“The Soul of Richard Rodgers”

Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter brings his boundary-pushing “The Soul of Richard Rodgers” to the Soraya for one night only on Saturday, June 2 at 8:00pm.

Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter does not hold back. The busy actor, composer and director has also put out four solo albums. The most recent, Billy Porter Presents: “The Soul of Richard Rodgers,” features Porter’s new, soulful takes on classic Richard Rodgers songs, from “My Funny Valentine” to “Edelweiss.” Porter will be bringing his album to life on the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts stage on Saturday, June 2 at 8pm.

“I like to think of [this album] as the Richard Rodgers version of the Hamilton Mixtapes,” Porter said. “These are classic songs that everybody knows and loves, and I’m so excited for people to hear them in a brand-new way.”

Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers www.nohoartsdistrict.com

“Billy’s joyful and powerful interpretations of composer Richard Rogers is the perfect way to end our ground-breaking 2017-18 season,” said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya. “Richard Rodgers music is part of our collective American culture and Billy’s soulful approach is fresh, deep and new and I know our audience will love it.”

This June, Billy Porter will co-star in Ryan Murphy’s new dance drama television series Pose on FX. In May, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ 7th Annual Voice Awards will honor Porter with the “Courageous Voice Award” for being an LGBTQ icon and a role model for gay and black youth.

Single tickets beginning at $38 are now available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.TheSoraya.org or call 818-677-3000. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330. Ticket prices subject to change.


Billy Porter won the 2013 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for this groundbreaking performance as Lola in “Kinky Boots.” “Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers” is Porter’s fourth album and was released in April, 2017. The album features new, soulful takes on classic Richard Rodgers songs and his first as producer and content curator, with collaborators James Sampliner and Michael “Lofey” Sandlofer.

“JazzTimes” said of Porter’s record, “Porter, a marvelous vocal amalgam of jazz, soul and funk, brings a bold freshness to the material, still Broadway-worthy but mirroring “Hamilton’s” dazzling unorthodoxy.”

About Billy Porter
Billy Porter is a Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning singer, composer, actor, playwright and director from Pittsburgh, PA. As a recording artist, Porter’s solo albums include his first CD, “Untitled,” on A&M records, “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE” on Sh-K-Boom Records, and “Billy’s Back on Broadway,” on Concord Records. He originated the role of ‘Lola’ in the Broadway hit “Kinky Boots,” which won him 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other theatre: “Shuffle Along,”“Miss Along,” “Miss Saigon,” “Five Guys Named Mo, “”Grease,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Dreamgirls,” “Angels in America,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Radiant Baby,” “Birdie Blue,” “Songs for a New World,” “Ghetto Superstar “(one-man show), “Topdog/Underdog,” “King Lear.” His play, “While I Yet Live,” premiered in 2015 at Primary Stages. As a director, his credits include “Topdog/Underdo”g and “The Colored Museum” (both for Huntington Theatre Company); Film/TV: “Law & Order: SVU,” “So You Think You Can Dance” (as a guest judge), “The Broken Hearts Club,” “Shake Rattle & Roll,” “The Big C,” “The Humbling,” starring Al Pacino, Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down.” Porter’s concerts credits include opening act for Rosie O’Donnell and Aretha Franklin, Carnegie Hall, John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Buffalo Philharmonic, Peter Nero and The Philly Pops, soloist for President Bill Clinton and various benefits throughout the United States.

About The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
The Soraya opened its 2017-2018 season on September 16 with a performance of “AMADEUS Liv”e (Milos Foreman’s 1984 Academy Award-winning Best Picture with live orchestra) with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and members of the LA Opera Chorus. The evening honored the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Foundation in recognition of the family’s recent $17 million gift that will rename VPAC as the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center, known as The Soraya. The gift is one of the largest in the history of the California State University and the system’s largest single gift to support the arts; gift to support the programming and operations of the award-winning Valley Performing Arts Center – which has become one of the cultural jewels of the region in the six years since it opened.

The 2017-18 Soraya season signals a new era for the premier event venue. Under the leadership of Executive Director Thor Steingraber, the renamed Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center expands its programming and outstanding multidisciplinary performances. The mission of The Soraya is to present a wide variety of performances that not only includes new and original work from the Los Angeles region but also work from around the world that appeal to all of LA’s rich and diverse communities.

Located on the campus of California State University, Northridge, The Soraya’s season offers a vibrant performance program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events that will serve to establish The Soraya as the intellectual and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley, and further establish itself as one of the top arts companies in Southern California. The award-winning, 1,700-seat theatre was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers and was recently cited by the Los Angeles Times as “a growing hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events.”

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Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

Editor of www.nohoartsdistrict.com