Let's Misbehave: Cole Porter After Dark
May 19, 2018 at 8pm | Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
It’s no secret that Cole Porter loved to be mischievous. Misbehave to the timeless music of Cole Porter paired with some of the funniest personal ads from the era of online dating. From “Anything Goes” to “So in Love”, “You’re the Top” to “Love for Sale.”
Featuring Betty Who (the pop star making her orchestra debut), Liz Callaway (Tony Award nominee, voice of Disney’s Princess Jasmine and Anastasia), Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera on Broadway), Bobby Smith (Helen Hayes Awards Winner), Vishal Vaidya (Groundhog Day on Broadway), and Luke Hawkins (Star tap dancer from “America’s Got Talent”)!*
* Singers subject to change
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater –
1101 6th St SW
Washington, DC 20024
Casting a striking presence as a performer, emanating confidence as a writer, and inspiring as an independent force, Betty Who makes the rules.
Born in Australia and based in Los Angeles, she has quietly elevated herself to a worldwide phenomenon on her own terms. The pop star’s sophomore album, The Valley, yielded a string of international hits. “I Love You Always Forever” went double-platinum in Australia and garnered 22 million Spotify streams, while “Human Touch” racked up 28 million Spotify streams. Total Spotify streams exceed 150 million as she regularly averages over 3.3 million monthly listeners on the platform. The record and its singles earned widespread praise from Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Elle Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and more. Beyond countless sold out headline tours, she’s delivered knockout television appearances on The Today Show, Late Night With Seth Meyers, The View, and many more in addition to supporting icons such as Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue on the road.
2017 saw the singer make yet another bold move, embracing independence from the major label system and evolving once more.
“I’m a whole new lady,” she exclaims. “Everything is up to me. I’m so excited to just be myself as an artist. I haven’t had the chance to release something on my own since I was 19 and I put out my first EP on Soundcloud for free. I haven’t felt that kind of weightlessness in seven years. I’m really looking forward to it. The plan is to put out music almost as soon as I finish it. As creators and listeners, we’re living in a different world. The boundaries are wide open. That immediacy is great for both sides. Neither of us have to wait. I love that.”
In order to consistently engage a fervent fan base, she implements her next phase with a steady stream of content, breaking from the traditional album release cycle. Co-written by Betty, the first single “Ignore Me” speaks directly to that newfound freedom. Glistening synths build in tandem with buzzing bass as the vocalist’s dynamic voice takes the spotlight. The song seamlessly climaxes on the sassy send-off, “The best thing you can do is just to ignore me.”
“After I laid down the scratch vocal, I knew it was cool, different, and special,” she recalls. “It sounds like it’s about a boy, but it’s actually about the relationship with my record label. There’s a fun double meaning to the lyrics. It was really empowering and satisfying to say, ‘Ignore me because you’re the one who thought you didn’t need me, and I’m already on to the next thing.’”
The “next thing” encompasses a lot more than just music as well. Betty’s commitment to charity, health, and wellness matches her passion for songwriting. A dedicated supporter of human rights, women, children, and the LGBTQ+ community, she has given performances to benefit UNICEF, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, and many more. As a fitness obsessive, she joined forces with Lululemon and Soul Cycle to launch the acoustic “Beats Per Moment” tour, ran a Nike marathon on the entertainment team, and partnered with a personal favorite workout app, Aaptiv, for playlisting.
Tony nominee and Emmy winner Liz Callaway made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Baby, and for five years, won acclaim as Grizabella in Cats. She also starred in the original casts of Miss Saigon, The Three Musketeers, and The Look of Love Off-Broadway appearances include The Spitfire Grill (Drama Desk nomination), No Way to Treat a Lady, Marry Me a Little, Godspell and Brownstone. Other New York appearances include the legendary Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center, A Stephen Sondheim Evening, Fiorello (Encores) and Hair in Concert. Regional credits include Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, Eva Peron in Evita and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.
Liz sang the Academy Award-nominated song “Journey to the Past” in the animated feature Anastasia, Other film work includes Jasmine in the two Aladdin sequels, The Swan Princess, and The Rewrite with Hugh Grant.
