After four seasons of Broadway Voices, organizer Tim Stevens said it’s not as difficult to convince stars to come to Garner. For the fifth, he’s used that to put together a lineup with an eye to exactly the type of choices that lend themselves to the series’ solo act format.
The Garner Performing Arts Center and Garner Chamber of Commerce have announced this season’s three-show lineup, and according to Stevens, the keyword is “fun.”
While the solo performers of the past have created a fun atmosphere in the past, Stevens has worked his network to put together a lineup that will showcase, to an even greater degree, performers with a knack for engaging a crowd.
“We’ve had Tony nominees, some of the people regarded as the very best on Broadway,” Stevens said. “These people are known as entertainers, and for just having fun shows. It was a season put together with the idea of just fun concerts.”
The first show will feature the series’ second husband-wife duet on Dec. 13. Gary Mauer and Elizabeth Southard met on a cruise ship performing a show about newlyweds. Later both starred in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway together as Raul and Christine, respectively. Later they toured while performing Showboat.
The pair was a late lineup addition to replace David Burnham, who was cast in a play in Las Vegas that conflicted with the show date. Burnham had performed in Broadway Voices in 2012.
Later in the season, Capathia Jenkins will perform on Jan. 31. Stevens said she came highly recommended from Norm Lewis, a Tony-nominated performer who had previously performed in Broadway Voices.
“Almost his first words when he walked into the auditorium were ‘You gotta get Capathia Jenkins,’” Stevens said of Lewis.
Most recently, Jenkins starred on Broadway as Medda in the Disney production of Newsies. Other efforts have included her Broadway debut in The Civil War (where she played Harriet Jackson) and the off-Broadway productions of Godspell. and (mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story.
Jenkins has also performed as a singer with orchestras and symphonies in a variety of major cities and states. She’s also appeared on television in 30 Rock, The Practice, Law & Order and the Sopranos.
On March 6, Alli Mauzey will round out the season. Mauzey played Glinda in Broadway’s Wicked, a role Stevens said plays right into Broadway Voices.
“That role allows actresses to show perosnality, physicality... those kinds of things,” Stevens said. “They’re kind of over-the-top roles.”
Mauzey debuted on Broadway as Brenda in Hairspray in 2003. She won a Theatre World Award for her lead role in the short-lived Cry Baby. She started as the standby for the Wicked lead in 2007 before formally assuming that role the next year. She later played the role in San Francisco and in the national touring production.
“You are kind of amazed and wowed by what they do,” Stevens said. “They’re really known for making a conmnection to the audience.”
Building a following
Stevens said filling out the lineup has become easier since the first season.
“Eveyrbody pretty much knows who we are. W don’t have to tell them anymore,” Stevens said. “If the artists don’t know us, they know someone who’s been here.”
Tickets to ndividual shows cost $35 and the season ticket for all three shows costs $75. An early-bird $65 season pass can be purchased before Oct. 31. Tickets can be purchased online on the GPAC website. Enter the code “bvoices” for an early discount. They are also availible at the GPAC box office or by phone at 919-661-4602, 1 to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.