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Broadway's Ward wants ECTC show to 'Uplift' audiences

Tony Simmons
The News Herald

MIRAMAR BEACH — A Panhandle native with stage credits that include some of the top Broadway musicals is returning for a brand new one-night show on Sept. 29.

Nicholas Ward will debut his solo concert performance, "Uplift!: A Fun Evening Filled with Broadway Favorites, Laughs and Joy," on the Emerald Coast Theatre Co.'s stage at 560 Grand Blvd., in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, Miramar Beach. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and limited tickets are $28.

Nicholas Ward brings his one-man show "Uplift!" to Emerald Coast Theatre Co. in Miramar Beach on Sept.  29.

“We invite everyone to join us in welcoming back home Niceville’s own Nicholas Ward,” said Nathanael Fisher, ECTC's producing artistic director. “What a treat to be able to enjoy the supreme talent of Broadway’s best right here on our ECTC stage.”

Ward, who grew up in Niceville, was a featured performer in ECTC’s Virtual Talent Show, as well as Cabaret Broadway Playlist Live this past summer. He comes back to ECTC fresh from performing as King Agnarr in the original cast of the Broadway hit musical, "Frozen."

Ward appeared as Mufasa in "The Lion King," and made his Broadway debut in the critically-acclaimed revival of "On the Town," opening the show with his rich basso profundo voice, singing Leonard Bernstein’s stirring number, "I Feel like I’m Not Out of Bed Yet." He earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for his performance in "In Transit," Broadway’s first a cappella musical, which was then performed at Carnegie Hall.

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Other credits include Olin Britt in "The Music Man" at The Kennedy Center with Norm Lewis and Jessie Mueller; and as a featured soloist in Andrew Lippas Kristin's thrilling opera, "I am Harvey Milk," starring Kristin Chenoweth.

Some of his favorite regional roles included Jim in "Big River," Joe in "Show Boat," Caiaphas in "Jesus Christ Superstar," and The Giant in "Big Fish." You can even catch Ward sharing the screen with the legendary Meryl Streep and Audra McDonald in the lively film, "Ricky and The Flash."

In a video post, Ward discussed his performance during the Broadway Playlist Live virtual concert, when he sang "Impossible Dream" from the musical "Man of La Mancha." He said the song had a lot of meaning in midst of the world's current crises.

"The song is just one of those songs that, when I start to feel lost or frustrated or scared, or anything, I listen to that song and I start to think about the hope," he said. "There's just so much in the lyric that speaks to my heart."

Due to social distancing concerns, only 70 tickets will sold for show. Order tickets online at  www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

"Uplift!" is the second offering in ECTC's 2020-21 season, its eighth since opening in 2012. The season opened on Sept. 19, with "Red Riding Hood," part of the company's Theatre for Young Audiences program.

The Professional Mainstage season continues with "First Date," Oct. 9-25; "A Christmas Carol," Dec. 4-20; "Florida Girls," Jan. 15-31, 2021; and "Popcorn Falls," Feb. 12-28, 2021. Find the entire season roster online at EmeraldCoastTheatre.org.