When I met with Mark Cortale, the man behind the magic, at Henry’s to learn more, he casually told me that the previous evening he was with Megan Hilty at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. No big deal right?
Now having drinks and dinner with me, lobster tacos my fav at Henry’s, I was a little star-struck. However, Mark is so down to earth and fun to spend time with, our dinner date went for three hours!
Mark has been involved with the stage for years, first as a professional opera singer, and then as a Broadway producer. He splits his time between Provincetown and New Orleans. In Provincetown, Mark has been producing sold-out Broadway shows for years.
His very good friend who lives on Island, David Sterns, has been asking Mark to come to Martha’s Vineyard for years, to no avail. Finally last September, Mark agreed to a visit, and Vineyard magic had its way. Mark fell in love with the Island.
Naturally the next step is to bring Broadway to the Island, and that’s what he’s doing! It’s the inaugural Vineyard Broadway. A number of tony-award winning Broadway stars are coming to the Island.
Where? Why at the PAC, the Performing Arts Center at the high school of course. Mark was blown away by the state of the art performing center the school has. It was the perfect venue for Broadway performances.
What amazing Broadway performances will you be able to catch this July and August? Here’s the rundown – Vanessa Williams (who has been to the Island before), Megan Hilty, Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald with Will Swenson, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, and Patti Lupone. What a line up!!!
With so many stars and so many shows, I am going to share a little about the two shows I am most excited about.
As a big Smash fan (think Ivy Lynn), I am over the moon about the thought of seeing Megan Hilty live, performing down the street from where I live! She is the second performer in the series along with acclaimed pianist, the host too, Seth Rudesky, July, 16th.
Megan Hilty and Seth Rudesky’s show will be a great Broadway number, interview format with songs. Think of it as a fun, dynamic, entertaining Inside the Actor’s Studio.” Seth on the piano, asking questions, some risqué I imagine, and Megan answering and singing. Love it!!
Megan Mullally (Karen Walker – Will & Grace) and Nick Offerman’s (Ron Swanson – Parks and Recreation) show Summer of 69: No Apostrophe, August 29th, is going to be hysterical. This husband and wife team are going to treat guests to a humorous, autobiographical look into their marriage. Along with the joy of Nick’s guitar and Megan’s ukulele – just envision this and you laugh.
The Vineyard Broadway series is a benefit for The Tyler Clementi Foundation. This foundation is an anti-bullying non-profit. The organization is important in spreading the awareness of how bad bullying can be, and sadly in the theater world, many performers experienced some form of bullying in their life.
How was Mark able to get this incredible list of Broadway icons? Well, he asked. Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit, and even celebrities like the idea of working on the island. Also, Mark has produced shows with many of these artists for years. He has a great relationship with them and knows his shows are fun and draw a crowd.
This is Mark’s 6th season producing this Broadway series which can be seen all over the country and in Europe as well. It’s wonderful that he has chosen the Vineyard to add to this list. Vineyard Broadway is a fun way to incorporate Broadway theater into your Summer — whether vacationing or living here — it’s a great opportunity. Though the PAC is a good size, the venue is definitely more intimate than a big theaters in NYC.
You can be up close and personal with some of the hottest stars on the stage all Summer and tickets are affordable, you can even get a season pass and go to all the shows.
Thank you David Sterns for encouraging your friend to come to Martha’s Vineyard. A whole new world offered on the island because of one visit. And thank you Mark Cortale, one of the nicest men I have ever had the pleasure to interview, for bringing Broadway to us.
With Vineyard Broadway and the Martha’s Vineyard Concert Series, both in their inaugural year, Martha’s Vineyard is quite the hotbed of celebrity talent this Summer!
For the full schedule, line up, and to get tickets, visit Vineyardbroadway.com – I wouldn’t wait too long, guessing these will be sold-out.