Originally formed by Christopher Howatt and Dana Merritt as Eastern Standard Time, Boulevard East celebrates the best of the American Songbook – both back in golden age, composed by such artists as the Gershwins, Hoagy Carmichael and Richard Rodgers – and now, including more contemporary composers such as Kander and Ebb, Maltby and Shire, Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, William Finn and others. Mr. Howatt serves as musical director, pianist and singer in the group. Joined by Ms. Merritt and soprano Beth Covell, they form the trio that performs those wonderful songs in “fabulous three-part harmony.” With just three voices and a piano, they can recreate the simple elegance of a bygone era, while serving the music and lyrics of yesterday’s timeless classics, as well as the songs of today that are destined to become classics.
Since their successful debut at The Triad in NYC in January 1997, the trio has performed at various prestigious venues and affairs throughout the metropolitan area, including The Encore NYC, Don’t Tell Mama, Judy’s Chelsea, Dillon’s, The Garrick Gaieties, Manhattan School of Music, the Dutch Treat Club, Tavern-on-the-Green, Tower Records Lincoln Center, The Hideaway Room at Helen’s, the famed Odette’s in New Hope, PA, Grounds for Sculpture, Avalon Performing Arts Center, as well as for municipal concert series in Brick Township, Plumsted Township and Ocean Beach, NJ. As Eastern Standard Time (their former name), the trio was selected to appear at the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Tenth Anniversary Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, sharing the stage with such cabaret luminaries as Cybill Shepherd and Michael Feinstein, The trio has also been twice nominated in the Outstanding Vocal Group category for the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award. Thomas Stevens of Applause, Applause writes, “This is a vocal group with a great future in the entertainment world. They are just delightful!!”
“I have watched this group grow over the past few years into one of the most entertaining and exciting trios in town. Their easy-going style, their song choices, and just the way they interact with each other and the audience gives their shows a down-home feel that audiences enjoy. I saw their latest show and was truly impressed with the variety of songs and brilliant harmonies and arrangements. This exciting group always delivers quality, and the show is both fun and entertaining.” --Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline Online
CHRISTOPHER HOWATT has supplied musical direction for various productions in regional and summer stock theaters along the East Coast (most recently serving as Music Coordinator for productions of Lend Me a Tenor and Inspecting Carol (starring TV’s Dan Lauria and Peter Scolari) at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, as well as on cruise ships and resorts around the world. In addition to spending two seasons on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera’s Associate Chorus, he has performed as a singer on the stages of Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street "Y," appearing with many of the world’s most renowned conductors, including Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta and James Levine. He was named a semi-finalist in the 1997 New York Oratorio Society annual competition, and is a former member of The Riverside Choir at The Riverside Church, appearing with them as a member and soloist, including the recently-released Philips Classics recording “In the Spirit,” with soprano Jessye Norman. He has provided musical direction for acts and artists as diverse as the long-running cabaret revue "Dangerous Duets", "Allen and Rossi", Tyne Daly, Cady Huffman, Rita Moreno, Karen Wyman and "Four On The Town", a Broadway musical revue.
For several years, DANA MERRITT could be found singing on the stages of cruise ships around the world. "42nd Street", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Applause", "Mame" and "Cabaret" are just a few of the musicals in which Ms. Merritt has had leading roles. Prior to forming Boulevard East, she entertained tri-state area hotel and country club audiences with the group "Tuxedo Junction". Ms. Merritt’s professional palette also includes work in commercial print, voice overs, choreography and directing. She is a resident of Peekskill, New York.
BETH COVELL has performed extensively in musical theatre, cabaret and classical music venues across the country. Favorite credits include Tracy Lord in "High Society", Aldonza in "Man of La Mancha", Pam in "Baby", Monica in "The Medium", Nimue in "Camelot", Mrs. Segstrom in "A Little Night Music" (with Betty Buckley) and Curly Locks in "Babes in Toyland" at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. No stranger to the cabaret stage, Ms. Covell has also sailed the high seas as featured singer and cabaret artist for Norwegian Cruise Lines as well as the prestigious Queen Elizabeth 2 World Cruise. More recently, Beth accepted the role of a lifetime – Mom to precious angel Jaclyn Victoria. When not chasing a toddler or singing with BE, she also enjoys a full schedule leading worship and directing the choir at Trinity Baptist Church, Manhattan.
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