HERMITAGE TURNS 20: Andy Sandberg & Broadway Friends in Concert
In a rare twist for Sarasota audiences, Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg takes to the stage alongside Tony Award nominees Jeannette Bayardelle and Laura Bell Bundy, Drama Desk Award winner Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lortel Award winner Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, and Sarasota’s own Ann Morrison to sing a concert of Broadway songs in celebration of the Hermitage’s 20th Anniversary Season and to raise funds for the Hermitage following the impact of Hurricane Ian. The star-studded company will be accompanied by Hermitage Fellow and Grammy nominee Rona Siddiqui. This one-night-only benefit concert at the Van Wezel Hall is Monday, March 20th at 7:30pm.
These Broadway stars join Sandberg as he returns to his roots as a performer. How does Sandberg feel about stepping onto Sarasota’s largest concert stage after not performing for many years? “I could not be more excited to sing alongside some of my favorite people in the world – who also happen to be some of the most talented performers I know,” he shared. “I cannot think of a better reason to get back on stage than supporting this organization I love so dearly.” Sandberg added that he is incredibly proud of the work the Hermitage team has been doing to keep the organization moving forward since Hurricane Ian, and it seems this Sarasota CEO is not above singing for the Hermitage’s supper – quite literally. “I look forward to each and every one of the amazing Broadway guest stars upstaging me on March 20!”
Sandberg has traveled the world with the Yale Whiffenpoofs and Alley Cats and has played iconic stage roles such as Tony in West Side Story, Leo Frank in Parade, Freddy in My Fair Lady, Huck in Big River. While many in Florida know Sandberg for his leadership role at the Hermitage, he has nearly two decades of experience in theater and television. “As Artistic Director and CEO of the Hermitage, Andy spends his professional life nurturing the work of fellow artists,” added Hermitage Trustee and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright. “How thrilling to finally get the chance to see him reveal his own artistry in this remarkable tribute to the world of Broadway and beyond!”
Jeannette Bayardelle received a 2022 Tony Award nomination for her role in Bob Dylan’s Girl From the North Country. She has starred on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR and as Celie in the original production of The Color Purple, produced by Oprah Winfrey (for which Bayardelle also launched the National Tour, winning the NAACP Theater Award for Best Lead Actress). She is the writer and star of the award-winning musical SHIDA, directed by Sandberg, which played successful engagements in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and London. She is currently appearing at the Public Theater in The Harder They Come, adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks.
Laura Bell Bundy originated several legendary roles in the theater including Tina in Ruthless (Outer Critics and Drama Desk nominations), Amber in Broadway’s Hairspray, and most notably Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Her career spans international tours of her music, over 100 television episodes, notable films, a successful podcast, and a dedication to activism. She is known to television audiences for her role in “Anger Management,” and she can currently be seen in the Paramount Plus series “The Fairly OddParents.” She returns to Broadway this summer to star opposite Erik McCormack (“Will and Grace”) in The Cottage.
Currently appearing on Broadway in the revival of Parade, Jay Armstrong Johnson’s Broadway credits include leading roles in On the Town, Hands on a Hardbody (written by Hermitage Fellow Doug Wright), Catch Me If You Can, HAIR, and Phantom of the Opera. Johnson earned Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for his role in Scotland, PA, written by Hermitage Fellow Adam Gwon. Other notable credits include the Off-Broadway revival of Working (Drama Desk Award), A Chorus Line at City Center, and concerts Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. He is best known to television audiences as Will Olsen in ABC’s “Quantico.”
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer recently concluded her acclaimed run on Broadway as Delia in Beetlejuice, for which she received Drama Desk, Drama League, and Chita Rivera Award nominations. She received the Lucille Lortel Award and Drama League Award for her performance in The Robber Bridegroom at Roundabout Theatre. Other Broadway credits include Something Rotten!, Elf, Sondheim on Sondheim, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Hairspray, and A Catered Affair, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination. She recently appeared on television in “Bridge & Tunnel,” “The First Lady,” and “New Amsterdam.”
Sarasota’s Ann Morrison is an actor, singer, writer, director, and Hermitage alumna who has starred in original roles on Broadway (Merrily We Roll Along, LoveMusik); London's West End (Peg); Off-Broadway (Goblin Market); and leading roles at regional theaters throughout the country.
Music director and accompanist Rona Siddiqui is a Hermitage Fellow and recently served as music director for the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop, for which she received a 2023 Grammy nomination alongside author and Hermitage alum Michael R. Jackson.
Tickets are $25, $50, and $75. A limited number of $250 VIP tickets, which include a reception following the performance, are available. Tickets are available online at HermitageArtistRetreat.org and VanWezel.org; by calling (941) 263-6799; and at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall box office, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.
For more information, visit HermitageArtistRetreat.org.