The Sixth Annual Harvard-Yale Cantata, Thursday September 9 at 9:30 at Feinstein's/54 Below
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:58 am EDT 08/19/21

Tom Toce, Jennie Litt, Scott Etan Feiner, Richard Shore and Fellow Ivy League Graduates


FEINSTEIN'S/54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, again presents a cast of Harvard and Yale grads in The Sixth Annual Harvard-Yale Cantata. Join us for a unique evening at Feinstein's/54 Below, with Team Yale looking to avenge a narrow victory by Team Harvard in Cantata V. Will it be two wins in a row for Harvard? Or will Yale reassert dominance and add to its 4-1 record in the series? Harvard's team captain is back, and Yale has a new captain/music director. Most of the contests in this series have been very close, and the teams are always well-matched and brimming with talent.

The Harvard songwriters will include Johnny Green ("Body and Soul"), Joshuah Campbell (Academy Award nomination for "Stand Up"), Nell Benjamin and Lawrence O'Keefe (Broadway's Legally Blonde), perennial Cantata favorite John Forster ("Entering Marion"), and team captain Jennie Litt (MAC nominee for "A Prime Little Number"). The Yale team will feature songs by Cole Porter (Broadway's Kiss Me, Kate and Anything Goes), Scott Frankel (Broadway's Grey Gardens), Mark Sonnenblick (Off-Bway's Midnight at the Never Get), Julian Hornik, and Scott Etan Feiner. Scott Feiner will also serve as the Yale team captain and musical director.

Performers for Harvard will include Eric Cheng, Debbie Deane, Laura Sky Herman, John Forster, Ashley LaLonde and Michael Wingate. Performers for Yale will include Kenyon Duncan, Scott Etan Feiner, Joy Hermalyn, and Xavier Washington. Additional performers will be announced as the date approaches.

Returning for her third time to the judge's panel will be songwriter Marcy Heisler ("Taylor the Latte Boy"). Joining her will be playwright and librettist Cheryl Davis (winner of a Writers' Guild Award and a Kleban Award). Cheryl went to Princeton and had a song in Cantata III, when Princeton teamed up with Yale against Columbia and Harvard. The other judge will be announced shortly.

The show is formatted after the Harvard-Yale Regatta. There will be five heats, each with a Harvard song pitted against a Yale song. The show is produced by Tom Toce (Yale, 1978), who also hosts, in association with Scott Etan Feiner and Jennie Litt. Musical direction and accompaniment will be provided by Richard Shore for Harvard and Scott Etan Feiner for Yale.

Critics raved about Cantatas I through V:

"A great time was had by all at this unusual and brilliant musical evening." - TheaterPizzazz

"One of the best-and funniest-shows I've seen." - Cabaret Scenes

"The Harvard-Yale Cantata" plays Feinstein's/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Thursday, September 9, at 9:30. There is a $30-$40 cover charge ($65 premium) and a $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.

Tom Toce (Y '78) is a veteran theater and cabaret songwriter. He holds the position of Director of Musical Theater at Urban Stages, the off-Broadway theater, and produces their annual Winter Rhythms festival. He won the MAC Award for Comedy Song for "Shalom, Santa" in 2014. He has directed and produced numerous cabaret shows in NYC over the past several years, including the first five Harvard Yale Cantatas at Feinstein's/54 Below, Living Standards, starring Marissa Mulder, and Hopelessly in Love: The Lyrics of Tom Toce, both at the Metropolitan Room. The HIL recording was also nominated for a MAC Award. As a performer, Tom was nominated for a 2016 MAC Award for his debut show Songwriter in the House, which played to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Room in 2015-16. Tom has written a number of shows for children, and his cabaret songs have been sung and/or recorded by Jane Monheit, Andrea Marcovicci, Tovah Feldshuh, Maude Maggart, KT Sullivan, and many others. Tom is a two-time Jeopardy! champion (his encyclopedic knowledge of the Great American Songbook helped) and a member of the Jeopardy Hall of Fame, for high score in a single game. More at www.tomtocemusic.com

