Oscar Winning Songs in the Spotlight with Top Notch Dynamic Vocalists!
Featuring: Connor O’Brien-vocals, Lindsey Mitchell-vocals, Sami Kennett-vocals, & Bob Navis Jr.-piano & MD.
Hosted by Michael Estwanik of American Songbook Today.
American Songbook Today, a new 501(c)(3) non-profit, presents “An Evening of Oscar-Winning Songs” starring three of Cleveland’s finest performers, hosted by AST’s founder and president, Michael Estwanik. He will provide fascinating insights into each of these songs and the Oscar history as well. Listen to such Oscar-winning songs as “Gigi,” “Moon River,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “All the Way,” “Call Me Irresponsible,” “Swinging on a Star,” and many more.
Miss Saigon (Chris), Company (Bobby), Forever Plaid (Sparky), Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph), Featured Soloist – Cleveland Pops, Detroit and Dallas Symphonies
Lindsey was in the Original Canadian Cast of both Sunset Blvd starring Diahann Carroll, and Aspects of Love. She starred in Young Frankenstein and Ruthless! at the Beck Center in Lakewood. She has been a featured soloist with The Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Severance Hall and The Musical Theatre Project.
Originally from Tampa, Florida, Samantha is currently a Sophomore BFA Musical Theatre Major at Kent State University. Her recent theatre credits include Lili in Carnival at Near West Theatre, Hazel in Allegro at Kent State, and Jo in Little Women at Kent State. She’s has been trained vocally in classical singing and musical theatre.
Michael Estwanik, Founder of American Songbook Today
An alumnus of St. Ignatius, Michael returned to his hometown recently to give something back to his hometown. He has presented five concerts thus far and hosts “Tuesdays at Twilight,” at The Brothers Lounge. He served as president of the Board of MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) for seven years and was an investor in Broadway’s Urinetown, Julie Halston’s A Lifetime of Comedy, and as associate producer of Charles Busch’s rollicking World War II musical wingtime Canteen starring Alison Fraser, Maxene Andrews (of The Andrews Sisters), and Charles Busch himself . Michael founded The American Songbook Project and brought hundreds of Broadway and jazz performers to NYC. He founded the Telluride American Songbook Festival with concerts by Marilyn Maye, Liz Callaway, and Andrea McArdle (the original Annie).
Bob Navis Jr. Music Director/Pianist
Bob has been with Near West Theatre since 1980 and became its first Artistic Director in 1993. In this role he is responsible for all arts programming and program development. At the age of 17 he founded and acted as Artistic Director of the St. Francis Community Theatre for 10 years. He has been Music Director at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church since 1987 to the present. He has acted as Director and/or Music Director of over 300 theatrical productions throughout the Cleveland area including Near West, Cleveland Public Theatre, and Cleveland Play House.