Special Update: The Cook, Dixon & Young GREAT PERFORMANCES appearance is scheduled to air during the August pledge drive. Check your local listings for the exact date and time.
COOK, DIXON & YOUNG RETURN TO THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORK’S GREAT PERFORMANCES ON PBS
Formerly of Three Mo’ Tenors, Trio Offers New Evening of Musical Fun
Take a little Verdi and Handel, add gospel, classic R&B, and what have you got? Just the most versatile performers in show business today: Victor Trent Cook, Rod Dixon and Thomas Young, formerly of Three Mo’ Tenors and now stars of their second special for public television.
Recorded live in performance at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Cook, Dixon & Young in Concert premieres this August. The evening of grand opera, spirituals, show tunes, and soul is conducted by the esteemed Paul Gemignani (Pacific Overtures, Crazy for You), who leads the 27-piece American Theater Orchestra.
“Performers do not come more versatile than Cook, Dixon and Young,” says David Horn, series producer for GREAT PERFORMANCES and director of the telecast. “They nail all the high C’s, bend notes and scat, offer soul-stirring gospel and spirituals. These guys do it all, and with uncommon grace and pure, old-fashioned showmanship.”
Indeed, while each tenor has enjoyed a distinguished career on his own – Cook received a Tony Award nomination for Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ Dixon has performed several roles with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and in Broadway’s Ragtime, and Young has appeared as a soloist in major concert halls around the world, while also creating operatic roles for such contemporary composers as John Adams and Anthony Davis – together they soar.
The trio first appeared on GREAT PERFORMANCES as the surprise hit of My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs (March 2001), then returned in August 2001 for Three Mo’ Tenors in Concert, recorded live at New York’s famed Hammerstein Ballroom. Since that time they have toured coast to coast, winning praise wherever they have played. (“A runaway phenomenon,” The Cincinnati Enquirer; “Vastly entertaining,” The Chicago Tribune; “They have the talent to sing anything, and sing it well,” The Chicago Daily Herald).
Cook, Dixon & Young in Concert is directed for the stage and choreographed by George Faison (The Wiz, Dance in America’s A Hymn for Alvin Ailey) and directed for television by David Horn (Josh Groban Live at The Greek, Hayley Westenra: Live From New Zealand). A production of Two Hands Entertainment in association with the RCA Victor Group, the telecast is produced by Allen Newman (Three Mo’ Tenors in Concert, My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies), with Jeff Rowland (Three Mo’ Tenors in Concert, Hayley Westenra in New Zealand) as executive producer.
Among the program’s many highlights are Thomas Young’s rafter-shaking performance of Verdi’s “Celeste Aida,” Rod Dixon’s silky, jazz-infused “Fly Me to the Moon,” plus Victor Trent Cook’s spot-on Aretha Franklin. Also look for Dixon and Cook’s dramatic melding of Les Miserables’ “Bring Him Home” and The Wiz’s “Home,” and the thrilling gospel finale, “I Need You to Survive.”
While some singers proclaim popular music as frivolous, others often dismiss classical music as pretentious and boring. Not so, says tenor Dixon. “The music isn’t boring,” he told The Chicago Daily Herald, “the artist is. The artist has to make it exciting.”
No problem at all with Cook, Dixon & Young on hand.
AUGUST 2, 2005 – Arista will release COOK DIXON & YOUNG VOLUME 1
GREAT PERFORMANCES is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, public television viewers, and PBS. Major corporate support is provided by Ernst & Young LLP, a global leader in professional services.
Visit GREAT PERFORMANCES ONLINE at thirteen.org and pbs.org for additional information about this and other GREAT PERFORMANCES programs. The colorful Web companion contains a wide variety of images, in-depth information about the programs, and activities for teachers including lesson plans, tips and resources.
Bill O’Donnell is director of program development for GREAT PERFORMANCES.
Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as GREAT PERFORMANCES, NATURE, AMERICAN MASTERS, CHARLIE ROSE, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, WIDE ANGLE, STAGE ON SCREEN, SECRETS OF THE DEAD, and CYBERCHASE – as well as the work of Bill Moyers – to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, NEW YORK VOICES, and REEL NEW YORK. With educational and community outreach projects that extend the impact of its television productions, Thirteen takes television “out of the box.” And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, enhanced television, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products. More information about Thirteen can be found at: www.thirteen.org.