John Cullum: An Accidental Star
Conceived by John Cullum and Jeff Berger Book by David Thompson Music supervision by Georgia Stitt Music direction by Julie McBride Directed by Lonny Price and Matt Cowart Streaming April 8 - April 22
Vineyard Theatre (Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern), Goodspeed Musicals (Artistic Director Donna Lynn Hilton), Irish Repertory Theatre (Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and Producing Director Ciarán O’Reilly) in association with Jeff Berger, are pleased to announce John Cullum: An Accidental Star, which will premiere April 8 and will be available for streaming on demand through April 22. Two live watch party events will take place April 8 at 7:00 pm EDT and April 17 at 2:00 pm EDT. Conceived by John Cullum and Jeff Berger, the 80-minute intimate evening of stories and songs spanning Cullum’s illustrious career is told and sung by the 91-year-old two-time Tony Award winner. Directed and filmed earlier this year by Lonny Price (110 in the Shade with Cullum) and Matt Cowart (associate director, 110 in the Shade), An Accidental Star features a book by David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys with Cullum), music supervision by Georgia Stitt and music direction by Julie McBride. An Accidental Star takes you behind the scenes with Broadway icon John Cullum -- from his 1960 debut in Camelot and Tony Award-winning performances in Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century, to his starring roles in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Urinetown and The Scottsboro Boys. John captivates with songs from the Golden Age of the American Musical and never-before-heard stories of working with friends Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Goulet, Julie Andrews and more. An Accidental Star is a rare opportunity to revisit the making of some of Broadway's greatest shows, illuminated by funny, moving and fascinating encounters John had along the way. Three of Cullum’s long-time theatre homes come together to present An Accidental Star. Cullum most recently worked with the Vineyard Theatre in the original production of The Scottsboro Boys which moved to Broadway in 2010. Cullum originated the role of “Charlie Anderson” in the 1974 production of Shenandoah at the Goodspeed Opera House, a role he reprised on Broadway (Tony Award, Best Actor) in 1975. Cullum has a long working relationship with Irish Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and starred in Irish Rep’s 2015 production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales, directed by Moore. He also performed in their 2014 and 2018 galas. Director of Photography is Carlos Cardona with costumes by Tracy Christensen and lighting by Megan Peti. Line producer is Adrian White. John Cullum: An Accidental Star will be presented April 8-22, 2021. Streaming tickets are available now at https://www.vineyardtheatre.org/an-accidental-star/. For more information, call the box office at 646-931-4714 or visit www.vineyardtheatre.org. Premieres April 8 | Runs Through April 22 Live Watch Party Events: April 8 at 7:00pm EDT, April 17 at 2:00pm EDT. Book Tickets at https://www.vineyardtheatre.org/an-accidental-star/. Biographies John Cullum is a two-time Tony Award recipient and a member of the Theater Hall of Fame. He made his Broadway debut in Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot in 1960, and has been a perennial Broadway favorite for more than 60 years. His musical credits include On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, 1776, Man of La Mancha, Urinetown, The Scottsboro Boys, 110 In The Shade (revival), Harold Prince’s production of Show Boat, as well as Shenendoah and On The Twentieth Century, each of which garnered him Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. John’s non-musical credits include Hamlet, where he played Laertes to Richard Burton’s Hamlet, as well as Deathtrap, Private Lives, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Casa Valentina and August: Osage County. During the run of that show, John accepted The Keen company’s invitation to star in Heroes, so at the age of 80, he performed 15 shows a week with a brief stop between theaters for dinner: pizza, 2 slices for 99 cents. Cullum’s film and television career has been extensive as well. He played Holling The Bartender in six seasons of “Northern Exposure,” had recurring roles in “ER,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “The Middle.” His guest credits include “30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Madam Secretary,” “Mad Men,” “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie” and “The Blacklist.” John recreated his dazzling performance of Edward Rutledge for the film of 1776. His other film credits include Hawaii, Inherit The Wind, Kill Your Darlings, The Day After, Sweet Country, Held Up and most recently, Jungleland. John has been married for more than 60 years to Emily Frankel, a prominent choreographer and writer. At 91, his passion for acting has not dimmed and he continues to entertain audiences and inspire his younger colleagues. Lonny Price (Co-Director). In the fall of 2019, Lonny directed the world premiere of the Mitnick/Gwon collaboration, Scotland PA. for the Roundabout Theatre (produced in association with Hal Luftig). On Broadway, he directed Sunset Boulevard (starring Glenn Close), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (starring Audra McDonald), 110 in the Shade, 'Master