Overture Magazine - 2015-2016 Season March-April 2016 - Page 29

program notes { become a YouTube sensation with her diva impression videos. With over 21 million views worldwide, Ms. Bianco is best known for her renditions of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Let It Go.” Ms. Bianco made her West End debut starring in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s hailed production of Forbidden Broadway at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. In New York, she starred Off Broadway in the one-woman, multi-character comedy Application Pending. Other New York credits include Newsical the Musical, Forbidden Broadway: Goes To Rehab, Raffi On Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre, Tony and Tina’s Wedding and It Must Be Him. Ms. Bianco originated the role of Dora in the long-running national tour of Dora The Explorer Live, which included a sold-out run at Radio City Music Hall. On television, Ms. Bianco plays the recurring role of Bianca on the sitcom Impress Me, produced by SoulPancake. As a cabaret artist, Ms. Bianco performed weekly in an unprecedented eight-month run of 11 O’Clock Numbers at Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency. She has performed her critically acclaimed solo shows, Diva Moments and Party Of One to sold out crowds at NYC’s Birdland and regionally across the country. A native of New York, Ms. Bianco attented the Tisch School of the Arts. Christina Bianco last performed with the BSO in October 2014, in the program Broadway Standing Ovations! with Jack Everly, conductor. Mandy Gonzalez Mandy Gonzalez is best known for her emotional portrayal of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical In the Heights, a role she created Off Broadway at 37 Arts and which received a Drama Desk Award for best ensemble. Ms. Gonzalez starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked at New York’s Gershwin Theatre, singing the signature song “Defying Gravity” and receiving a Broadway.com Award for best replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical Aida, and multiple roles including that of Beatles icon John Lennon in Lennon. Ms. Gonzalez made her Broadway debut in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires opposite Michael Crawford. Ms. Gonzalez received an OBIE Award and critical praise for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli’s Comin’, directed by Diane Paulus and based on the music and lyrics of singersongwriter Laura Nyro. Equally at home on the big and small screen, she has appeared in Across the Universe directed by Julie Taymor and Man on a Ledge with Sam Worthington. Ms. Gonzalez’ television credits include White Collar, The Good Wife, 666 Park Avenue, One Life to Live and Third Watch. She can currently be seen as the recurring character Lucy Knox in Madam Secretary on CBS. A native of California, Ms. Gonzalez attended the California Institute of the Arts. Mandy Gonzalez is making her debut with the BSO. N’Kenge N’Kenge, who originated the role of Mary Wells in Broadway’s Motown: The Musical, made her Broadway debut in Sondheim on Sondheim alongside Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis and Tom Wopat, directed by Pulitzer Prize winner James Lapine. In London, N’Kenge made her West End debut starring in The Genius of Ray Charles. N’Kenge starred in the Michael Jackson Tribute Show World Tour and has been seen as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra to name a few.  This 2015–2016 season saw N’Kenge  as the witch in Big Fish and Matron “Mama” Morton in Chicago with Alpine Music Project Theater. In addition, N’Kenge will appear as a soloist with numerous symphonies across the U.S. this season.  Nominated for outstanding lead actress by the Helen Hayes Awards in DC for her performance in 3 Mo’Divas, N’Kenge had the honor of performing for President Obama at the Commander-inChief’s Inaugural Ball. Visit N’Kenge at www.nkengemusic.com. N’Kenge last performed with the BSO in September 2015, in the program Classic FM, with Jack Everly, conductor. Kristen Plumley Kristen Plumley has performed with many opera companies throughout the country, including Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with New York City Opera, Norina in Don Pasquale and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Virginia Opera, Yum-Yum in The Mikado with Opera Memphis and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Nevada Opera. Ms. Plumley’s works on the concert stage include Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War at Carnegie Hall, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Elgar’s For the Fallen, Bach’s Coffee Cantata, and Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Basically Bernstein with Opera Tampa, and An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan with the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Richmond, Memphis and Minnesota. Her favorite concert is An Evening of SciFi Favorites — music from science fiction movies and television shows, hosted by George Takei and conducted by Maestro Jack Everly — which she has performed with the Cleveland, Indianapolis, Seattle, Baltimore, Edmonton and Ottawa Symphonies, among others. A Connecticut native, Ms. Plumley received an Artist Diploma in opera from the Hartt School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and music from College of the Holy Cross. Kristen Plumley last performed with the BSO in February 2014, in the program Sci-Fi Spectacular, with Jack Everly, c ۙX