Todd Ellison conducts to the classics
Hailed by the New York Times as one of “Broadway’s electric conductors,” Todd Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought after music directors working today and he’s coming to Folsom on Sept. 8. For his Harris Center debut, Ellison is joined by four vocalists from the Broadway stage performing some of his favorite musical theater selections, including selections from “Wicked,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Shrek,” “Memphis,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Once” and “42nd Street.”
Joining Ellison for this engagement will be Ashley Blanchet (who made her original Broadway debut in “Memphis” and is currently on Broadway again in “Annie”), David Larson (most recently on Broadway in “Hands on a Hard Body” and “Billy Elliott”), Christopher Seiber (a Tony Award nominee and most recently on Broadway in “Shrek,” “Spamalot” and “La Cage aux Folles”), and Beth Leavel (Tony Award winner whose Broadway credits include “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “42nd Street” and “Crazy for You”).
Comfortable in wearing the many hats of composer, musical director, conductor, arranger and musician, Ellison, 41, trained as a classical pianist, like many Broadway conductors. But in college he realized that “He liked Hammerstein more than Haydn and took up a career on the musical circuit,” according to a New York Times interview.
Todd Ellison is currently music director and conductor of the new Broadway production of “Annie.” Ellison’s other Broadway credits include Monty Python’s “Spamalot” (Tony Award, Best Musical), “La Cage aux Folles” (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), “42nd Street” (Tony Award, Best Revival), Elton John’s “Lestat,” Michel Legrand’s “Amour,” “The Wild Party,” “On The Town,” “Once Upon a Mattress” (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), “How To Succeed in Business” (starring Matthew Broderick), “She Loves Me,” “Taller than a Dwarf” and “A Class Act.”
Internationally, Ellison has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular-Mexico City, World Science Festival- Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall-Cole Porters’ Jubilee.
He has conducted more than 20 albums including the Grammy Award winning cast albums of his shows. He has accompanied such stars as Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Barry Manilow, Tyne Daly, Bea Arthur, David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry and Kelsey Grammar.
Ellison will return to Harris Center/Three Stages on June 6, 2014, for Todd Ellison: The Romance of Broadway. For further details visit harriscenter.net.
Todd Ellison: Classic Broadway will take the stage at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8. Tickets are $25 to $39 with premium rickets available for $45; students with ID get in for $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.