October 22, 2013

ASCAP Centennial Celebration to Bring Musical Theatre to The Kennedy Center

Five nights of free concerts featuring performances by Klea Blackhurst, Corey Cott, Jason Graae, Kara Lindsay, Tony-nominated songwriting team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Tony nominee Ron Raines and more

The Kennedy Center, under the auspices of ASCAP, presents a free, five-night ASCAP Centennial Celebration on the Millennium Stage November 16th-18th and 20th-21st, 2013. This live showcase of musical theater works from the past 100 years features songs by some of the theater world’s most talented composers and lyricists and concerts from a lineup of acclaimed musical theater performers. The celebration is part of the Center’s daily, free Millennium Stage performance series streamed live on the Kennedy Center website and archived for future viewings. It is the first in a series of events across the country that will celebrate ASCAP’s upcoming 100th birthday, on February 13th, 2014.

Curated by Michael Kerker, ASCAP’s Director of Musical Theater, the ASCAP Centennial Celebration will highlight the breadth and depth of the past century of musical theater with each night of the celebration focusing on a certain era from the last 100 years. The event kicks off on Saturday, November 16th with a concert focusing on works relating to "Broadway Today and Tomorrow." On Sunday, November 17th, the second evening of performances will feature works from the years 1914-1938, to be followed on Monday, November 18th with songs from "The Golden Era" of Broadway (1939-1963). Selections from the 1964-1988 era will be highlighted on Wednesday, November 20th; with the final night of the celebration, Thursday, November 21st, focusing on selections from 1989-2013.

The ASCAP Centennial Celebration will feature performances by Klea Blackhurst (Everything the Traffic Will Allow); Drama Desk nominee Shelly Burch (Nine; Stop the World, I Want to Get Off); Corey Cott (Newsies), Jason Graae (Falsettos, A Grand Night for Singing); Kara Lindsay (Newsies); Jessica Phillips (Leap of Faith, Priscilla Queen of the Desert); Tony nominee Ron Raines, pianist Ben Rauhala, and jazz violinist and arranger Aaron Weinstein. The performances will include works by composer and lyricist John Bucchino (A Catered Affair); Tony Award-winning lyricist, writer and director Martin Charnin (Annie); Tony-nominated songwriting team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story, Dogfight); Tony-winning conductor, music director and songwriter Donald Pippin (Oliver!, Mame, A Chorus Line, La Cage aux Folles); composer Sam Willmott; and songwriting team Amanda Yesnowitz and Deborah Abramson. A full schedule can be found below.

Saturday, November 16th at 6:00 pm
Broadway Today and Tomorrow
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Jessica Phillips, Sam Willmott, Amanda Yesnowitz and Deborah Abramson

Sunday, November 17th at 6:00 pm
Selections from 1914-1938
Klea Blackhurst and Aaron Weinstein

Monday, November 18th at 6:00 pm
Selections from 1939-1963 ("The Golden Era")
Ron Raines and Donald Pippin

Wednesday, November 20th at 6:00 pm
Selections from 1964-1988
Shelly Burch, Jason Graae and Martin Charnin

Thursday, November 21st at 6:00 pm
Selections from 1989-2013
Corey Cott, Kara Lindsay, John Bucchino and Ben Rauhala


The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers, and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works, and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants, and retail, to radio, TV, and cable, to Internet, mobile services, and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With over 470,000 members representing more than 8.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service, and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com

About The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
The Kennedy Center is the only U.S. institution that presents a free performance, which is streamed live online 365 days a year. Created in 1997 and underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs, the Millennium Stage features a broad spectrum of performing arts each day at 6 p.m. Brought to the public by Target Stores and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, the Millennium Stage helps fulfill the Center’s mission of making the performing arts accessible to everyone. In the past 16 years, more than 3 million visitors have seen 6,000 groups with performances as varied as: jazz, ballet, storytelling, popular music, modern dance, opera, choral music, tap dance, theater, chamber music, symphonic music, puppetry, stand-up comedy and cabaret. Of the more than 43,000 performers that have appeared on the Millennium Stage, approximately 25,000 have been Washington-area artists and over 4,500 have been international performing artists representing more than 50 countries. The Millennium Stage has also hosted artists representing all 50 states, and has presented more than 15,000 artists in their Kennedy Center debuts. Since 1999, each night’s performance has been broadcast live over the Internet, and more than 4,430 of these performances have been digitally archived on the Kennedy Center’s website, kennedy-center.org.

Need a Lift?
The FREE Kennedy Center Shuttle, the Center’s link to Metro’s Foggy Bottom/George Washington University Metro station, departs every 15 minutes from 9:45 a.m.-Midnight, Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-Midnight, Saturdays; noon-Midnight, Sundays; and 4:00 p.m.-Midnight on Federal holidays.  Free parking is not available when attending free events.

Funding Credits
The Millennium Stage is brought to you by Target and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.

The Millennium Stage was created and underwritten by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs to make the performing arts accessible to everyone in fulfillment of the Kennedy Center's mission to its community and the nation.

Additional funding for the Millennium Stage is provided by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Isadore and Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc., Jaylee M. Mead†, The Meredith Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Suzy and Bob Pence, Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A.J. Stolwijk, U.S. Department of Education and the Millennium Stage Endowment Fund.

The Millennium Stage Endowment Fund was made possible by James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs, Fannie Mae Foundation, James V. Kimsey, Gilbert† and Jaylee† Mead, Mortgage Bankers Association of America and other anonymous gifts to secure the future of the Millennium Stage.