Presented By Learning From Performers
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Dubbed The Last Leading Man by the New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film, along with appearances in the America's greatest concert halls. He will lead a master class for undergraduate singers, and observers are welcome; admission is free (tickets/RSVPs not required). This event is co-sponsored by Celebrity Series of Boston, which is presenting Brian Stokes Mitchell in concert on Thursday, January 23 at 8 pm at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. For more information about the concert, visit the Celebrity Series website.
Brian Stokes Mitchell's musical versatility has kept him in demand by some of the country's finest conductors and orchestras. He has performed selections from Porgy and Bess with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall; performed works by Aaron Copland and various contemporary composers at the Hollywood Bowl with the L.A. Philharmonic under the batons of Leonard Slatkin and John Mauceri; Broadway tunes at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC under the baton of the late Marvin Hamlisch, and jazz and standards with Maestro John Williams at Disney Hall and with the Boston Pops. He debuted Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici's Rip Van Winkle with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, and has been invited to the White House and has performed for Presidents Clinton and Obama.
Mitchell's Broadway career includes performances in Man of La Mancha (Tony nomination and Helen Hayes Award); Kiss Me Kate (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards); Ragtime (Tony nomination); August Wilson's King Hedley II (Tony nomination); Kiss of the Spider Woman; Jelly's Last Jam; David Merrick's Oh, Kay! and Mail, which earned him a Theatre World Award for outstanding Broadway Debut.
In 2010, Mitchell returned to Broadway after a seven-year absence to do concerts, film and TV and spend some family time with his young son. The show was Lincoln Center Theatre's production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which also starred Patti LuPone. Based on the Pedro Almodovar film of the same name, Stokes played the philandering Ivan.
In 2005 Mitchell made his cabaret debut as both singer and musical arranger in New York at Feinstein's at the Regency in his critically acclaimed one-man show Love/Life which then moved to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. He received both the New York Bistro and Nightlife awards for his cabaret debut. He returned there in November of 2008 with a critically acclaimed concert where he was accompanied by a guitarist, a bassist and a percussionist.
Mitchell headlined the Carnegie Hall concert presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific with Reba McEntire, which aired on PBS in the Spring of 2006 and was released on DVD and CD. He reprised his role along with Reba McEntire in July of 2007 at the Hollywood bowl then returned to The Hollywood bowl in August of 2008 starring as Javert in Les Miserables.
For the Encores! Series at New York's City Center, he has starred in Do, Re, Mi, Carnival and Kismet. In 1998 he joined the likes of Helen Hayes, Sir John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones when he became the sole recipient of that year's Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League, the nation's oldest theatrical honor, for his performance in Ragtime.
Mitchell's long television career began with a seven-year stint on Trapper John, MD. Numerous film and TV appearances more recently include One Last Thing which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, recurring roles on Glee, Crossing Jordan and Frasier, PBS Great Performances, DreamWorks The Prince of Egypt, and his Presidential Debut in The Singer and the Song from the White House. In 2011, he appeared opposite Angela Bassett in the film Jumping The Broom, which also featured Loretta Devine, Paula Patton and Laz Alonso.
In 2006 Mitchell released his self-titled album as the inaugural artist on the newly-formed Playbill Records label. In addition to singing, Stokes produced the album and also wrote many of the arrangements and orchestrations. It was mixed by 15-time Grammy Award winner Al Schmitt and the liner notes were penned by John Williams.
Mitchell has enjoyed working with numerous charitable organizations, from the March of Dimes to the USO. Since 2004 he has served as Chairman of the Board of the Actors Fund, a human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment nationwide.
Support for this program generously provided by the Bernard H. and Mildred Kayden Artist in Residence Fund.