Richard Jay-Alexander

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Richard Jay-Alexander
Richard Jay-Alexander.jpeg
Born (1953-05-24) May 24, 1953 (age 63)
Solvay, New York, United States
Education State University of New York at Oswego - 1974
Occupation Broadway Producer, director
Parent(s) Frank and Dulce Fernandez

Richard Jay-Alexander (born May 24, 1953)[1] is an American Broadway producer and director, who has been part of the stage world for over 40 years. He was a dancer, singer and actor in two minor roles on Broadway and later branched into stage management. He served as Executive Director of the New York office of producer Cameron Mackintosh. Cameron Mackintosh is known for productions including Les Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Oliver! and Putting It Together. Jay-Alexander ran Mackintosh's North American operations for twelve years.[2]

His recent directorial credits include the concert versions of Les Miz in 2008 and Guys and Dolls in August 2009, both at the Hollywood Bowl. He has also staged concert productions for performers such as Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga, Polly Bergen, Russell Watson, Il Volo, Il Divo, Norm Lewis, Debby Boone, Mary Cleere Haran, Roslyn Kind, Melissa Errico, Betty Buckley, Donny & Marie Osmond, Ricky Martin, Well-Strung, Melora Hardin, Jennifer Leigh Warren, and others.[2]

Biography[edit]

Richard Jay-Alexander was born in Solvay,[3] a suburb of Syracuse, New York and is the son of Frank Fernandez, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Dulce (Rodriguez) Fernandez, from Havana, Cuba.[4] His love for theatre began in elementary school when he witnessed a production of Bye Bye Birdie, presented by the St. Cecilia Players in his local school auditorium. He graduated from Solvay High School in 1971[5] and State University of New York at Oswego in 1974,[5] where he majored in theatre and music. After college, he moved to San Francisco where he got lead roles in The Boys from Syracuse and The Heartbreak of Psoriasis, starring Divine. The following fall of 1975, he moved to New York City.

Jay-Alexander is a long time board member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Early career[edit]

In New York he honed his singing, dancing and acting skills. He soon found stage work appearing in an off-Broadway musical called Boy Meets Boy and obtained his Actor's Equity card on a tour of the musical The Me Nobody Knows.[2]

Jay-Alexander began his Broadway career in 1977 as a production assistant on the Broadway Revival of Porgy and Bess, produced by Sherwin M. Goldman and the Houston Grand Opera. He also served as a production assistant on the pre-Broadway try out of Nefertiti which starred Andrea Marcovicci and directed by Jack O'Brien. In 1978 he was in the original cast of the Broadway play Zoot Suit.[6] In 1981, he was cast in Universal Pictures production of Zoot Suit, which he did not accept, opting to play a minor role in the original Broadway cast of Amadeus which was directed by Sir Peter Hall.[5] During that period he became acquainted with Tommy Tune who was playing in the production of My One and Only. Tune later encouraged Jay-Alexander to think about directing.

His career has taken him around the globe as far away as Alaska and Singapore and from London's Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall to Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, The Village Vanguard, Feinstein's/54 Below in New York City, Laxness Arena-Cologne, Germany, The Metropolitan Opera House, The Hollywood Bowl, Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre, Brooklyn's Barclays Center, The Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, London's O2 Arena, O2 World Berlin, and just about every other legitimate theatre, nightclub and cabaret in between.

Stage management[edit]

During the production of Amadeus, Jay-Alexander was asked to be Associate Director of the Amadeus national tours by Broadway producers The Shubert Organization, Liz McCann, Nelle Nugent, and Director, Peter Hall. During the 1984 Broadway revival of Oliver!, he was assistant Stage Manager and Dance Captain. By 1985, he was a Stage Manager for Song and Dance on Broadway with actress Bernadette Peters. Both were Mackintosh productions.[2]

Jay-Alexander was Associate Director and Executive Producer of original Broadway, touring and Canadian companies of Les Misérables and he staged more than a dozen productions for the show[7] around the world. He was Executive Producer for Mackintosh's next "smash-hit" Broadway musical, Miss Saigon, as well as the Executive Producer of the Grammy-nominated Five Guys Named Moe original cast recording.[2]

He was Executive Director of the New York office of producer, Cameron Mackintosh, where he ran Mackintosh's North American operations for more than a decade.[2]

Record producer[edit]

