Newtown college student Jordan Hayes will be on stage when The Philly POPS start the new year with a tip of the hat to one of Broadway’s greatest luminaries – Marvin Hamlisch.
“HAMLISCH: With Love,” conducted by Hamlisch’s mentee and friend, Music Director Todd Ellison, will be performed Jan. 17 to 19, at The Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
The show features Disney Broadway’s Ashley Brown and four Musical Theater students from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance – Hayes, Isabel Robin, Alexa Joseph and Alana Robinson.
Hayes, a 20-year-old junior at Temple and a 2017 graduate of Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, has been performing since she was in kindergarten.
“Since before I can remember, music has drawn me in, and I have developed a love for it unlike anything else,” she said. “Music produces a feeling, tells a story, can transport you to new places, and do so much more.
“To be able to sing, dance and story tell through music is magical and someone who gets to do that every day is blessed. Seeing actors on stage get to live that out never ceases to amaze me, and I always wanted to be a part of it. My mom knew this, and introduced me to dance class, theater camp, and so much more that I am forever grateful for.”
After getting her start as Pebbles in her kindergarten play, “The Flintstones,” Hayes said she “got involved in a summer theater camp and never stopped performing.”
“I became involved in school plays and musicals, community theater, attended dance classes and private vocal lessons, and attended intensives to continue my training and hone my skills,” she added.
Hayes said her most recent theater credits are at Temple University, where she is studying to receive a BFA in Musical Theatre. Last fall, she was the lead frug dancer in “Sweet Charity,” and she played Annie in Temple’s 2018 production of “Chicago.”
While in high school, Hayes was a choreography intern and dancer in the Kimmel Center’s “Hairspray Live Viewing Party” in 2016. At Neshaminy High School, she was a member of the Roadies acting troupe and the Select Choir.
Hayes, who spent a semester in London last spring, said she would love to perform all over the world.
“I hope to go anywhere my art takes me,” she said.
“Immediate goals that interest me would be booking a cruise or national/international tour so as to further explore my love for this art and travel.”
Hamlisch is one of two people to be named a PEGOT (a Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner) – making him a key figure in Broadway’s history.
A precocious child, Hamlisch was admitted at age 6 into the Juilliard School, making him, at the time, the youngest person ever admitted into the program.
His music continues to touch people worldwide – with works stretching from Broadway (“A Chorus Line” and “They’re Playing Our Song”) to Hollywood (“The Way We Were” and “The Sting”).
At the time of his passing, Hamlisch was preparing to assume the role of music director for The Philly POPS.
“HAMLISCH: With Love,” honoring Hamlisch’s contributions to music, as well as Ellison’s friendship with the storied composer.
“This is a show of my favorite pieces of music that he wrote,” Ellison said. “Not just the big hits, but those which show off his range and his talent.”
Noteworthy songs in the show include Ellison’s breakout hit “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” from “Ski Party,” “At The Ballet” from “A Chorus Line,” and “Nobody Does It Better,” which he co-wrote for the James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
Above all, the performance will showcase Hamlisch’s love for music, and how it shaped who he was. “‘What I Did for Love’ from ‘A Chorus Line’ is my favorite song by Marvin,” Ellison said, “because it sums up his life. Everything he did was for music.”
Tickets are available at phillypops.org/hamlisch.