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Wednesday, April 24, 2024


Michael Ogborn Croons at the Chalfonte

By On Deck Staff

Michael Ogborn, Emmy Award winning composer/lyricist and songwriter returns to the Chalfonte Hotel to perform his unique and original music in the hotel’s acclaimed “Concerts by Candlelight” series on Tuesday, August 26th at 8pm in the Henry Sawyer Room. “Original” doesn’t fully describe this multi-talented composer, whose musicals are complex and intelligent; the products of a curious (and musically gifted) mind. According to Ogborn, his show at the Chalfonte will include new songs, old songs, songs we all know the words to, and a few surprises.
With a lifelong career in the theater, Ogborn made his Off-Broadway debut in 1993 with the critically acclaimed musical revue, Box Office of the Damned, a wacky character driven, cleverly written gem which takes place in a movie theater. Originally mounted in Philadelphia, starring the late Jilline Ringle, Box Office of the Damned was a triumph for Ogborn. Ringle was a frequent cast member of his musicals and cabaret revues, and their collaboration on her shows (Mondo Mangia, For Me, Formidable, La Dolce Vita, Come Fly with Me, Shut Up and Kiss Me) inspired some of the most memorable songs and moments during her career.
Ogborn is also the songwriter behind Philly favorites Baby Case, and Café Puttanesca, Oh, Antigone!, Regalia, and A Tour of the Ruins. His musicals are inspired by familiar and less-known historical material – who would have thought of writing a musical about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping? That’s Baby Case, a poignant, thoughtful look at “The Trial of the Century.” Ogborn was in Los Angeles during the O.J. Simpson trial, which at the time had also been dubbed “The Trial of the Century.” He began to research the Lindbergh trial and discovered so many parallels that he couldn’t dismiss the idea of writing a musical. Says Ogborn, “Everything was the same! The botched investigations, mishandled evidence, the strange personalities coming out of the woodwork to testify, but especially, the media frenzy.” And so Baby Case was born, winning four Barrymore Awards, Philly’s highest theatre honor.
With playwright-librettist Michael Hollinger, Ogborn is writing Tulipomania, a musical comedy about a man who gets caught up in the Dutch tulip trading craze of 1637. Just like the .com boom and bust, it was the first example of futures trading bottoming out and affecting a sizable group of people who were looking to get rich quick. Ogborn said. “As tulip bulbs were traded like gold and auctioned off to the highest bidder, people gained and lost fortunes in one day. The musical is still in process but we can pretty much guarantee that there will be a lot of Dutch people singing about tulips!”
His work has been produced at the Arden Theatre Company, The Wilma Theater, and 1812 Productions (Philadelphia, PA) The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), City Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA), Horizon Theater (Atlanta, GA), The Diversionary Theater (San Diego, CA), Theater LaB (Houston, TX), and Radio City Music Hall, in New York City.
Some career highlights and awards include creating special material for the legendary Radio City Music hall Rockettes, being voted Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly” for Cabaret Performer and a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award in 1993 for the PBS music video “Soldiers in the Sky” and in 2003. Ogborn was born and raised in Philadephia, PA and currently makes his home in New York City.
This performance is a rare opportunity so see Ogborn perform, as his music is always performed by others. He appears in The Henry Sawyer Room at The Chalfonte Hotel, 301 Howard Street, Cape May, NJ. Tickets are $10 per adult/$7per child, or complimentary with dinner in The Chalfonte’s Magnolia Room. For reservations, call 609-884-8409.

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