A Gershwin Celebration


Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle

Season: 2020-2021

October 10, 2020

Time: 7:00 pm

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October 10, 2020 (available for livestreaming)

Lisa Mayer-Lang, choreographer
Michael Lang, choreographer
Vince Lee, conductor
Lee Alexander, vocalist
Shaye Hodgins, vocalist
Merwin Siu, violin
Josh Silver, piano

An American in Paris
Walking The Dog
It Ain't Necessarily So
Someone to Watch Over Me
Lady Be Good
Lullaby for String Quartet
I Got Rhythm

An evening of Gershwin and dance! Toledo Ballet dancers perform original choreography by Lisa Mayer-Lang and Michael Lang in this glittering revue set to iconic Gershwin favorites, including An American in Paris, Someone to Watch Over Me, I Got Rhythm, and more—performed live by the Toledo Symphony musicians.

The health and safety of our audiences, dancers, staff, and volunteers are of the utmost importance to us. We're continuing to follow the social distancing guidelines recommended by the State of Ohio to ensure the safest environment for all. In-person tickets are sold out. CLICK HERE to learn more about streaming options.

Please contact the Box Office at 419.246.8000 for information on child/student ticket pricing.

Read the story

Lisa Mayer-Lang began studying dance at the Toledo Ballet at the age of six, under the direction of Marie Bollinger Vogt and Madame Velta Cernonok. Two years later at the age of eight, she was cast in the coveted role of Clara in The Nutcracker, which began a lifelong passion of Ballet and the performing arts.

Ms. Mayer-Lang furthered her studies at the acclaimed Interlochen Arts Camp, with the prestigious Toscanini Scholarship. She trained with Larry Long at Ruth Page in Chicago, and Ballet West with the legendary William Christiansen, Toni Lander and Bruce Marks. At the age of eighteen, she moved to New York City, where Ms. Mayer-Lang continued her studies with the top Ballet Masters of the world. She performed professionally as a ballerina, toured the world partnering with New York City Ballet Principal Dancer, Gen Horiuchi. Ms. Mayer-Lang ultimately landed on Broadway dancing, singing and acting in Lead roles as Belle in Beauty and the BeastCarousel at Lincoln Center with Audra McDonald, CATS as Sillabub and Victoria, Kiss Me KateThoroughly Modern Millie with Sutton Foster and Wonderful Town with Brooke Shields. Ms. Mayer-Lang has performed at the Kennedy Center as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Carnegie Hall in The Leading Ladies of Broadway alongside Julie Andrews, Liza Minelli, Barbara Cook, among many others. Other great performing experiences include dancing with Gene Kelly, Willie Nelson and opposite Patrick Wilson in Barry Manilow’s Harmony, at LaJolla Playhouse.

This is Ms. Mayer-Lang’s 12th year as Toledo Ballet’s School Director; in 2014, she received thde additional appointment of Artistic Director. Ms. Mayer-Lang is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. When she is not at Toledo Ballet, Ms. Mayer-Lang is an adjunct professor at The University of Michigan teaching in the world-renowned Musical Theatre Department.

Michael Lang has been a resident Director / Choreographer for The Toledo Ballet since 2007. He has created eleven original full length productions for Toledo Ballet including: Ballet Tapestry (2007); Outside the Lines (2008); Press One for More Options (2010), Museum of Dreams (2011), If These Walls Could Dance (2012), From Heart to Quill (2014), Alice in Wonderland (2015) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2016), Tales of Grimm…(2017), Broadway at the Ballet (2018), and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2019).

Other choreographic credits include: Carmina Burana (2020) and Original Source with TSO (2019), Degas and the Dance—Awkward Girl with TMA (2015), All are One with TMA—inspired by and interactively performed with Artist Pineree Sanpitak’s Anything Can Break (2015); Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with TSO (2015). Tied Notes (2013), The Soldier’s Tale with TSO (2012); and Révérence—A Tribute to Marie Vogt (2009) 

Michael performed for over three decades in Indianapolis (where he is originally from), Chicago, Los Angeles, Hamburg Germany, Miami, Orlando, and New York City. Michael was a dancer, high aerial tumbler, and a stuntman and he performed for more than a decade in the original Los Angeles & NYC productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Michael is a Certified Personal Trainer, a NCPT Certified Pilates instructor, and a NY, OH, & MI Licensed Massage Therapist.  At the Toledo Ballet he teaches Contemporary Dance, Musical Theater, Acting, Conditioning, Pilates, and Ballerina Warrior (a self-defense class for girls).  Michael is also head of Performance Outreach and he is the Director of The Toledo Ballet Pilates & Wellness Studio. 

With a Carnegie Hall debut described as “powerful” and “hefty” by the New York Times, American conductor Vince Lee is quickly rising as one of today’s top emerging talents. Known among his contemporaries for his dynamic performances and his razor-sharp ear, Mr. Lee’s diverse musical background provides him a flexibility and perspective that is unique in the conducting world. His firm belief in striving for the highest artistic standards, regardless of genre, venue, or audience, has made him a crowd favorite, and a popular hire for numerous orchestras and arts organizations throughout the country. Recent highlights include appearances with the Florida Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony, the Toledo Symphony, and the Korean Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, South Korea.

During his tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony, Mr. Lee revolutionized his role as Assistant Conductor for the orchestra. His symphonic concerts with the CSO received critical acclaim, and his Young People’s Concerts found unprecedented levels of success, combining elements of increased interactivity with high artistic standards. This tradition has continued in his activities as a guest conductor, designing and conducting innovative and engaging concerts for tens of thousands of concertgoers.

With over 200 premieres to his credit, Mr. Lee has become one of the most sought-after conductors of modern compositions. Lauded in reviews for his “striking attention to detail,” and “energetic, breathtaking performance,” he has established a reputation among composers for bringing particularly challenging and complex music to life. Mr. Lee is also an enthusiastic believer in paying his experiences forward to the next generation of musicians, and regularly appears as a guest at schools, universities, and workshops across the US.

Mr. Lee made his professional conducting debut at age 13 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, under the tutelage of Erich Kunzel. His conducting studies took him to Indiana University before being invited to study at the Juilliard School by Maestro James DePreist. After receiving his post-graduate diploma from Juilliard, Mr. Lee's career came full circle when he won his first major conducting position with the Cincinnati Symphony.

Lee Alexander was born and raised in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He is currently a Senior Musical Theatre Major at the University of Michigan. Most recently at the University of Michigan he appeared on stage in: Sonnets, Soliloquies and Soul by Michael McElroy (Narrator/Ensemble), The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate), The Exonerated by (Robert), Passing Strange (Reverend Jones). His international credits include Der Vogelhandler (Professor Wurmchen), Hello Dolly (Ambrose Kemper), Dido and Aneneas (Aneas) with the Freiberg Opera Company in Dresden, Germany. As well as a performance of Cabaret (Emcee) in the Trentino Music Festival in Mezzano, Italy.

Shaye Hodgins was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She grew up singing jazz with a local trio, through which her love of singing grew, and helped spark her passion for musical theatre. She was last seen as Leisl in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. She now studies a BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Michigan. Go Blue! Love to Mom, Shila, and Olin.

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