The Essex Theatre Company is thrilled to announce the kickoff to their 2016 summer season. Matt & Joanna Russell, in concert, on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 entitled What More Do We Need? The doors open at 6:30 p.m. with entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m. The one-night-only performance will be held at the Masonic Lodge in Essex, NY.
Keeseville native and ETC alumnus, Matthew Russell and his wife, Joanna, have planned an evening filled with music to kick off ETC’s 2016 season. The newlyweds met while performing for the Holland America cruise line. They have since relocated to New York City where both work in the entertainment industry. The evening will feature Matthew at piano with the powerful vocals of Joanna. Music highlights for evening include “Almost Like Being in Love,” “I Got Lost in His Arms,” “I Love a Piano,” and “What More Do I Need.” Complimentary food, cash bar, raffles, and door prizes promise a fun evening for all. Additionally, the cast and orchestra of Next to Normal will be on site to give the audience a preview of the Company’s July musical. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors and students.
Matthew J. Russell is thrilled to be back to in Essex, after having been a part of the Essex Theatre community for a number of years, as a singer, actor and finally music director for Annie, Sound of Music, and Cabaret. Originally from Keeseville, NY, Matt received his Bachelors of Music from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and a Masters of Piano Performance from Western Michigan University before working as the Music Director/Pianist of the Showband/Party Band on Holland America Cruise Lines for over six years. During his time with Holland America, he was thrilled to be able to visit all seven continents. In 2012 while working for Holland America, he met his wife Joanna. They moved to New York, got married, and they now reside in Weehawken, New Jersey. Since moving to New York, Matt has music directed a number of cabarets and shows from Off-Broadway to local theatre. He works for voice teacher, Philip Pelkington, in Manhattan. This summer he will be the Music Director for The Theatre Barn, in New Lebanon. Their upcoming season includes Forever Plaid, Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda; and The Wedding Singer.
Joanna Russell received her Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Joanna has traveled the world (visiting five of the seven continents, and incidentally meeting her husband Matthew Russell) as a Lead Production Singer with both Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Joanna also toured the U.S. as Alexander in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good,Very Bad Day. A lover of performing both musical theatre and opera, Joanna’s favorite roles include Eva Peron (Evita), Sister Mary Amnesia (Nunsense), Maria (West Side Story), Young Judy Garland (Beyond the Rainbow), Julie (Carousel), The Witch (Into the Woods), Papagena (The Magic Flute), Mabel (Pirates of Penzance), Casilda (The Gondoliers), Rose Maybud (Ruddigore), Dew Fairy (Hansel & Gretel), Donna (The Taffetas), Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music) and Mayzie (Seussical the Musical). After her critically acclaimed portrayal of Eva Peron in last year’s production of Evita, Joanna is thrilled to be returning to the Theater Barn in New Lebanon, NY, this summer to play Julia in The Wedding Singer.
“I am thrilled to have my dear friends, Matt & Jo, on hand in the Adirondacks to perform,” exclaimed Derrick A. Hopkins. “I have been impressed with the blossoming career of Matt & Jo and blown away by their talent, tenacity, and generosity of spirit.” He continues, “When communicating with the ETC Board about revitalizing the Company this season, it seemed a perfect fit. They agreed to help the Company and I couldn’t be happier!” Derrick concludes, “Matt & Jo are thrilled to be bringing their cabaret act from NYC to the Adirondacks. I know that anyone who attends will be thoroughly entertained by dynamic couple!”
The performance will be held at the now air-conditioned Masonic Lodge in Essex, NY located next to the ferry dock. Tickets can be purchased online at www.essextheatre.org, click on the “tickets” button. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (518) 526-4520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.