Greater Boston Stage Company is proud to announce the World Premiere Dance Event Swan Lake in Blue: A Jazz Ballet, created and composed by renowned jazz musician and composer Steve Bass. Choreographed and staged by GBSC Associate Artistic Director and multiple IRNE and Elliot Norton Award Winner Ilyse Robbins, Swan Lake in Blue: A Jazz Ballet is inspired by and loosely based on Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, Swan Lake.
Featuring big band jazz music as well as a company of tap and jazz dancers, Swan Lake in Blue: A Jazz Ballet tells the story of a Broadway producer who falls madly in love with a burlesque dancer, Odette. He then discovers that she is under the control of a terrible mob boss and is being forced to perform nightly at The Swan Club. Passion, betrayal and mistaken identities ensue—will Odette fly away from her past or stay caged forever?
Choreographer Ilyse Robbins is a celebrated tap dancer, having danced with tap legend Gregory Hines. She has won IRNE awards for Best Choreographer for Dames at Sea, How to Succeed in Business…, and 42nd Street, among others. She is thrilled to be staging to Bass’ creation. “This production is the perfect complement to GBSC’s commitment to telling familiar stories in fresh new ways,” says Robbins.
Composer and creator Steve Bass says of the Premiere, “Jazz was my first musical love, and I’ve also always loved tap dance. This piece is ballet at its core— storytelling though dance and instrumental music—and I have replaced the classical orchestra with a jazz big band and replaced the ballet dancers with tap, jazz, and lyrical dancers. The idea was to have something that looked and sounded much closer to a Broadway musical, but with no words—a Jazz Ballet. I immediately knew I wanted to base it on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and I began adapting the classic fairy tale into a 1940s New York City setting.”
SARA COOMBS (Odette/Odile) is an actress/choreographer/teaching artist based in NYC. As a performer, she was most recently seen on the GBSC stage as Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street. Other GBSC credits include: 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dames at Sea, She Loves Me and Being Earnest. She has choreographed Off-Broadway shows, national tours, and many musicals in regional theatres. Sara is a member as well as thechoreographer of Manhattan Shuffle: NYC’s Premiere Song and Tap Trio – manhattanshuffle.com. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Sara has taught tap dance and theatre at Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Capezio Center in NYC, and at multiple theaters throughout New England. She holds a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. Instagram: @coombaloo
ANDY MCLEAVY (Florenz Siegfried) – is thrilled to return to GBSC having previously appeared as Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street. A few of his favorite credits include Antipholus of Ephesus in Boys From Syracuse (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company/Boston Landmarks Orchestra), Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse/Rev Theatre & Reagle Music Theatre), Pat Denning/Dancer in 42nd Street (Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino), George in Goldilocks (NYC’s Opening Doors Theatre Company), Gaston in Beauty and the Beast (Company Theatre), On The 20th Century w/Alice Ripley, and Carousel w/Shirley Jones. Andy is proud to have sung the national anthem multiple times at Mohegan Sun Arena, McCoy Stadium, and the Ryan Center. He also loves teaching Zumba & Tap, as well as singing and songwriting under the nickname “Andy Macktastic”. Andy is a former joke writer for SomeEcards.com. Instagram: @andymacktasticmusic
What: Swan Lake In Blue: A Jazz Ballet
Where: Greater Boston Stage Company, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA
When: February 15 through March 1
How: Box Office: (781) 279-2200