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Broadway powerhouse Lillias White is bringing in a milestone birthday by doing something she never did before.
The Tony and Daytime Emmy Award winner will release her first studio recording — at age 70.
On July 23 — two days after her big birthday — White will release “Get Yourself Some Happy!” described as “a modern mix of Motown, standards, rock-and-roll, Broadway, and jazz all reinvented for today’s audiences” and served up in a way only like the Brooklyn native can.
White is known for standout performances on Broadway in musicals such as “Dreamgirls,” “Barnum,” “Once on This Island,” “Cats,”” Fela!” and her incandescent turn as a well-worn prostitute in Cy Coleman’s “The Life.” The “Sesame Street” alum’s screen credits include television shows “Russian Doll,” “Gotham,” Baz Luhrmann’s epic Netflix hip hop saga “The Get Down” and the film “Pieces of April.”
The East Arlington, Vt.-headquartered Old Mill Road Recording will release the 14-track opus, which was recorded in July 2019. Produced by Joshua Sherman and engineered by Grammy winner Benjamin J. Arrindell, the album is the culmination of a 30-year friendship and professional collaboration between White and her musical director-accompanist, Timothy Graphenreed (of “The Wiz” fame), who died March 1, 2020. The album is dedicated to his memory.
“This recording … is a labor of love put together by the late, great Timothy Graphenreed, Dr. Joshua Sherman, and myself,” she said with Thursday’s announcement. “It was a joy to create. The songs were handpicked and heartfelt—and we hope the album brings smiles to your faces.”
“I want people to see you (with your earbuds in) smiling—and wonder what you’re listening to. I hope you go out and get yourself some happy!”
The first single from the project is a disco-inspired rendition of the Blood, Sweat & Tears classic rock song “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.”
The complete track listing follows:
1. When You Wish Upon A Star
2. Accentuate the Positive
3. Happy Together
4. A Brand New Me
5. Put On A Happy Face
6. The Twist
7. A Little Imagination
8. You’re My Best Friend
9. You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
11. That’s All
12. Make Someone Happy
13. It’s Not Where You Start
14. Get Happy
White’s upcoming concert dates include Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael in Carmel, Indiana, on July 9 and 10 ; Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco on July 23 and 24; New York City’s The Green Room 42 on Aug. 12–14; and The Art House in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Aug. 27 and 28.