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Broadway Cabaret Maestro Debuts in San Miguel with George Gershwin Tribute

Mark Hartman

By Fredric Dannen

Mark Hartman, a pianist, singer, composer, conductor, arranger, and coach working on and off-Broadway, has such a long resume of accomplishments that one wonders if he has ever taken a day off in the past three decades.

He was musical director for Avenue Q, the Broadway musical that swept the Tony Awards in 2004. He has conducted, accompanied, and arranged for Chita Rivera, John Cullum, Ben Vereen, Rosie O’Donnell, and Jeremy Irons (in a production of Camelot), among many others. He has performed in concerts all around the world. But he has never been lured to San Miguel de Allende.

Until now.

Hartman will give a single concert at Bellas Artes on Friday, September 27, as a benefit for Libros para Todos, the nonprofit organization that inspires children, particularly Mexican students in the campo, to read. He is calling his concert “George…and the Other Gershwins,” with the heaviest emphasis on George himself, and his lyricist brother Ira. Playing the Steinway concert grand, and singing and narrating—Mark is also a skilled raconteur—Hartman will perform classic songs such as “How Long Has This Been Going On?” and, in a duet with Lady Zen, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

A virtuoso pianist, Hartman will also play “serious” works such as George Gershwin’s Preludes, and excerpts from the composer’s Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue.

I have been a Hartman fan ever since hearing the spectacular 2005 cast recording of the musical Finian’s Rainbow, for which Mark was musical director and pianist. When I learned that San Miguel singer Lady Zen had worked with Hartman in Puerto Vallarta, I began campaigning to book him in the Steinway Series, a piano-based benefit series that I produce at Bellas Artes. In the past year or so, the series has featured top talent, including classical pianist Fidel Leal, countertenor Don Krim, pianist Ken Bichel, singer-songwriter Paul Voudouris, and Lady Zen.

The Bellas Artes concert is a reserved-seat event. Tickets may be purchased for cash or with a credit or debit card at Boleto City, locate in Mercado Sano at Ancha de San Antonio 123. Tickets are on sale Monday through Saturday, 11am to 5pm or online at boletocity.com.

Visitors to Boleto City—both the ticket office and website—will notice that Mark Hartman will remain in San Miguel to perform with Lady Zen in a Broadway-themed concert series at the San Miguel Playhouse at the beginning of October.

Concert

“George…and the Other Gershwins”

With pianist/singer/narrator Mark Hartman

Special guest star: Lady Zen

Fri, Sep 27, 7pm

Miguel Malo Auditorium, Bellas Artes

Tickets:

350, 250, 150 pesos

Sale at:

Boleto City, Mercado Sano

Online:

e-tickets: boletocity.com

 

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