“You ain’t heard nothing yet,” is the quote made famous by Al Jolson, when he would take the stage and give his audiences a performance that earned him the title of the World’s Greatest Entertainer. Now veteran Broadway actor Mike Burstyn (Barnum) has recreated all of Jolson’s magic in the new musical, Jolson at the Winter Garden, making its L.A. premiere at the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.
“It’s a show that is peppered with surprise moments, and has the greatest music as it presents the story about the pioneering show business super-star. I wanted to bring ‘Jolie’ back to Hollywood, and hope that audiences will rediscover Al Jolson and what made the man a legend,” says Burstyn, who not only stars as Jolson, but also co-wrote it with the show’s director and choreographer Bill Castellino.
Burstyn describes the wonderfully nostalgic production as a recreation of Jolson’s famous Sunday concerts at New York’s famed Winter Garden Theater. Bringing Jolson back to life, Burstyn will be backed by a band on stage and a trio of back-up singers.
Jolson’s most popular songs, such as “Swanee”, “My Mammy”, “For Me and My Gal”, “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”, “Sonny Boy” and “Toot Toot Tootsie”, plus many more, will be performed in all their show-stopping glory. “I’ve had the greatest compliment by devotees of Jolson who think I’m using his recordings. No, it’s all me, but I do feel like I’m almost channeling ‘Jolie,’” reveals Burstyn, winner of two Israeli “Oscars.”
Jolson at the Winter Garden, produced by Dan Israely and Zahava Atzmon, is at NoHo’s El Portal Theatre, Sept. 6 to 25. For tickets and further information, please call the Box Office at 877-SEE-PLAY (877-733-7529) or buy online at www.ElPortalTheatre.com.