In 2002, Brian Childers wowed DC area audiences with his spot-on and high-energy performance as Danny Kaye in Danny and Sylvia: A Musical Love Story, first at The American Century Theatre (TACT) and then at MetroStage. Childers was awarded a Helen Hayes Award in 2002 for his performance. Danny and Sylvia was resurrected and had an almost three year run after it opened at St. Luke’s Theatre in May 2009. NYC audiences and critics agreed that Brian was born to play Danny Kaye.
So now Brian Childers returns to perform An Evening with Danny Kaye, the show he always wanted to perform, to benefit The American Century Theater on Monday, May 6, 2013 at Artisphere – 1101 Wilson Boulevard, in Arlington, VA, a two-block walk from the Rosslyn Metro Station on The Orange and Blue Lines.
Stephen Nachamie directs, and Jeff Biering is Music Director, with Franca Vercelloni accompanying Brian on the piano.
An Evening with Danny Kaye by Brian Childers
“Over the years while performing in a variety of different Danny Kaye shows and appearances, I was approached by audience members who had experienced Danny’s one-man shows. They would say to me time and again, “Why don’t you put together a show based on his concerts he was known for later in his career?” I toyed with the idea of putting one together for years but was always preoccupied with whatever current version of the show I was doing.Danny and Sylvia closed in April of last year ending a very long journey for me. From the year 2000 until 2012 I played Danny across this great land of ours, and I decided at the close of the show to take a break from all things Danny Kaye.
A year past and many opportunities came my way that were so different from the Danny Kaye path in which I had been engrossed. Professionally, I had moved on…or so I thought.
Out of the blue one day, the phone rang and the American Century Theater asked me if I would like to bring Danny back again for a benefit performance. I felt like this was the perfect moment to bring a one-man Danny Kaye show to life, I am filled with excitement and joy.
I had always dreamed that one day I would be able to give back to the theatre that gave me so much. Happily coinciding with Danny Kaye’s 100th Birthday Celebration, Iwas presented with the opportunity to bring to life again the work and legacy of this iconic American entertainer.
The American Century opened this door for me and today it is my privilege to finally bring my journey with Danny full circle back to where it first began. Unlike the previous shows this will be an amalgamation of his solo concerts and club acts. There have been many songs over the years that I have always wanted to perform and it gives me great pleasure to present: “The Lobby Number,” “The Dodgers Song,” “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” alongside classics like “Tschaikovsky,” and “Anatole of Paris.” This is the perfect culmination of my 13 years of living with Danny. It is my desire to show audiences today just a hint of what it might have been like to see him live and to bring Danny out of the past into the present.
On a side note, the night is a special one for me for many reasons. The most prevalent in my mind is how 11 years ago to the day I won the Helen Hayes Award for playing Danny. What better way to spend this evening than portraying Danny Kaye at the theater who started it all?
I hope the audience comes away with the feeling they have spent an evening with Danny Kaye, himself. His talent, his comedy, and his genius, will hopefully live on for decades to come.”
The American Century Benefit on Monday, May 6, 2013 benefit begins at 7 p.m. with a reception in Artisphere’s Upper Town Hall, followed bu an 8 PM performance of An Evening with Danny Kaye in the Lower Town Hall. Coffee and dessert follows the performance.
Tickets, which are $85, can be purchased here.
My July 1, 2009 interview with Brian Childers (Danny), Kimberly Faye Greenberg (Sylvia Fine), who played in New York, and TACT’s Jack Marshall and MetroStage’s Carolyn Griffin, from my Theatre Schmooze column at DCTheatreScene.
Brian Childers’ website.