THE VELVETEEN RABBIT: Love Can Make You Real
2008 GRAMMY Nominee BEST MUSICAL ALBUM FOR CHILDREN
With outstanding new music and lyrics and compelling narration, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT CD is an invitation to kids and adults to sit back, smile, and enjoy the magic that Margery Williams created when she wrote this classic story about how toys become real.
From the very first words, "There was once a velveteen rabbit and in the beginning he was really splendid"...we're transported into a timeless world where we begin our journey and happily follow the rabbit through his adventures.
"DON SEBESKY's music is beautiful, moving and uplifting."
"GLORIA NISSENSON's lyrics are poignant, heart-warming and fun."
"JANINA SERDEN's voice is rich and distinctive. Her narration is charming, unusual, and always keeps its motherly tone."
"The rabbit and fellow character voices are sensational!"
Featuring performances by JANINA SERDEN, EMILY BINDIGER, RON MARSHALL,TERRY TEXTOR and DONNA VIVINO
* (TO HEAR SAMPLES-
Click on the pointer(>)TO THE LEFT OF A HIGHLIGHTED TRACK)
Music arranged, performed and conducted by
Narrated by JANINA SERDEN
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT CD by Don Sebesky, Gloria Nissenson and Janina Serden goes on the road for a national tour! Enchantment Theatre Company brings this charming tale of love and devotion to the stage using the music from THE VELVETEEN RABBIT CD, extraordinary puppets, masks and magic, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience for the whole family.
Go to www.enchantmenttheatre.org to find out when it's coming to your neighborhood.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
DON SEBESKY is one of the most talented and respected composer-arrangers in music today. His sensitivity and versatility have enabled him to produce an enormous body of work, wide in scope ranging from jazz to symphonic to pop.
As a recording artist, and through his collaborations with other artists he has received 31 Grammy nominations (three time winner), 3 Tony nominations (winner 2000), 2 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Emmy nominations, and 4 Clio Awards. He is the author of the best selling orchestration text book “The Contemporary Arranger”.
As a recording artist, he has released Giant Box /CTI Records, Rape of El Morro /CTI Records, Symphonic Sondheim /EMI-Angel Records, I Remember Bill /RCA Victor Records (GRAMMY 1999) and Joyful Noise /RCA Victor Records (2 GRAMMYs in 2000 for best arrangement and best composition)
As a composer and arranger, he has worked with many artists such as Chet Baker, Paul Desmond, Wes Montgomery, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli, George Benson, Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Williams, Britney Spears, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper and Kevin Spacey.
As a composer, arranger and conductor, he has worked with the London Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Pops, Royal Philharmonic of London,
New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony.
In television, he has received three Emmy nominations for his work on shows such as Allegra’s Window/ Nickelodeon, Edge of Night/ ABC and Guiding Light/ CBS.
He has written music for films such as The Rosary Murders starring Donald Sutherland, Hollow Image starring Morgan Freeman, The Last of the Belles starring Susan Sarandon, Let’s Get Lost starring Chet Baker( Best Documentary at Cannes Film Festival), The People Next Door starring Eli Wallach and Julie Harris, Time Piece with Jim Henson (Academy Award Nomination Best Short Subject) and How to Pick Up Girls starring Desi Arnaz, Jr.
On Broadway, he received the 2000 Tony Award for his orchestrations for Kiss Me Kate. Other shows include Porgy and Bess, Sinatra at the Palladium, Sweet Charity, Look of Love, Flower Drum Song, Boys from Syracuse, Bells Are Ringing, Parade, The Life, Cyrano, The Goodbye Girl and Will Rogers Follies.
His music can be heard on many television and radio commercials such as General Electric (Clio Award), Nike, Pepsi, Kodak, Cheerios, Dodge Trucks, Hallmark, Calvin Klein (Clio Award), Hanes, Corning(Clio Award), Hershey’s, Oil of Olay and Foxwoods.
ABOUT THE LYRICS
GLORIA NISSENSON has written lyrics for many artists ranging from Vanessa Williams, George Benson,Gloria Gaynor, Peggy Lee, Patti Austin and Engelbert Humperdink to Earl Thomas Conley whose recording of "Heavenly Bodies" was a top 10 country hit! She has written for film, tv, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater.
Some of her credits include:
- The official anthem for "Keep America Beautiful", the national environmental organization
- Winner of the Parents Choice Award for "Firehouse Five(4 C's & a Q)®" Fire Safety Songs for Kids.
- Licensed Sparky® the Firedog, from NFPA for “Sparky & the Firehouse 5”(4 C's& A Q)® .Albums are used by schools & fire departments throughout the US and in Canada for fire safety education.Received commendation from Governor Pataki.
-Songs on the the CD "Safe Kids Care”, compiled and produced by the Capital Region Safe Kids Coalition.
-"Little Sleepy Eyes", a lullaby album, Grammy finalist,1995.
- The title song for the sitcom "Brothers".
- Lyrics for the Emmy nominated "Allegra's Window", Nickelodeon
-Winner, Peace Music Initiative, World Peace Prayer Society.,"Song of The Earth".