She received an Emmy Award for hosting Ready to Go, a daily, live children’s program on CBS in Boston. Other TV credits include In Performance at the White House, Inside the Actor’s Studio: Stephen Sondheim, The David Letterman Show and Senior Trip (CBS Movie of the Week.)
Her extensive concert and symphony career has included appearances in London, Paris, Iceland, Vietnam, Australia, China and nearly every major city in the U.S. She performs regularly with her sister Ann Hampton Callaway, as well as composer Stephen Schwartz, and has had the great pleasure of singing with Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams and the legendary Johnny Mathis.
Liz has six solo albums: The Essential Liz Callaway, Passage of Time, The Beat Goes On, The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway On and Off- Broadway, Anywhere I Wander: Liz Callaway Sings Frank Loesser, and her Christmas CD Merry and Bright. Her numerous other recordings include Sibling Revelry, Boom! Live at Birdland, The Maury Yeston Songbook, A Stephen Sondheim Evening, the complete recording of Allegro produced by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization and the original cast album of A Christmas Story.
Ali Ewoldt is currently starring as Christine The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I and has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall with the NY Pops and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University.
Broadway: Crazy for You. Off-Broadway: Forever Plaid (original cast), Kander and Ebbs’ The World Goes ‘Round, and the revival of George Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing. National tours include Brigadoon and The World Goes ‘Round. DC Area: Signature Theatre: 20 shows including A Little Night Music, Titanic, Simply Sondheim, Company, Midwestern Gothic, Road Show, Threepenny Opera, Disney’s Freaky Friday, See What I Want To See, The Fix, La Cage aux Folles [Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor], and Spin [Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor]. Studio Theatre: A Class Act [Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Resident Musical], The Long Christmas Ride Home, Caroline or Change, Grey Gardens, Reefer Madness, [Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Resident Musical], Jerry Springer: The Opera; Ford’s Theatre: Elmer Gantry, Liberty Smith, 1776; Round House Theatre: A Year with Frog and Toad [Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Resident Musical]; MetroStage: Girl in a Goldfish Bowl, Musical of Musicals [Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Resident Musical], Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris [Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor]; The Kennedy Center: The Happy Prince, The Flea and the Professor. He has performed with The National Symphony Orchestra; The Richmond Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and can be heard on recordings of Ben Bagley’s Rodgers, Hart Revisited and Resnois’ Gershwin, Disney’s Freaky Friday and Cameron Macintosh’s The Fix. He directed and choreographed for colleges and regional theaters across the country including: Alley Theatre, Denver Center, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Seaside Music Theatre, Wayside Theatre, Olney Theatre Center.
Vishal Vaidya is a South Asian American actor, singer and writer originally from the DC area. He made his Broadway debut this past season as Larry the cameraman in Groundhog Day. Recent credits include The Shakespeare Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse, and City Center Encores!. Vishal is passionate about new musicals and has helped develop work with ART, Second Stage, and the Public Theater. Education: American University
Luke is so thrilled and honored to be performing with the American Pops Orchestra. He has danced in The Broadway production of Xanadu, Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel (NYC) and Joya (Cancun, Mexico) as well as New York City Center Encore’s Productions of No, No, Nanette. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and On Your Toes. He has starred in many regional productions as Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain, Ren in Footloose, Huck in Big River, Bert in Mary Poppins, Action in West Side Story, Will Parker in Oklahoma, Tulsa in Gypsy, Robert in The Drowsy Chaperone and Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me Kate.
His TV and Film credits include tap dancing alongside Channing Tatum in the Coen Brother’s movie Hail Caesar, the 2015 Tony Awards, Gossip Girl, One Life to Live, America’s Got Talent and The Colbert Report.
Luke regularly teaches tap at The Broadway Dance Center, is co-owner of the Hawkins School of Performing Arts in Folsom California and Co-Artistic Director of The Hawkins Tap Company. Luke is a soloist tap dancer with the Manhattan Symphonie Orchestra that tours China annually. He was crowned Mr. New York 2012, is a Capeztio Athlete and a proud member of 4 performer unions, SAG/AFTRA/AEA/AGVA