One of the most eagerly anticipated new shows for this Broadway season is “An American in Paris” the stage adaptation of the 1951 film classic. Set in post World War II Paris, with a brilliant musical score by George Gershwin, Hank Lane Music was asked to play classic American and French “standards.” A packed crowd of over 1200 guests came to The Pierre hotel on Fifth Avenue following the early Sunday curtain.
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Hank Lane Music is pleased to be taking part in a special promotion for the new film release “Danny Collins” starring Al Pacino, Annette Benning, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Carnavale and Christopher Plummer. Hilton Hotels & Resorts plays a starring role in the movie, which tells the story of a musician’s personal rediscovery. Key scenes are shot at the Hilton in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. As part of a special promotion, Steinway & Sons pianos is sponsoring live music on one of its beautiful instruments in the lobby of the New York Hilton Midtown. Hank Lane Music pianist Emilee Floor will be appearing March 23-27 in the hotel’s lobby from 5pm-7pm daily. For more on the Hilton hotels “Danny Collins” promotion go www.hilton.com/DannyCollins.
Hank Lane Music is the parent company of an umbrella organization* that provides a whole host of entertainment and event services all under one roof. For 35 years the Hank Lane organization has been providing corporate, charitable and social clients with the finest in live music, professional DJ’s, big name and specialty entertainment, lighting and event design, giant video screens, staging, sound, production plus a whole host of interactive games, casinos, photo stations and party favors. When planning your company holiday party or charitable event this season, consider Hank Lane Music as your single source for party fun. One of our event specialists will be happy to customize a proposal that meets your budget and needs.
*Hank Lane Music affiliate companies include MTM Events (More Than Music, Ltd.) for DJ’s, games and party entertainment; Fusion Lighting for lighting and event design, video services, staging, audio and event production.
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) had its Opening Night Gala at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center last night. The program included performances from classic ballet productions such as Don Quixote and Cinderella, as well as a one-time-only performance of Jirí Kylian’s Nuages. First Lady Michelle Obama was once again an honorary chair, and many celebrities were present to celebrate, including Selena Gomez, Emmy Rossum, Kelly Rowland, Sigourney Weaver, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and Zoe Kravitz. After the performance, the guests moved to the Lanvin sponsored French-themed dinner dance, where they were entertained by the Hank Lane Orchestra until the late hours of the evening. With all guests on the dance floor the entire evening, the party culminated in guests begging for an encore. Hank Lane Music has had the honor of performing at the ABT Gala for more than twenty years running.
The Rainforest Alliance has been leading conservation efforts since 1987, around the same time Hank Lane Music was founded. We have been honored to provide music for the organization over the years, including at last night’s Annual Gala, in support of sustainability and forest protection. The evening included a presentation of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement and Sustainable Standard-Setter awards, with Honorary Chair and Clean Water Project founder Gisele Bündchen in attendance. The Michael Hart Band had guests on the dance floor at the Museum of Natural History, and guest artist Deborah Cox gave a special performance.
One of the newest productions on Broadway is the revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, starring James Franco (127 Hours, Oz the Great and Powerful), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), and Broadway veteran Jim Norton. This is the first time Steinbeck’s masterpiece has seen a Broadway stage since 1975, with its first run in 1937.
Although the show has been in previews since March, last night marked the official opening night, with an after party bash at the Plaza Hotel. The Hank Lane Orchestra set the tone for the evening with big band swing from the 1930’s and 40’s. 700 guests listened and danced to the tunes of Steinbeck’s era, including Zooey Deschanel, Minka Kelly, Dave Franco, Leven Rambin (Hunger Games), and Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead). Katie Couric attended the show earlier that evening, and her charity Stand Up to Cancer sponsored the dinner in the Plaza Hotel ballroom.
Of Mice and Men’s limited engagement will conclude on July 27th. Purchase your tickets by clicking here!
The Spring issue of Martha Stewart Weddings is now on stands! Pick one up today to read the exclusive interview with Hank Lane bandleaders Erik Marshall and Mike Herman. Get the inside scoop on how to choose the music for your wedding below!
HOW TO HIRE A BAND – As told to Becky Mickel
Music makes or breaks a reception. Bandleaders and co-managers from New York’s Hank Lane Music and Productions spill their secrets on booking musicians.
Go for quality over quantity.
Mike Herman: If your entertainment budget is on the lower end, you best bet is to secure a four-piece group that sings and plays multiple instruments. That versatility will make them sound like an eight-piece outfit.
Don’t limit yourself to one type of music.
Erik Marshall: Years ago, people were more into themed events with music that matched, but now the theme should just be “fun!” The best bands are the ones that think on their feet. You’ll want a group that’s prepared for anything, rather than one that just plays R&B or modern hits off the radio, because it’s tough to predict what guests will like or how the mood might change as the night goes on. If you’ve hired a band whose members are musically flexible, they could maybe play jazz during dinner and then switch to classic rock for dancing.
To save money, opt for any day but Saturday.
EM: Great music is great music, no matter what night it is. Booking a band for a Saturday wedding will likely increase the rate by 15 to 20 percent, because it’s the most popular night for live music. These days, we’re getting lots of requests for Fridays and Sundays, which are more affordable.
Be wary of groups without representation.
EM: Hiring freelance bands won’t always lead to trouble, but you have more guarantees when you use a booking agency, which will have every backup plan imaginable. Simply signing a contract with the band directly isn’t foolproof. They can put anything down on paper, but if the drummer doesn’t show on the day of, you’re out of luck, whereas an agency can just send over another musician.
Read the contract – carefully.
EM: It’s not uncommon for bands to charge for learning new songs or for not taking breaks. And a destination wedding will always be more expensive; besides the extra costs for flights, hotel, and rentals, bands might tack on a charge for traveling the night before, since that could mean the loss of a gig for them.
Use the same musicians in different combos throughout the day.
MH: Not only does this save money – up to thousands of dollars – it means fewer vendors to coordinate with. One of the guys from the reception band could play flute for the ceremony and then sax for the cocktail hour, for example. Or you could pair the sax player with the band’s pianist to perform as a jazz duo during drinks and appetizers.