In recent years, Jay-Alexander has produced recordings for Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis and Mary Cleere Haran, as well as staging concert productions for performers like Peters, Barbra Streisand,[2] Ricky Martin, Russell Watson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga, Kristin Chenoweth, Il Divo, Lea Michele, Norm Lewis, and Bette Midler.[6]

Recent years[edit]

He has traveled the world and worked on stages from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. He also has directed at Feinstein's at Loew's Regency Hotel in New York and The Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan. He has directed many one-person shows.[6]

In 1998 in Miami, he presented a prestigious series with Ellen Wedner called "Manhattan Nights in Miami." It featured performances by David Campbell, John Bucchino, Mary Cleere Haran, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Steven Brinberg (as Simply Barbra), and the luminous Barbara Cook.

Richard directed two shows in Las Vegas; Storm at the Mandalay Bay and the reboot of Donny & Marie at The Flamingo in the legendary Flamingo Hotel and Showroom.

Jay-Alexander has also directed events for several charitable organizations, including BC/EFA, the Actors Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and Make-A-Wish Foundation.[6]

In 2006, he directed Amy Irving in an off-Broadway production of A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop. That same year, he co-directed (with Streisand) Barbra Streisand's Tour which opened in October 2006, in Philadelphia.[2]

Jay-Alexander directed From Pelham to Park Avenue with the Nunziata Brothers which opened on April 20, 2010, with musical direction by Ben Toth. Toth was also featured as pianist with Jered Egan on bass.[7]

His recent directorial credits include the concert versions of Les Miz in 2008 at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California.[8] In August 2009, he directed a concert version of Guys and Dolls also at the Hollywood Bowl[9] starring Scott Bakula (Nathan Detroit), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Sky Masterson), Ellen Greene (Miss Adelaide) and Jessica Biel (Sarah Brown).[10]

In December 2010, Jay-Alexander directed From Broadway With Love at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, starring Kaye Ballard, Donna McKechnie and Liliane Montevecchi.[11]

He directed, what he claims, to be his final Les Miz at the legendary Muny in St. Louis in summer of 2013. He promised it would be his last.

He recently had the pleasure of working with opera legend Deborah Voigt directing a theatrical piece entitled "Deborah Voigt, Voigt Lessons" which was written by Terrence McNally and originally developed by Voigt, McNally and director Francesca Zambello.

Richard opened such prestigious venues as The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California with Russell Watson; Toronto's Skydome with a concert version of Les Miserables, co-directed by Keith Batten; the recent opening of The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and their Walt Disney Theatre with a distinguished cast of Norm Lewis, Sierra Boggess, Chris Mann, Deborah Voigt, Michael Urie, Jane Monheit, Ektor Rivera, The Lombard Twins, and The Broadway Kids.

Stage performances[edit]

Stage production[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Richard Jay-Alexander - Theatre Credits". Broadway World. 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mervyn Rothstein (September 8, 2006). "A Life in the Theatre: Director-Producer Richard Jay-Alexander". Playbill, Inc. Retrieved December 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Murray Bernthal dies at 99". BWW News Desk. December 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ "State grad produces Peter's special". The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York). August 6, 1999. 
  5. ^ a b c "'Amadeus' Role for local actor". Syracuse Herald Journal (Syracuse, New York). January 7, 1981. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Richard Jay-Alexander About the Performer". Hollywood Bowl. December 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Andrew Gans (April 20, 2010). "Nunziata Brothers Offer From Pelham to Park Avenue Starting April 20; Jay-Alexander Directs". Playbill, Inc. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ Greg Hernandez (August 4, 2009). "Afternoon Greg: "Guys & Dolls" a terrific triumph for director Richard Jay-Alexander and all-star cast". GreginHollywood. Retrieved December 16, 2010. 
  9. ^ Andrew Gans (July 24, 2009). "DIVA TALK: Catching Up with Guys and Dolls' Ellen Greene Plus Pedi and D'Abruzzo Chats". Playbill, Inc. Retrieved December 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Luck Be a Lady'": Guys and Dolls in Concert Plays the Hollywood Bowl July 31-Aug. 2" playbill.com, July 31, 2009
  11. ^ Andy Propst (September 1, 2010). "Kaye Ballard, Donna McKechnie, Liliane Montevecchi Set for From Broadway with Love in Santa Fe". TheaterMania.com, Inc. Retrieved December 17, 2010.