BABY'S BROADWAY LULLABIES HAS JUST BEEN NOMINATED FOR A GRAMMY AS BEST CHILDREN'S ALBUM! It is a collection of some of the most beautiful show tunes that ever calmed a restless baby to sleep. Although not all of these songs were originally conceived as lullabies, they are perfect for this gentle form. Included from this rich resource of theatrical music are: TOYLAND from "Babes in Toyland," TOMORROW from "Annie," and MUSIC OF THE NIGHT from "Phantom of the Opera." There are also songs from "Peter Pan", "The Music Man," "Les Miserables," "Starlight Express," "42nd Street," and "The Fantasticks."
This album has been produced especially to soothe, relax and cradle both baby and frazzled parents. Ilene Graff and Co-Producer/Arranger Ben Lanzarone have recorded the songs so that the album starts with the most richly orchestrated pieces and eventually winds down to the softest and simplest.
Ilene Graff is proud to be a part of this project that brings together her love of singing with her love of theatre. Her acting career has brought her visibility as one of the most popular television moms by playing Marsha Owens for 6 seasons on the ABC series, "Mr. Belvedere," currently in domestic and international syndication. Her Broadway career includes starring roles in the musicals "Promises, Promises," "Grease," and "I Love My Wife." Through her ongoing relationship with Variety Children's Charities Telethons (among others), Ilene has had many opportunities to sing for and with children. Her special affinity with youngsters comes out in the warmth of these performances. And her most important job as mother to daughter Nikka has given her countless evenings of lullaby singing. All of this makes her the ideal choice to bring this beautiful album to children and parents alike.
WHAT THE PARENTS SAY
"Thank you for a wonderful CD! The music is soft and soothing for the baby and calming for mom too. Even though he usually falls asleep after the first few songs, I often stay in the rocking chair for the rest of the album to unwind. The songs are catchy and easy to sing along with (although I think the baby prefers to hear Ilene's beautiful voice over mine). BABY'S BROADWAY LULLABIES is great for the car too - the baby sleeps, my three-year-old sings along, and I stay relaxed."
Mother of Anna 3 years and Nicky 10 months
"What a wonderful collection of soothing songs! I've always loved falling asleep to music and so does my 3 year old daughter - when I asked her what she wanted to say about the CD, she told me to write 'I love it so much!' You can't get a better recommendation than that! And the instrumental versions at the end are great."
Mom of Lucy
"We dim the lights, speak softly and play your CD. I couldn't believe how quickly it worked. She goes right to sleep. We play it every night."
Laurien R., new mom of Riley
"It's fantatsic! I go to bed with it playing every night. I sleep like a baby."
Wyatt M., as told to Mom, Barrie N.
ILENE GRAFF BIOGRAPHY
Although Ilene Graff is best known to audiences as Marsha Owens, the mom on the long running ABC comedy "Mr. Belvedere," she made her professional Broadway debut years earlier on the musical stage. That show was "Promises Promises," the Neil Simon, Bacharach/David hit, where she understudied the leading lady and sang backups from the orchestra pit. She performed the role of Fran Kubelik in New York a dozen times before starring in the National Tour.
Ilene went on to play Sandy for two years in the Broadway production of "Grease," but her biggest Broadway triumph was creating the role of Cleo in the Cy Coleman, Michael Stewart musical comedy hit "I Love My Wife," directed by Tony Award winner Gene Saks. She can be heard on the show's Original Cast Album. Other theatre credits include: "Charley's Aunt" with Charles Grodin, "Cabaret" as Sally Bowles, "Annie Get Your Gun" as Annie Oakley, and "Over Here" directed by Mr. Belvedere himself, Christopher Hewett. Ilene was proud to create the role of Donna in the world premiere of composer/arranger/producer husband Ben Lanzarone's musical, "You and Me," with book and lyrics by Lloyd J. Schwartz. She won the Artistic Directors' Award of the Valley Theatre League for her performance. She had the thrill of performing the role of Mama Rose in a Los Angeles revival of "Gypsy" as well as entertaining Jerry Herman himself at a performance of "Jerry's Girls." L.A. theatregoers also enjoyed Ilene in "I Ought To Be In Pictures" with Richard Kline, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" and "Definitely Doris" at Garry Marshall's new Falcon Theatre.