Jennie Litt, (H '86) is a lyricist, singer, playwright, performance coach, cabaret director, critic, audiobook narrator, and mother. She and her husband, composer-pianist David Alpher, can be heard on two collections of original cabaret songs, Alpher & Litt's Songs For Sapiosexuals (2019) and Two Apples (2014), both available on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, YouTube, and other platforms. Their songs have been called "enchanting, "brilliant," and "masterful on many levels." Of the 2014 release Two Apples, Cabaret Scenes wrote "Filled with imagination, non sequiturs and joie de vivre, this lively album is uplifting in its originality and intelligent word and music play." Currently, the couple is collaborating on a musical based upon the lives of Britain's notorious Mitford sisters. Alpher & Litt are on the faculty of SummerKeys in Lubec, Maine, "a music adventure for adults," where they teach two weeks of master classes in cabaret every summer; they offer a similar winter cabaret retreat in upstate New York, under the name "Cabin In The Sky." They also create a student cabaret at Vassar College for the college's annual ModFest, a multidisciplinary celebration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. Litt reviews cabaret for Cabaret HotSpot!, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Association for Cabaret (MAC).

Scott Etan Feiner (Y '19) is a composer, lyricist, and pianist. He was the 2020 recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, Yale University's highest arts award, and was the first ever recipient of the SigWorks Signature Theatre/Yale Composer Fellowship in 2019 for his first musical Saturdays (with librettist Walker Caplan), which was also performed in 2018 as part of New York Musical Festival's Developmental Reading Series and was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Musical Theatre Conference. His second musical Rumspringa (with librettist Walker Caplan, dir. Annette Jolles) was developed through the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theatre at Yale University and staged as a curricular production in December 2019. At Yale, he was awarded the Bach Society Music Prize and the Abraham Beekman Cox Prize. He has won the Tribeca New Music Competition and has twice been a finalist for the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the Charles Ives Concert Series. He has won the Brian Israel Prize at the Syracuse Society for New Music, the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester Composer Competition, the Juventas New Music Ensemble Call for Scores, and was a YoungArts winner in 2014 and 2015. With orchestrator and collaborator Daniel Rudin, Scott has produced a 17-piece album recording of his musical Saturdays as well as an upcoming recording of his musical Rumspringa, release date TBA

Richard Shore (H '86) is a collaborative pianist, music director, conductor, and teacher. Upon receiving his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University he was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honors society. He is currently working with award-winning playwright David Lefkowitz on the original show Shalom Dammit: An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon. He has served as music director for workshop productions of The Hurricane Brothers and Scary Musical, among others. He music directed a production of Jacques Brel..., selected as Best Cabaret by the Denver Post, as well as a production of She Loves Me named Best Musical Production in Colorado Springs. He was honored for Best Musical Direction and Best Conductor for On the Town. As faculty and guest artist, Richard has taught at the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University in Denver, the State University of New York College at Cortland, Dean College in Massachusetts, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He has performed on harpsichord with the Boston Bach Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival, and as soloist and collaborative pianist with contemporary music ensembles at Time's Arrow, Open Space, NoCo Artists, and the Colorado Music Festival. He is the founder of the MassMusic orchestra and chorale and spent several years working with the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus, the Radcliffe Choral Society, and the Harvard Summer Chorus. As a teacher Richard is proud to have trained several Broadway artists, an award-winning opera composer, and a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.


Feinstein's/54 Below, Broadway's Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, Feinstein's/54 Below is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. Feinstein's/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage.

In their description of the venue, The New York Times writes, "Feinstein's/54 Below has the intimacy of a large living room with unimpeded views and impeccable sound; there is not a bad seat in the house. Its sultry after-hours ambience is enhanced by brocade-patterned wall panels planted with orange-shaded lanterns. And the atmosphere is warmer and sexier than in Manhattan's other major supper clubs."

Located at 254 West 54th Street, Feinstein's/54 Below features up to three shows nightly with cover charges ranging from $15-$125. 54Below.com/Feinsteins

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