and cracked up.
I couldn’t say much about the show because it is good form to let the company make the announcements, but
the next morning when I got up it was already all over the internet.
I went to the studio for my costume fitting and to go over some music with the other dad, Jeff Goldblum who I
had worked with before. Back that evening to study lines for the next days scenes and up for an early call.
It was especially terrific seeing Lea Michele, who is my “daughter” on the show. We gave each other big hugs
in the makeup trailer as we were getting ready for the day. Lea and I go way back to when when was about 8 years old starting in the Toronto production of “Ragtime”
- I was “Coalhouse Walker” and she was Tateh’s “Little Girl”.
I’ve gotten to watch her grow in maturity and roles on Broadway in “Spring Awakening” and also the revival of
“Fiddler on The Roof” In 2008, we were reunited once again at the Hollywood Bowl in the Summer production of “Les Miserables” (She was Eponine and I, Javert). I know
Lea probably had more than a little to do with my being on the show and I am grateful to her and everyone else that have invited me to be a part of such a fun-fest.
After a pretty long day of shooting, I headed home to the hotel to prep for a very early pickup to get back to NYC!
PS - An interesting note - I had decided last year that I wanted to do more TV and I put the “ask” out to the
Universe. As someone wiser than me once said, “ASK and you shall receive. KNOCK and the door shall be opened.” It worked for me...Try it for yourself!
I have been hard at work putting together the Ellington concert in Strathmore Maryland on Februrary 17th. I have
been working with my pianist and co-arranger Tedd Firth and David Baker with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. It will be an evening of songs from Ellington
musicals “Sophisticated Ladies”, “Play On” and the rarely heard “Queenie Pie”. We’re working on favorites like
“Satin Doll”, “A Train” and “Don’t get around much anymore”. I’ll be joined by the amazing talents of
singer Julia Nixon and the dazzling tap footwork of DC’s own Manzari brothers, all backed by the incomparable Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. For more info, check out http://www.strathmore
CHRISTMAS ALBUM 2012: Busy at work putting together a Christmas Album that I will be recording with the Houston Symphony in June for
release Christmas 2012. Already set up to do a of Christmas concerts with them. More later! For info on the concerts, check out: http://houston.culturemap
New Movie May 6th, 2011
Jumping the Broom, The movie Stokes filmed last year is opening nationwide on May 6. It’s a dramedy about the gathering of 2 families - The “uptown” Watsons and the
“Downtown” Taylors in preparation for a wedding at the Watson estate in Martha’s Vineyard. Stokes is “Mr. Watson”, the father of the bride opposite Anglela Bassett
. This is his second time playing her husband, the first time in 2002 in the Showime movie “Ruby’s Bucket of Blood”. The film also stars Paula Patton, Laz Alonso,
Loretta Devine and Julie Bowen. More info on the web site here.
Women on the Verge cast album
The cast recording for “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” is available. Buy it here.
Stokes plays “Ivan” - the man responsible for giving so many of the women in this musical nervous breakdowns. The Lincoln Center produced musical had its limited 3
-month run at the Belasco theatre on Broadway. Based on the film of the same name by Pedro Almodovar with a delightful score by David Yazbek, the all-star cast (and
soundtrack) also featured Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti, Sheri Renee Scott and Justin Guarini.
Stokes receives his 5th Drama Desk Nomination!
Stokes receives Drama Desk Nomination for Best Featured actor in a musical for his role as “Ivan” in “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”. Stokes
other nominations were for Ragtime, Kiss me Kate (Winner), King Hedley II and Man of La Mancha.
“Women...” earned 6 noms altogether with the others going to Sherie Rene Scott (Best Actress in a Musical),
Laura Benanti (Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Patti LuPone (Best Featured Actress in a Musical), David Yazbek (Music) and Simon Hale, Jim Abbot and David
Yazbek (Outstanding Orchestrations). The Drama Desk Awards will be presented on May 23 at a ceremony that will be broadcast in June on the cable channel Ovation.
On Saturday, February 26, 2011 Stokes singing was literally “Out of this World”.
Space shuttle Discovery began its 11-day mission on Friday, February 25th at 4:53 PM. The flight marks its 39th and final space flight.
At 6:54 AM on Saturday morning, the crew of Discovery awoke to Stokes singing “Through Heaven’s Eyes” from
the soundtrack of the Dreamworks film “The Prince of Egypt”, composed by Stephen Schwartz. It was played at the request of the family of astronaut (and fellow
Washingtonian) Mike Barratt, Discovery’s Mission Specialist.
Stokes commented, “What a great surprise to find out I was the wake-up call on Discovery this morning - and I didn’t even have to get up early to do it! Having been a
pilot and aerospace enthusiast who has spent a fair amount of time watching the NASA channel, it is particularly wonderful to have made my celestial debut
on Discovery’s final mission. My wife and 7 -year-old space-fanatic son were pretty excited about it too.
