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NYU Broadway Orchestra Staging Musical Comedy ‘City of Angels’ with Vanessa Williams Talkback

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From the hardboiled detectives to the enigmatic femme fatales, the sultry world of film noir has long captured the American imagination. Translating that evocative style to the stage earned the 1989 musical comedy City of Angels an array of Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book.

Now, the NYU Broadway Orchestra, in collaboration with NYU Steinhardt's Vocal Performance program, will stage a special one-night-only performance of City of Angels at NYU Skirball (60 Washington Square South) on Friday, November 22 at 8 p.m.

City of Angels follows two storylines set in 1940s Hollywood: There’s Stine, a young writer working furiously to turn his novel into a screenplay, and the film noir he wants to bring to life on the silver screen. Revolving around a former cop turned detective named Stone, that world becomes increasingly entangled with Stine’s in ways that blur the edges of reality and fiction. Framed with a lively jazz score written by Cy Coleman, with lyrics by David Zippel and book by Larry Gelbart, City of Angels captures the comedy and drama of Los Angeles in the early twentieth century.

Ana Flavia Zuim, program director for Steinhardt’s Vocal Performance program, conducts the NYU Broadway Orchestra in City of Angels. David Alpert, a member of the Vocal Performance’s acting faculty, directs.

Singer, actress, and designer Vanessa Williams will participate in a talkback following the show. “Beginning in March, I’ll be starring in a new production of City of Angels in the West End, so I’m excited to see, hear, and talk about what the very talented students at NYU, as well as Ana Flavia Zuim and my close friend David Alpert, have done with the show,” said Williams.

 Vocal Performance students rehearse 'City of Angels.'

Vocal Performance students rehearse 'City of Angels.' Photo by Fletcher Kim.

NYU Broadway Orchestra is the newest addition to NYU Steinhardt’s Music and Performing Arts Professions. Led by music director Ted Sperling, artist advisor John Miller, and NYU Orchestra co-directors Jonathan Hass and Stephanie Baer, it trains student musicians for a career in musical theater through ensemble experiences designed to expose them to the intricacies of playing for actors and singers on the stage.

Entry to City of Angels is free. For more details, please call 212.998.4941 or visit nyuskirball.org. Subways to NYU Skirball include R, W (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place); A, B, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th Street).

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