Harold'... and the boys (starring Danny Glover), Sally Marr and Her Escorts (co-written with Joan Rivers and Erin Sanders), Urban Cowboy and A Class Act (Tony Award nominated book co-written with Linda Kline). West End credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Wyndham’s, as well as Carousel, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd and Man of La Mancha, all for the English National Opera. Film and television credits include his film version of the New York Philharmonic’s Sweeney Todd (starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel) and Company. He also directed the stage and filmed versions of his tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert! (Emmy Award). Other Philharmonic collaborations include the “Live From Lincoln Center” broadcast of Camelot, Candide, Sweeney Todd (George Hearn and Patti LuPone, Emmy Award) and Sondheim’s Passion (Emmy Award). Additional television credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill for HBO, as well as episodes of “2 Broke Girls,” “Desperate Housewives,” and the upcoming “Plan Z.” For his first feature, ‘Master Harold’ ... and the boys, he received a Best Director Award from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. His documentary, Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened premiered at the New York Film Festival and was named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Films of 2016 and his other documentary Hal Prince: The Director’s Life (PBS) was released to critical acclaim as well. Matt Cowart (Co-Director) Broadway: Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close (Associate Director), Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill (Associate Director) and 110 in the Shade (Assistant Director), both starring Audra McDonald. West End: Man of La Mancha starring Kelsey Grammer (Associate Director), Carousel (Associate Director), Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel (Associate Director) and Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close (Associate Director), all for the English National Opera, as well as the Broadway transfer of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Associate Director). Select Film/Television credits include the documentary, “Harold Prince - The Director’s Life” for PBS (Co-Producer); “Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened” (Co-Producer); “Sinatra: Voice for a Century with the New York Philharmonic” (Producer and Co-Director); the Emmy Award-winning production of “Sweeney Todd” with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel (Co-Producer and Associate Director); “Sondheim! The Birthday Concert” (Producer and Associate Director). David Thompson (Librettist). Broadway/West End: The new libretto for the current revival of Chicago (the longest-running American musical), The Scottsboro Boys (London’s Critic Circle Award, Evening Standard Award, 12 Tony nominations including Best Book, Drama Desk Nomination, Outer Critics and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Musical, Hull-Warriner Award), Prince of Broadway, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Thou Shalt Not, The Look of Love, Steel Pier (Tony Nomination, Best Book). Off-Broadway: Vineyard Theatre’s The Beast in the Jungle and Flora, the Red Menace (Drama Desk nomination), And the World Goes ‘Round, (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards). UK Regional and London: The revised librettos for Rags at Park Theatre, Bar Mitzvah Boy at Upstairs at the Gatehouse. US Regional: A Christmas Carol, now in its thirtieth year at Princeton’s McCarter Theater. Concert: Produced and wrote James Taylor’s Perspective Series at Carnegie Hall, My Favorite Broadway/The Leading Ladies at Carnegie Hall. Television: “Sondheim – A Celebration at Carnegie Hall” (Emmy nomination), “Razzle Dazzle” for Great Performances, “The Music of Richard Rodgers with Lorenz Hart,” “The Music of Richard Rodgers with Oscar Hammerstein” for WGBH Boston as well as the recent “Harold Prince – the Director’s Life” for Great Performances. Thompson is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Julie McBride (Music Director) is a NYC-based music director, pianist, educator, arranger and orchestrator. She was most recently the music director and conductor for the Broadway shows SpongeBob SquarePants!, Head Over Heels and INK (Manhattan Theatre Club). Other Broadway credits include Pretty Woman (associate conductor), Amazing Grace (associate conductor), Finding Neverland (assistant conductor). Off-Broadway/regional credits include: Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons), Next to Normal (Second Stage), These Paper Bullets! (Yale Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Atlantic Theatre Company), Deathless (Goodspeed), Miss You Like Hell (La Jolla Playhouse, Public Theatre) and Daddy Long Legs (10 regional productions). Her television and film credits include Rise, The Path, Little Voice, After.Life, and the upcoming remake of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Georgia Stitt (Music Supervisor) is an award-winning composer, lyricist, music producer and pianist. She has two original musicals that premiered recently: Snow Child (Arena Stage) and Big Red Sun (11th Hour Theater, NAMT). Her children’s musical, Samantha Spade, Ace Detective, (TADA Youth Theater) won Outstanding New Musical from the National Youth Theatre and is now licensed by Concord Theatricals. Other shows include The Big