Ben Vereen will headline a star-studded cast in the musical extravaganza, “What A Wonderful World,” at The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, June 9 to 28.
Tony Award-winning Vereen is one of the most versatile and beloved artists of his generation.
From his role as Chicken George in the ground-breaking television series, “Roots,” to his work on Broadway, Vereen’s legendary performances have been woven into the fabric of America’s artistic legacy.
Vereen won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical: “Pippin.” Recent Broadway appearances include “Wicked’s” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the Gershwin Theatre.
Like so many people who have attained international critical acclaim Vereen began studying the performing arts in high School.
Studied with Jerome Robbins
At the age of 14, Vereen enrolled at the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan, where he studied under world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins.
“The theatre was my first training ground.
“It taught me discipline, dedication and appreciation of hard work and values that will stay with me a lifetime. The stage sharpens the creative instrument and encourages you to go deeper inside and try new things,” said Vereen.
Ben Vereen at The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia“What A Wonderful World” is “a high-end concert, derived from the Starbright Christmas special,” explained Victoria Playhouse Petrolia artistic director David Hogan.
“It’s glorious, it’s gowns, and it’s everything spectacular, with great singing and inspirational sounds.”
Vereen will host “What A Wonderful World,” with tales of inspiration from one song to another, featuring a 10-piece show choir from Western University, and Victoria Playhouse Petrolia’s Starbright band, led by musical director and pianist Mark Payne.
Director David Rogers, choreographer Adele Mackenzie and assistant director/choreographer Hogan are thrilled to have Vereen showcasing his talents amongst an already star-studded cast.
by Keith Tomasek