Kean Stage's 2018-2019 season will be opening up with Broadway star and Jersey native, Bebe Neuwirth. Neuwirth will be presenting her cabaret act, "Stories with Piano," Sept. 15 and 16 with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Enlow Recital Hall located on East Campus in Hillside, N.J.
"Stories with Piano," is Bebe Neuwirth's cabaret act where she will perform music from many notable songwriters and include stories and characters.
“This isn’t the kind of show where I tell stories about my life,” Neuwirth said. “I much more enjoy playing characters. I sing songs about joy and delight, heartbreak and sadness, anger and nostalgia. We find a way to have all of them hang together nicely. They’re probably not the songs people expect to hear from me.” She continued, “I like the audience to be open to the unexpected.”
As a young girl from Princeton, N.J., Bebe Neuwirth knew early on she was meant to be performing. Taking an early interest in ballet, she began classes at the age of five after seeing her first ballet and continued into performing with the Princeton Ballet Society and participating in community McCarter Theatre.
"I was born with an interest in dance,” she said. “I saw my first ballet when I was 4 years old. I asked my mother for classes and she made me wait until I was 5 because 5-year-olds have a longer attention span. She loved ballet and she wanted to make sure I wouldn’t quit too soon.”
Neuwirth graduated from Princeton High School and was accepted into the Julliard School in New York, N.Y., where she studied for a year before joining the touring company of A Chorus Line and ultimately joining the Broadway cast.
Neuwirth auditioned for her most known role in television show, "Cheers," while on a short break from touring with another stage show, "Sweet Charity," in California. The role in "Cheers" began as a one episode appearance but turned into a recurring role in which she received an Emmy award for. Bebe Neuwirth continued her career working in television with appearances in shows like, "Law and Order," "Madam Secretary," "Blue Bloods," and "The Good Fight." She also continued her career on Broadway and in stage with shows such as "Damn Yankees," "West Side Story," "The Taming of the Shrew," "Fosse" and "Chicago," receiving Tony awards for her portrayals in "Chicago" and "Sweet Charity."
In addition to her extensive experience and career in the arts, Bebe Neuwirth advocates for animal adoption and is a vice chair of The Actors Fund, where she founded the Dancers' Resource Advisory Council. This program helps dancers become aware of the challenges they will face emotionally, financially and physically working as a professional dancer and performer so that they can better handle them when necessary.
Students should attend Bebe Neuwirth's intimate night of song and storytelling Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. at the Enlow Recital Hall on Kean University's East Campus located in Hillside N.J. This is an opportunity for students to experience a local girl who became a Broadway and Hollywood success. Tickets can be purchased at the Kean Stage Box Office in Wilkins Theatre on Kean’s Main Campus, 1000 Morris Ave., Union, N.J., by phone at (908) 737-7469 or online at the Kean Stage website.