Singer Sam Gravitte Kicks-Off the New Year Performing at Live At the Orinda! Concert Series

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(Justin Patterson, Photographer)
Sam Gravitte, who played the character Fiyero in the Broadway production Wicked, performs his 75-minute show Songs That Raised Me at the Orinda Theatre on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. for the Live At the Orinda concert series.

    For his first appearance at the Orinda Theatre while also making his West Coast concert debut, singer Sam Gravitte is excited to perform his Songs That Raised Me on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. for the Live At the Orinda! concert series.
    Born in Los Angeles, raised in Ridgefield, CT, and now living in Harlem, New York City, the 27-year-old’s show will include musical theater, jazz standards, guitar tunes “and even an original song cycle written by my friend and composer Jake Landau,” he said.
    He was raised by supportive parent actors, Debbie and Beau Gravitte.
    “My mom did a show at the Orinda Theatre not long ago!” he said. “She’s a Tony Award winner, and my father is the artistic director at the Actors Studio in Manhattan.”
    Gravitte, who has a twin sister Ellie and an older brother Charlie, talks about his love of entertaining.
    “I love how performing drops me into my own body and experience,” said Gravitte, who has a degree in anthropology. “No matter where and when you are as a performer, the act of performance plunges you into the present. I’m always grateful for that.”
    Among other notable credits, Gravitte’s Broadway role as Fiyero in Wicked is most recognizable. He looks back on it with lasting gratitude.
    “Playing Fiyero on Broadway was a beautiful culmination of a long relationship with Wicked. I toured with the show for a year – my first big contract – right after graduating from Princeton in 2017,” he said. “When I got back to New York after tour, I was lucky enough to join the Broadway ensemble for seven weeks in the summer of 2019, before finally taking over the role Feb. 25, 2020.”
    That’s when the pandemic took center stage.
    “Of course, everyone knows what happened to Broadway two and a half weeks later … so I took over the role, did a handful of performances and then waited 18 months before I was able to come back with Wicked and reopen the show September 2021.”
    By then, audience members were craving live theater.
    “Reopening was absolutely magical,” recalled Gravitte. “We were met with tidal waves of love. To be part of the Broadway community at that point in time – a community that was healing – was something I’ll hold onto forever. Over the course of my run with the show, through reopening to Omicron and shows closing to the end of my run in May, I learned more than I ever could have predicted about performance and about myself. I’m incredibly grateful for the experience.”
    Gravitte hopes this audience will enjoy his 75-minute show in Orinda.
    “I hope the audience gets a glimpse into my childhood – growing up with actor parents, with music as one of the rock-solid constants in my life – and that they enjoy an evening that explores a big old handful of genres,” he said.
    When he’s not performing, Gravitte admits he’s a bookworm.
    “I’m a curious person by nature – I love to read, and I love to be out in nature,” he said. “The weather is one of my favorite things about the Bay Area.”
    With concerts lined up to 2024, Gravitte said he’s making his symphony concert debut in February, “and I’ll be shopping some writing around.”
    Gravitte made his solo concert debut in early 2022 at New York’s Birdland Jazz Club with a sold-out show and rave reviews.
    Jan. 29 cannot arrive soon enough for Gravitte.
    “The Bay is home to some of my favorite humans in the world, and I’m grateful to be able to share some of my music and story with them in person through my show,” he said. “I’ll have the incredible musicians Emily Whitaker and Ravi Campbell with me, and I couldn’t be luckier to have them supporting me. Cannot wait to be out there.”
    Tickets for Gravitte’s show can be purchased online at www.orindamovies.com.

Charleen Earley can be reached at editor@theorindanews.com.

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