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Richard Holbrook

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Throughout his life, Burton Lane wrote some of the most memorable melodies for The Great American Songbook. He collaborated with some of the finest lyricists of the twentieth century such as Ira Gershwin, Frank Loesser, Alan Jay Lerner, and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg. Singer Richard Holbrook presents this musical feast covering Burton Lane's career as a composer, beginning with his early success as a motion-picture songwriter, and leading up to his great triumphs on Broadway with Finian's Rainbow and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. Born in New York City, Richard grew up in the small town of Congers, New York, as the middle child in a family of nine -- just enough players for a baseball game. However, Richard found a different game to play -- show business. At an early age he became addicted to watching old films, especially the great Hollywood musicals. He dreamed of becoming a movie star. He literally taught himself how to sing by listening to the recordings of Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby and by watching their films. Richard's chance to see whether he could really sing happened when he was a freshman in high school. He believed enough in himself to audition for the school production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying with the song "I Believe In You." The result was "they" believed in him and gave him a role in the show. This began a life-long love affair with performing. Although he had no formal vocal training, when he performed the role of Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady some years later, many people felt he was a trained singer. After high school he studied music and drama at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. Returning to New York, he found success as an actor on such hit television series as The Sopranos and Spin City. No stranger to daytime television, he frequently appeared in All My Children and One Life to Live. Regional theatre productions included leading roles in Deathtrap and The Subject Was Roses. In 1985 Richard began performing his cabaret act to enthusiastic audiences. In 2003, backed by the Tom Nelson Trio, he did a tribute to Fred Astaire by focusing on the legendary dancer's other talents ... that of a singer and a musician. The act Richard Holbrook: The Untapped Fred Astaire, directed by Rex McGraw, received critical acclaim. David Hurst of Show Business Weekly said "A good musician with excellent diction and long, arching phrases that are impressive . a burnished tenor voice with a nice ring and a Garland-esque vibrato that can be effective". In August, 2004, Richard released his first CD entitled Richard Holbrook Steps Out. This recording features several well-known songs from his Astaire show and other selections by such composers as Portia Nelson, Ronny Whyte, and Kander & Ebb. Over the past several years, Richard has appeared at such popular Manhattan night spots as Danny's Skylight Room, Don't Tell Mama, The Hideaway Room @Helen's and guest appearances at the Cafe Pierre. He has also been a guest on two WOR Radio programs - The Joe Franklin Show and The Joey Reynolds Show. In December, 2006, Richard performed a Christmas cabaret show at Danny's that was so successful, he reprised it at Don't Tell Mama in 2007 to even greater acclaim. In 2008 and 2009, Richard successfully performed his cabaret act Richard Sings Burton - The Songs of Burton Lane at Don't Tell Mama. The show was directed by Richard Barclay. Tom Nelson was the musical director, and Richard was accompanied by the Tom Nelson Trio. Richard's CD, Richard Holbrook Steps Out, is available at Cabaret Scenes Magazine and cdbaby.com. Richard currently lives in Manhattan on the West Side and loves being a New Yorker.

 

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