Paul Williams to Perform Exclusive One-Night Fundraiser for LB Playhouse
2012-07-26 · By Editor
The Long Beach Playhouse is honored to announce Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe-winning, Hall of Fame Songwriter, Paul Williams, in a benefit concert for the Long Beach Playhouse: “Paul Williams Songs and Stories” on the Mainstage Theater, September 8, 2012 at 8 p.m.
“We feel incredibly fortunate and honored to have Paul Williams performing on our own stage,” says Andrew Vonderschmitt, producing artistic director for the Playhouse. “Williams is a musical genius and comedic wit. Our theater seats 200 so it will be a very intimate evening. I’m still having a hard time believing it’s true.”
The theater’s long stage will feature ten small tables creating an intimate concert experience for the most ardent fans, where twenty lucky individuals will literally share the stage. All the seats surrounding the three sides provide an excellent view of the show. “There is not a seat more than thirty feet from the stage,” boasts Vonderschmitt.
Williams was a student at Wilson High School and soon after graduation joined Studio 58, a local touring repertory company. It is no surprise he is now a supporter of Long Beach Playhouse, the oldest theater west of the Mississippi. “Like many non-profits, particularly those in arts and culture, the past few years have been financially tough. This performance will make a world of difference to us,” Vonderschmitt asserted.
Along with providing the musical backdrop to daily life in the 1970s and 1980s, Williams has provided song scores for the film musicals A Star is Born, Bugsy Malone, Phantom of the Paradise, The Muppet Movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol and more recently for the stage, Happy Days, A New Musical with Garry Marshall. In 2009 he wrote the story and songs for the Emmy nominated, A Muppet Christmas-Letters to Santa.
Pop classics include, “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “You and Me Against the World,” “An Old Fashioned Love Song” “I Won’t Last a Day Without You” and “Let Me Be The One.” “The Rainbow Connection” from the children’s classic The Muppet Movie, and “Evergreen” from A Star is Born are two of his songs that grace the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie songs of all times.
With over forty appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, Williams has delighted audiences with his quirky humor and spontaneous ad-libs. His live show is a tapestry of musical memories and comedy.
Currently, Paul Williams Still Alive, the feature length documentary by Stephen Kestler, is receiving rave reviews around the country. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Daily Variety are among the newspapers proclaiming this heart-warming film a triumph. In 2009, Williams was elected president of ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
“Last year Paul’s wife Mariana hosted a storytelling competition here in the Playhouse. We are presenting Long Beach Searches for the Greatest Storyteller’s summer show July 29th as well as fall and winter. We got to know her through that project,” said Vonderschmitt. “When the idea of a benefit concert came up, we were blown away. We’re a community theater, in the best sense of the word, so a star of Mr. Williams’ magnitude on our stage is just incredible.”
Tickets for Paul Williams Songs & Stories go on sale August 15, 2012. They cost:
- $150 for stage seating and VIP reception with Mr. Williams after the show.
- $125 for regular seating and VIP reception
- $75 general admission.
Paul Williams Songs & Stories, L.B. Playhouse Benefit, Sat., Sept. 8, ’12, 8 p.m. For tickets: 562 494-1014, option 1. Txs also available at www.lbplayhouse.org.