-Worked with George Abbott and wrote lyrics for his last musical, "Frankie", York Theater, New York
-Wrote original story and lyrics for "When Tony Played the Sax", performed at Lincoln Center by Little Orchestra Society
-Additional original albums include "I Purr","Fables","Calendar Kids","Lullaby",
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
JANINA SERDEN(NARRATOR/FAIRY)has performed as a solo singer and pianist and as a featured artist with symphony orchestra in concerts such as "Symphonic Sondheim" and "Hope Takes Flight." She was music director for the Emmy-nominated children's series "Allegra's Window" on Nickelodeon and has sung on many radio and television commercials such as G.E., Kraft, Pepsi, and DHL ("What the World Needs Now is Love"). Janina's interest in nutrition, preventative medicine, and self-exploration began at age 17 and continued with her studies in psychology, human development and homeopathy. All have led her to focus her energies on music, theater and other works to comfort, inspire, motivate and entertain. Her CD of original songs about love, hope and transformation called "Small Inspirations" is a tribute to motherhood as well as the inspiration for a one-act play "Small Inspirations and Great Love." She has also written music and lyrics for a new musical, "Chick Soup: A Musical Recipe For Friendship." Songs from "Small Inspirations" and "Chick Soup" are featured in a new musical greeting card line at www.WithaCardandaSong.com.
EMILY BINDIGER(TOY/RABBIT)is a NY singer who has performed on hundreds of recordings, including commercials, movie soundtracks, industrials and records, as well as on concert stages worldwide. She made her Broadway debut in "Shenandoah", immediately followed by the revival of "Hair", and for seven seasons she starred as "Frannie" on the Peabody Award-winning children's TV show, "The Great Space Coaster". Emily has toured and recorded with artists as diverse as Neil Sedaka and Leonard Cohen, and produced, co-arranged and sang on "The Girl I Found", the latest CD from Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, Julie Gold, and produced folk artist Christine Lavin's "The Runaway Christmas Tree". She recently wrote the choir arrangements for "Open Heart", a musical by actor/director/composer Robby Benson. Emily is a member of the multi-award-winning a cappella group, The Accidentals.
RON MARSHALL(SKIN HORSE)is the voice behind the animated characters in tv shows and movies such as Richard Scarry's Best Busy People Video Ever, Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever, The Adventures of a Man in Search of a Heart: A Joleron Production Starring the Tin Woodman from the Land of Oz, The Year Without a Santa Claus, The Groove Tube and Free to Be...You & Me.
TERRY TEXTOR(TOY/RABBIT)Life in the studio began at age 5 for Terry, singing for cereal, toys and english muffins which progressed to beer, mufflers and the airlines as she came of age (and beyond). Many commercials (including the Irish Spring and Old Spice whistles), films (i.e. Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You, Dressed To Kill, The Verdict) and records (i.e. Billy Joel, Harry Belafonte, Tom Chapin) led her to one of the sweetest moments spent in the studio as it was and is 'Great to be a Rabbit!' Terry has recently appeared with her group MotherLode Trio on ABC's Good Morning America, the Hallmark Channel and Rachael Ray and is Managing Director for Mamapalooza Festivals - the festival for 'Moms Who Rock!'
DONNA VIVINO(VELVETEEN RABBIT)has been performing since the age of 5 on both the stage and screen. She is currently with the national touring company of Wicked where she performs the role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Her Broadway credits include:Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Hairspray(also natl. tour),Saturday Night Fever, Les Miserables(Original Young Cosette 1987 - also CD). She has performed regionally at the St. Louis MUNY, Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Monclair Opera of NJ, Whyte Hall in Fire Island and the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, Long Island. Her TV/FIlm credits include:"Sopranos","Hairspray"(soundtrack),"Everyday People", "Married To It", "All My Children", "12 Days of Christmas" (animated film) and the upcoming "My Sassy Girl" with Elisha Cuthbert. She is also a core company member of the improv group "Don't Quit Your Night Job" in New York City. A proud graduate of Barnard College, Donna is the founder of "On A Break" productions, a charity theatre company that raises money for arts education.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT : Love Can Make You Real
Produced by Don Sebesky and Janina Serden
for BROWN BARN PRODUCTIONS
Recorded at Nola Recording Studio, New York City
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Jim Czak and Bill Moss
CD Design by Joe DeVico
Here are some reviews--just in from Enchantment Theater Company's production of
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT :
* "We just presented your production of The Velveteen Rabbit, and I have to tell you how much everyone enjoyed it! ...Keep on producing such quality work!" Linda Hanson
Education Director,Coral Springs Center for the Arts
* "....Best of all, there was nary a crying or restless child in the house. You know it's solid theatre when the entire audience is engrossed the whole way through"
Dan Smalls, State Theatre, Ithaca, NY
*"The production values were uncommonly high in comparison with most touring
children's theatre, and the artful adaptation of a well-known story made
it engaging for all to see--parents and kids alike" Patrick Donnelly
Roselle Center for the Arts University of Delaware
*"I'm writing to let you know what a great experience we had with the company and your production of "The Velveteen Rabbit" One of our patrons commented that for the first 20 minutes, her 3-year-old was mesmerized and didn't move a muscle! A number of patrons and teachers left the public show and the school matinees saying it was one of the best children's productions they had seen." Sharon H. Moore Director, NCSU Center Stage & Arts Outreach
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT CD
Review by Kathi Kamen Goldmark for COMMON SENSE MEDIA
The beloved children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, comes to life in a new audio version that will appeal to fans of all ages. Narrated with friendly warmth by Janina Serden, LOVE CAN MAKE YOU REAL includes a collection of songs that perfectly complement the well-known story.
Composer Don Sebesky's music and Gloria Nissenson's lyrics are performed by skilled singers and musicians Janina Serden, Emily Bindiger, Ron Marshall, Terry Textor and Donna Vivino. Their expressive but understated show-tune style creates a tasteful, mellow ambience that is also varied enough to keep listeners awake clear through to the end of the tale. A masterful interplay of music and storytelling, Love Can Make You Real is a must for anyone who counts The Velveteen Rabbit among his or her favorite books.