White Plains Performing Arts Center to Celebrate First Production Back

“Masquerade!” is the first live performance at the White Plains Performing Arts Center since the start of the pandemic. The celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s works opens this Friday, Oct. 8.

It has been 21 months since the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) put on its last musical production. “Masquerade!” which will premiere at WPPAC on Oct. 8, features stories and songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s life and celebrated work and commemorates the performing art center’s first Mainstage production since “Newsies” in January 2020. 

“It’s been a long time, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally be back doing what we are meant to do – provide quality live entertainment to our community,” said Kathy Davisson, general manager at WPPAC.

Described as a “funny and warm musical portrait and a concert for the theater,” “Masquerade!” will offer the audience an intimate look at Lloyd Webber’s five decades in the spotlight as one of the most successful musical theater composers. 

With new and sometimes unexpected interpretations of Lloyd Webber’s best-loved songs from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cats,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “Sunset Boulevard,” viewers will hear familiar songs in a contemporary production.

“His music is infectious and dynamic, and the show celebrates the iconic songs we have all come to love through the years,” Stephen Ferri, WPPAC executive producer and music director, and Antoniette DiPietropolo, director of “Masquerade!” said in a joint statement.

At “Masquerade!” audience members will experience some of the ways these musicals and songs were inspired from Lloyd Webber’s creative mind.

“Think of it as an inside look into the mind of an iconic composer while experiencing all the hits from his biggest shows,” Ferri and DiPietropolo said. “It’s not like anything else you have seen, and we are excited to bring it to life this season at WPPAC.” 

After more than a year without performing due to the pandemic, they wanted to do something a little smaller for their reopening musical production. 

“This premiere was the perfect way to welcome back our audiences for an exceptional night of theater featuring this legendary composer and his creative process,” Ferri and DiPietropolo said. 

For this show, it was important to provide an immersive experience for viewers by casting amazing talent from New York City. “Masquerade!” features performers Brandi Burkhardt, Julian Decker, Andrew Foote, Rebecca Kuznick, Emily Royer, Cartreze Tucker, Aaron Burt and Shannon Rakow. 

The cast boasts previous combined experience in Broadway and off-Broadway productions, television, film, national tours and regional theater.   

“Masquerade! is also choreographed by DiPietropolo, scenic design is by Christopher and Justin Swader, lighting design is by Matt Guminski, sound design by Don Hanna, projections by Kevan Looney and costumes by Antonio Consuegra. The stage is managed by T. Rick Jones. 

“Everyone is on the same team supporting each other as artists to give an elevated performance and not just a concert of (Lloyd Webber’s) work,” Ferri and DiPietropolo said. “Being able to create this show together and hopefully give it a future life has been very rewarding.” 

Masquerade! premieres at WPPAC on Oct. 8 and runs until Oct. 24. Performance times are at 2 and 8 p.m. and tickets are available for purchase at www.wppac.com.

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