​​


me & ella
written by & starring
Andrea Frierson
(Broadway Star and 5 time Star Search winner)

The Word Is Getting Out!

Andrew Frierson
'63 March On Washington
"FREEDOM"

York Theatre Company
the creatives talk about
ME & ELLA

HAPPY 100th Dear Ella!
April 25, 2017

me & ella musical excerpts

(L to R) Ron Abel - piano, Murphy Cross, Rex Benincasa - drums,
Andrea Frierson, Hilliard Green - bass, Paul Kreppel
recorded live in concert  
54 Below NYC, NY

 
Set against the restless backdrop of the 20th Century and the lush serenity of the Ella Fitzgerald songbook, Broadway veteran Andrea Frierson’s “Me & Ella” is a valentine to the “First Lady Of Song.” Ms Frierson’s personal storytelling and song  stylings provide a loving glimpse into why Ella’s music, heart and determination to overcome the challenges in her life and career continue to inspire.
 
Andrea Frierson has a "smooth, lush voice and almost preternatural sweetness" 







"Ron Abel accompanied ... with his usual panache." 

BWW - Review 4/10/16



​Ron Abel, Rex Benincasa, Richie Goods

meet the "me & ella" team

Ron Abel
Musical Director/ Arranger

Murphy Cross & Paul Kreppel
Directors/Producers

Andrea Frierson
Singer/Actress/Writer

Two time Helen Hayes Award nominee, Andrea Frierson, has performed leading roles in numerous Broadway productions, including The Lion King (Rafiki); Once on This Island (Erzulie, Goddess of Love, original cast); Marie Christine with Audra McDonald at Lincoln Center Theater; Bring in ‘Da Noise/Funk (‘Da Singer); For Colored Girls... (original Broadway production), and A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge’s Mother, original cast) at Madison Square Garden. Regional theatre roles include: Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner in Beehive! (Arena Stage, Washington, DC); The Homeless Woman in A New Brain (Helen Hayes Nominee; Studio Theatre, Washington, DC); and most recently as the author and star of me & ella (Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, Rochester, NY). Television audiences may remember Andrea as a 5-time winner and semi-finalist on Ed McMahon’s nationally syndicated vocal competition, Star Search; and as Ms. Melody on Allegra’s Window (Series Regular, Nickelodeon). Other TV appearances include: an Emmy award-winning episode of the FX comedy series, Louie (ER nurse); The Rosie O’Donnell Show (guest); Good Morning America (performer); and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer (guest). A Lincoln Center Theatre workshop production of her first musical play, Lady Be Good, which featured the music of her idol, Ella Fitzgerald, later served as a springboard for me & ella. Andrea is a Library of Congress award winner for her musical, Soon of a Mornin’, about the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and is currently working on an illustrated memoir entitled, “How NOT to Fall Off a Broadway Stage.” www.andreafrierson.com
 
Ron Abel, the multi-award winning composer/producer/arranger/orchestrator/conductor and musical director whose client list ranges from opera diva and Kennedy Center Honoree, Jessye Norman, to pop diva Taylor Dayne, is pleased to be working with Andrea Frierson. Mr. Abel currently acts as musical director for Lucie Arnaz, Shirley Jones, Michele Lee and Valarie Pettiford and has performed with or arranged for Michelle Pfeiffer, Kim Bassinger, Liza Minnelli, Marvin Hamlisch, Bette Midler, Gladys Knight, Helen Reddy, Deborah Gibson and Petula Clark. With his long-time writing partner, the celebrated lyricist Chuck Steffan, Ron is currently writing the scores for two new Broadway-bound musicals; Hazel, the story of America’s most beloved maid, with book by the Kleban Award-winner, Lissa Levin; and Re-Introducing Laurette Bishop, starring Tony nominee Valarie Pettiford, book by noted author, Kathleen McGhee-Anderson. Mr. Abel has also composed the scores for Rockwell: Life On A Palette, Bricktop and Twist Of Fate.
Television work includes Musical Direction and Original Music for the Emmy-Award winning I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of West Side Story, Ron was commissioned to arrange and orchestrate a new symphonic composition of the score for the Pasadena Pops Orchestra for which he was the guest pianist. Ron was also recently named among the GREAT AMERICAN COMPOSERS celebrated at the July 4th Rose Bowl Spectacular and can  be seen playing himself on Fran Drescher’s TV Land television series Happily Divorced.
Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel  are Tony Award-winning partners in WetRock Entertainment for co-creating/directing/producing the multi-award winning Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! WetRock also produced the Ovation Award-winning The Big Voice: God or Merman? and produced and directed the star-studded NY benefit Six Degrees of Marvin Hamlisch. They are currently developing a new musical First Kids which explores the lives of children of U.S. Presidents. Wicked and Godspell alum Paul Kreppel’s other theatre directing credits include: Both Barrels; Godspell national tour; Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! - the Allan Sherman musical; God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and world premieres of Zero Hour and Don’t Hug Me. Paul’s TV directing credits include Dave’s World, Brotherly Love and It’s A Living, in which he also starred. A Chorus Line alum, Murphy Cross’ directing credits include: the long running show at The Groundlings, Big Tush, Little Tush, Sunday’s Children All Fall Down and the awarding-winning short film Blinders, as well as TV choreography credits; Deadwood, Carnivale, Yes Dear, Roseanne and for such stars as Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, John Travolta, Debbie Reynolds and Howie Mandel. They recently co-directed and starred in Old Jews Telling Jokes regionally at DCT, where me & ella received its initial workshop production. Paul & Murphy are thrilled to be working with their frequent collaborator and friend Ron Abel in presenting the beautiful and  inspiring  Andrea  Frierson.  www.wetrockentertainment.com
click for wetrock's website
click for andrea's website

most recent & upcoming appearances
​please visit again soon for performance updates.

  1. 15 July thru 23rd 2017
    The York Theatre Co

    Buy Ticket

    Andrea Frierson's Valentine to Ella Fitzgerald
  2. Nov. 18th
    Wick Theatre Boca Raton, FL

    Buy Ticket

    Andrea Frierson & Trio including Music Director Ron Abel
  3. 23rd March 2017 6:30pm
    @ The Apollo Theater

    Buy Ticket

    Andrea and the Dream Team Trio w/ Ron Abel on the 88s make a guest appearance at the Apollo Theater for a very special Ella Fitzgerald tribute. LIVE WIRE ELLA! A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
  4. 10 Sept
    Canal Walk Ballroom Somerset, NY 08873

    Buy Ticket

    8:00 pm concert starring Andrea Frierson w/ Ron Abel, musical director plus bass & drum
  5. 25 Apr
    Friars Club

    Buy Ticket

    8:00 P.M.