HPS Alumnus Presents a Musical Performance about Nat King Cole; Saturday, 9/21

HPS Alumnus Presents a Musical Performance about Nat King Cole; Saturday, 9/21

Hartford native and Hartford Public Schools graduate, James Rich presents his musical salute to Nat King Cole on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at the University of Hartford’s Lincoln Theater.

James Rich has been a New York-based singer-actor for more than 25 years, adding playwright and historian to his experience.

Mr. Rich states, “The concert I’m putting on is part of a campaign to raise money for further development of There Was a Boy, a Broadway-style musical I wrote about the life of Nat King Cole. To date, and my knowledge, There Was a Boy seems to be the only adaptation of Mr. Cole’s recording years with Capitol Records (1943-1965) that targets his life in such an emotional and intimate way. The concert coincides with the celebration of Nat King Cole’s centennial year and the songs performed will be a mix of modern and traditional 1940s-50s pop arrangements of music the global entertainment legend was known for.”



Performance Details

WHO: Hartford native and veteran New York-based performer James Rich (v. Harry Belafonte, backup singer; Saturday Night Fever, B’way; Rent, 1st National Tour); Tadataka Unno (p. Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Wess); Jim Cammack (b. Ahmad Jamal, Howard Johnson, Nancy Wilson); and Arti Dixson (d. Harry Connick, Michael Bolton, Bill Evans).

WHAT: A concert that will be part history, part educational, all entertainment, and is part of a campaign to raise money for an Actors Equity Association (AEA) staged reading of There Was a Boy, a Broadway-style musical written by James Rich about the life of Nat King Cole behind the music. The reading will serve as a “preview” in the quest for further development and full-scale commercial production.

WHERE: Lincoln Theater, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117. Tickets are $40 in advance | $45 at the door, and available for purchase:

  1. Online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=104499
  2. By phone at (860) 768-4228
  3. In-person at the Lincoln Theater Box Office Tuesday-Friday 10:00-5:00 pm.
  4. Me+3: For every three tickets purchased in the same transaction, the fourth one is FREE!

WHEN: Saturday, September 21st  7:00-8:30 PM

Nat King Cole is a global figure, and he was the first Black man on everyone’s TV, in everyone’s home. He resonated with audiences of all races and demographics and he’s still relevant today – his recording of “The Christmas Song” peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 as recent as January 5, 2019. Thanks to “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” even kids know who he is…to them he is Christmas!

There Was a Boy is a passion project, 30 years in the making, but it’s much bigger than that. It is an opportunity to teach people history while adding value to and strengthening communities socially and educationally through the arts. Hartford can be a part of that journey.

For more information, please contact:

James “JR” Rich

Click HERE to view installments of “60 Seconds More,” a vlog created to document and share the creative journey to bring There Was a Boy from concept to full-scale production

Click HERE to view a 30-second promo video put together for the event.

More information about the project is available at https://www.therewasaboy.james-rich.com and https://www.facebook.com/events/307388710175916/