The Hermitage Artist Retreat (Sarasota County, Florida) today announced the line-up of guest stars for its one-night-only benefit concert to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Season of the Hermitage and to raise funds for ongoing repairs to the Hermitage following the impact of Hurricane Ian earlier this season. The announced stars include Broadway veterans Jeannette Bayardelle, Laura Bell Bundy, Jay Armstrong Johnson, andLeslie Rodriguez Kritzer as well as a Hermitage alumna and Sarasota theater favorite Ann Morrison. In town for one night only on Monday, March 20th at 7:30pm, this incredible company joins Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg as he returns to his roots as a performer to sing a concert of Broadway songs at Sarasota’s iconic Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, accompanied by Hermitage Fellow and 2023 Grammy Award nominee Rona Siddiqui.
Jeannette Bayardelle received a 2022 Tony Award nomination for her role in Bob Dylan and Conor McPherson’s Girl From the North Country. She has starred on Broadway as Dionne in the Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR and as Celie in the original production of The Color Purple, produced by Oprah Winfrey. Bayardelle went on to launch the National Tour as Celie, winning the NAACP Theater Award for Best Lead Actress. Bayardelle is also the writer and star of the award-winning musical SHIDA, directed by Sandberg, which has played successful engagements in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and London. She is currently appearing in the Public Theater production of The Harder They Come, adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks.
Laura Bell Bundy has originated several legendary roles in the theater including Tina in Ruthless(Outer Critics and Drama Desk nominations), Amber in Broadway’s Hairspray, and most notably Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Her career also spans international tours of her music, over 100 episodes of television, notable films, a successful podcast, and a dedication to activism. She is perhaps best known to television audiences for her role in “Anger Management,” and she can currently be seen in the Paramount Plus live-action series “The Fairly OddParents.” She will be returning to Broadway this summer to star opposite Erik McCormack (“Will and Grace”) in The Cottage.
Currently appearing on Broadway in the highly anticipated revival of Parade, Jay Armstrong Johnson’s impressive Broadway resume includes leading roles in On the Town, Hands on a Hardbody (with a book by Hermitage Fellow Doug Wright), Catch Me If You Can, HAIR, and Phantom of the Opera. Johnson earned Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for his role in Scotland, PA, written by Hermitage Fellow Adam Gwon. Other notable credits include the Off-Broadway revival of Working (Drama Desk Award), A Chorus Line at City Center, and concerts Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, among others. He is best known to television audiences as Will Olsen in ABC’s “Quantico.”
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer recently concluded her acclaimed run on Broadway as Delia in Beetlejuice, for which she received Drama Desk, Drama League, and Chita Rivera Award nominations. She received the Lucille Lortel Award and Drama League Award for her performance in The Robber Bridegroom at Roundabout Theatre. Other Broadway credits include Something Rotten!, Elf, Sondheim on Sondheim, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Hairspray, and A Catered Affair, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination. She has recently appeared on television in “Bridge & Tunnel,” “The First Lady,” “New Amsterdam,” and more.
Sarasota’s own Ann Morrison is an actor, singer, writer, director, and Hermitage alumna who has starred in original roles on Broadway (Merrily We Roll Along, LoveMusik); London’s West End (Peg);Off-Broadway (Goblin Market);and leading roles at regional theaters throughout the country. In addition to her performing career, she also founded SaraSolo Productions.
“I could not be more excited to perform alongside some of my favorite people in the world – who also happen to be some of the most talented performers I know,” said Hermitage Artistic Director Andy Sandberg. “Each of them is moving mountains in their schedules to take part of this special event, and it means the world to me that they are coming down to Florida to support the Hermitage in this way. Audiences are in for a rare treat as these Broadway stars come together for one night in Sarasota. I look forward to each and every one of them upstaging me on March 20!”
While many in Florida know Sandberg for his leadership role at the Hermitage, he has nearly two decades of experience in theater and television. “As Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage, Andy spends his professional life nurturing the work of fellow artists,” added Hermitage Trustee and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright. “How thrilling to finally get the chance to see him reveal his own artistry in this remarkable tribute to the world of Broadway and beyond!”
Tickets for this concert are $25, $50, and $75 (additional phone and online booking fees may apply). A limited number of $250 VIP tickets, which include a reception following the performance, are available ($175 of this $250 price is a tax-deductible contribution to the Hermitage). Thanks to generous underwriting from sponsors, all proceeds from ticket sales will directly benefit the Hermitage Artist Retreat.
Tickets are available at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall box office, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236; by calling (941) 263-6799; or online at HermitageArtistRetreat.org and VanWezel.org.
$15 tickets are available for students and teachers at the Van Wezel box office only; must show proof of valid student or teacher ID.