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This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.
A triple-threat performer, singer, dancer, and actor Ben Vereen has appeared in some of the most notable Broadway productions and television series of our time. On March 17 and 18, the Tony Award-winner brings his talent, charm, and pizazz to Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall to join the North Carolina Symphony for two evenings of Broadway show-tunes and much more.
Due to the opportunity of developing a new television show, Jason Alexander, who was scheduled to perform with the Symphony on those dates, withdrew his performances.
Steppin' Out with Ben Vereen, the multi-talented star artfully blends song and dance with humor and the poignant stories of his life — from growing up in a rough neighborhood in Brooklyn, to gaining acceptance to the prestigious Manhattan High School of the Performing Arts (where he studied under George Balanchine, Martha Graham, and Jerome Robbins), to being mentored by Sammy Davis Jr.
His show combines Broadway hits with tributes to two monumental career influences — Sammy Davis Jr. as well as Frank Sinatra, whose endorsement built Vereen's confidence and gained him acceptance as a young black performer in the 1960s.
Steppin' Out with Ben Vereen has been received with standing ovations as it has toured across the United States, Europe, and Abu Dhabi. Vereen was acclaimed by The New York Times as "a song and dance man who never lets up. He wins you over with his sheer energy, good will, and showbiz know-how."
Vereen called Broadway home for years, originating roles in Jesus Christ Superstar and Pippin (for which he won a Tony Award), and appearing in Wicked and Jelly's Last Jam. His performance with the Symphony will draw from the repertoire he sang night after night in those musicals, in addition to featuring many more hit songs from Broadway and the Great American Songbook.
A talented actor, Vereen starred alongside Chris Rock in Top Five and with Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind. Having appeared on dozens of televisions shows since the 1970s, his recent credits include a recurring guest role on How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, and Hot in Cleveland.
Tickets to the Jason Alexander performance, previously scheduled for the same dates, will be honored for Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen.
The North Carolina Symphony expresses its appreciation to Weekend Sponsor Merrill Lynch for its generous support.
North Carolina Symphony
Ben Vereen, vocalist
David Loeb, conductor
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets start at $30
Online: ncsymphony.org (TicketMaster fees apply)
By phone: 919.733.2750 ($8 processing fee applies)
In-person: NCS State Headquarters Offices (3700 Glenwood Ave., Suite 130, Raleigh)
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina's cultural life. Its 175 concerts and events annually are greeted with enthusiasm by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties — in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony's 66 full-time musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.
NCS's state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony's service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as Summerfest concerts at the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Collaborating with performers that range from classical artists, to banjo players, to jazz bands, NCS brings some of the world’s greatest talents to North Carolina.
NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has given 47 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In March 2017, NCS will appear at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras — an honor that recognizes the Symphony’s innovative community partnerships and creative programming that inspires increased interest in new music. The Symphony will present works by composers with ties to North Carolina, including Sarah Kirkland Snider, Caroline Shaw, Mason Bates, and Robert Ward.
The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.