Wednesday, July 27, 2011

‘Heart and Music’ to fill the Liberty stage

Live Broadway music and more to take place in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

Desiree Roots will perform in “Heart and Music” at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey July 28-30. Courtesy photo

Company of Fools will present "Heart and Music," an intimate look at Broadway music with R.L. Rowsey and Broadway's Leading Ladies on July 28-30 at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey.

Rowsey will join with acclaimed vocalists Terri Bibb, Diane Pennington-Cooley and Desiree Roots, beginning at 8 p.m. each evening. The performances will feature songs by Stephen Sondheim, William Finn, Stephen Schwartz and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The evening of performances will take you from backstage to center stage, with favorites such as "I Don't Know How To Love Him" and "If I Were a Bell" as well as a variety of very special arrangements of Sondheim classics and at least one song from "Phantom of the Opera."

"I'm thrilled to have these three world-class voices together on the stage for the first time ever," said Rowsey, a Company of Fools resident artist. "Each of them has touched my heart with their music. Their voices inspire me.

"We chose the title song by William Finn for this show because it speaks so specifically about our connection. It simply says, 'You gotta have heart and music. Heart and music makes a song.'   I'm excited to share these exceptional singers who are my dear friends with my wonderful friends here in the Wood River Valley."

 "Heart and Music" will feature some of the most dynamic singers performing in the U.S. today. Bibb has played the role of Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera" more than 1,000 times on Broadway and with the national tour, singing for both former Presidents Clinton and Bush. She has earned a Helen Hayes Award nomination and a Carbonell Award.

Pennington-Cooley left the Richmond theater scene and, working with Rowsey, set out for New York City in the early 1980s to pursue her dreams in musical theater. She jumped into "show biz" in a touring company of "Chicago." Over the next two decades, she performed in national and international tours of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Evita," and originated the role of "Shirley" on Broadway in Alan Jay Lerner's final show, "Dance a Little Closer."

Roots began singing in church at the age of 4 and landed her first theatrical role at the age of 13 as Dorothy in Haymarket Theatre's "The Wiz." Since being bitten by the theater bug, Roots has held leading roles in more than 35 productions, including Timone in "Once on This Island," Aldonza and Dulcinea in "Man of La Mancha," "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and Peep-Bo in "The Mikado." Most recently, Roots was guest vocalist with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra during its East Coast tour. 

Rowsey has spent the past 30 years as both an artist and an advocate for the support of Wood River Valley arts organizations. He has also served as musical director and conductor for many national tours, including productions of "Fiddler on the Roof," "Singing in the Rain" and "Kiss of the Spiderwoman." He is a resident company artist with Company of Fools, the musical director for Light on the Mountains Spiritual Center, a member of Hailey Rotary, vice president of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce and artistic director for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony School of Music. In 2005, Rowsey was recognized as the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau's Arts Advocate of the Year, and in 2008 he was the recipient of both the Safeco Foundation's Community Hero Award and the Ann and Doug Christensen Humanitarian Award.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for students 18 and younger. In addition, 10 seats will be sold for $10 each at the box office starting one hour prior to the performance. Tickets may be purchased online at  HYPERLINK "", by phone at 578-9122 or at the Liberty Theatre box office starting one hour prior to curtain. Company of Fools' box office is at the Liberty Theatre, 110 N. Main St. in Hailey, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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