I wish Astronaut Barratt and the entire Discovery crew a safe and successful journey and hope I can sing for them live sometime - hmmmm... perhaps on the next space
Stephen Holden, Music Critic, New York Times "Stokes’ debut at Feinsteins. . . I thought it was the greatest cabaret performance I'd
ever seen in my life. Other people I know who'd been going for years and years--decades--to cabaret--they thought he was the best thing they'd ever seen--ever! When he comes to clubs he must be seen.
After a 7-year absence from Broadway in order to have more time to raise his son, Stokes is returning to Broadway--starring with Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone and
Sherie Rene Scott in the musical "Women on the edge of a Nervous Breakdown," based on the Pedro Almodovar film of the same name. Stokes stars as Ivan, the lover
who leaves women and is the cause of so many “nervous breakdowns”.
One of this season’s most anticipated new shows, it is
being presented by Lincoln Center at the newly-renovated Belasco Theatre and features a book by Jeffrey Lane, music and lyrics by David Yazbek and Direction by Bartlett Sher.
Sincer the birth of his son, Stokes has been making an impact on the Concert World, taking his one-man show throughout the United States. He has appeared as a
soloist and as a guest artist at Carnegie Hall, Radio City, Disney Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Feinsteins, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Jazz at
Lincoln Center, the Capitol Lawn in Washington DC, and the Kennedy Center (to name a few) performing with artists as varied as John Williams, Reba McEntire, The
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Leonard Slatkin, Dianne Reeves, Marvin Hamlisch, and the Muppets.
He has also been busy with appearances on Television and film and just completed a month long shoot in Nova
Scotia, Canada for the feature film “Jumping the Broom” playing opposite Angela Bassett. The film is set for release in May of 2011.
When asked when he would appear on Broadway again, his answer was always “When the right show comes along!”. Well , that show has arrived: “Women on the
Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell will take to the stage of Carnegie Hall for his solo debut on Oct. 15, in a benefit for the Actors Fund of America. Read more...
March 29, 2007 - Stokes’ father honored
Stokes’ father, George Mitchell, is honored when the the Tuskegee Airmen are honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. Read more...
June 6, 2006 - Stokes releases solo CD
The long-awaited debut recording for a singer and actor that defies categorizing. Equally at home with a standard, a showtune or a jazz infused classic, Brian Stokes
Mitchell’s voice stands out in a league all its own, making comparisons almost impossible. His musicianship, vocal instrument and ability to turn a phrase, can evoke a
mood or an emotion and cause a thrilling “chill” - all at the same time. Stokes’ choices of songs, arrangements and orchestrations are beautifully mixed by 14 time GRAMMY winner, Al Schmitt. Learn more and buy the album here.
South Pacific at Carnegie Hall with Reba McIntyre
As if June 6th weren’t auspicious enough, the CD and DVD were released from the one-night only performance at Carnegie Hall, starring Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes
Mitchell and Alec Baldwin. The 1949 Rogers & Hammerstein's classic South Pacific was given new life in what The New York Times’ Ben Brantley wrote was "in a
state of nearly unconditional rapture. More information about the Album and DVD.
March 3, 2006 - Stokes wins Bistro Award
Stokes received the 2006 Bistro award for his show Love/Life at Feinstein’s. The Bistro awards are the oldest awards to recognize outstanding achievement in cabaret
They were chosen and presented by Backstage Editor-In-Chief Sherry Eaker, along with columnists David Finkle and John Hoglund. They were presented on March 27th at
the Supper Club in New York. As part of his acceptance, Stokes sang “I was here” by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. He was accompanied by his pianist Gerard D’Angelo
January 23rd benefit
Tony Award winners Donna McKechnie and Brian Stokes Mitchell and Emmy winner Penny Fuller will take part in An Intimate Night, a cabaret-style show that will be the
centerpiece of the Manhattan Theatre Club’s annual Winter Benefit.
The evening at the Rainbow Room will be held Jan. 23 and will kick off at 7 PM with a cocktail reception. Dinner
will follow at 8 PM with the McKechnie-Mitchell-Fuller program at 9:15 PM.
The Rainbow Room is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on the 65th Floor. Tickets are available by calling (212) 399-3000, ext. 146.
Stokes Wins Nightlife Award
Stokes was voted "Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist in a Major Engagement" by twenty-seven critics and experts.
The Nightlife Awards celebrate the best in New York cabaret, jazz and comedy. The annual event, which boasts "no acceptance speeches, just pure
entertainment," will feature performances from most of the year’s winners.
Producer Scott Siegel said, "It is our particular intention to give New York City's nightlife-- its clubs and performers -- the same importance in the public mindset
as Broadway. This is an award that will have immediate credibility and importance because it will be given by the broadest possible spectrum of this city's most influential
authorities on cabaret, jazz, and comedy from those who see acts in the big rooms to those who cover the nightlife waterfront." Playbill Article...
