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THE LOVE SONGS OF ELLA FITZGERALD & NAT KING COLE 

A National Stage Company of Canada World Premiere Concert
Created & Produced By: Tony James

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STARRING 

International Recording Artists & Actors, JAMES RICH & LEINA DEBOER

Featuring Celebrated Canadian Pianist, MORRISSEY DUNN with MICHAEL ARBOU and CAILUN CAMPBELL

LIVE IN CONCERT

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ABOUT

Under the creative direction of the National Stage Company of Canada comes an original new concert celebrating the legendary music of ELLA FITZGERALD & NAT KING COLE.

PRELUDE TO A KISS blends together an unforgettable evening of popular love songs made famous by the 'first lady of song', Ella Fitzgerald and the legendary Nat King Cole. 

Set against a stunning background, PRELUDE TO A KISS fills the stage with iconic music and storytelling that paints an intimate portrait of these award-winning artists. With incredible lead vocals by award-nominated recording artist and actress, LEINA DEBOER, and the incomparable JAMES RICH (direct from New York City) and featuring celebrated Canadian pianist, MORRISSEY DUNN of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with MICHAEL ARBOU on drums and CAILUN CAMPBELL on Bass, this stirring new concert is an event not to be missed.

Featuring classic hits like 'Summertime', 'The Man That Got Away', 'It's Only A Paper Moon', 'Nature Boy', Blue Skies', 'Route 66', 'Two Young', 'The Nearness of You' and 'I Wish You Love', among countless others, PRELUDE TO A KISS will undoubtedly transport you back to an era when jazz was the dominant form of popular music and could be heard emanating from radio stations and concert halls around the world.

PRELUDE TO A KISS is not just a musical concert, but a sentimental journey that embodies a level of glamour, storytelling, and showmanship that will thrill audiences of all ages. We welcome you to join us for this exclusive Nova Scotia tour.

 

CREATIVE TEAM

Executive Producer | Director: Tony James

Musical Director: Morrissey Dunn

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Recorded Vocals: James Rich 

ATLANTIC CANADA PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

MAY 12, 2022

AL WHITTLE THEATRE

WOLFVILLE, N.S. - 7:30 PM

Tickets: 778.587.9488 

450 Main Street

VIP: $60.00
General Adult: $50.00
General Senior: $45.00 

ON SALE NOW

MAY 13, 2022

MARIGOLD CULTURAL CENTRE

TRURO, N.S.. - 7:30 PM

Tickets: 902.897.4004

marigoldcentre.ca

605 Prince Street

VIP: $51.50
General Adult: $46.75
General Senior: $41.00 

ON SALE NOW

MAY 14, 2022

BELLA ROSE ARTS CENTRE

HALIFAX, N.S. - 8:00 PM

Tickets: 902.457.3352

bellaroseartscentre.com

283 Thomas Raddall Dr.

VIP: $69.00
General Adult: $63.25
General Senior: $57.50 

ON SALE NOW

MAY 15, 2022

LUNENBURG OPERA HOUSE

LUNENBURG, N.S. - 7:30 PM

VIP: $55.00
General Adult: $45.00
General Senior: $40.00 

Tickets: 778.587.9488

290 Lincoln Street

ON SALE NOW

MAY 17, 2022

THE ASTOR THEATRE

LIVERPOOL, N.S. - 7:30 PM

Tickets: 902.354.5250

astortheatre.ns.ca

 219 Main Street

VIP: $56.00
General Adult: $51.00
General Senior: $46.00 

ON SALE NOW

MAY 18, 2022

DECOSTE PERF. ARTS CENTRE

PICTOU, N.S. - 7:30 PM

Tickets: 902.485.8848

decostecentre.ca

99 Water Street

General Adult: $49.45
Members: $46.00

ON SALE NOW

MAY 19, 2022

KING'S THEATRE

ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S. - 7:30 PM

Tickets: 902.532.7704

kingstheatre.ca

 209 St. George Street

VIP: $50.00
General Adult: $40.00
General Senior: $35.00 

ON SALE NOW

VIP BENEFITS: Prime Front Row Seats | Private Post Show Q & A and Meet & Greet | Complimentary Beverage

Photo and Autograph opportunity

GROUP RATES:  Groups of 10 or more persons receive 10% off. Available only if purchased online. (Discount excludes VIP tickets) 

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THE ARTISTS - THE BIOS 

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JAMES RICH

James is a New York-based singer-actor, and playwright. His performing credits include touring with Harry Belafonte (Backup Singer), the First National Tour of "Rent" (Benny), "Saturday Night Fever" on Broadway (Booth Singer), Off-Broadway, and Regional Theater. Additionally, James performed in the premiere production of "Big Band Beat" at Tokyo Disney Resort, for which he was also the vocal and line captain. He received a Mousker Award (an honor usually reserved for company executives) for exemplary team support of the Disney Family. Additionally,

James has been the lead vocalist for numerous bands/orchestras in New York and Los Angeles. His one-man show, "When I Think About Love," played to sold-out audiences at multiple cabaret and concert venues in the Tri-State area. His LP of the same title is available on iTunes and various music streaming platforms. On-screen, James appeared in national TV commercials, guest star roles on "Everybody Loves Raymond," "As the World Turns," and he played Det. Phillip Anderson in the independent feature "Rogues."

