Kleinhans Music Hall welcomes back Buffalo native Ben Toth for an evening of original music and selections from the American Songbook. Ben will be joined by Broadway performers Dawn Cantwell and Grace Wall.
For this special one-night engagement, Henry’s Restaurant at Kleinhans will be transformed into the Blue Room, an intimate cabaret for a dinner-concert setting. Dinner begins at 6 p.m.; the performance at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Dinner-concert tickets are $125 each, with VIP tables assigned on a first-come first-served basis. A limited number of bar seats will be available for $40. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the restoration and maintenance of Kleinhans Music Hall. A percentage of the ticket price is tax-deductible.
Toth made his BPO debut as a City Honors School senior in 1995, performing Scott Joplin’s'”The Entertainer” on a Pops program that featured Ben Vereen. Toth went on to receive a degree in modern art and architecture from Brown University. He also studied composition, voice, piano, and orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music.
Since then he has established himself as a much-sought-after composer, music director, and pianist. He has worked with Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, and Mandy Patinkin, and has performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl to the Kennedy Center and London’s West End. Tony winners Kelli O’Hara and Steve Kazee, Grammy and Tony winner Duncan Sheik, and Tony nominees Jonathan Groff and Santino Fontana have performed and/or recorded Toth’s music.
His “beguiling” work (New York Times) has been hailed as “part of the new American songbook” by the legendary Michael Feinstein. Toth’s “Mad Girl’s Love Song” has been performed by Cheyenne Jackson at the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, and Walt Disney Concert Hall – and “everybody afterwards talks about it” (Los Angeles Magazine).
Toth is currently writing “Untuned Ears Hear Nothing But Discord,” a musical about the lifelong friendship between anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. Described as “a perfect theatrical moment” by Ira Glass and “moving and dangerous” by John Patrick Shanley, a 15-minute section of the show premiered at Lincoln Center as part of “In Need of Music: The Songs of Ben Toth” with Lindsay Mendez (“Wicked,” “Dogfight”) as Emma Goldman.
Toth composed the music for “My Heart Is A Gun,” a musical with Todd Almond, Anil Baral, and Greg Mitchell, and he just completed “Marriage” and “Out West,” two music theater works with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley.
Past projects have included serving as the composer for a critically-acclaimed production of “As You Like It” directed by Michael Sexton, and for “Twelfth Night” at the Theatre at St. Clements. Toth also scored Josh Radnor’s indie hit “Liberal Arts,” a feature film starring Allison Janney, Oscar Nominee Richard Jenkins, and Elizabeth Olsen.
Dawn Cantwell is an up-and-coming singer and actor who has appeared on Broadway, on the Encores Series at City Center in New York, and in numerous regional tours. She performed in Sting’s musical “The Last Ship” as Young Meg.
Grace Wall is an LA Weekly Award-winning actress who has been seen all over the country from children’s theater to the Hollywood Bowl. Most recently, she performed as a soloist via a live stream in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series with Toth.
Tickets are available online at www.kleinhansbuffalo.org or by calling 885-5000.