Boom (with Hunter Foster), The Water (winner of the 2008 ANMT Search for New Voices in American Musical Theater) and Mosaic (commissioned for Inner Voices, starring Heidi Blickenstaff). Georgia has released four albums of her music: A Quiet Revolution, My Lifelong Love, Alphabet City Cycle and This Ordinary Thursday. She is currently at work on a collection of theatrical art songs and an oratorio. Georgia is in leadership at The Dramatists Guild and MUSE and she is the Founder and President of Maestra, an organization for the women who make the music in the musical theater. www.georgiastitt.com About Vineyard Theatre Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to nurturing the voices of daring artists and developing and producing work that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. One of the country’s preeminent centers for the creation of new plays and musicals, our work seeks to challenge and inspire all of us to see ourselves and our world from different perspectives. The Vineyard’s Lessons in Survival was presented in the fall of 2020 and was named “Best Theater in 2020” by The New York Times. Its 2019-2020 Season included Tina Satter’s Is This A Room, named “Best Theater of 2019” by The New York Times and New York Magazine and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience; and Lucas Hnath’s Dana H., New York Times Best Theatre of 2020 and New York Times Critic’s Pick, which won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. Other notable premieres include Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief; Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy”; Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s Do You Feel Anger?; David Cale’s Harry Clarke (2018 Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel Awards); Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s Indecent (two 2017 Tony Awards); two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned To Drive and Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria; Nicky Silver’s The Lyons; Marx, Lopez and Whitty’s Avenue Q (Tony Award, Best Musical); Kander, Ebb, and Thompson’s The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; Polly Pen’s Goblin Market; Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Wig Out!; Jenny Schwartz’ God’s Ear; Will Eno’s Middletown; Becky Mode’s Fully Committed; Colman Domingo’s Dot, and many more. The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award and Colman Domingo Award provide residencies to early-career artists and our education programs serve over 700 NYC public high school students annually in collaboration with Developing Artists. Works developed and premiered at our home in Union Square have gone on to be seen around the world and The Vineyard is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for artistic excellence. The Vineyard's 2020-2021 Artists-in-Residence include John J. Caswell, Jr., The Commissary, Michael R. Jackson, Charly Evon Simpson, Tyler Thomas, York Walker and Whitney White. Vineyard Theatre’s leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel. Goodspeed Musicals has achieved international acclaim and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theatre. Under the leadership of Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director and David B. Byrd, Managing Director, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the celebration, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed produces powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to entertain and inspire audiences. From Goodspeed, 21 musicals have gone to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie and Shenandoah) and more than 90 new musicals have been launched. Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals and the Johnny Mercer Writers Grove are distinguished cornerstones of the organization that highlight its commitment to nurture the talents of new and established artists and support the creative process. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. The organization is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts. Irish Repertory Theatre, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, is now in its 32nd season after first opening its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for “Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama,” an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Lucille Lortel Award for “Outstanding Body of Work,” Irish Rep celebrates the very best in Irish theatre, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 50,000 audience members annually attend productions at Irish Rep’s theatre located in the heart of New York’s Off Broadway community. Once here, they witness Irish Rep’s engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama. In May of 2020, Irish Repertory Theatre began presenting full-length digital productions filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, welcoming new audiences from around the globe. Jeff Berger has been a proud member of the New York performing arts community for almost 40 years, as a music manager, record company executive, talent agent, and for the past 19 years, talent manager and President of Jeff Berger Management. He owes his enthusiasm, drive and energy to his wonderful clients, some of whom he has represented for more than 30 years. Jeff began his producing career at the invitation of the legendary Hal Prince, and he has a number of projects on the boards for the next two seasons.