Behind the scenes, James was an Assistant Costume Designer on the Emmy Award-winning Season 2 of "Dancing with the Stars," and as the Artistic Director for Randall Designs. He was the Costume Designer for "That's Dancin'" (Crystal Cruises) as well as numerous regional theater productions. He is currently writing and developing "There Was a Boy," a musical about the life of Nat King Cole. The 2-act story pulls back the curtain on the shy musician's successes and failures as a performer, a husband, a father, and a son. 

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LEINA DEBOER

Leina is a dynamic singer, songwriter and actor currently based out of British Columbia. Originally from Hawaii, Leina has been singing and writing songs since she was 3 years old. 

Growing up, Leina never met a stage that she was afraid to get on; organizing talent shows and creating skits for her peers in school. In college, she took part of the worship and performing arts program for two years, diving into song writing, dance, acting and singing. As a young adults and youth leader, she created and provided oversight for various performing arts productions in Alberta and B.C.

Leina has had the great fortune of sharing the stage with popular artists like: All-4-One, Bone Thugs and Harmony, KJ-52, and Micah Tyler. She has had multiple songs on Canadian radio, was nominated for top R&B song in the Edmonton Music Awards, placed 2nd in the Praise 106.5’s Platinum Artist Contest, and continues to share her passion of music and art with people of all ages.

Leina got to be a part of the Gallery 7 production, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" where she met and worked with world-renowned director, Anthony James. She headlined “Motown Magic" that toured in different parts of B.C in sold out venues. Leina then landed the role of “Rosie” in Fraser Valley Stage’s, “Mama Mia” where she enjoyed singing and dancing to some of Abbas’s most iconic songs for packed-out crowds.

Leina is humbled and excited to be headlining “A Kiss to a Prelude” with The National Stage Company of Canada. So much of the styles of music today, exists because of the jazz sound. There is always a story in the lyrics that speaks of love and the heartbreak can often follow. Jazz is a style of music that is known to be filled with class, soul, and passion. It is an incredible honor for Leina and she can’t wait to take the stage and share some of these most cherished classics with you.

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MORRISSEY DUNN

Morrissey has been involved in music in some fashion for literally all his life, having been introduced to and tutored on the piano at a very early age by his late father and well known musician, Gerard. After a brief period of music lessons, it was clear music would play a major part in his life and went on to study Conservative Music Theory and Practical. 

Over the years, Morrissey has accompanied various artists on guitar and bass, but his true love, and what has been keeping him the busiest for the last while, is the piano.  Moe, as he is known in many circles, continues to be a featured solo performer at many venues in Atlantic Canada (An Evening with Moe Dunn), singing and playing ageless songs from the likes of Billy Joel, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, The Beatles and more.  To add to his performing resume, Morrissey has also found himself fortunate enough to act in several movies, TV specials and documentaries, notably Shattered City, The Halifax Explosion, Black Harbour, Star Track, Bruce Curtis Story and others. 

While performing has been on Moe's resume for a long time, it's not his only passion, as he can be heard weekday afternoons 3-7pm on Jewel Radio (105.1), a nationally broadcast radio format enjoyed by listeners who love their Lite Favorites.  

CAILUN CAMPBELL

Cailun Campbell first fell in love with music while listening to the radio with his parents when he was a child. His father is an avid collector of music from many genres and styles and helped him discover the wide range of sounds the world had to offer. Cailun jumped at his first opportunity to sign up for music lessons at the age of eleven, and thus began his storied history playing the Upright Bass. He eventually went on to study music at Acadia and began his own journey discovering musical styles playing Jazz, Bluegrass, Country and Folk, performing in Wind and Orchestra ensembles, diving into pit bands for musicals and debuting avant-garde works composed by his university colleagues. Today you can find Cailun in his hometown of Windsor Nova Scotia still playing music and listening to the radio every day.

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MICHAEL ARBOU

Michael Arbou is a dynamic performing musician and drum teacher from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having studied music since childhood, his passion for bringing music into the lives of others has been a guiding light throught his life and career. He has performed and recorded with musicians from around the world, and he's excited now to share this passion with you.

 

Being in Nova Scotia brings a rich musical culture into everyone's heart, and being raised in a musical family, Michael naturally felt compelled to support the melodies and dancing that accompany every social event. Drumming gave him that freedom.

