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West Hartford’s Playhouse Theatre Group to Host ‘Encore!’ Gala, Featuring Latanya Farrell

Latanya Farrell will perform at Playhouse Theatre Group’s annual fundraiser, ‘Encore! Razzle Dazzle: A Tribute to the Work of John Kander.’


Join Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. for their annual fundraiser, “Encore,” and dance ‘till midnight to the music of Connecticut local Latanya Farrell (back by popular demand).

Latanya Farrell. Courtesy photo

The gala will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023. The theme this year is “Razzle Dazzle: A Tribute to the Work of John Kander.” The event will take place at The Society Room in Hartford, from 6 p.m. until midnight. Attire is “Art Deco Chic.”

The evening includes dinner, drinks, live/silent auctions, dancing with the Latanya Farrell Band, and live performances paying tribute to the work of John Kander including Chicago, Caberet, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and more!

Latanya Farrell is an ordinary woman with an ordinary life who brings an extraordinary voice to the music scene during live performances and on her debut album “Feelin’ Alright.” Uplifting melodies and powerful vocals are the hallmark of her songs about life, love and happiness. Latanya Farrell has emerged as a band leader full of energy who is uniquely gifted at engaging audiences with her bright smile and impeccable style. Blending Latanya’s original music with popular cover tunes, she performs to packed houses throughout New England. Her presence is infectious, and the energy keeps flowing throughout the entire performance with music that ranges from soulful classics to urban contemporary to her inspiring originals.

Dubbed the “Queen of Summer Concerts” by the Hartford Courant in 2013, Latanya Farrell is a multi-talented gifted singer, songwriter, and performer with genuine passion, energy, and a love for music and life. Since winning Connecticut Star Search in 2003, Latanya has had leading musical roles which include performing “Songs in the Key of Life” at the Bushnell Theater as well as other large venues sharing the stage with amazing artists such as Wynton Marsalis and Air Supply.

Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. is also thrilled to announce the emcees for the evening: Playhouse fan-favorites Thao Nguyen and Victoria (Tori) Mooney.

Thao Nguyen. Courtesy photo

Thao Nguyen is a director/producer/actor/singer who is comfortable on both the operatic and musical theatre stage. He is acclaimed by critics for his “velvety baritone and his ease and grace on stage.” Notable Performances: Off Broadway/Regional – Tropical Angels, Miss Saigon, Shrek, 25th annual…, South Pacific and Pippin in which he was voted “Best Performer in a Musical” BroadwayWorld CT. As a champion for new music in the classical world, he was delighted to be a part of the evolution of opera in the first-of-its-kind “virtual opera” Fortune’s Children by David Wolfson with Hartford Opera Theater, which is now streaming on BroadwayOnDemand. An active film/tv/commercial actor, you can catch him in Marvel’s She-Hulk available on Disney+ and in the feature film “Nemesis Eterna” coming in 2024, along with many national commercials. He is represented by The Brock Agency for Film/TV/Commercial. A graduate of UNC School of the Arts, Thao is currently based in Winston Salem, where he maintains a private voice studio. You can follow him on Instagram, TikTok, & Facebook @thetaoofThao and www.thaotnguyen.com for further information.

Tori Mooney. Courtesy photo

Victoria “Tori” Mooney was born and raised on Hilton Head Island, SC. After Tori moved to Connecticut in 2009, she performed at theaters across the state. She made her Playhouse on Park debut in 2013 in GO DOG GO!, and has been heavily engaged in all things Playhouse ever since. She has performed in eight Theatre for Young Audience productions and eight stop/time dance theater shows. She is a regular performer in Mama D’s Outrageous Romps. Tori is a current teaching artist for Playhouse Theatre Academy, as well as the Volunteer Coordinator. You see her most frequently when you attend a show because her main position is the Front of House Manager. Tori is jazzed to be co-hosting Encore again!

Tickets, tables, sponsorships, and advertisements for Encore are on sale now. Also, seeking unique contributions towards auctions. For more information on the event, or sponsor/advertising inquiries, please contact Emma Cook via email at ECook@PlayhouseTheatreGroup.org, or by phone at 860-523-5900 ext. 15, or visit www.PlayhouseTheatreGroup.org.

Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. produces award-winning theatre including a Main Stage Series consisting of plays and musicals; a Theatre for Young Audiences Series; Comedy Nights; Dance; Music; Improv, an extensive educational program and more. Playhouse Theatre Group must raise over $7m annually. Encore, if successful, has a major impact on their fundraising goals.

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