For the second year in a row, the “fireworks” will come a day early for Broadway Rocks ticket holders. This rollicking musical revue returns to the Amphitheatre at Regency Park ( in Cary, North Carolina, at 8 p.m. on July 3 for an outdoor concert starring CAF artistic director Terrence Mann and fellow Broadway stars Lauren Kennedy, and Alan Campbell-plus Roz Ryan and six of the best dancers from the Tony® Award-winning Broadway production and the Academy Award-winning motion-picture version of Chicago.

The program will include a gala tribute to North Carolina’s First Flight Centennial Celebration ( [inactive 4/04]). Young people involved in this Carolina Arts Festival event will include the Capital Ambassadors, performers from the North Carolina Dance Institute, and participants in the Jacques d’Amboise workshops.

Headliner Terrence Mann ( founded The Carolina Arts Festival in 2001 to bring world-class original productions to North Carolina. A youthful performer in The Lost Colony ( in Manteo, NC, in the 1970s and a 1978 graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, Terry Mann is a New York actor, director, and playwright who doubles as artistic director of The Lost Colony, Tar Heel dramatist Paul Green’s 1937 symphonic outdoor drama about Sir Walter Raleigh’s ill-fated Roanoke Island settlement, whose occupants disappeared without a trace some time in the late 1580s.

Mann starred in the Broadway productions of Cats (Rum Tum Tugger), Les Misérables (Inspector Javert), and Beauty and the Beast (Beast). Raleigh native Lauren Kennedy starred in Les Misérables and South Pacific; and her husband, Alan Campbell, starred in Contact and Sunset Boulevard.

Roz Ryan will perform with six Cell Block Tango Girls from the stage and film versions of Chicago. They include Rosa Curry, Jennifer Frankel, Mary Ann Lamb, Mary MacLeod, Susan Misner, and Darlene Wilson.

According to preshow publicity: “These 10 amazing performers, backed by a live band of the best musicians from Broadway, will present their favorite songs from musicals, rock and roll hits, and original tunes.

“While Artistic Director Terrence Mann likes to keep the final song list a surprise,” the publicist explained, “fans can expect songs from Beauty and the Beast, Cats, South Pacific, and of course, Chicago, including the Mama Morton theme song and the Cell Block Tango. Rock and roll songs from the 1950s and beyond, some R&B, along with a couple of original songs complete the opening set. The second set features selected songs in a tribute to the Wright Brothers’ First Flight Centennial Celebration, featuring the new pop ballad, ‘First in Flight’ by Terrence Mann and Matt Bennett, presented in a grand finale by over 100 performers on stage.

“The talented young people from our state participating in the Broadway Rocks at Regency Park musical event are from the Capital Ambassadors, the North Carolina Dance Institute, and a special group of young people who are students in a week-long performance workshop led by dancing legend Jacques d’Amboise, founder of the National Dance Institute, who has spent his professional life teaching dance to inner city kids in New York City,” the publicist added. “… [T]hese local kids will dance in the First Flight tribute. Mr. d’Amboise has choreographed for the workshop participants an original dance set to music, with the poem ‘Free Rides of the Planets’ by E.L. Doctorow, which will be presented at the event.”

The Carolina Arts Festival and the Town of Cary present Broadway Rocks Thursday, July 3, at 8 p.m. at the Amphitheatre at Regency Park, Cary, North Carolina. (NOTE 1: The gates open at 7 p.m.) $15 lawn, except $25 Gold Circle (front lawn) and $10 students, seniors, military personnel, and groups of 20 or more. Children 12 and under will be admitted FREE. (NOTE 2: Special VIP tables for six under the covered Crescent-with pre-show hospitality event and VIP parking-are available for a $500 contribution directly to The Carolina Arts Festival [e-mail]. NOTE 3: Blankets and lawn chairs will be allowed, but no carry-in food or beverage will be allowed.)
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