His first recording at the age of 14 was soon followed by high school accolades and the opportunity to study with amazing teachers and professors of music at universities across the Maritimes. He has honed his craft, and he brings everything he loves to the stage with joy.

THE ICONS - THE BIOS 

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ELLA FITZGERALD

ELLA is "The First Lady of Song," best known for her vocal talents, including an impressively wide vocal range partnered with a uniquely sweet voice and a whimsical flair to her singing. She is also very much recognized for her scat singing and her ability to mimic musical instruments. Her journey from her humble beginnings to her rise to stardom is truly a tale of success, heart, passion, love, and perseverance.

Ella Fitzgerald, started out in a life of simplicity. Her parents, William and Temperance, did not stay together after she was born. As a result, she grew to recognize her mother's boyfriend, Joseph Da Silva, as her stepfather. She also has a half-sister, Frances. Their lifestyle was simple before Fitzgerald found her spot in the entertainment industry. Joseph worked as a digger and as a part-time driver, Temperance would do catering services and work at a laundromat, and Ella worked a handful of small jobs, even with gamblers as a runner at some point.

Fitzgerald first married dockworker Benny Kornegay, but their marriage did not last upon Ella's discovery of Kornegay's criminal past. Annulment followed. Fitzgerald then met musician Ray Brown in 1946, and their love resulted in a marriage, and the adoption of Ray, Jr. Fitzgerald and Brown had their fair share of ups and downs and issues of being apart quite a lot due to their work. Their eventual divorce in 1952, as unfortunate as it was, did not stop Fitzgerald and Brown from staying good friends. 

Fitzgerald was acquainted with musician Benny Carter, who was impressed with her skills and would introduce Fitzgerald to acquaintances and connections who could give her a good start in the industry. From then on, Fitzgerald's musical journey progressed. She met Chick Webb and would begin performing with his band. She adjusted to the times, to the musical trends, while still maintaining an individual and signature flair. It was in 1938 that Fitzgerald would rise to fame. Thanks to her more whimsical rendition of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," her album sold around a million copies, rank the highest and even maintained an elevated position in the pop charts for around 4 months.

Her musical journey continued to ascend, and soon enough, she was working with Louis Armstrong and producing a songbook series. Her covers of songs by Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, and other artists became very recognized due to the beauty of the songs highlighted in her renditions. Eventually, she began appearing on television. Her six-decade journey saw her getting award after award, recognition after recognition, honorary doctorate after honorary doctorate.

Diabetes took a toll on Fitzgerald, and her physical condition, which for a time did not stop her from still performing against better judgment, eventually led to the amputation of both her legs below the knees. This sad turn of events would mark her slowing down in her craft until she would be savoring the simple pleasures, her family, and the tranquility of her environment to get by. Fitzgerald, "The First Lady of Song," died on June 15, 1996. 

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NAT KING COLE

 

NAT KING COLE was born Nathaniel Adams Coles at Montgomery, Alabama. He received music lessons from his mother and his family moved to Chicago when he was only five, where his father Edward James Coles was a minister at the True Light Baptist Church and later Pastor of the First Baptist Church.

At 12 he was playing the church organ and at 14 he formed a 14 piece band called the Royal Dukes. Nat was a top flight sandlot baseball player at Wendell Phillips high school in Chicago. His three brothers, Ike, Eddie Cole and Frankie also played the piano and sang professionally. Nat was also an above-average football player in high school. His sister Evelyn Cole was a beautician in nearby Waukegan, Illinois.

In 1939 he formed the King Cole Trio after his publicist put a silver tin-foiled crown on his head and proclaimed him King. He later toured Europe and made a command performance before Queen Elizabeth II. He had a highly-rated TV show in the 1950s but it was canceled (by Cole himself) because no companies could be found that were willing to sponsor the show. He was a big baseball fan and had a permanent box seat at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. He met his wife Maria Cole (a big-band singer) at the Zanzibar nightclub in Los Angeles through the Eddie “Rochester” Anderson show. Her parents protested her decision to marry Cole, however, they were married in 1948 and had two daughters, Natalie and Caroline.

Cole appeared in several movies, his last one being Cat Ballou (1965), starring Lee Marvin. Cole received 28 gold record awards for such hits as "Sweet Lorraine", "Ramblin' Rose" in 1962, "Too Young" in 1951, "Mona Lisa" in 1949 and Mel Torme’s "Christmas Song". His first recordings of the Christmas Song included the lyrics, "Reindeers really know how to fly" instead of "reindeer really know how to fly", a mistake later corrected by Capitol Records. He was also a composer and his song "Straighten Up and Fly Right" was sold for $50.00. Nat died of lung cancer in February 1965.

OFFICIAL POSTER 

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