Before landing the role of Bob Uecker's wife on Mr. Belvedere, Ilene starred in two other series, several pilots, and guest starred on many episodic TV shows, MOWs and mini-series. She is very proud to have co-starred in the ABC/Disney Movie-of-the-Week, "South Pacific" working with Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner Glenn Close and Grammy Award winner Harry Connick, Jr.
In addition to her series work, Ilene has been a frequent guest on game shows including "$100,000 Pyramid," "Hollywood Squares," "Password" and "Win Lose or Draw," and talk shows including Arsenio Hall, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Home Show and A.M. Los Angeles. She sings on several telethons and is a regular co-host of Variety Club Children's Charities Telethons in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Iowa and Buffalo. She has a complete singing club act and has been proud to perform at fund raising events for many worthwhile causes including The Michael Landon Tucson Tennis Classic, AMC Cancer Research Center and The South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ilene has also had the thrill of singing The National Anthem for The Los Angeles Dodgers, The California Angels, The Clippers and The Los Angeles Kings. She's also performed her act throughout south Florida and on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Ilene also produces special events, including an annual all-star benefit for the Musical Theatre program at the Hamilton High School Academy of Music in Los Angeles. Her CD, BABY'S BROADWAY LULLABIES is a collection of beautiful theatre songs arranged especially for sleepytime, and her newest recording project is the CD, UNUSUAL WAY.
Ilene is a native New Yorker who graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Drama. She and husband Ben Lanzarone met while working in the Broadway production of Grease, where Ben was Musical Director. Ben serves as Ilene's Musical Director, Arranger, co-producer and accompanist. Their daughter Nikka is studying Musical Theatre at the Boston Conservatory.
BEN LANZARONE BIOGRAPHY
Ben Lanzarone, a winner of ASCAP's Most Performed Composer Award, has enjoyed a career encompassing a broad range of musical experience. As a graduate of New York's famed High School of Music and Art and a double Masters Degree graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, he began as a classical pianist, traveling the country as soloist with the Longines Symphonette and making his solo debut at Carnegie Recital Hall.
Ben easily moved into the world of popular music and the record industry when he started his association with Bob Crewe and Charles Fox. Their collaboration resulted in Ben's album, "In Classic Form." Ben went on to arrange many more Bob Crewe productions, including recordings for Bobby Darin, Vikki Carr, and The Bob Crewe Generation. He soon became a busy arranger for a diverse list of recording artists from Peter Nero and Andre Kostelanetz, to Vicki Sue Robinson and the disco group The Brothers, to the soundtrack of the motion picture, "Grease." He also arranged and composed many jingles, while maintaining his career as a studio pianist, appearing on well over a thousand commercials, records and soundtracks. This recording activity led to his election to the NARAS Board of Governors.
As Musical Director/pianist, Ben has traveled with a wide variety of artists including Frank Sinatra, Art Garfunkle, Mary Travers, Anthony Newley, Petula Clark, Lainie Kazan and Mason Williams.
It is for his work composing television scores that Ben won the prestigious ASCAP award. He has written the music for hundreds of shows including "The Tracy Ullman Show," "The Jay Leno Comedy Hour" and "Mr. Belvedere." His long association with Aaron Spelling and Doug Cramer resulted in many scores for "Dynasty," "Love Boat," "Vegas," "Matt Houston," "The Colbys," and "Hotel." For Miller/Milkis/Boyett he wrote the music for numerous episodes of "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley" and "Mork and Mindy."
Ben has also been active in Broadway musical theatre. He was Musical Director of the Broadway production of "Grease" and the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival's 'Midsummer Night's Dream." He was also the Musical Director/arranger for the off-Broadway show "How to Steal an Election" and arranger for the Broadway productions, "Via Galactica" and "Truckload."
One of Ben's recent accomplishments has been the world premiere of the new musical, "You and Me," for which he composed, arranged, produced and performed the music. His work on the show was recognized by the Valley Theatre League with their Artistic Director Award. The book and lyrics were written by Lloyd J. Schwartz. He has also collaborated with Mr. Schwartz on three Storybook Theatre children's musicals: "Yippyayo!," "Blast-Off!" and "Jack and the Beanstalk." Ben's music, including the title song, "McCormick and Schwartz" has been heard in the Santa Monica Playhouse hits, "Dying for Laughs" and "Brine County Wedding." He is married to actress Ilene Graff and is the proud father of Nikka.