September 29: New York Concert to benefit performing artists
Stokes is inaugurating a concert series in support of the Blanton-Peale Institute's outreach to the New York performing arts community. Blanton-Peale is a leading
psychotherapy training institute and state licensed clinic. Funds raised will subsidize low cost counseling to artists and help launch a new licensable program in Creative
Arts Therapy that may be of interest to artists as an alternate career path.
The concert will be held at 8 pm on Thursday, September 29, 2005, in the historic Marble Collegiate Church on 5th Avenue and 29th Street. Tickets are $45, $75, and $500
(which includes a catered, post-concert reception with Stokes). Ticket costs are in large part, tax deductible.
For more info or to reserve seats call Nancy Simpson at 212.725.7850 x 106, or log onto the BPI website at www.blantonpeale.org
September 15-17: National Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlish
NSO Pops: An Evening with Brian Stokes Mitchell is the title of three concerts to be presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this fall.
Marvin Hamlisch, the Tony-winning composer of A Chorus Line, will conduct the orchestra. Show times are 7 PM Sept. 15 and 8 PM Sept. 16 and 17.
Stokes and Audra McDonald perform selections from Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the opera. Leonard Slatkin conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic. For more info and tickets...
June 23rd-New Jersey, Prudential Hall
Women’s Assocation of New Jersey’s Performing Arts Center benefit performance. One night, 400 tickets. 973.642.8989 ext. 5822.
Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell will headline in the upcoming Carnegie Hall concert presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific.
The 1949 musical will play in Carnegie Hall's Isaac Stern Auditorium June 9, 2005. Walter Bobbie (Chicago, the upcoming Sweet Charity) will direct the concert. Patrick
Summers will conduct the Orchestra of St. Luke's for the 8 PM performance.
Country singer McEntire, who was a critical darling for her stint in the 1999 revival of Annie Get Your Gun, will portray Nellie Forbush in the show.
Tony Awar d winner Mitchell — who has starred on Broadway in Man of La Mancha,
Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate — will perform as Emile de Becque. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
South Pacific features songs by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II and was drawn from James Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific
." Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza co-starred in the original Broadway production, which boasted such classic songs as "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime
," "Bali H'ai" and "A Wonderful Guy."
Tickets will be made available to Carnegie Hall patrons, friends and subscribers in April 2005. For benefit tickets,
call the Special Events Office at (212) 903-6979. Remaining tickets (priced from $34-$149) will be made available at a later date. For more information, visit the
Carnegie Hall website.
May 2005: Stokes concerts
at Lincon Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater
Stokes will be performing his own concert at the Broadway house on Sunday and Monday nights.
Lincoln Center is presenting The Light in the Piazza at the Beaumont. On Sundays that musical only has a 3pm performance and it has no performance at all on Monday, leaving the theater dark on
Sunday and Monday evenings. Details and tickets.
April 17: Kennedy Center Tribute to the American Theater
The Kennedy Center's 13th Annual Gala will feature a star-studded tribute to the Golden Age of the American musical theatre.
A Salute to the 1940s Broadway Musical will be presented April 17 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Julie Andrews is chairing the event. Among those scheduled to
be part of the 8:30 PM concert are Tony Award winners Barbara Cook, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Elaine Stritch as well as Irish tenor John McDermott, clarinetist Richard
Stoltzman and opera singer Frederica von Stade. Marvin Hamlisch will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra. For more information...
April 11, American Theater Wing Benefit
The American Theatre Wing (the owner of the Tony Award copyright, and the co producer with the League of the Tony Awards) Spring Benefit, Monday Evening , April 11,
2005 at Cipriani's, 42nd and Lexington, Black Tie. The event is honoring Les Moonves, President of CBS Television.
Appearing: Lucie Arnaz, Leslie Uggams, Jason Alexander, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christine Baranski (possibly Julie Andrews), Swoozie Kurtz.
Donald Pippin, musical director, Ken Billington, lighting designer, Jim Semmelman, director, Jon Wilner, Producer and Chairman of the Benefit.
April 4, Aherns & Flaherty tribute
On April 4, at 8 :00 pm Merkin Hall's Broadway series will present "Make Them Hear You," an evening devoted to the music of Ahrens & Flaherty, hosted by Terrence
McNally. Performers are : Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Andrea Martin, Steven Pasquale, Janet Metz, Malcolm Gets, Kecia Lewis, Sean McCourt and Kenita Miller! Visit the Merkin Hall website for tickets.
Stokes at Feinstein’s Feb. 1-19
Feinstein's at the Regency is located in
Manhattan at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street. Show times are Tuesday-Saturdays at 8:30 PM with late shows Friday and Saturday nights at 11 PM. Call (212) 339-4095 for reservations or log on to www.ticketweb.com. Read the interviews and reviews...
January 28th: Stokes & Barbara Cook at Orange County Center for the Performing arts.
Stokes appears with Barbara Cook at the Orancge County Center for the performing art’s spotlight series on Friday, Januar 28th at 8pm. Details and tickets...